Land of lakes, volcanoes, hills and forests, Neuquén is one of the most popular vacation destinations. And if your goal is to go sightseeing, we recommend you allocate at least a week to fully explore it.
1. San Martin de los Andes
San Martín de los Andes is one of the most famous cities in Neuquén and is located on the shores of Lake Lacar, which flows into the Pacific. In San Martín there are several activities for tourists such as enjoying the beach, crossing to Quila Quina, an island that is half an hour away by boat, going up to its two viewpoints: Bandurrias and Arrayanes, and walking through the center.
2. Villa Traful
Villa Traful is a town of 850 inhabitants that is located on the shores of Lake Traful. The main attraction is a forest that was submerged in water, and that can be seen through a boat excursion or by diving or snorkeling. If you choose the boat ride, it is recommended to do it in the morning to have a better view through the water.
Other recommended attractions for tourists are:
3. Villa La Angostura
A must in Neuquén is visiting Villa La Angostura. The city center stands out for its beauty and simplicity, with small businesses, made of wood and overlooking the mountains in green with warm tones.
The obligatory stops in Villa La Angostura are:
4. Arrayanes Forest
The Arrayán is an orange-brown tree that gives the Arrayanes Forest a unique personality. The view of the bay and the color of the trees form the perfect combo for you to spend a day surrounded by nature.
It can be reached on foot along a 12-kilometer path (24 km in total) or by boat on a journey that lasts approximately 20 minutes.
5. Lanin Volcano
The Lanín Volcano is located in the Lanín National Park and is one of the volcanoes that are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire.
It can be seen from the base of the mountain arriving through a path, also in excursions on the Paimún river and you can also make the ascent to the volcano.
Some experts say that the ascent up the north face of the volcano is the most accessible excursion, while the south face is more difficult, since you need experience in ice climbing. Mandatory equipment for this activity includes trekking boots, crampons, ice axes, sunglasses, gloves, first aid kit, flashlight, heater, sleeping bag, coat, and energy foods.
6. Lake Nahuel Huapi
Although Lake Nahuel Huapi is usually associated with Bariloche, in reality a large part of its surface (close to 80%) is in Neuquén.
It has a depth of 464 meters and its eight arms are: Campanario, de la Tristeza, Blest, Machete, del Rincón, Última Esperanza, Angostura and Huemul. In addition, it connects with other smaller lakes such as Gutiérrez, Moreno, Espejo and Correntoso.
It is fed by snowmelt and is the source of the Limay River. It has several islands, the largest and most important for its tourist activity is Victoria Island, with 31 km². Because it is meltwater, the water on this island is quite cool and it is not recommended to get into it most of the year except for summer.
If you are looking to enjoy the water, this lake has a large number of beaches in Isla Victoria, Bariloche, Dina Huapi, etc.
7. Copahue Volcano
It is another of the famous volcanoes of Neuquén. It can be accessed by trekking, but taking into account that it is a journey that can take 7 hours and that it must be done accompanied by a guide.
Near the Copahue Volcano is the thermal complex that opens from mid-November and closes in mid-May.
In the hot springs you will find:
8. Wine Route
The Wine Route is one of the programs that must be done in Neuquén and is ideal for wine lovers. During the tour you can take guided tours and get to know the vineyards, buy and taste wines, and try regional cuisine prepared by chefs.
The varieties of wines that you will find in the region are: Merlot, Malbec, Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc.
The 4 Neuquén wineries that must be visited are the following:
Patritti: The winery receives visits from Monday to Saturday only by reservation.
Malma: Offers guided tours with tasting and also has a wine shop. It provides lunch at Malma Restaurant and accommodation at Casa Malma, a small inn in the middle of the vineyards.
Schroeder Family: During the construction of the winery, remains of a dinosaur belonging to the Titanosaur family were found, which became another attraction in the area. It has guided tours and the tour ends at Saurus Restaurant, a haute cuisine proposal with regional ingredients.
Patagonian secret: The winery is open to the public from Monday to Saturday for free guided tours, but with prior reservation. The tour of the vineyards and the winery is always accompanied.