Los Alerces National Park, with its particular physiognomy produced by a complex system of lakes and rivers. Follow Butch Cassidy´s steps and hiding places in these beautiful prairies and bushy forests. The Old Patagonian Express, one of the few narrow-gauge railways in the world, appears as the main attraction located nearby, with a captivating itinerary in the mythical Patagonic steppe.
Note: Departures - Thursdays from September to April.
Day 1: Bariloche. Reception at the airport and transfer to the hotel. Depart from the hotel for a half-day sightseeing of Bariloche and its outskirts. Drive along Bustillo Avenue, bordering Nahuel Huapi Lake toward Playa Bonita. Continue to Campanario Hill, where a chair lift will take you to the lookout at its summit. Enjoy a complete view of Lake Nahuel Huapi, the mountain peaks of the Andean Range and the city.
Then drive toward San Pedro and Llao Llao Peninsulas. Visit San Eduardo Chapel and pass by the Llao Llao Hotel and Resort and Puerto Pañuelo, the embarkation point of most lake excursions. Cross the bridge that connects Nahuel Huapi Lake and Moreno Lake and proceed to Lopez Bay. Enjoy a breathtaking view of Nahuel Huapi Lake from the Panoramic Point, a natural balcony facing Moreno Lake. Return to Bariloche. Accommodation.
Day 2: Bariloche. Continental breakfast. Full day visit to Estancia Fortín Chacabuco, located 20 km from Bariloche and 23 km from the airport, in Neuquén province. It has 5000 hectares dedicated to sheep breeding (the first in Argentina that used frozen sperm for artificial insemination). It was built in 1883, when General Villegas ordered to build the Chacabuco Fort in the fight against the aborigines. As it is located in the transition between the precordillera and the steppe, it shows an interesting diversity in flora, fauna and soil.
In the western area you can find snow until summer as well as valleys, lakes, rivers, etc. In the eastern areas the climate is much more arid and the vegetation poorer. This typical Patagonian estancia allows to taste the famous Patagonian "asado" (Argentine barbecue), watch stags, go for a walk, horseback ride or just relax and enjoy the landscape. Return to the hotel.
Day 3: Bariloche - Esquel. Continental breakfast. Departure to El Bolsón, a quiet village located in a spectacular valley with its own micro climate that allows an important production of fine fruit, such as strawberries, raspberries, cherries and hops, home-made cheeses, trout, home-made beer, woolen garments and handicrafts. In the 70's it was home to many ecological communities and radical cultural movements such as the famous "hippies" that still live in the area.
On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays a Craft Fair is held. Board the Patagonian Express (known as "La Trochita"), to travel across this land of legends that leads to adventure, where nature never fails to impress the visitor with its mountains, lakes, forests and rivers. "La Trochita" is one of the few narrow gauge steam trains in the world, a great attraction of the mythical Patagonian history. Even a short ride through this amazing steppe landscape allows to see sheep, cattle ranches and maybe flocks of guanacos and "nandus" (like ostriches). Arrival at Esquel and transfer to the hotel. Accommodation.
Day 4: Esquel. Continental breakfast. Visit to the Welsh colony of Trevelin located 25 km from Esquel, which name means "City of the Mill" in Welsh, because the first wheat mill in this area was built here in 1918. It is interesting to visit the Welsh Museum that stands where the mill used to be. Continue to the frontier with Chile to visit De Nant and Fall Cascades and a replica of a floury mill of the last century. Return to Trevelín and taste some delicious home-made pastries, typical of the Welsh cuisine at a traditional tea house (optional). Return to Esquel.
Day 5: Esquel. Continental breakfast. Full day excursion to Los Alerces National Park passing by Futalaufquen Lake, Arrayanes River and Verde Lake. Border Menéndez River walking until you reach Chucao Pier, in Menéndez Lake. Embark there for a visit to the majestic "Alerzal Milenario" (Millenary Larch Wood) formed by ancient trees that are more than 3000 years old, 60 meters high and 2,60 meters in diameter. The circuit allows appreciating big coihues, lakes, the beautiful cascade and Cisne River and the Torrecillas glacier. Return to Esquel.
Day 6: Esquel. Continental breakfast. Transfer to the airport to board the flight to Buenos Aires.
Also see tour packages in:
South America Argentina Local Culture Railway Trips National Parks