San Carlos de Bariloche R8400, Provincia de Río Negro, Argentina
GPS: -40.998365976089, -71.497479778467
Nahuel Huapi National Park Argentina is in the Patagonian region of Argentine, at the foot of the Andes Mountains whose peaks form a natural border with Chile. Founded in 1922 and expanded in 1934 in the provinces of Rio Negro and Neuquén, it is the oldest nature reserve in Argentina. This beautiful protected area aims to safeguard the Andean forests and the Patagonian steppe with its varied fauna. It is sometimes referred to as the Argentine Lake District because of its aquatic environment.
With an area of 7,500 km², Nahuel Huapi National Park surrounds the eponymous glacial lake. The northern part of the park is bordered by Los Arrayanes National Park (a Patagonian forest) and Lanín National Park, famous for the size of its trees. This wilderness area has several ecosystems that evolve with the altitude, from 700 metres at its lowest level to almost 3,500 metres high. Water is omnipresent through rivers and lakes, which are largely fed by melting snow and glaciers. Until the 19th century, the region of Nahuel Huapi National Park, the Argentinean Pampas and Eastern Patagonia was inhabited by large communities of indigenous Argentinians, including the Mapuche. Having already resisted the expansionist desires of the Incas, these indigenous people witnessed the arrival of the first Spanish settlers in the 16th century. Their geolocation led to several armed conflicts in an already tense political context between Argentina and Chile over the demarcation of the Andean borders. The Conquest of the Desert, a series of military offensives carried out between 1869 and 1888, resulted in the exclusion of the Mapuche from their ancestral lands by the Argentine government. Despite a recent process of cooperation aimed at integrating indigenous people into the management of the natural resources of Nahuel Huapi National Park, tensions remain between the two parties.
In addition to its network of 500 kilometres of hiking trails, Nahuel Huapi National Park is a land known for a wide variety of activities. It has scenic roads and waterways where diverse landscapes intermingle, high Andean forests, snow-capped peaks, hills, glaciers, high altitude lakes and Patagonian steppes.