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Pehuenia, a Real Wildlife Tour

   
 Estimated reading time: 3 min. Texts Mónica Pons   Photos Santiago Gaudio
Pehuenia Tour

We stepped forward on a side road without haste to become immersed in the scent, colors and the astounding silence in the area and feel every sunbeam.

As regular travelers in the wide Argentinian Patagonia, we have been on numberless roads; however, the Pehuenia Tour has “just something special” which gave us a somehow distinctive, strong and unique feeling for this place.

Villa Pehuenia was the destination of our vacations. We set out very early in the morning on our vehicle feeling eager to enjoy the day. We left the urban settlement behind us bordering the shore of Lake Aluminé and took Provincial Route 23 southwards. As we reached Provincial Route 11, we turned right into an unpaved road.

We got the beautiful sense that our traces were the first ones on that day. We headed forward bordering the Pulmarí River while unveiling every nook until we found Los Giles Lagoon, known for the birds which nestle over there. We could hear their chirping, though we never saw them. This is a fly-fishing spot and motorboating is not allowed.

We went through hills, monkey puzzle trees and cypresses and reached Lake Pulmarí, of a blue-sky-like color. We decided to have an improvised picnic on its low shores. After all, we had packed food in our lunch box. On their transparent waters, we could see wild ducks swimming slowly and ruddy-headed geese moving towards some huge rocks coming out the middle of the lake. An unforgettable break!
Pehuenia Tour
As we got to the vantage point called Piedra Pintada (Painted Rock), we climbed up towards a spot where old residents left a sample of their art. From the top, we could appreciate the vastness of a lake without “wrinkles” without uttering a word. Very seldom did we hear the sound of a bird.

Once in the Lanín National Park, we walked through their clean internal trails until we found the park rangers’ station. Even though he was very busy with his usual daily tasks, he felt like telling us his experiences.

“It is a pity that visitors don’t devote enough time to stopping on this spot to be fully aware of the beauty that nature offers in this nook. Among other things, I want to point out an interpretive trail prepared by the Mapuche community to better understand their vision of life and its principles”, the park ranger told us, proud of his daily environment.

The Pulmari River shore and Lake Ñorquinco were our next destinations, where we seated for a while facing this natural wonder of monkey-puzzle trees forming the downhill woods. The age of trees is determined by their branches: in the case of old trees, by the fallen or weak branches; whereas young trees are characterized by bright green and well-shaped branches. Our eyes and cameras did their best to capture the incredible contrast between the monkey-puzzle trees reflection and the blue color of the water body.

We left Lake Ñorquinco behind and the road seemed to become narrower due to rock formations with higher number of monkey-puzzle tree woods, outlined on the high part of Mounts Impodi and Cresta de Gallo (rooster comb).

A few kilometers before arriving at Moquehue, the first houses and cabin accommodation venues made the difference. Nature and man live together at this location and the environmental sound is different from what we had just seen.
Pehuenia Tour
We visited Las Araucarias Theme Park, where a qualified guide takes visitors along the trails through the woods to teach the life of this ancient species. The piñón (cone) is the fruit of these trees and in older times it was the basic food of the Mapuche residents in this area.

Eventually, we reached Villa Pehuenia, where we felt at home again in our comfortable cabin opposite Lake Aluminé. As the big windows let the twilight in, we turned on our computer to write e-mails to our friends and share some of the moments we had lived in the Pehuenia Circuit.
Useful Data
Recommendations
This circuit runs for 130 kilometers, along a gravel road and takes all day.
Fuel: Gas stations only in Villa Pehuenia and Aluminé.
Roads are accessible in summer, autumn and spring. In winter, roads are closed due to the snow.
Wilderness and recreational campsites are available. Please consult at the Tourist Office about availability and the activities offered (fishing, hiking, horseback riding, etc.).
Visitors can find a variety of tourist and food production enterprises devoted to accommodation and the manufacture of cheese, jams, preserved food and honey.
 
 
Rates and fees must be requested from each operator.
Interpatagonia does not provide this kind of information.
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