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On the Way to the Hua Hum Pass

 Estimated reading time: 1 min. Texts Karina Jozami   Photos Pablo Etchevers (1) Santiago Gaudio (2)
Tour Towards the Hua Hum Pass from San Martín de los Andes

Yuco, Nonthué, the Hua Hum River and the Chachin waterfall are part of a natural environment that anticipates the Valdivian forest on the Chilean side of the border.

All the roads surrounding beautiful San Martín de los Andes lead to delightful nooks of the Lanín National Park. Going to the Hua Hum international pass, the bends of Lake Lácar give origin to small beaches. The mountain range nooks and the vegetation which gets more and more diverse invite visitors to an amusing tour before crossing into Chile.
The tour starts at the junction of Provincial Route 48 and National Route 234, quite near the town center. The pavement ends at this point to give way to a gravel road. Only three kilometers away, lies the access to the Bandurrias vantage point, the first stop to take one of the best panoramic pictures of the city. Back on the road, the Trompul Rock may be spotted 10 kilometers ahead. This is a magnificent huge rock isolated from the rest of the formations. At sunset, the last sunbeams help viewers make out the profile of a face carved by nature.
Tour Towards the Hua Hum Pass from San Martín de los Andes
Leaving the rock behind, there is detour leading to Yuco 14 kilometers ahead. This beach, whose name means “a place away from everything” in the Mapuche tongue, is one of the most beautiful sandy beaches on Lake Lácar, with rocks sticking out of the water from where visitors dive into the crystal-clear waters and a leafy forest made up by raulíes, coihues and myrtle trees, all of them typical of the Valdivian rainforest.

Those Hidden Beaches

Yuco is a place for day-camping. Therefore, it becomes an ideal spot to enjoy a good pic-nic. Those who wish to spend a few days camping must go up to Nonthué, located 20 kilometers ahead. The lake bearing the same name starts at that spot. Through this water body and the Hua Hum River, Lake Lácar is the only lake in the area whose waters end in the Pacific Ocean.
Tour Towards the Hua Hum Pass from San Martín de los Andes
No wonder this is a dreamed of place on the shores of Lake Nonthué, which not only features a camping area but also a small pier and a restaurant.

Getting along this road, 800 meters ahead in the direction of the international pass there is a path to the left which crosses a bridge over the attractive Hua Hum River and its bluish green waters. Farther ahead there is a fork: the Pucará post and the Chachín Waterfall are reached following the road on the left, whereas the path on the right leads to Lake Queñi. The road accessing Pucará is only suitable for 4WD vehicles. To visit the cascade, visitors park their cars at this point and continue hiking along a low difficulty trail up to the balcony from where they may observe the waterfall.
Tour Towards the Hua Hum Pass from San Martín de los Andes
If the idea is to continue hiking and enjoying adventure, reaching Queñi means going on driving along a very picturesque but complicated 8-kilometer stretch which features several small water courses that must be waded in order to get to the lake. Once there, visitors must hike for one and half hour along a well-marked trail that reaches a hot spring well. A wild, hidden, unspoiled environment, ideal for taking a gratifying bath, recovering from the physical effort and forgetting about the rest of the world.
Tour Towards the Hua Hum Pass from San Martín de los Andes
Useful Data
Nonthué is one of the best camping areas on the Lácar. Easily accessed, it features all the basic services and a quiet beach, ideal to spend a few days.
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Level of Difficulty
all day
Useful Data Useful Data


The Detail

The high rainfall rate establishes the characteristics of the flora to both sides of the mountain range. The humid atmosphere generating this rainfall regime reaches 4,000 mm per annum, whereas in the City of San Martín, the rate drops to 1,200 mm.
Due to these conditions, there are several species of lianas and epiphytes which make up the so-called Valdivian rainforest in the Hua Hum area. Cinnamons, maniús, taiques, topa topa and other trees grow in this environment along with a thick understory of caña colihue.

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