Nahuel Huapi National Park
Nahuel Huapi National Park is located in Argentina along the border of Chile. The national park encompasses an area of 2,720 square miles (7,050 sq km) creating the second largest national park within the country.
It also has the distinction of being the first national park in Argentina. It is also a collective protected area with neighboring Lanin National Park and with Los Arrayanes National Park.
The elevation ranges from 2,362 to 11,453 feet (720 to 3,491 m) and represents three ecological zones including Altoandino, Andino-Patagonico, Patagonian steppe, and the Valdivian rainforest. Collectively, the region delivers the characteristics of northern Patagonian Andean Zone.
The high mountain chain of the Andes accounts for the majority of the park's landscapes. Visitors can expect to experience waterfalls, glaciers, rivers, lakes, mountains, expansive forests, and snow-covered summits.
The park is named after lake Nahuel Huapi, however, there are several other lakes. Some of the lakes include Fonck, Gutierrez, Guillelmo, Mascardi, Perito Moreno, and Mascardi. The lakes with the mountainous backdrops create astounding picturesque landscapes.
The highest summit in the park is Cerro Tronador situated near the border of Chile. The peak reaches a height of 11,453 feet (3,491 m). Although the park is situated in the mountains, the Valdivian temperate forest accounts for about half of the parks landscape.
The wildlife is diverse with cougars, foxes, pudus, guanacos, huillin, huemulus, and the river otter being some of the favorite wildlife sightings. There are diverse bird species as well with some of the more popular including Andean condors, austral parakeets, blue-eyed cormorants, and green backed firecrowns.
The expansive wilderness available for discovery and exploration is a highlight for many. The abundant lakes are special to those who love this aquatic side of nature. Collectively, the park is mountains and lakes with the neighboring temperate rainforest providing something for almost every type of nature lover.
Lake Nahuel Huapi
Lake Nahuel Huapi reaches a depth of 1,394 feet (425 m) creating the deepest lake in the park. Similarly, it is the largest lake covering an area of 210 square miles (544 sq km). Situated at an altitude of 2,516 feet (767 m), it is truly a mountain lake.
The lake features a vareity of fjords as well as running alongside the splendid Valdivian temperate rainforest. Los Arrayanes National Park is a separate national park situated on the Quetrihue Peninsula on the north side of the lake. This highlights some of the incredible facets and uniqueness of the lake.
Valdivian Temperate Forest
The lucious and expansive Valdivian temperate forest is rich in biodiversity for both plant and animal life. This accounts for half of the park's terrain. Lengas, coihue, Chilean cedar, and cypress are some of the more abundant tree species. This enchanting forest is ferns, arraynes, reeds and other complementary plant species.
Things To Do:
There is an abundance of activities available for discovering and exploring the national park. Activities include hiking, rock-climbing, mountain biking, and driving the scenic roads. On the water travelers can canoe, kayak, and rafting. Other unique activities include kite surfing, paragliding, and traversing the canopies.
Nahuel Huapi National Park was created to protect the biodiversity of the Valdivian temperate rainforest. This was the first national park created in Argentina reflecting an immediate recognition of the diversity and wilderness that needed to be protected for future locals and global travelers to experience.
Nahuel Huapi Highlights
- Nahuel Huapi lake
- Remarkable landscapes
- Valdivian temperate forest
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