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South America > Argentina > Patagonia (Argentina) > Los Alerces National Park

Los Alerces National Park

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Los Alerces National Park is in the Chubut region of Argentina.

Understand[edit]

The park is located along the Chilean border and covers 2,630 km2.

Generally, it is more a drive-through kind of a national park with not much hiking possible. A dusty dirt road is the only option to cross most of the park. Furthermore, it might only be worth visiting if you have never seen mountains, lakes and forests in their combination. Otherwise, the fee is a little overdrawn for a mountain range, one that you can easily visit in Europe for free.

History[edit]

"Alerce milenario", this tree is approximately 2,600 years old

The park was founded in 1937, and 80 years later it was listed as a world heritage site. The park is named after the Spanish name for the fitzroya cupressoides, a tall and very long-lived tree species native to the southern Andes.

The oldest tree can only be found at a specific spot in the park, reachable by an expensive boat only—see below.

Landscape[edit]

Flora and fauna[edit]

Climate[edit]

Get in[edit]

The nearest city is Esquel.

By car[edit]

Most people get in by car, but the parks dirt roads can be strenuous.

By bus[edit]

There is a daily bus from Esquel.

By thumb[edit]

It is pretty easy to get into and through the park by thumb.

On foot[edit]

Some trails lead into the park from outside. Consult a map like OpenStreetMap, which many mobile Apps like OsmAnd, and MAPS.ME use, to find them and use them together with GPS.

Fees and permits[edit]

Entrance fee is AR$250 for foreign adults. Concession for all others. However, in addition you might need to stack up some money for the pricey boat tours.

Get around[edit]

By car[edit]

Most people coming here will choose the car. Which is reasonable, because at least half of the national park can only be crossed by a dusty dirt road.

By boat[edit]

  • 1 Ferry station (It is a 25-min walk from the carpark). 11:00. The only way to the park's important sights. Paid parking: AR$20/35/70/100 for 0.5/1/2/3+ hr.

On foot[edit]

There are some trail parallel to the gravel road for half of the park. Otherwise, you will need to walk along the road and will be hulled into dust every time cars pass by. Some trails go inland and require some hiking up and down of 300-500 m altitude. Beside several smaller sightseeing paths of 30-60 min, the only real hiking trail is the one to Cerro Alto from the suspension bridge.

By bicycle[edit]

Not the most recommended way to see the national park, since all roads along the park are dusty dirt roads.

See[edit]

  • 1 Alerce Milenario. Pretty much the only old tree to be found in the national park. Only reachable by boat. AR$1080 by boat per person.
  • 2 Torrecillas Glacier. The glacier of the park. Only reachable by boat. Probably, the glaciers at El Chalten and El Calafate are more worth their money. AR$2800 by boat per person.

Do[edit]

Buy[edit]

Villa Futalaufquen after the south/central entrance has a few mercados available. Otherwise, some ranches cater for visitors with basic necessities.

Eat and drink[edit]

Many mid-range and splurge accommodation options as well as managed camp sites also offer restaurants. Consult the obtained park map.

Sleep[edit]

You will receive a map with most accommodation options when you enter the park.

Camping[edit]

There are many camp grounds available around the park, of which 5 or 6 are for free and quite nice.

Lodging[edit]

Various mid-range and splurge cabanas and managed huts for people with cars are available within the park.

Go next[edit]

If you are more interested in hiking, head for Lago Puelo (near El Bolson) or just Lago Cholila, between which you will find an interesting 97-km hiking trail.


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