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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Neuquen Province, weather and tourism

Map of NeuquenThe Province of Neuquén lies on the west side of Argentina. It has a population of 474,155.

History: the first inhabitants of the zone were the Pehuenche, Mapuche and Tehuelche aborigines. The land was not explored by the Spanish until late in the 17th century.

Geography: to the West lies the Andean portion, with mountainous valleys; to the East lies an arid plateau.

Climate: the weather is cold, with temperate summers. Average temperatures are between 59 F and 70 F in summer, and around 39 F in winter.


  • Ski: from June to October, during the European summer, you can enjoy snow in Chapelco (near San Martín de los Andes), one of the best ski centers of South America. There are other ski centers in Bayo mountain (in Villa La Angostura) and in Caviahue.
  • Villa La Angostura: an ideal site for resting. You can feel its European style, and taste the quality of its chocolates, and regional foods, such as trout and deer. To the South you can find the Arrayanes Forest, something unusual in other parts of the world, because these trees don’t usually grow so much.
  • Copahue Spa: globally renowned for the quality of its water and mud. The complex offers services of kinesiology, massotherapy, hydromassage, mud therapy and a gym
  • Seven Lakes Road: a tour of 107 km that lets you appreciate the Patagonian landscapes, with lakes, forests and snowy mountains. The road traverses the Nahuel Huapi and Lanín National Parks.
  • Deer and wild boar hunting: you can do it near Junín de Los Andes, San Martín de los Andes, Aluminé and Zapala. You can also hunt with permission in the Lanin and Nahuel Huapi National Parks.
  • Fly fishing: you can fish coveted species like the rainbow trout and the brown trout.
  • Museums and Dinosaurs: The Municipal Museum of El Chocón shows the archeologic and paleontologic material retrieved from the zone. The main attraction is Gigantosaurus carolinii, discovered in 1993, and considered the largest carnivore of all time, bigger than T. Rex. In Plaza Huincul you can find the Carmen Funes Municipal Museum. The biggest discovery exhibited is Argentinosaurus huinculensis, the largest herbivore of the world.
  • Mountaineering: Lanín Volcano, located at 70 km from Junín de los Andes. It has 3,776 m of height, and it’s known for its always snowed tip. Domuyo Mountain, with 4,709 m over the sea level. It is known as the "Roof of Patagonia", because it’s the highest mountain of the region. Tromen Volcano has a height of 4,114 m above sea level. On its base lies a lagoon where ducks and black necked swans live.

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