I just got back from an amazing trip to Chile and Argentina. One of the many stops I made was Lake Nahuel Huapi in Argentina’s northern tip of Patagonia. The lake is enormous and surrounded by the always spectacular Andes.
We took several hikes in the region, but one of the most scenic was near the small town of Villa La Angostura. A large peninsula juts out into the lake near the picturesque town and contains steep cliffs, scenic overlooks, a 10 mile hiking trail and a national park. The peninsula is better described as a rugged island, but is technically connected to the shore by a thin strip of land.
The terrain rises steeply up into the clouds – at least on the cool, misty fall day that I was there. You can spend a few hours or an entire day exploring this unique area. There are isolated interior lakes, high pinnacles where one can view the vast surrounding lake and mountains, and a forest of quirky orange-barked trees. A boat service will take passengers from one end to the other if hiking is not in your plan. It’s a great way to relax and experience the crystal clear water and deep fjord-like terrain. Or, even better, grab a kayak and go.
The hiking is moderate and can be accomplished by most trekkers in reasonable condition. It does get steep, but there are ample opportunities to sit down, take a breather and enjoy the incredible view. It’s hard to fully grasp how large this lake and its environs really are, but the little peek that you get is well worth the effort.