Hiking in Villa Traful
Arroyo Blanco and Arroyo Coa Có. Drive, walk, or pedal about 3 km (2 miles) up from the village to the trailhead at Pampa de los Alamos, a clearing where the trail to Arroyo Blanco descends into a forest of 1,000-year-old coihué trees with ghostly naked trunks, gigantic lenga (deciduous beech), and ñires that grow only at high altitudes. The trail leads to a wooden walkway along a steep cliff—the only way one could possibly view the waterfall tumbling 20 meters (66 feet) into a dark chasm. Follow the wooden trail along the cliff for increasingly amazing glimpses of this wild gorge, then return up the same route. Arroyo Coa Có is in the opposite direction, with a view of both the waterfall and Lago Traful. Villa Traful, Neuquén, 8403.
Cerro Negro. A strenuous 7-hour hike from the village to Cerro Negro climbs up through forests of cypress, coihué, lenga, and ñire, passing strange rock formations en route to the top. The summit—at 1,829 meters (6,000 feet)—promises a splendid view of Lago Traful and across the Andes all the way to Lanín. Villa Traful, Neuquén, 8403.
Casacada Co Lemú. At the end of an arduous trail, the Casacada Co Lemú thunders down 20 meters (67 feet) with a deafening roar. Drive 8 km (5 miles) west toward the Seven Lakes Route to the bridge over Arroyo Cataratas. Before you cross the stream, on your left, the trail—covering 19 km (12 miles), round-trip—climbs slowly at first, then straight up to the falls. Villa Traful, Neuquén, 8403.
Laguna Las Mellizas y Pinturas Rupestres. A 15-minute boat trip across the lake from the wharf takes you to a sandy beach on the northern shore. A two-hour walk down a trail into a steep gully leads to the pools. Nearby caves with 600-year-old Tehuelche cave paintings are worth exploring. The area is protected and registration with national park officials is required. Villa Traful, Neuquén, 8347.
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