There are only two reasons to stop in Neuquén – the wealth of paleontological sites in the surrounding area, and the three excellent wineries just out of town. That said, the town has a strangely hypnotic effect, with its wide, tree-lined boulevards and liberal smattering of plazas.
At the confluence of the Río Neuquén and the Río Limay, Neuquén is the province’s easternmost city. Most travelers hit Neuquén en route to more glamorous destinations in Patagonia and the Lake District – the town is the area’s principal transport hub, with good connections to Bariloche and other Lake District destinations, to the far south and to Chile. Paved highways go east to the Río Negro valley, west toward Zapala and southwest toward Bariloche.
Known as Félix San Martín in town, the east–west RN 22 is the main thoroughfare, lying a few blocks south of downtown. Don’t confuse it with Av San Martín (ie sans the ‘Félix’), the obligatory homage to Argentina’s national icon. The principal north–south street is Av Argentina, which becomes Av Olascoaga south of the old train station. Street names change on each side of Av Argentina and the old train station. Several diagonal streets bisect the conventional grid.