Introduction

Cruising through the stark, desertlike landscape north of Zapala doesn’t really prepare you for arrival at this pretty little oasis town, named by the Mapuche for the yellow rock in the surrounding hills. Set at the convergence of Río Neuquén and Río Curi Leuvú, the town boasts two main plazas, bearing the names of the two superheroes of Argentina – San Martín and Sarmiento. Around the former is the majority of the historic buildings, including the Fuerte IV Division fort (go around the back for sweeping views out over the river valley). Five blocks south is Plaza Sarmiento, where you’ll find banks and businesses.