One of Argentina’s most-visited national parks, Nahuel Huapi occupies 7500 sq km in the mountainous southwestern Neuquén and western Río Negro provinces. The park’s centerpiece is Lago Nahuel Huapi, a glacial remnant over 100km long that covers more than 500 sq km. To the west, a ridge of high peaks separates Argentina from Chile; the tallest is 3554m Monte Tronador, an extinct volcano that still lives up to its name (meaning ‘Thunderer’) when blocks of ice tumble from its glaciers. During the summer months, wildflowers blanket the alpine meadows.
Nahuel Huapi was created to preserve local flora and fauna, including its Andean-Patagonian forests and rare animals. Important animal species include the huemul (Andean deer) and the miniature deer known as pudú. Most visitors are unlikely to see either of these, but several species of introduced deer are common, as are native birds.