Toponymy: It name derives from a wild apple tree that is 120 years old.
Access: By Provincial Route 54
Temperatures in summer: Maximum average 29ºC / Minimum average 15ºC
Temperatures in winter: Maximum average 13ºC / Minimum average 2ºC
Distance from Neuquén (capital city): 527 km.
Distance from Buenos Aires City: 1449 km.
Tourism Information: Tel: +54 2948 494096
Gas/Service station: Yes
Nature lives in Manzano Amargo - Photo: Argentour.com
Manzano Amargo (Bitter Apple Tree) lies at 1200 m.a.s.l., in a fertile valley on the banks of Neuquén River.
Nowadays the main economic activity is afforestation, which employs most of the local workforce. Over 3000 hectares have been planted with
Ponderosa Pine trees. Another important economic activity is livestock rearing on a small scale, mainly cattle and goats in the form of invernada and veranada, which refer
to the seasonal movement of livestock between winter and summer pastures.
Bosque Comunal de Manzano Amargo - Photo: Argentour.com
In recent years, investment in infrastructure and accommodation –together with local and national promotion campaigns- have given a boost to tourism in this area. The town is
surrounded by places of outstanding beauty, and it is not hard to imagine a promising future with respect to receiving larger influx of visitors.
Neuquén River Cost - Photo: Argentour.com
Manzano Amargo History
Settlers have been in the area since the late 19th century, but the town’s official foundation was in 1988 by decree Nº1565, issued by Governor Pedro Salvatori.
Viewpoint on Neuquén River shores - Photo: Daniel Sprumont
What to visit in Manzano Amargo
Varvarco Campos and Varvarco Tapia Lagoons
They are considered to be among the best in the northern area for sport fishing. This recognition was gained due to both quality and size of the catches, and also due to the surrounding natural beauty. To get to Varvarco Tapia Lagoon from Manzano Amargo, one must go for about 70 km along PR 54 (gravel road).
La Fragua Waterfall
To get to this waterfall, go along PR 54, heading for Pichi Neuquén (4 km from Manzano Amargo). You will find it after a walk of 15 minutes along a 300m path. This 40-meters gorgeous waterfall comes from La Fragua stream, which is tributary of Neuquén River.
Its name is given after the sound and vapour produced by the water dropping onto the rocks, which resemble the forging of iron. A fragua is a hearth used for forging.
La Fragua Waterfall - Photo: Argentour.com
They are caves located at the foot of the mountain range surrounding the town. These superb geological structures have been shaped by the unstoppable force of tectonic plates’ movement which caused the rise of the Andes; along with glacial and volcanic periods that took place millions of years ago.
In the past, these caves were used by the indigenous people as a shelter from animals and adverse weather conditions; years later, these chenques started to be inhabited by local families. Today, two of them –known as “Doña Margarita” and “Doña Amandina”- became great tourist attractions, from where visitors can have a delightful view of Manzano Amargo and its surroundings. Also, a wide variety of fauna and flora can be appreciated in the area nearby.
Neuquén River’s fast-flowing waters offer a great opportunity for sport fishing lovers. Perch, Fontinalis, Rainbow and Brown Trout of considerable size can be caught in Neuquén River. Its waters are also suitable for trips on rubber boats and rafting at different levels of difficulty.
It is also very interesting to make a trip to the lagoons that give origin to Neuquén River, 75 km from Manzano Amargo.
The fishing season lasts from November to April, approximately. Some fishing experts who have visited the area have outlined it as having unique characteristics for fly fishing: the temperature of its water, easy accessibility and the calmness of its surroundings.
Neuquén River stands out for its pristine water and the excellent conditions for fishing Rainbow trout and salmonids.
Tributaries of Neuquén River and nearby lagoons are also suitable for fishing. Among them, we can mention Pichi Neuquén River, Curamileo and Ranquileo streams, Varvarco Campos, Varvarco Tapia and La Leche lagoons, the latter of private access.
Neuquén River - Photo: Argentour.com