Epulafquen Lagoons

Their name derives from Mapundungun term meaning “two lagoons”. Heading south from Las Ovejas, along PR 43, take a left at the junction of it and PR 45. Driving westward for about 40 km you reach the first lagoon, which is the source of Nahueve River. Going along the lagoon’s right shore and crossing the bridge over Pincheira stream, you get to the second lagoon, called Superior. Both lagoons are connected by the stream La Nasa.

The lagoons are within Epulafquen Lagoons Natural Protected Area, declared as such on October 4, 1973. This Protected Area covers 7500 hectares.

Besides the lagoons mentioned above, the area guards Pincheira, Chaquiras, Negra and Los Pajaritos Lagoons.

Epulafquen Lagoons and Crestado Peak (3.000 msnm) - Photo: Lucas Canepa

On the northern margin of Superior Lagoon, there is an organized campsite with restrooms and a convenience store, an area reserved for tourist groups, and another for day use, with tables and benches in an oak forest of the pellín species.

Its beach area favours the practice of nautical activities, fishing and photographic safaris. From the shores, the view of the Andes and their enclosed valleys is spectacular.

The tourist potential of the whole area is more than considerable, not only for its beautiful sceneries, but also for the connection with the Chilean Republic through Lumabia pass.

Epulafquen Lagoons - Photo: Luis Alberto Reyes

Trekking in Epulafquen Lagoons Area

Hiking / Trekking in Epulafquen Lagoons: Interesting hikes can be started out from the camping area and the parking lot beside Segunda Superior Lagoon, to the west of the Epulafquen Lagoons Natural Protected Area:

a- Southern Beech Trail: Overall length: 1.4 km. Estimated time to/from destination: 2 hrs. Difficulty Rating: Low/Easy.

b- Chaquiras Falls: Overall length: 3.7 km. Estimated time to/from destination: 5 hrs. Difficulty Rating: Low.

c- Black Lagoon: Overall length: 6 km. Estimated time to/from destination: 10 hrs. Difficulty Rating: Moderate.

d- Chaquiras Lagoon: Overall length: 10 km. Estimated time to/from destination: 1.5 days. Difficulty Rating: Moderate.

e- Crestado Hill (3000 m.a.s.l.)/Border with Chile: Overall length: 15 km. Estimated time to/from destination: 2.5 days. Difficulty Rating: High/Difficult (hiring a local guide is recommended).

Las Chaquiras Cascade - Photo: Luis Alberto Reyes

What to see in Northern Neuquén