Nahuel Huapi National Park - Geography


The park covers approximately 7,050 square kilometres (2,720 sq mi). It is located in the southwest section of the Neuquén and northwest section of the Río Negro provinces, bordering with Chile. The park has two zones: the park and the natural reserve with development concentrated in the reserve. The largest city and a base for tourism is San Carlos de Bariloche, which is surrounded by the park. San Carlos de Bariloche is the main hub when visiting the lake, and is known as the "Gateway to Patagonia", the "Chocolate Capital" and the "Honeymoon Capital" of Argentina. However, the city and other settlements are zoned outside the limits of the park. A further subzoning into the north, south and southern zones has been implemented with an exclusive recreational area named the Cerro Cathedral. Villa La Angostura is another lakeside resort also within the boundaries of the park.

The area is known as the Argentine Lake District, as there are many lakes in the park, including Nahuel Huapi, Mascardi, Gutiérrez, Traful, Guillelmo, and Perito Moreno Lakes. Cerro Catedral is a 2,388 metres (7,835 ft) high peak within the park and an important ski resort. Cerro Tronador, on the Chilean border, is the highest mountain in the park at 3,491 metres (11,453 ft). Bordering the park to the north is the Lanín National Park.


Geological formations in the park and the reserve are generally tertiary rocks of volcanic origin coupled with andacites and porphyrys. The cliffs of the San Pedro Peninsula depict eroded glacial features and the lakes also show many glacial effects.


The park has widely varying climatic conditions with the annual precipitation ranging between 300 and 500 millimetres (12 and 20 in). It rains more towards the Chilean border.

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