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“Breathtaking beauty”

Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi
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Mount Tronador and the Black Glacier Day Tour
Reviewed March 26, 2014

Huge national park featuring gorgeous lake & mountain views in every direction. Well worth exploring.

Thank LisaPM2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 20, 2014

My trip to Isla Victoria and El Bosque del Arryaranes within the Nahuel Huapi National Park was one of the most amazing national park experiences of my life. My travel partner and I initially planned to book a full day English language tour for US$320 per person through a highly recognized U.S brand. However, we decided to check out the the local Turisur office at Mitre 219. When we arrived, we learned that there was only a 1/2 day English language tour and only full day Spanish language tours. My travel partner was fine with the Spanish language tour, because we both knew that we were going to hike out away from the group once we got to Isla Victora. And, the price (as of March 2014 considering the dolar blue exchange rate of ARS$11.00/US$1) per person for the full day Spanish language tour was only about US40/pp. I think we did everything we could to keep our jaws from dropping. We had expected to pay over 10x that amount and very gratefully handed over our pesos for our tickets. Turisur offered to pick us up at our hotel, but we were not staying at a hotel. We opted to make our own way to Puerto Panuelo for the 1030am departure.

The day before our excursion, we decided to do a "dry run" of getting to Puerto Panuelo on the #20 Collectivo (bus). You will need to have pre-purchased passes for the collectivos. We opted for a rechargable card which gave us the freedom to take any bus in the Bariloche system. Our collectivo ride to Puerto Panuelo came to about US$0.87/pp one-way and was a great, scenic ride with an opportunity to rub elbows with the locals and tourists alike. We got to Puerto Panuelo in about 45 minutes. We're very glad we did this "dry run" to get to and from Puerto Panuelo. We learned that there was an INSIDE the main building line up area to pay for the port taxes and national park entrance fee. If you've already bought your ticket, you don't wait outside by the little Turisur kiosk. We knew that it would be smart to get there early the next day.

Dress in layers an hope to be pleasantly surprised. Be prepared for cool moist mornings, and possibly hot sunny dry afternoons. I wore my thermal sky pants and regretted having those on later in the day. Convertible pants would also be suggested. Be ready for hiking.

On the day of our excursion, we got to the Puerto Panuelo at about 9:00am and we were very glad that we did. The cashier windows for the port taxes and national park fees opened at about 9:30am and we were the first in line. Good to get that out of the way. We were also able to queue up in the embarkation area and relax. NOTE: The cruise to Chile leaves BEFORE the cruise to Isla Victoria. Don't make the mistake we made of trying to board the wrong boat. Let the first boarding party go first. THEN line up at the same set of doors (on the right hand side for "Gate 1") and wait. Depending upon the weather, you'll want to get on the boat early so that you can either sit up top for a spectacular view during the ride. Or, to stake out a booth and table inside the boat. There is a little coffee and snack concession on board. The hot chocolate is probably the only thing really worth having. it's really sweet and really good. There are washrooms on the boat. The boat guides will come around to take your pictures in hopes of selling them to you later.

The trip to El Bosque Arryarnes is the first stop. You will have about 90 minutes to enjoy the woods. Let the crowd go ahead of you. Hang back so that you can get clear pictures of the amazing trees WITHOUT any people in the shots. There were two other couples who did what we did and we were able to take turns taking pictures of each other WITHOUT any other people in the pictures.

FYI, there was a group of cyclists who had their camping gear and bicycles on the boat. So, it is possible to bring your bikes, camping gear and such and get a ride to the island. They were going off on their own for several days. However, this was just an observation and not part of our own day-trip.

Next stop was the Nahuel Huapi National Park itself. There is a little port where the boat will pull up. At the port, there is a guide house where you can (and should) get a map. There is a restaurant. We did not eat at the restaurant as we opted to pack some cheese, sausages, nuts, and dried fruit to save some money and to give us the option of eating when we wanted to. We ended up eating on the boat BEFORE we got to the park which ended up being a good decision because it gave us the energy to focus on our time in the park and not in a restaurant. You will have approximately 4 hours in the park before the boat leaves.

It is at this point that the crowd and the guide will crowd around a large map and the guide will go into her script. I kind of wanted to stick around and listen to what she had to say (my Spanish language skills were a bit better than my travel partner's), but we opted to hit the trails AHEAD of the crowd. We're glad we did this because for most of our time in the park, we were by ourselves surrounded by cathedrals of trees, the sounds of creaking ancient pines, the calls of birds, the coming and going of the winds through the trees, the lapping of water on the shores of the lake, amazing vistas, and...silence. We were able to see all of the demarked trail areas and concluded with Cerro Bella at the end. You might feel like it's a daunting climb at the end of the day, but it's not if you in reasonable good fitness and health. The sign says that it takes about an hour each way, but we did it in 15 minutes each way with a 15 minute stop at the top where THE MOST AMAZING VISTAS were located.

We returned to the port with about 30 minutes to spare. We had time to use the washroom, hang out, and eat apples which were falling ripe from the trees.

The boat excursion in the afternoon was an amazing trip with outstanding vistas. And, yes, the birds will follow the boat and if you hold up some food they will fly over and snatch the food out of your hand. This made for great fun, photos, video, and a certain bonding with everybody who decided to sit on top and outside of the boat. If you have a panorama photo option on your camera, you will want to use this repeatedly during the ride because the sun is in the right place in the afternoon and you can get 180-270 degree vistas without the sun washing out part of your picture.

We arrived back at Puerto Panuelo very satisfied with our excursion. We made our way to the main road and the collective stop downhill from the Llao Llao Hotel. I suggest that you trek up the hill and wait at the collectivo stop AT the Llao Llao Hotel if you want to get a seat. It will be rush hour and "shift change" at the hotel and the bus will already be relatively full when you board. By the time you get back to El Centro, the bus will be packed. Another option is to wait in the Cafe at Puerto Panuelo a while and then take a later collectivo. Don't even think about going into the Llao Llao Hotel to look around or go to one of their restaurants. They won't even let you in the front door unless you have made reservations in advance. Llao Llao Hotel on the day we did our dry run had rooms available between US$420-US$2490/night. I'm sure the restaurants are priced accordingly.

Upon departing the boat, we provided a gratuity of ARS$100 to the guide and she would not accept it without giving us our pictures as a gift. We had not planned on purchasing the pictures, but we got them anyway. And, they were really good pictures. I caught the guide doing some "clean up" of the photos while we were on one leg of the journey.

In the end, we had a fully memorable, wonderful day on the collectivos, on the lake, and on the island. We met a variety of people and everybody was so friendly. We got back to our apartment in Bariloche and reflected back on the day with "Wow!".

17  Thank Alan Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2014

breath taking all around, took the full tour, went in the summer that was great im sure on snow it must be breathtaking as in summer, thats what u come here for no doubt!

1  Thank Ericfontaine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2014

The most spectacularly beautiful place I've ever been. It has the most amazing collection of ecosystems in one compact location: alpine meadow, forrest, glaciers, shear rugged mountains, river valley, rainforrest, alpine lakes, etc.--all reachable on foot over the course of 2-5 days. Amazing. We hired Jorge at Andescross as our guide and camped at the base of Tronador for a couple of days while we trekked the glaciers and climbed. We also backpacked thru all of the ecosystems I listed. I would recommend a visit without hesitation.

Thank Jeff G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2014

you will enjoy any minute hiking or sailing in the lovely lake.
you can spend 2-4 days and you will feel so good
el mundo tiulim

Thank mikielmundo10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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