Home > Regions > Andean Patagonia > Destinations > Villa Pehuenia
See also: Excursions in Villa Pehuenia
Tourist Center in the Aluminé area, this village is small but cozy and it is located in the northern shore of the Aluminé lake. In this place the beach is low and it is very different from the opposite margin that has cliffs. There are countless capes and bays, islands with Pehuenes (a local tree), crystal clear and warm waters.
The village is on the coast of the lake has no specific planning, there are summer houses, picnic areas, some inns and camping areas. It was founded in 1989 and when the time to give it a name came, there were no doubts: it only took one look around when the sacred and imposing tree of the Mapuches stood out. The name of the village comes from the beautiful Araucaria, a typical tree from the area that is nowadays cultivated all over the world. Pehuén or “araucaria araucana” is it’s original name in indigenous language. There are other species related to it that can be found in Australia. The fact that it can only be found in such distant places evidences its ancient origin which dates back from the times in which the continents were one. This tree is considered to be sacred for the aborigines that inhabited this region, first the Pehuenches and then the Mapuches. Its fruits, the “piñones” where the main ingredient of their diet. The piñones have high levels of carbon hydrates. Nowadays it is forbidden to collect large numbers of said fruits; only the Mapuche communities that inhabit that area are allowed to collect them.
The village is a base for camping and it has several inns. There are many beaches, fishing spots and places where you can practice water sports and there is also the possibility of going for a stroll and to go horseback riding.
Its main attraction is in the mountain range area, surrounded by the Aluminé and Moquehue lakes and with the profile of mountains covered with pines in the horizon.
How to get there
You can get to this place from Zapala and also from the northern part of Neuquén, in the middle of a landscape that cannot be often found, and from Chile through the Pino Hachado passage.
The most important route from the tourism point of view is the cone that comes from the south and that connects this area with the rest of the lakes of the northern part of Patagonia.
It is 122km from Zapala. You will go through the Parque de Nieve Primeros Pinos. One part is paved and the other one is in good conditions in spite of not being paved. There are winding parts of the route before and after the Puente del Cochicó. You will be able to see the beautiful hills of Catan Li that are covered in Pehuenes. The road borders the Litrán river, where many fishermen camp or spend the day. After crossing this river you will start bordering the Aluminé Lake until reaching the Village.
It is 60km from Pino Hachado, an unpaved road that is not always in good conditions. Near the passage there are many watercourses and later there are sandy parts. This area is mainly used for the “veranadas” (seasonal migrations of the states, specially goats and sheep), for said reason you will be able to see the precarious houses that the shepherds use during winter and summer.
This is the same route that can be taken from the northern part of Neuquén.
Where to stay
Within the village there are inns, cottages for rent and camping areas, whether organized camping or in the wild. There are also many residential and tourism houses of the area that can be rented for fifteen days or by month during high season.