Los Arrayanes National Park

From the mystical shores of Lake Nahuel Huapi to the historic arrayán trees, Los Arrayanes National Park in Argentina is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts. This guide accompanies you to uncover the hidden charms of this unique park, providing key information, points of interest, and the best activities and excursions to undertake during your visit.

National Park Details

Los Arrayanes National Park

Geographic Location

Located in the Neuquén province, Los Arrayanes National Park covers a small peninsula on Lake Nahuel Huapi, an impressive glacial lake. It can be geographically located using the coordinates: 40°50′00″S 71°37′00″W / -40.83333333, -71.61666667.

History and Park Creation

Established on October 11, 1971, by Law No. 19,292/71, it was created with the purpose of protecting the arrayan forests, which are unique and of great value, taking the name in Spanish "Parque Nacional los Arrayanes".

Originally, it was part of the Nahuel Huapi National Park, but later it separated to become an independent protected area. The Quetrihué Peninsula, where the park is located, hosts a dense forest of arrayán trees, some of which are over 650 years old and reach heights of over 15 meters.

Currently, Los Arrayanes National Park and Nahuel Huapi together form a single conservation and management unit. The park administration is located in the city of San Carlos de Bariloche, serving as the administrative and information center for both national parks.

Importance and Meaning of the Name

The name of the park, "Los Arrayanes," Quetrihué, means "where there are arrayán trees" in the Mapuche language, reflecting the importance of this tree in the area. The Quetrihué Peninsula is renowned for its arrayán forests, whose golden bark creates a magical and enchanting atmosphere and serves as the main tourist attraction of the place.

National Park Characteristics

Size and Topography

Encompassing 1,785 hectares (about 17.53 km²), the park is characterized by its diverse topography, including mountains, beaches, and arrayán forests.

Climate of Los Arrayanes

The region experiences a cold and humid climate, with warmer and pleasant temperatures during the summer. In winter, average temperatures hover around 3°C, while they reach around 14°C in summer. The area receives an annual precipitation of approximately 1,300 mm, with the highest concentration of rainfall during the winter season. Additionally, snowfall is common between late July and September.

The ideal time to visit the park is late spring and early autumn. During these times, the temperatures are more pleasant, and the weather is more stable, allowing visitors to fully enjoy the natural beauty the place has to offer.


The park’s ecosystem is diverse, with a notable presence of Patagonian flora and fauna, belonging to the Patagonian Forest ecoregion.

Flora and Fauna

The Arrayanes: Ancient Trees

Arrayán trees are characterized by their cinnamon-colored bark and can live up to 650 years. They are endemic species of the region.

Iconic Species of the Park

The emblem of Los Arrayanes is the tree that gives it its name: the southern arrayán, also known as quetri, scientifically referred to as Luma apiculata. This tree or shrub thrives in very humid soils and is known for its slow growth. It can reach heights between 8 and 15 meters.

The southern arrayán has a distinctly twisted trunk, and its bark has a beautiful cinnamon color. As the tree matures, the bark peels off, revealing white spots, giving it a unique and attractive appearance. Its small, white flowers emit a pleasant fragrance.

This iconic tree, with its unique and enchanting appearance, is one of the main attractions of the park and one of the reasons why visitors are drawn to this magical place in the midst of nature.

Flora Species

In addition to the arrayán trees, the park is home to other plant species such as coihue, cypress of the Andes, and notro. Despite its modest size, Los Arrayanes Park hosts a magnificent display of southern arrayán trees (Luma apiculata), forming an extensive and ancient forest with unique characteristics. This concentration of arrayán trees is hard to find elsewhere in Chile and Argentina, making it an invaluable natural treasure.

The arrayán forest in the park captivates visitors with its ancient and towering trees. These southern arrayán specimens create a magical atmosphere with their cinnamon-colored bark and twisted trunks. It’s a captivating experience to stroll among these trees, immersing oneself in their beauty and feeling the energy they emanate.

In addition to the arrayáns, the forests of coihue and ñire trees flank the Quetrihué Peninsula, which extends like a giant tongue into the northern end of Lake Nahuel Huapi. These lush forests, with their leafy trees, frame and enhance the beauty of the park’s landscape. The coihue and ñire trees add diversity and contribute to the richness of the present flora in the area.

The combination of the impressive arrayán trees with the lush coihue and ñire forests creates an unparalleled landscape. The park offers nature enthusiasts a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in natural beauty and appreciate the variety of species that make up this unique ecosystem.

Typical Fauna

In the heart of the peninsula, there are two lagoons known as Hua Huan and Patagua, which serve as habitats for the southern river otter (huillín). This native otter species is endangered, and its presence in these lagoons is of great significance for conservation efforts. Observing the huillín in its natural habitat is a privilege and a unique experience for visitors.

Regarding birds, the park hosts a variety of noteworthy species. Among them is the Magellanic woodpecker, known for its distinctive drumming on tree trunks. The Austral parakeet is also present, with its colorful plumage and striking song. Another notable bird is the Thorn-tailed Rayadito, which inhabits the forests and offers a beautiful spectacle with its agile flight and melodious voice. Additionally, on nearby islands, you can find the freshwater subspecies of the imperial cormorant, a water bird species that seeks refuge in these natural environments.

The diversity of birds and the presence of the huillín in the protected area of Los Arrayanes provide birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts with a great opportunity to enjoy and appreciate the beauty of these species in their natural habitat.

Endangered Species

The park is also a refuge for several endangered species, such as the southern river otter (huillín) and the Andean condor.

Tourist Attractions and Activities

Trail to the Arrayán Forest

A 12-kilometer route that connects Villa La Angostura with the Arrayán Forest. This trail is shared by pedestrians and cyclists alike and extends along the Quetrihué Peninsula. It’s a scenic route that allows you to enjoy the natural beauty of the area while walking or cycling to the arrayán forest. This trail offers an unforgettable experience for nature lovers and allows you to enjoy the environment in direct contact with the park’s flora and fauna.

Quetrihué Lookouts

A stepped trail with stunning views of the Andes mountain range and Bahía Brava. It also provides a panoramic view of Villa La Angostura and Bahía Mansa. The round-trip journey takes approximately 5 to 6 hours. Along the way, visitors can marvel at the natural landscapes and enjoy the serenity and beauty of the surroundings.

Boardwalk Trail in the Arrayán Forest

This boardwalk trail constructed on wooden platforms traverses the magical Arrayán Forest, offering a charming experience as you walk among the beautiful trees. The trail is easy to navigate and allows visitors to immerse themselves in the forest, appreciating the uniqueness of the arrayán trees up close with their cinnamon-colored bark and twisted trunks. This route is a must-stop for those who wish to explore and marvel at the natural beauty of the area.

Water Activities on Nahuel Huapi Lake

Water activities such as boating and kayaking are popular on Nahuel Huapi Lake.

Photography and Bird Watching

Photography enthusiasts and bird watchers will find plenty of opportunities to practice their hobbies.

How to Get to Los Arrayanes National Park

You can reach the park by boat from Villa La Angostura or on foot via a 12 km trail.

By Car

If you wish to reach Los Arrayanes National Park by car, there are different routes depending on your starting point:

  • From Buenos Aires: If you’re departing from Buenos Aires, the distance to the park is approximately 1624 km. The recommended route is through National Route 5, then National Route 35, National Route 152, National Route 143, Provincial Route 20, National Route 151, National Route 22, National Route 237, and finally National Route 40.
  • From Neuquén: If you’re in the city of Neuquén, the distance to the park is approximately 477 km. The suggested route is to take National Route 22, then National Route 237, and finally National Route 40.
  • From San Carlos de Bariloche: If you’re departing from Bariloche, the distance to the park is approximately 83 km. To get there, you should take National Route 237 and then continue on National Route 40.
  • From Osorno (Chile): If you’re coming from Chile, the distance is approximately 160 km. The recommended route is to take Route 215 in Chilean territory, then pass through the Cardenal Samoré International Pass, and continue on National Route 231 and finally National Route 40.
  • From San Martín de los Andes: If you’re in San Martín de los Andes, you can reach the park in approximately 132 km. First, you need to reach the "Aviador Carlos Campos" San Martín de los Andes Airport and then continue by land, either by taxi or long-distance bus.

Remember to plan your trip carefully, consider road conditions, and respect traffic signs. It’s also advisable to have a map or use navigation systems to ensure you arrive safely and without any issues.


There is a parking area located at the Quetrihué Isthmus, between Mansa and Brava bays, north of the Quetrihué Peninsula. This parking area provides a secure place for visitors to leave their vehicles while exploring the park. It’s recommended to arrive early, especially during peak season, as the parking space can fill up quickly.

By Plane

If you prefer to travel by plane, both the city of Bariloche and San Martín de los Andes have airports that receive flights from major Argentine cities, such as Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Rosario, and Calafate, among others, depending on the season. Additionally, there are international flights connecting Bariloche with São Paulo, Brazil.

These airports provide a convenient option for those who want to reach Los Arrayanes National Park from other parts of the country or through an international journey. Once at the airport, visitors can choose to rent a car, take a taxi, or use public transportation services to reach the park.

By Plane from Bariloche

The "Teniente Luis Candelaria" International Airport is located in Bariloche and receives flights from major Argentine cities like Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Rosario, Calafate, and others, depending on the time of year. There are also international flights connecting Bariloche with destinations like São Paulo, Brazil. Once at the airport, you can choose to book a transfer to the town or head to the bus terminal. You can take a taxi or the Line 72 bus to reach the bus terminal. From there, you can take a long-distance bus operated by companies like Albus or Vía Bariloche, which will take you to the entrance of the protected area.

By Plane from San Martín de los Andes

San Martín de los Andes has the "Aviador Carlos Campos" Airport, which receives domestic flights. From the airport, you can continue your journey by land to Los Arrayanes National Park, which is approximately 132 km away. You can choose to take a taxi or use a long-distance bus for the transfer.


In Argentina, there is an extensive network of bus services that connect different destinations, including Bariloche and Villa La Angostura, which are the closest towns to Los Arrayanes National Park.

From Bariloche, you can find bus services that will take you to the entrance of the park. Transport companies offer various schedules and travel options to suit your needs.

From Villa La Angostura, there are also bus services that will allow you to access the park. These buses usually have frequent routes and will take you directly to the park’s entrance.

From Villa Traful, it’s also possible to find bus services.


If you have a moderate level of training and a desire for a biking adventure, exploring the region by bicycle is an excellent option.

From the entrance of Los Arrayanes National Park, located a few meters from the Bahía Brava pier, an exciting 12 km trail starts that will take you towards the Arrayán Forest. This route will allow you to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the region as you pedal through stunning landscapes.

On average, it’s estimated that the round-trip bike ride will take around 3 hours. However, this time can vary depending on your cycling pace and stops you make to enjoy panoramic views and take photographs.

By Boat

A charming way to access the park is through a lake excursion by boat. From the towns of Bariloche or Villa La Angostura, there are excursions that will take you to the ports of La Mansa, La Brava, or Quetrihué, the latter located near the Arrayán Forest.

These lake excursions in Los Arrayanes allow you to enjoy a tranquil boat ride while navigating the waters of the beautiful Lake Nahuel Huapi. During the journey, you can admire the stunning views of the mountains, rugged shores, and the serenity of the natural surroundings.

Visitor Information

Hours of Operation

Summer Season Opening Hours

From November 1st to March 15th.

  • From November 1st to March 15th.
  • Round-trip walking until 14:00.
    Round-trip cycling until 15:00.
    One-way walking and return by boat until 15:00*.
    One-way cycling and return by boat until 16:00*.

Winter Season Opening Hours

From March 16th to October 31st.

  • Round-trip walking until 11:00.
    Round-trip cycling until 12:00.
    One-way walking and return by boat until 12:00*.
    One-way cycling and return by boat until 13:00*.

*Presentation of the navigation ticket in advance is required.


Current rates to visit Los Arrayanes National Park from May 22, 2023:

  • General rate: $5500
  • National residents: $1500
  • Children aged 6 to 16: $1000
  • University/tertiary students: $1000 *
  • Provincial residents: $1000
  • Students up to 18 years old on school trips (with prior verification): $0
  • Local residents, retirees, pensioners, children up to 5 years old, and people with disabilities **: $0

* Student status is verified with a student card or certificate of enrollment.

** Retiree, pensioner, or person with disability status is verified according to specific requirements.

These rates are subject to change and apply for entry and visit to Los Arrayanes National Park.

Entry Points and Park Access

Los Arrayanes National Park has different entry points that allow visitors to access the interior and begin their visit. These entry points are strategically located to facilitate access and provide a comfortable experience for visitors.

La Mansa and La Brava Ports Access

To the north of the Quetrihué Peninsula, you’ll find the access points of La Mansa and La Brava Ports. These ports serve as entry points to the park and provide access from the northern side of the peninsula. From these ports, visitors can embark on boats and take a journey across Lake Nahuel Huapi to reach the park. This approach offers a panoramic view of the lake and allows for enjoying the scenic beauty during the trip.

Quetrihué Port Access

The entrance to the park, Quetrihué Port, is located near the Arrayanes Forest at the southern end of the Quetrihué Peninsula. From this port, visitors can start their land adventure towards the Arrayanes Forest. This entry point is ideal for those who wish to explore the forest directly and immerse themselves in its magic from the beginning of their visit.

Protected Area Map

Contact Information

  • Address: Q8407 Villa La Angostura, Neuquén, Argentina.
    Phone: +54 294 442-3121.

Accommodation and Available Services

There are various accommodation options near the park, as well as services such as tourist information centers, bicycle and boat rentals.

Recommendations for Your Visit

It’s advisable to wear suitable clothing and footwear for hiking, as well as to bring water and food, as there are no services within the park.

Conservation and Protection of the Park

Threats to the Ecosystem

The park faces threats such as the invasion of exotic species and climate change.

Implemented Conservation Measures

Park authorities are implementing measures to protect and conserve the ecosystem.

How Visitors Can Help

Visitors can contribute to the conservation of the park by following the rules and leaving no trace of their visit.

Photo Gallery