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Villa La Angostura - Neuquén
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Hiking in the Arayanes Forest
This forest is located at the southeastern tip of the Quetrihué Peninsula . Quetrihué means in Mapuche "place where Arrayanes grow".

The path that leads you to the forest leaves from the pier in Bahía Brava, within the village. The forest will appear after hiking or biking for 12 kilometers . It can also be reached by boat as part of a lake tour. Inform yourself about timetables at the Tourism Office. The best option is to take your bike on a boat and return by bike. This way it is downhill. If you were to go both ways by bike it will take 3 to 4 hours the difficulty grade being III.

It also takes from 3 to 4 hours if you wish to go walking. The first 800 meters are the hardest. Then follows a light trek in the forest among "coihues", "ñires", "radales" and red flowered "notros".

After more or less one hour's walk you will come across a stream coming from Lake Hua-Huan. If you want to visit this small lake, do it only if a tour guide accompanies you. Do not go by yourselves because it is very difficult to find your way back.

Along the way, there are resting stops from which you can also enjoy the surroundings. More or less at kilometer 9, there is a sign indicating the old entrance to the Quetrihué Estancia owned by the Lynch family.

The walk continues on the external side of the fence that divides the National Park from the Estancia's land. At this point you will be near the Patagua Lake. The Patagua is a native tree, which grows in marshy land. The barks turned into powder are an excellent blood stopper or cicatrizer. On this lake you are sure to find a variety of wild game, especially ducks such as the "biguá", "vapor", European coot, and other birds that fill the forest with their characteristic alarm sounds. Among these birds are woodpeckers, chucaos and rayaditos.

Don't give up! You are now very near the Arrayán Forest. As you will see, there are already some specimens on your way. This is an anticipation of what Mother Nature planned to offer you further on.

At the entrance of the forest you will find the ranger's lodge, a barn and another building.

As you enter , there is a timber-laden path, with wooden railings, which you must follow for almost 600 meters .

This forest together with the one found at the Victoria Island is unique. It is one of its kind due to the height of its trees. They can be 18 to 25 meters high (which is very high for an Arrayán) and some of them are 300 years old.

The trunk of the Arrayán tree is very twisted. Its bark is cinnamon brown, very cold to the touch and it loosens in layers. Its flower is small and white and its fruit is a violet berry. It is said that the natives brewed wine and made jam out of it. As a medicine, a tea is prepared with its leaves and it is said to cure muscular ailments as well as intestinal problems.

Viajoporargentina - Información turística sobre la República Argentina
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