Nahuel Huapi Traverse | Patagonia, Argentina, 1997

Distance :  25 miles (40 km) approx.a

Avg.Time :  3 days

Start / Finish :

  • Villa Catedral – Puente Lopez.
  • From Bariloche, there are regular bus services to both trailheads.

Season :

  • November to May.
  • If you come late in the season, the autumnal colours in this area are gorgeous.

Maps / Info :

  • I used the map and hiking notes in Lonely Planet’s Trekking in the Patagonian Andes (1992).  The most recent edition of this excellent guide came out in November, 2009.
  • The Club Andino in Bariloche has basic trekking maps and is your best source of up-to-date information on the Nahuel Huapi National park.



  • Purchase all supplies in Bariloche.

Route / Conditions :

  • Although for the most part well signed and easy to follow, the section between Refugio Jakob and Refugio Segre can be challenging in bad weather. Although cairned, it is not as well marked as other stages and particular care should be taken in negotiating some of the scree slopes and rocky gullies. I had practically zero visibility when I hiked in 1997. In hindsight (always 20/20), it may have been wiser to wait a day in Refugio Frey, or alternatively take the easier low-level option and exit at Colonia Suiza. Check with the hut warden at Refugio Jakob for the latest forecast before continuing on.

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  • In 1997, I didn’t treat any water during my hike. That being said, things can change. Before setting out, check with the Club Andino in Bariloche in regards to the current status of water quality in the National Park.

Sleeping :

  • Tent or Refugios (alpine huts).
  • The refugios offer simple meals and basic supplies. Since the devaluation of the Argentinian peso in 2002, these huts have become terrific value.

Overview :

  • Alpine lakes, craggy granite spires, gorgeous forests and stunning mountain vistas make the Nahuel Huapi Traverse justifiably one of Argentina’s most popular treks.
  • I would definitely recommend visiting this area in the fall. There are less people on the trail and the autumnal colours are amazing.



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