One of the most beautiful water bodies in Andean Patagonia, Lake Puelois the main protagonist at the Lago Puelo National Park. We sailed across its waters on board the Juana de Arco, the first boat to take tourists around all its nooks.
In the Lago Puelo National Park
, this beautiful greenish blue water mirror lends its name to the protected area. The lake empties into the river bearing the same name, which runs from North to South and joins Lake Interior in Chile through its western arm. In addition to these features, its valley has a particular micro climate, with better conditions than the mountain range environments.
This protected area which includes the valley of Lake Puelo and which used to be attached to the Los Alerces National Park
, was created in 1971. Situated in the northwestern end of the Province of Chubut
, on the border with Chile, it preserves the basin of the river bearing the same name and the smallest park in the Patagonian region, which shelters the forests, the steppe and the area of the high Andes.
The sceneries surrounding Lake Puelo may be beheld from a quiet lake ride on board the Juana de Arco. This old craft was brought to the cold waters of the Nahuel Huapi
from the district of Tigre
in Buenos Aires
in the 1960's.
Since then, and for 25 years, it has sailed to Puerto Blest
, Victoria Island and the Myrtle Forest
. In 1985, it was moved to Lake Puelo to do the lake excursions, as well as to provide transportation to the locals all through the year.
Thus, being a pioneer in navigation in these latitudes, the legendary barge invites all visitors to the shire to learn its history next to the lake.
In a quiet tour, the Juana de Arco explores the western arm and gets to the farther end of the lake, near the border with Chile. The ride continues with a one-hour hiking excursion to appreciate the leafy foliage of the Valdivian forest in the company of Javier, the first guide in the park. The hike gets to the rapids of the Puelo River and the milestones on the border.
Opening hours: border with Chile: 11am, frontier post: ask, coast ride: from 2pm
How to get here: Leaving El Bolsón you can take provincial route 16 to get to Lago Puelo and National Park.
Bear in mind: This is an ideal tour to enjoy with the children.