Searching for the Catarata Creek Cascade
An ancient and thick forest led us to a site teeming with light and sound. There was no other rush than to discover the origin of the crystal-clear water murmur given away by the mountain.
We enjoyed a very serene hiking tour that led us to the very heart of an impressive waterfall in a matter of minutes. Afterwards, we witnessed its slow descent to the lake as if it got lost amidst the forest.
“You should not miss it!”, was the advice we got from a group of excited tourists. The path to Co-Lemú Cascade was easy and fast. The rest was for us to discover.
Following such premises, we got ready to go hiking and let ourselves be carried away by whatever nature had to offer. Waterways have a very special attraction, especially if they contain some interesting cascade.
“Co Lemú” stands for “water in the forest” in the Mapudungun tongue (the soil’s tongue). At the beginning of the trail, we saw a plain woodland featuring very high coihues that would not let the sunlight in. We searched for the announced red marks painted on the tree trunks.
Our steps would make a soft sound on the mattress of the tiny leaves lost by the trees during the fall. Their golden shade tinged the environment. Every 50 to 100 meters, we would find a red mark and spot the next one. We were on the right path.
Wonders of Nature
The trees lying on the ground featured an intense reddish shade inside. As we approached them, we noticed that a great deal of insects was using that wood as their shelter.
Farther ahead, we crossed a gate already foreseen in our itinerary. The creek was still near but almost silent. The sunshine filtered through the trees and highlighted the golden hues.
Afterwards, it was time to climb up a narrower trail among the trees. In some cases, the roots acted as natural steps and the lateral branches as a support to clamber. From there on, we could only go up. Each of us followed our own pace.
It was then when we saw the first waterfall. The sound of the water falling became stronger and we approached a small pool shaped among the rocks and protected by lots of vegetation.
The best was still to come. We continued climbing through the trail the park rangers had prepared to make the access easier.
Like in a Fairy Tale
Looking up, we noticed that the main cascade slid over some huge basaltic stones and seemed to soar. Afterwards, it opened up in several water threads that would reach the pool with a strong sound.
Nestled among the rocks, the hanging vegetation was made up by many green species and some flowers. We resolved to sit on the large rocks for a while to watch the environment from different points of view. A soft mist moisturized our faces.
In a 180-degree scope, we would always watch the cascade in front of us even if we changed our location. We raised our eyes and could barely see the sky, as the trees were so high that the canopies would prevent us from having a clear sight.
Below, the creek continued to fall violently from one stone to another until it reached Lake Traful almost without any strength.
We resolved to make this tour the talk of town in order to encourage other visitors to enjoy this wonder that appears only in some Villa Traful
Difficulty: Low. In the last stretch, the view of the cascade is good from several angles, even without any need to climb up the most complicated spots.
Duration: 45 minutes
How to get here: Take Provincial Route 65 towards the 7-Lake Road. After 8 kilometers, visitors will reach Catarata Creek. A sign by Nahuel Huapi National Park identifies the trail.
Bear in mind: It is recommended to use a cane or a staff as a walking stick.