When visiting Los Alerces National Park, you’ll have the chance to commune with some of the oldest organisms in the world. Here in this protected swath of land on the mountainous border with Chile, collections of large Alerce trees have silently grown in this rugged terrain for over 3,000 years. Similar in appearance to North American Sequoias, these towering trees can grow two hundred feet and have trunks up to ten feet wide, and many of the trees in the park today are well over 1,000 years old. The park itself was established back in 1937, as a means of protecting the ancient trees that were rapidly being depleted. Thankfully for travelers who like the outdoors, the lakes, rivers, mountains, and trails surrounding the trees were also protected in this stunning national park. Today, Los Alerces National Park spans 1,000 square miles of Patagonian wilderness that’s some of the Argentina’s best. Hire a sailboat to cruise the waters of cobalt Lake Futalaufquen, or hit the trails for views of waterfalls, glaciers, volcanoes, and lakes. The fly fishing here in the numerous rivers is some of the continent’s best, and it’s even said that Butch Cassidy hid out in this wild escape. For a classic Los Alerces adventure, begin in Puerto Limonao on the shores of Lake Futalaufquen, and begin an excursion by boat and by foot that explores the very heart of the park to trees over 2,000 years old.
Admission to Los Alerces National Park is approximately $9/person. While the park technically has three entrances, nearly all travelers make the one hour drive from Esquel to Lago Futalaufquen. Here you’ll find a small village with basic amenities and accommodations, as well as the national park visitor center for area info and alerts.