The Bosque de Arrayanes (Arrayán Forest), named after the rare Arrayán trees that grow along the northern shores of Nahuel Huapi Lake, is Los Arrayanes National Park's star attraction. Covering more than 4,000 acres (1,600 hectares) along the Quetrihué Peninsula, it’s a picturesque spot for hiking and wildlife watching.
Visitors can explore the Bosque de Arrayanes along a 7.5-mile (12-kilometer) trail that runs from Bahia Quintupuray at the start of the Quetrihué Peninsula, all the way to the port at the southern tip. Hiking or cycling along the trail affords stunning views of the forest, passing La Patagua Lake and a number of view points. For visitors landing at the southern port, a half-mile (800-meter) loop allows day-trippers to soak up the scenery on a 30-minute walk.
Day tours from Bariloche typically include a scenic cruise across Nahuel Huapi Lake and along the Quetrihué Peninsula, often stopping at Victoria Island on the way to the Bosque de Arrayanes.
Things to Know Before You Go
- There is an entrance fee to enter the park, payable at the Arrayanes Forest Visitor Center at the start of the trail.
- Restrooms and a café are available at both ends of the trail.
- It’s possible to hike the trail in both directions, or hike one way and catch a boat back.
- Wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of water in the summer months, especially if you plan to hike.
- Although parts of the forest may be accessible to wheelchair users, there are steps and steep sections that limit access.
How to Get to There
The closest town to Los Arrayanes National Park is Villa la Angostura from which it’s a short bus or taxi ride to the park entrance at Bahia Quintupuray. From there, set out along the trail on foot, rent a bike, or take a 45-minute boat cruise down to the bottom of the peninsula. Buses and ferries run from Bariloche to Villa La Angostura, and take around 90 minutes.
When to Get There
It’s possible to visit the Bosque de Arrayanes year-round, but the most popular time is in summer (January and February), when the evergreen trees look even more enchanting. Be aware that access to the trail closes at 11am (12pm for cyclists) in winter and 1pm (2pm for cyclists) in summer, after which the only way to visit the park is by boat.
The Rare Arrayan Trees
Los Arrayanes National Park was established in 1971 to protect this area’s rare arrayán (Chilean myrtle) trees, many of which are more than 300 years old. They’re known for their unique twisted branches, narrow trunks with irregular white spots, and cinnamon-colored bark that peels off as the tree grows. The unusual trees are said to have been an inspiration for Walt Disney when he created the movie Bambi.