Best of Patagonia: Parque los Alerces
Patagonia is one of the world’s last remaining wildernesses and it’s home to some truly spectacular tourist attractions. Torres del Paine. Peninsula Valdez, Glaciar Perito Moreno and Tierra del Fuego should all be on everyone’s bucket list, and I have loads of great memories from each of these heavyweights.
But my favorite spot in Patagonia is a little less well-known…to foreigners, at least. The Parque Los Alerces (named after the alerce or redwood trees which dominate the park) near Esquel offers the best northern Patagonia has to offer, at a relaxed and untouristy pace to boot. It’s got snowcapped peaks and emerald lakes and rivers; it’s got sylvan forests, a picture-postcard glacier and an abundance of wildlife. And it has some of the very best fly-fishing in Patagonia…which is why I fell in love with Los Alerces.
There are places with bigger fish, but there aren’t many with as technical river fishing (not to mention the great lake fishing) in such breathtaking scenery. Of all the fantastic fisheries in the park, the Rio Rivadavia is undoubtedly top of my list. The crystal clear jade-colored water, seething forest backdrop and enormous (and picky) browns, rainbows, brookies and landlocked salmon all add up to a perfect day of drift-fishing.
If you’re not a fisherman don’t stress – you can hike, kayak, birdwatch and just plain relax to your heart’s content. If you love nature and solitude, the Parque Nacional los Alerces is one of Argentina’s true hidden gems…especially if you visit outside of summer vacation when the park is fairly popular.
Thanks to Nick Dall for the title image of this blog.