Tucked away in the province of Neuquén is Villa Traful, a modest village with a population of about just 400 residents. However small in size, this beautiful mountain village has much to offer. Surrounded by lush forests and crystal clear bodies of water, Villa Traful is undoubtedly rich in natural beauty. There are lots of things that you can enjoy here, from its fascinating arts and culture to its endless opportunities for outdoor activities. Thinking of visiting Villa Traful soon? Be sure to check out this list of the best things to do in the area, to help make your next vacation to Villa Traful an exciting one!
1. Lagunas Las Mellizas
If you love a good hike, then a visit to the Lagunas Las Mellizas should be just the thing for you! Roughly translating to “the twin lakes”, Lagunas Las Mellizas actually refers to two separate, yet adjacent lakes that are very similar in shape - Laguna Blanca (or “white lake”) and Laguna Verde (or “green lake”). Surrounded by forests filled with Cypress and Radal trees, the trail leading to the two lakes stretches for a good 3 km (1.86 mi) and starts out somewhat steep, but gently descends as you go further along.
Along the way, you will also enjoy the breathtaking views of Lake Traful, Laguna Blanca, and Laguna Verde. You may also see one of the most fascinating sights in Villa Traful - cave paintings along the coast of Laguna Verde! These cave paintings date back 600 years, and are believed to have been created by the Tehuelche, one of the oldest indigenous groups in Argentina.
Lagunas Las Mellizas
Address: Villa Traful, Argentina
2. Mirador del Viento
Loosely translating to “the wind’s viewpoint”, Mirador del Viento lives up to its name, offering views that will take your breath away. As part of Villa Traful’s viewpoint circuit, this peak is one of the most popular viewing sites in the area. Mirador del Viento sits on a cliff, nearly 100 m (328 ft) in height, which provides a picture-perfect view of Lake Traful and the mountains that surround it. There are wooden decks from which you can enjoy the view, and take some gorgeous shots of the lake. In addition to the panoramic view of the lake, you might also spot some interesting rock formations in the distance. These rock formations are a result of erosion, due to the strong gusts of wind that cut through the area.
Mirador del Viento
Address: Ruta Provincial 65, Villa Traful, Argentina
3. Lake Traful
Lake Traful is a definite must-see when you visit Villa Traful! In addition to its sparkling blue waters, the flora that can be found in and around the lake is another wonder of nature. Sail out to the middle of lake and you will see an incredibly fascinating natural phenomenon - the underwater forest that has taken root at the bottom of the lake. Over 60 Cypress trees peek out from the water and look deceptively modest in height - but don’t be fooled! If you look down at the clear waters, you will see that these trees actually tower over 15 m (49.2 ft) in height! Although it is not yet fully known how this underwater forest came to be, it is believed that the trees once grew on Bayo Hill, or Alto Mahuida, but fell into the lake after a landslide in the 1960s. Today, its beauty and mystique make it one of the most interesting and popular sights in the area.
Address: Los Lagos Department, Neuquén Province
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4. Cascadas de Arroyo Blanco & Coa Có
If you enjoy going on hikes or simply want to feel more in touch with nature, then you should definitely visit Coa Co and Blanco waterfalls. Among the most popular waterfalls in Argentina, these two are known for their easy and enjoyable walking route. Located within just 1 km (about 0.6 miles) of each other, one can easily explore the two waterfalls with or without a guide! The entire route takes about two hours to walk back and forth, but if you are pressed for time, you can also choose to walk just the first 500 m (1640 ft), which should take you to the Coa Co waterfall. Along the route, you can enjoy the sights and sounds of the forests surrounding the waterfalls, as well as the view of Lake Traful and the mountains in the distance.
Cascadas de Arroyo Blanco & Coa Có
Address: Villa Traful, Neuquén (Argentina)
5. Mirador del Lago Traful
Another among the famed viewpoints in Villa Traful, Mirador del Lago sits atop a glacier cliff that measures roughly 102 m (334 ft) high. This particular viewpoint is known for its wonderful panoramic view of Lake Traful and its surrounding hills, as well as the fascinating stone houses in the villages below. You can even catch a glimpse of the summit of Alto Mahuida, which is especially beautiful when it is covered in snow during the winter months.
After taking in this amazing view, you can also go down to the lake and enjoy several outdoor activities. You can rent a boat or simply stay by the coast and try your hand at fishing - the lake is known to be home to plenty of salmon and various types of trout. You can also set up camp by the lake and simply watch the stars in the evening.
Mirador del Lago Traful
Address: Centro Cívico, Villa Traful - Neuquén, Patagonia, Argentina
Website: Mirador del Lago Traful
6. Co Lemu Waterfall
Cascada Co Lemu, or Co Lemu Waterfall, is a definite must-see in Villa Traful. The trail leading up to the waterfall is often described as “magical” - and for good reason! The path itself is quite short, and getting to the falls should not take more than 15 minutes from the center of the village. There are also markers on the trees to guide you along the way. However, don’t be fooled - the path is not all that easy. The slopes can get quite steep, especially towards the end of the path, so good shoes are a must! The trek will be well worth it, though, as the waterfall is indeed very dream-like. The waterfall is surrounded by trees towering so high that they seem to almost cover the sky above. You may also see various species of birds and beautiful flora that hang from above. If you wish to enjoy the beauty of Co Lemu a little longer, there is also a small campsite not too far from the falls where you can set up camp.
Co Lemu Waterfall
Address: Villa Traful, Argentina
7. Camping Puerto Arrayan
Situated close to Lake Traful, about 13 km (42,650 ft) from the center of Villa Traful, is Camping Puerto Arrayan. This sprawling campsite is a nature lover’s dream come true - covering over 5 hectares (50,000 sq. m) of forest, and a kilometer (0.6 miles) of the beach! You can choose to set up camp by the lake or close to the beach. There are plenty of amenities available on site, including hot showers, private baths, outdoor grills, and even its own mini-grocery - you’re sure to have everything you need!
Once you’ve settled in, you can explore the area or try your hand at various outdoor activities - fishing for Salmon by the lake, horseback riding, mountain biking, or even a simple hike. There are lots that you can do here to enjoy the great outdoors!
Camping Puerto Arrayan
Address: Ruta Provincial 65 | A 13 Km. de Villa Traful, Villa Traful Q8408ACA, Argentina
8. Traful Craftsmen Route
The culture of Villa Traful is just as fascinating as its natural wonders, and what better way to learn about their culture than by immersing yourself directly with those in their arts and crafts scene? Once a simple initiative by a group of local high school seniors, the Traful Craftsmen Route has grown to become a popular tour that intends to promote Villa Traful’s arts and culture. More than just the end products, the Traful Craftsmen Route gives its participants a glimpse of the local craftsmen’s techniques and the processes behind their work. You will be able to visit the local crafters’ homes to see how textiles are woven using their traditional looms, as well as the various techniques they use for woodcarving and alcohol brewing. This tour is one that you definitely shouldn’t miss!
Traful Craftsmen Route
Address: Villa Traful, Argentina
Enjoy the sights in Villa Traful
Though somewhat modest in size, there is much for you to see in Villa Traful. From its beautiful forests and bodies of water, to its fascinating arts and culture, you’re sure to love all the sights that Villa Traful has to offer!
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