Explore Bariloche and the Lake District
Before planning treks in the park you should check thoroughly with park officials in Junín or San Martín. Make sure your map is new – this is an area of active volcanoes, and trails and refuges change constantly. Do not attempt to climb Volcán Lanin without a guide, especially if you are not an experienced mountaineer. Before trekking, remember that it is obligatory to fill out a registro de trekking, which must be presented at the guardaparque post before departure and on your return.
One of the most popular of many trekking possibilities within striking distance of Junín is the four-hour hike to Cerro del Chivo, which starts opposite Camping Bahía Cañicul. It’s a steep climb and you’ll need to concentrate not to lose the trail above the tree-line, but the views are spectacular. From the guardaparque in Puerto Canoa there’s another good, if somewhat arduous, day-hike to the base of Volcán Lanín. The last forty minutes are steep and there’s no water source for the final hour. You can take a short detour to the waterfall at Cascada El Saltillo from Camping Piedra Mala at Km64, where there’s space to pitch a tent. Beyond is the Río Paimún, which is currently the furthest point you can hike before you’ll have to back-track to Puerto Canoa.
An excellent two-day option for losing the crowds is to cross the narrows linking the two lakes at La Unión near Puerto Canoa (there’s normally a rowing-boat service) and head along the south shore of Lago Paimún. Initially, you strike inland skirting round the southern slopes of Cerro Huemules (1841m) before reaching the lake again mid-way along its length at Don Aila, where you can camp.