Argentina // The Lake District //

Central and northern Neuquén

Central and northern Neuquén Province is an area of desert-like meseta and steppe, home to Argentina’s most important reserves of natural gas and petroleum. Neuquén, the eponymous provincial capital, is a likeable city and a good base for visiting the area’s dinosaur-related attractions: the village of El Chocón has a world-class paleontology exhibit and some truly remarkable dinosaur footprints in situ by the turquoise-hued Embalse Ezequiel Ramos Mexía reservoir, while in Plaza Huincul you can see bones from the largest dinosaur ever discovered, the Argentinosaurus huinculensis. Further north at Lago Barreales you can watch paleontologists in action, while at Rincón de los Sauces, in the extreme north of the province, the world’s first fossilized dinosaur eggs were unearthed. Wine buffs will be more interested in the region’s award-winning wineries a short way north of Neuquén – you can even stay at one and sleep above the cellars.