The RP-61 branches west off the RN-40 (ex-RN-234) just north of Junín de los Andes, entering Parque Nacional Lanín and skirting the shores of LAGO HUECHULAFQUEN. Just 4km from the junction is the Centro de Ecología Aplicada de Neuquén, which undertakes studies of regional fauna and has a trout farm that raises fish for restocking the area’s rivers.

The park’s largest lake, Huechulafquen is an enormous finger of deep blue water extending into the steppe, its northern shores black with volcanic sand. The mouth of the Río Chimehuín, at the lake’s eastern end, is a notable fly-fishing spot.

At the western end of the lake is the settlement and jetty of Puerto Canoa, where you can look up at the fantastic, crevassed south face of Volcán Lanín. Puerto Canoa is the base for treks and boat trips in the area, including a fun boat trip that plies a circuit that includes lakes Huechulafquen, Paimún and Epulafquen, where you’ll see the solidified lava river of Volcán Achen Ñiyeu.

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