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Lago Huechulafquen

With a surface area of 78.2 square kilometers, Lago Huechulafquen is the biggest lake within Parque Lanin, which is why its name signifies “big lake” in the indigenous Mapuche language. This is also one of the busiest lakes in the park, especially during the summer months (mid December-March), and as a result, Huechulafquen has some of the most advanced facilities in the park.

For those who don't want to camp, this area is one of the easiest places to find quality and affordable lodging within Parque Lanin. Around 55-58 kilometers down Ruta 61 there are three different hosterias right on the lake [Hosteria Huechulafquen (Tel: 42-7598 ), Hosteria Paimun (Tel: 49-1758), and Refugio del Pescador(Tel: 49-1756)]. Generally these hosterias are only open from the beginning of November through the end of May, so plan ahead if you will be visiting in the off season. Hosteria Huechulafquen (URL: is the most affordable of the three options and recently opened a restaurant that offers local foods. Additionally, there are seven different campgrounds operated by indigenous Mapuches along Lago Huechulafquen between the 54-61 kilometer points on Ruta 61, so there are ample options for those who bring a tent.

Huechulafquen is a beautiful lake that offers great views of volcan Lanin, but it is also busier since it is easier to access. Visitors looking for a quiet area to relax may be more satisfied by some of the other lakes in Parque Lanin that are more difficult to reach.

There are several day hikes in the area, which visitors can learn more about by visiting the Park Ranger (guardaparque) station near Puerto Canoa on the lake's northern shore. Boating, horse riding, mountain biking and kayaking are popular activities as well. Visitors may enjoy a 90 minute motorized catamaran tour, which leaves from Puerto Canoa and covers lakes Huechulafquen and Epulafquen for around $20 (URL:

The lake also attracts many fishers who try to catch some of the lake's famed rainbow and brown trout. Additionally, Rio Chimehuin, which visitors pass along Ruta 61 before reaching the lake, is considered one of the best fly-fishing spots in the world.


Other places nearby Lago Huechulafquen: Moquehue, Villa Pehuenia, Rucachoroi, Quillén and Lago Norquinco.

19 Jul 2011

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