- Nature Reserve / Wildlife Observation / Safari
- Sustainable Tourism
- Off the beaten track
Victoria Island is part of Nahuel Huapi Park in Neuquén province. It is 31 km² and is covered with thick forest, in which some invasive species, such as sequoia and eucalyptus, have been planted. There are cave paintings marking the presence of indigenous peoples who once lived there. It is a very enriching sustainable tourism experience during your stay in Argentina.
I really enjoyed walking in Victoria Island Nature Reserve. The authorities pay particular attention to make sure tourism does not affect the reserve's biodiversity. Some areas are only accessible in small, guided groups, others cannot be accessed at all to protect the endangered native trees. This visit, with its beautiful views of Patagonia, has a lot to teach us.
You have to travel to Puerto Pañuelo, which is located on the Llao Llao Peninsula around 20 kilometres from Bariloche, in order to sail to and visit Isla Victoria and the Bosque de Arrayanes woods.
Once we set off, It took two hours in the boat before we reached Puerto Quetrihue. Spread out before our eyes we saw a wonderful forest of centuries old myrtles with cinnamon coloured trunks and pure white flowers. It's not without good reason that these woods served as the inspiration for Disney's Bambi. This actually means the little fawn in question should really have been a pudú rather than a white-tailed deer! The things you learn.
We next continued on to Isla Victoria, still in Nahuel Huapi National Park. Four kilometres from Puerto Anchorena on the island's northern side lies Bahía Piedras Blancas. From this charming beach there are beautiful views out over the lake. Look carefully and you'll be able to spot pudú and other types of deer in the near distance amongst the few sequoia and Chilean myrtle. To get a good panoramic view of the island and Nahuel Huapi Lake, climb up to the top of Cerro Bella Vista hill.