In the middle of the Andes Mountain Range, in the northwest of Neuquén province, lies Caviahue – Copahue, a wonderful tourist centre. It is located almost 6,666 feet above sea level, near the Argentine – Chilean international border crossing, at the foot of Copahue volcano (9,750 feet above sea level), and on the banks of a large water mirror formed by Caviahue lake (5,333 feet above sea level). It lies 979 miles from Buenos Aires, and 229 miles from Neuquén Capital City. This town, along with Locopué and Las Lajas, constitutes the tourist area called Thermal Patagonia.
It holds hotels, inns, lodges, apart-hotels, cottages and ATLs (Alternative Tourist Lodging).
CP (ZIP): 8349
DDI: 00 54 2948
Teléfono: (02948) 495036
Thermalism is one of the activities that stands out in Copahue (in mapuche, “sulphur”), which lies 11 miles away from Caviahue (in mapuche, “place of festivals or parties”). The development of these thermal springs started with the history of Copahue volcano, which the indigenous ancestors of the area thought had wealth and powers for the spirit.
Copahue thermal springs are worldly renowned for the quality and diversity of their waters, whose therapeutic properties are guaranteed by the World Health Organization. The different treatments are done under medical advice in the thermal complex, and combine varied types of water, vapours and mud.
This complex can be visited from November to April, given that during winter, the access road to Copahue is impassable due to snow accumulation.
Lagoon on the crater of Copahue volcano
The tourist complex is located within Copahue Provincial Park. This park is 28,300 hectares and it was created in the 40’s with the objective of preserving nature in the area, especially the araucaria or pehuen forests, which constitute a unique natural resource in the world. The climate of this place is special, and its temperatures are ideal both in winter and in summer. Its peculiar landscape with undulating terrains, from which Copahue volcano stands out, and a large prairie area which surrounds Caviahue Lake, make up an original and unique landscape, with a volcanic geologic origin that suffered modifications from the glacial action. It is a place where you can rest and recreate, and practise different adventure activities like trekking, mountaineering, winter sports and water sports. Besides, you can enjoy strengthening thermal baths in a modern thermal complex prepared to perform 2,500 baths a day.
Sport fishing in Caviahue
For sport fishing lovers Achacosa, Escondida, el Rincón and Hualcupén lagoons, and the streams that originate from them, allow anglers to catch different species of fish, like rainbow trout, brook trout and perch.
Small game hunting is another activity that can be practised in the ranches of the area.
Runway over Sulphurous lagoon in Copahue
Nature in Caviahue – Copahue gives you amazing scenery on every step, majestic cascades and falls next to prehistoric pehuenes, or a quasi lunar landscape (in the case of Copahue), together with a mild microclimate both in winter and summer, which turns this place into a tourist centre that can be visited throughout the year.
Caviahue Ski Centre
During winter Caviahue ski centre is a special place to practise this sport. For its peace and safety, it is an ideal place for family groups. Visitors can practise downhill, cross-country, and telemark skiing as well as snowboarding. This winter centre includes a downhill and cross-country ski school, equipment rental shops, nursery, snow kindergarten, patrolling service, refuges, restaurants and a café.
A special attraction is the articulated snowtrack to take excursions around the area or up the volcano to practise freestyle skiing. Then you go down the foothills of the volcano among araucaria forests covered in snow, a unique experience for its scenic beauty. You can also rent sleighs, snowmobiles and fourtracks.