Wednesday, July 17, 2024

CULTURE | 20-07-2023 06:03

Lake Epuyén: the lake with Argentina’s clearest waters

Myths, legend and mountain beauty – in the picturesque Patagonian Andean region of El Hoyo lies Lake Epuyén, home to the clearest waters in the country.

Argentina is full of magnificent landscapes and Patagonia is no exception with hundreds of scenes of mountain beauty to choose from.

The region is also home to Argentina’s clearest lake, where crystalline waters that can be found alongside a small mountain village that is home to urban myths of dinosaurs and spectacular panoramic views of forests and mountains. 

This is Epuyén, a small Andean district that’s home to barely 2,000 inhabitants located in the region of El Hoyo, Chubut Province. It is easily accessible from Ruta Nacional 40 and features one of the best beaches in the region: Puerto Patriada.

The town’s focal point is Lake Epuyén, home to the clearest waters in the country, with more than 30 metres of visibility – a figure that makes it a national record and compares favourably with the famed waters of the Caribbean. Epuyén also has the highest temperatures in the region, making its expanse of water the warmest lake in Patagonia. 

Lake Epuyén has a surface area of 17 square kilometres and an average depth of 92 metres. The colour of its water here changes according to the different depths of the lake, ranging from 20 metres to 300 metres. One of the reasons it is so crystal clear is because the local municipality has banned motorised navigation on this body of water.

And what would a lake be without a little urban legend? Like Scotland’s famous Loch Ness Monster, Argentina has a similar myth dating back more than a century. In 1921, US aviator Martin Sheffield, who had landed some time before in El Bolsón, visited the lake and allegedly spotted an usual animal with a "swan head" sticking out of the water. 

By the end of the year, the story began to spread among the locals, who christened the alleged beast the "Plesiosaur of Epuyén." The news quickly spread to national media outlets including La Prensa and La Nación, though neither were able to prove the myth was real. 

Perhaps you’ll have more luck?

Top 5 things to do while in Epuyén

- Visit the Lake Epuyén and the Puerto Bonito Municipal Park. 
- Visit the Old Flour Mill
- Tree trekking along the "La Rinconada" circuit 
- Visit the Stupa of Epuyén 
- Go to Puerto Patriada beach

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