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Aluminé, Departamento Aluminé, Provincia del Neuquén, Argentina. May 2023.

Less visited than destinations to the south, the riverside town of Aluminé is situated 103 km north of Junín de los Andes. Its economy is based on animal husbandry, forest exploitation and tourism that involves fly-fishing, white-water rafting and kayaking on Río Aluminé, as well as offering access to the less-visited northern sector of Parque Nacional Lanín.

Aluminé is a name of Mapuche origin, meaning shining at the bottom, referring to the clear waters found in the region. Mapuche, or Mapudungun (from mapu 'land' and dungun 'speak, speech') is an Araucanian language related to Huilliche spoken in south-central Chile and west-central Argentina by the Mapuche people (from mapu 'land' and che 'people').
The area was populated by Mapuche communities before the so-called Conquest of the Desert (SP: Conquista del desierto), which was an Argentine military campaign directed mainly by General Julio Argentino Roca in the 1870s with the intention of establishing dominance over the Patagonian Desert. The Conquest was in part in response to the 1872 Mapuche attacks on the cities of General Alvear, Veinticinco de Mayo and Nueve de Julio, and it extended Argentine territories into Patagonia, and ended Chilean expansion in the region. Following the Argentine Army, the first settlers arrived at Aluminé in February 1884. Current population is around 5000.

For a week in March or April, Aluminé celebrates the Fiesta del Pehuén to coincide with the Mapuche harvest of piñones, with displays of horsemanship, music and artesanía.

Sources: Lonely Planet Argentina (2022), Rough Guide to Argentina (2019), Wikipedia.

Categories & Keywords
Category:Travel and Places
Subcategory:South America
Subcategory Detail:Argentina