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Junín de los Andes, Departamento Huiliches, Provincia del Neuquén, Argentina. May 2023.

Junín de los Andes is set in a dry, hilly area of the steppe at the foot of the Andes. In fact, Junín means “grassland” in the Aymara language. Founded in 1883 as a fortress during the Conquest of the Desert and later developed as a cattle border town, Junín is the oldest town in Provincia del Neuquén. While popular with fly-fishers, largely owing to the rivers in the region that teem with trout, Junín is not as pretty and touristy as the bigger San Martín de los Andes. There is no currency exchange office (hotels do not deal with USD either) and you will be ripped off at the Western Union. It is better placed for making trips to the central sector of Parque Nacional Lanín, especially if you plan to climb Volcán Lanín, or to explore the Lago Huechulafquen area.

A mixture of the native Mapuche and the Argentine pioneers' influence can be seen in the local culture. Fiesta del Puestero (with gaucho events, folklore music in the evenings, artesanía and asados) takes place in mid-February. Pleasant Plaza San Martín is the hub of the town’s activity. Population is between 13,000-14,000.

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

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