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Domuyo System Protected Natural Area


Considered "the roof" of Patagonia, the Domuyo hill gives its name to this not-so-famous wonder of Neuquén, which hides incredible landscapes and some of the few geysers in Argentina. It is also a site chosen by mountaineers and climbers.

The best time to visit is from November to April.

What to see
Los Bolillos

Before reaching the natural area, 20 km away from Varvarco along Provincial Route 43 in La Matancilla, there is an attraction known as "Los Bolillos" that brings together extraordinary and capricious rock formations with reddish and yellow tones that contrast with the Varvarco river ravine. You can take a 7 km detour to get there from Provincial Route 43. Check the condition in advance, as the road has just a vehicle track mark in some sections.

Atreuco and Covunco ravines

Continuing along Provincial Route 43 to the north, you will reach two impressive canyons: Cajón del Atreuco, gateway to the protected natural area, and Cajón del Covunco, which hosts a natural viewpoint with beautiful views. These sectors can be explored inside only with an authorized guide in the months of January, February and March. The rest of the year there is a closed season for the preservation of the fauna of the place.

Ascent to Domuyo

The Domuyo summit is the highest in Patagonia, with 4,709 m.a.s.l. and is considered a preparation for the most important peaks of the Andes. Climbing the Domuyo takes 4 to 5 days and given its complexity, it requires a specific ascent plan. It is advisable to do it with a qualified guide if you do not have experience in high mountains. The ascent begins from Punta de Camino, a detour of about 14 km from the park ranger station.


"Los Tachos", with hot springs and geysers, is another place you can go to when you take the detour. Also, “El Humazo”, which harbours underground thermal springs with high temperatures on the ground and on the rock walls. To get to the latter, check accessibility with the park rangers.

Hot waters and thermal baths

Villa Aguas Calientes is a small valley crossed by a stream with thermal water pools and cabins. Continuing along Provincial Route 43 to the north, you will find “Las Olletas” and “Rincón de las Papas”, which harbour small geysers. Check accessibility at the moment with park rangers or the Varvarco information office.


Geysers and steam-water outcrops rise at temperatures above 90°C. It is important to respect the distances and the places where you can move around. The area has few services.

How to get there and move around

The Domuyo System Protected Natural Area is 538 km northwest of Neuquén capital city, and 150 km northwest of Chos Malal, passing through the towns of Andacollo, Las Ovejas and Varvarco.

Where to stay

Chos Malal has the largest variety of services and accommodation options. The small towns of Varvarco, Las Ovejas, Huinganco, Manzano Amargo and Andacollo offer municipal lodgings, inns and cabins.

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