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Zapala, a strategic city See map

The argument to say that Zapala is a strategic city is located in the center of the province of Neuquén, a point from which you can depart to the mountain range area or the plateau area that surrounds it, a typically Patagonian landscape.

The location of the city, stands as a necessary step towards the hot spots of the Patagonia. It is located 182 km from Neuquén Capital by National Route 22 and 100 km or so of the Andes. For it cross the National Routes 22 and 40, and the Provincial Routes 13, 26 and 14.

The city of Zapala currently has around 35,000 inhabitants and is a place dominated by xerophytic and sparse vegetation, with few streams.

Its name derives from the Mapuche word "Chapadla" which means "dead swamp". Near the town are several aboriginal reservations.

Since 1900 it began to arrive early settlers and on July 12, 1913 it is founded Zapala, a town that began to grow with the arrival of General Roca Railroad in 1914. At that time the few people lived the great event that would determine its communication with the rest of the country.

Among the activities that can be performed on Zapala is a cultural circuit composed of: 

  • The Historical Museum that presents a collection of photographs, historical documents and institutional objects of the pioneer settlers.
  • The Ceramic School where there are exhibitions of works and a tour to see the process of designing various handicrafts made by the students.
  • The Municipal Movie Theatre "Don Amado Sapag", where besides films there are musical and theatrical performances by local, regional and national artists, that attract a large audience from different localities in the region. It is the largest cinema within the province of Neuquen with 800 seats and a modern sound system. 
  • The Municipal Arts Hall. Located on the first floor of the building where it is the cinema, it presents exhibitions of local, national and foreign artists.
  • Professor Olsacher Museum. Founded on May 24, 1969, it exhibits a systematic mineralogical collection of 2,003 species on a total of 3,012 known species worldwide. It also has a sample of precious stones that belonged to Dr. Olsacher with copies of more than one hundred years and a petrological collection comprising rock from the country and abroad. On the other hand, it exhibits a paleontological collection represented by important invertebrate and vertebrate marines. At the moment the museum is closed for repairs.  
mapa circuito

From this central point of the province of Neuquén you can visit the Primeros Pinos snow park, which is located 50 km along the Route 40, spliced ​​with Provincial Route 13. There you can practice winter sports and do adventure tourism, amid a landscape of mountains with ravines, where run crystal clear streams and it highlights the open forests of Pehuenes, old trees that were the livelihood of the natives of these areas.

Another point to which you can go is into the Laguna Blanca National Park just 30 km from Zapala, accessing National Route 40 and joins the Provincial Route 46. In this park you can do recreational fishing of perch and bird watching among there are black-necked swans, flamingos, coots, geese, which migrate to these areas for shelter, food and a place to nest.

Finally, 20 km from Zapala by Provincial Route 14, is the Covunco stream, the closest water source to the city and in it is located the town of Mariano Moreno. The landscape contrasts with the plateau and steppe vegetation surrounding Zapala, because it is a green valley. In summer, the area has developed proper conditions for outdoor activities and entertainment, using the stream.

The city has hotels of one, two and three stars, alternative tourist accommodation, cafes, restaurants, movie theater, casinos, gas stations, etc.

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