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Ñivinco Waterfalls: The Perfect Stop Along Ruta de 7 Lagos

  • Post last modified:August 3, 2023
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One of the best things to do in Patagonia is to do the route of the seven lakes between Bariloche and San Martin de los Andes. But did you know that there is more to the route than just lakes? Ñivinco Waterfalls are a set of waterfalls that are located right along the route, with no detour at all! 


While the seven lakes along the route are mostly just viewpoints, this set of waterfalls is accessed via a trail. In this article we're going to share everything you need to know for visiting, so that you can be well prepared to enjoy this stunning spot in Patagonia.

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Where are Ñivinco Waterfalls Located?

Ñivinco Waterfalls are located along Ruta de los Siete Lagos (route of the seven lakes), which is a road that connects the city of Bariloche in Rio Negro, and San Martin de los Andes in Neuquen, Argentina. The trail of the falls is just off the side of the highway 40, 63 km south of San Martin de los Andes, and 127 km  north of Bariloche. If you are driving from Bariloche, it is a little over 2 hours away, and if you are coming from San Martin de los Andes it is a little over an hour away.

where are Ñivinco waterfalls in Patagonia

Ñivinco waterfalls are off the highway of the seven lakes route.


How to Get to Ñivinco Waterfalls

If you are planning to do the seven lake route, many people actually take tours from Bariloche or San Martin de los Andes. However, Ñivinco Waterfalls can only be reached if you rent a car and drive there. We rented our car from Bariloche, but you can also rent one in San Martin de los Andes if that is where you are coming from.


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The Hike to Ñivinco Waterfalls

The great thing about the hike to Ñivinco waterfalls is that the start of the trailhead is right on the side of the road, and easy to find.

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Ñivinco waterfalls pin

The hike to Ñivinco waterfalls begins from the north side of the parking lot. The trail itself an be very muddy, depending on how much it has rained previously. You'll begin by walking through an area of trees and twigs all over the ground, and potentially large areas of mud, so make sure to watch your step. 


After 10 minutes you'll come across a river. The only way to get across is to actually walk through the water, so you'll want to take off your shoes, or wear a pair of flip-flops, and bring a small towel to dry your feet. The water is very cold, and it goes up to your shins or knees (depending on your height of course). This will add another 5 minutes to your journey.


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After the river you'll have another 20-25 minutes of walking, along a pretty straight path. You can either stay on the trail to the left, or if you go along the river, you'll have to walk again through the water. We went through the water on the way there, and then took the trail on the way back (which is what we suggest).


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Arriving at Ñivinco Falls

Once you arrive you'll be greeted a a stunning set of falls, where you can get up close to the water. We spent 30 minutes just hanging out and walking around the falls. To the left, there is also a platform where you can admire them from above.

Ñivinco waterfalls
Ñivinco waterfalls
Ñivinco waterfalls

You can get up close to Ñivinco waterfalls.


We also heard from a local that you can continue to walk up behind the main set of falls, discovering more and more waterfalls! This path is to the left, and is a steep dirt trail. When we went, it was blocked off. We aren't sure if this is because the conditions were dangerous, or because they had been permanently closed. However, it is definitely worth seeing if it is in fact possible to do, because we heard that it's incredible up there!

 

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Amenities at Ñivinco Falls

There are no bathrooms on site at Ñivinco Falls, nor anything around for buying food or drinks. You can fill up your water bottle at the falls though. The hike is not very physically demanding, so you won't need to worry about having a ton of water anyway.


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Price & Timetable for Visiting Ñivinco Waterfalls

Ñivinco Falls is completely free of charge to visit! The parking lot is open 24/7, and there isn't anybody that is working onsite, so you can easily visit at any time of the day.

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Other Things to Keep in Mind for Visiting Ñivinco Waterfalls

Now that you know what to expect for the hike to Ñivinco waterfalls, here are a couple of other things you may want to keep in mind.


Weather Conditions

The weather in Patagonia can be a little unpredictable. We visited in early May, which is when it happens to be the rainiest. we got lucky to have sunshine, and the hike was very pleasant. If you are visiting in the summer months (December to March), you should find the most sunshine and warmer conditions.


The Best Time to Hike Ñivinco Waterfalls

We would suggest going to Ñivinco waterfalls early in the morning, so that you can get the best lighting, and avoid the crowds. We went around 10 am, and had just a few other groups around (we were also visiting in the off season).

Ñivinco waterfalls in Patagonia

How to Prepare for Ñivinco Waterfalls

Here are a few things to bring with you to Ñivinco waterfalls:

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Now that you are ready to visit the beautiful Ñivinco waterfalls in Patagonia, it's time to learn all about the other great things in the area. Want to know exactly how to do the route of the seven lakes? How about see the other fun things to do in Bariloche or San Martin de los Andes? Well, we have new articles coming every week, so make sure to subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest updates.


Want to explore other areas of Patagonia or throughout the country? As locals, we have a ton of other Argentina travel guides for you to check out.


Looking to start planning your trip? As avid travelers (and locals) we can help create the perfect itinerary for your Argentinian travels. Check out some of the travel planning packages that we offer, or simply email us for your free consultation today.


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