Zapala is a picturesque city located in the province of Neuquén, Argentina. It is surrounded by stunning natural landscapes, including mountains, lakes, and forests, making it a popular destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. The city itself has a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, with a charming downtown area featuring historic buildings and local shops.

Zapala is also known for its cultural events and festivals that showcase the local traditions and heritage of the area.

Places to visit

Key Phrases

Speak like a local

  • "Hola" - Hello
  • "Adiós" - Goodbye
  • "Gracias" - Thank you
  • "Por favor" - Please
  • "" - Yes
  • "No" - No

Day plans

Spend a day exploring around

day 1

Exploring Downtown

morning:Start your day with a relaxing walk around Plaza Huincul. Don't miss the chance to try some traditional Argentinean pastries at Panaderia El Triangulo.

afternoon:Visit Museo Nacional and discover the history of Zapala. For lunch, head to La Esquina for some delicious empanadas.

evening:Enjoy a cozy dinner at Restaurant Punto y Coma and then head to Bar Don Pedro for drinks and live music. 🍸

day 2

Outdoor Adventures

morning:Embark on a nature hike along the picturesque Lagunas de Epulafquen. Stop for breakfast at Panaderia La Union to fuel up for the day.

afternoon:Experience horseback riding at Estancia El Chivato and immerse yourself in the beautiful surroundings. Stop for a quick bite at La Pulperia Grill.

evening:Relax and unwind at Termas la Patagonia with its soothing hot springs. 🌅

day 3

Cultural Delights

morning:Spend your morning exploring the indigenous art and crafts at Feria Artesanal Zapala. Indulge in some freshly baked goods at Panaderia San Cayetano.

afternoon:Immerse yourself in the local culture at Museo Collon Cura. Savor a traditional Argentinean meal at Restaurant El Mirador.

evening:Wind down your day with a cultural show at Centro Cultural Federal. 🎭

day 4

Scenic Beauty

morning:Embark on a scenic drive to Volcan Batea Mahuida and take in breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Enjoy a hearty breakfast at Panaderia La Union.

afternoon:Take a rejuvenating stroll around Laguna los Barros. Discover a variety of local dishes at Restaurant Familiar Don Rustico.

evening:Experience a night sky full of stars at Observatorio Astronomico Zapala. 🌌

Zapala's Famous Food

Delicacies in Zapala you must try!


A must-try traditional Argentine barbecue featuring a variety of grilled meats, including beef, lamb, and chorizo. Best enjoyed with chimichurri sauce.



A hearty stew made with a combination of meat, seafood, potatoes, and vegetables, traditionally cooked in an underground pit. Rich in flavors and a staple of the Mapuche cuisine.

Trucha Patagónica

Fresh Patagonian trout, often grilled or baked with simple seasoning to highlight its natural flavors. Found in local restaurants and markets near Zapala's rivers and lakes.

Attractions in Zapala

Nice places to capture memories

Volcán Lanín

Offers a stunning panoramic view of the surrounding landscape including lakes, forests, and the Andes mountain range.

Laguna Las Mellizas

A picturesque spot with beautiful reflections and tranquil surroundings, ideal for photography and enjoying the natural beauty.

Mirador Del Carbón

Provides an excellent vantage point for capturing the scenic vistas and capturing the essence of Zapala's natural beauty.

Seasonal Advice

Best times to visit and what to expect in different seasons

Spring (September - November)

The best time to visit Zapala is during spring when the weather is mild and the landscapes are filled with blooming flowers. It's a great time for outdoor activities such as hiking and birdwatching.

Summer (December - February)

Summer is another good time to visit Zapala, with warm temperatures ideal for exploring the nearby lakes and rivers. It's a popular time for fishing and water sports.

Autumn (March - May)

Autumn brings colorful foliage and is a great time for photography and enjoying the changing scenery. The weather is still relatively mild, making it a pleasant time to visit.

Winter (June - August)

Winter in Zapala can be quite cold, but it's a good time for skiing and snowboarding in the nearby Andes mountains. The town also hosts winter festivals and events.

Outdoor Activities in Zapala

Fun outdoor pursuits

Hiking in Lanín National Park

Enjoy the beautiful trails and stunning views in Lanín National Park, with options for various hiking levels and durations.

Fishing in Correntoso Lake

Experience peaceful and rewarding fishing trips on the shores of Correntoso Lake, known for its clear waters and abundance of trout.

Birdwatching in Laguna Blanca National Park

Explore the diverse bird species in Laguna Blanca National Park, offering excellent opportunities for birdwatching enthusiasts.

Tipping & Payment

Ensure a smooth experience


In Zapala, Argentina, tipping is generally not expected or required. However, if you receive exceptional service at a restaurant or from a tour guide, it is appreciated to leave a small tip as a token of gratitude. A 10% tip is considered generous in such cases.


Payment in Zapala, Argentina is mostly done in cash, and credit cards are not widely accepted, especially in smaller establishments. It's advisable to carry enough cash when traveling to Zapala, as ATMs may not be readily available. Some hotels and larger restaurants may accept credit cards, but it's always best to inquire beforehand.

Local Etiquette

Tips on cultural norms and respectful behavior

Respect for Personal Space

In Zapala, it is important to respect personal space and avoid standing too close to others during conversations or interactions.

Greeting Etiquette

When greeting someone in Zapala, a handshake is a common form of greeting, and it is polite to maintain eye contact during the interaction.

Mealtime Customs

During mealtime in Zapala, it is customary to engage in polite conversation and wait for the host to initiate the meal before starting to eat.

Food Markets & Street Food

A food market and street food guide

Feria Franca de Zapala

A vibrant open-air market offering a variety of fresh produce, regional cheeses, cured meats, and homemade preserves. Local vendors also serve empanadas, tamales, and other street food delights.

Alfajores Stands

Look out for stands or small shops selling alfajores, a popular Argentine sweet treat consisting of two cookies sandwiched with dulce de leche and often coated in chocolate.

Nightlife in Zapala

Nightlife in the town features a blend of traditional and modern activities that cater to a variety of tastes. As the evening sets in, locals and visitors alike head to various bars and pubs that offer a cozy atmosphere, often accompanied by live music. These venues serve an assortment of local wines and craft beers, providing a taste of regional flavors. For those who enjoy dancing, a few nightclubs in the area play a mixture of Latin rhythms and contemporary hits, encouraging patrons to dance the night away. The social scene here is friendly and laid-back, reflecting the hospitable nature of the town's residents. In addition, there are cultural events and performances held at local theaters, where you can experience traditional Argentine folklore music and dance. These events offer a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the region and are especially popular on weekends. Restaurants in Zapala also remain open late, serving delicious Argentine cuisine that features grilled meats, empanadas, and other regional specialties. Some eateries feature outdoor seating, perfect for enjoying the cool mountain air while dining. For a more relaxed evening, people often gather in plazas and parks, where street vendors sell snacks and drinks, and conversations last well into the night. The calm and serene environment makes it a great place for leisurely evening strolls. Overall, while nightlife in Zapala may not be as bustling or extravagant as that in larger cities, it offers a charming and authentic experience that resonates with the town's tranquil and welcoming nature.

Things to do in Zapala

Unique local experiences...

Pet sitters in Zapala

Relax and unwind while your furry friend enjoys making a new companion!

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