Unsuspected landscapes make their way between the mountains that embrace Esquel to offer wonderful postcards of the mountain range , streams, forests and urban nucleus, as a very small point in half of such enormity.
Comfortable shoes, light clothing, cap, cereal bars to renew energy and plenty of water, they become basic supplies for walking these trails on hillsides, natural viewpoints and even peaks, from which the senses are inevitably disturbed. Elevations of up to 500 meters require visitors, who can travel them, depending on the peculiarities of each trail , walking, cycling, horseback.
Why you should visit Cerro La Cruz
To the south of Esquel, the hill that must be traveled is La Cruz, its name is due to the large crucifix that has on its summit. It can be accessed from Ceferino district and from Baden district. The accesses are signposted. From the top, you can see Esquel and Valle Chico.
Starting the tour in Ceferino neighborhood, you can reach Cerro La Cruz starting from the corner of 25 de mayo and Arroyo Esquel. It is an easy trekking , anyone can do it without prior training. Its positive slope is 500 meters. The time to run it is about three and a half hours of ascent.
A thousand fifty meters walk up to the first panoramic point and at 2200 you reach a rest and the second viewpoint. For those with reduced mobility can get there by vehicles, the place has parking. From that point, those who wish can continue about three kilometers to arrive at the summit.
The alternative of descent is towards the Baden neighborhood. It is a medium difficulty trail that runs five kilometers, with a negative slope of 510 meters. This tour is a little shorter than the previous one and also has panoramic views of the east sector of the city and Cerro 21.
Open for hiking, the trail to La Zeta along the Arenal runs seven kilometers between return, with a height of 240 meters and a maximum height of 800 meters. It is a signposted road that provides great viewpoints. This tour is an option of ascent to the Laguna La Zeta Urban Nature Reserve, which starts at the roundabout of Avenida Irigoyen corner Don Bosco and runs a volcanic sandbank on a slope that also finds native flora, with unique views of the Esquel Valley.
In the unique urban reserve, with La Zeta Laguna as the main natural attraction , stand up paddle boards and kayaks can be rented. There is also a parador to spend the afternoon with friends or family.
Esquel has other trails, such as Cerro 21, on top of Cordón Esquel, which requires accompaniment from guides because their journey is of greater difficulty, recommended for people with training. There are also healthy trails, with a distance of 8 kilometers between return, easy to medium difficulty and a firm terrain with little slope. There you can tour the bicisenda that borders National Route 259 with some of the most beautiful views of the city, exercise stations and an imaginary journey from the Sun to Pluto.
The goal is to look different
The periurban trails of Esquel make up an exceptional attraction that complements the rest of the city's tourist offer. These tours trap both tourists who discover them, as well as neighbors from neighboring localities, who decide to wander through them to access different views of their region. The distance between these trails and the neighborhoods is minimal; yet the perspectives to which you rise from these panoramic points are unsuspected.
They are roads that penetrate the very geography of the place and that ask visitors to become aware of the material and immaterial value that makes them up. A stream, a lagoon, a forest, the same urban center, which has been previously traveled, from these natural viewpoints reach new forms, unknown colors, anonymous meanings.
Hiking offers other ways to get to know: impressionable, upcoming. With a time that is slower and where each step promises new challenges. That is why this simple practice does not dispel land and, on the contrary, it integrates perfectly with the rest of Esquel's tourist offer: because the landscape can be the same, but what changes is the look.
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Periodista desde 1988, especializado en turismo. Escribe para medios gráficos y digitales de nuestro país y el extranjero. Fundador de LOS CABRERA Comunicación.