Home » vacation » The Magical Forest

The Magical Forest

A Forest of Chilean Myrtles at Los Arrayanes National Park

A Forest of Chilean Myrtles at Los Arrayanes National Park

One of the sights I most wanted to see on my recent trip to Argentina and Chile was Los Arrayanes National Park on the Quetrihué Peninsula. We arrived there on a fantastic old boat (more about which in a future post) from Puerto Panuelos near San Carlos Bariloche.

There is a prevalent myth that Disney was inspired by the look of the Luma apiculata (Chilean Myrtle) trees for his cartoon feature Bambi (1942); but, alas, Disney did not visit Argentina until three years later. Still, it is possible that he knew of and was inspired by the forest before his visit.

These trees with their orange-colored bark grow only in the Patagonian Lakes District of Argentina and Chile between 33° and 45° South Latitude. They range from 33 to 49 feet (10 to 15 meters) tall.

Typically it is possible to take a tour to Los Arrayanes which also includes Isla Victoria on Lago Nahuel Huapi, where one can see Sequoias and Ponderosa Pines imported from California over a century ago.