Monday, March 27, 2023

Ghost Town: How a Tragedy Turned an Argentine Resort into an Attraction

Stairs that lead nowhere, old cars that became junk, railings that no longer delineate anything and tree trunks that still resist, this is what Villa Apecuen is today.

Located 520 kilometers from Buenos Aires, this small resort was once one of the most visited places in Argentina. At the time, 1,200 people lived there, but in 1985 a tragic accident flooded Ipequen.

The village was flooded at that time due to heavy rains and poor hydraulic planning; A containment blockage gave way and the waters from Lake Apequine destroyed everything. In two weeks the city was covered by seven meters of water and simply disappeared from the map.

Thankfully no one died in the flood. The residents had only a few days to pack their necessities and left their homes in a hurry. Many rebuilt their lives in the nearby town of Carhue and waited 20 years to return to the small village to see what was left of their properties when the waters ran low.

Apquen And Argentina - Nickelby / Getty Images / Istockphoto - Nickelby / Getty Images / Istockphoto

movie scene? No. Apecuen is about 500 km from Buenos Aires

Imagem: Nickelby/Getty Images/iStockPhoto

haunted town

Today it’s just rubble, but Apquen remains an interesting place. Ghost Town is visited by many tourists, mainly Argentines. Walking through this white landscape is almost like being on a movie set: deserted streets and abandoned. Almost apocalyptic scene.

One of the most famous buildings in these ruins is the Matadero, an old abattoir that still preserves the façade, although it has ruins inside. You can still see the letters on the top of this building which was designed by the famous Argentine architect Francisco Salamón, an avant-garde of the time.

Apecuen And Argentina - Dimitri Berkut / Getty Images / Istockphoto - Dmitry Berkut / Getty Images / Istockphoto

One of the ruined streets of Apecuen: details for a car swallowed up by the action of time

Image: Dmitry Berkut / Getty Images / iStockphoto

Before the flood, Apecuen was known for its seaside resort. Many Argentines visited this place to bathe in the water that was famous for its medicinal properties, which was rich in sulfur and salt.

As we walk, you can see signs and photos that show what the city was like in the past. Cement benches and tables that may have been part of a square, façades that still protest, poles that once held electrical wires, a rusted bathroom sink and streets that show us a path that leads nowhere .

Imagining what life was like there until the mid-1980s, when the resort was living its golden age, is an almost inevitable exercise.

Small In Argentina - By_Ems/Getty Images/Istockphoto - By_Ems/Getty Images/Istockphoto

The city was devastated, but no one died in the flood.

Imagem: by_ems/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Tourism and Guinness Records

The nearest town is Carhué, which is 8 kilometers away. This small town benefited from the tragic end of Apecuén as it nowadays receives tourists who visit the ruins and also take the opportunity to relax in its thermal waters.

Experts say that the water of Carahue contains four times more salt than the sea. They claim that the water in this Argentinian lake contains almost as much salt as the waters of the famous Dead Sea in the Middle East.

Apquen And Argentina - Nickelby / Getty Images / Istockphoto - Nickelby / Getty Images / Istockphoto

The flood created several lakes that mirrored with the landscape.

Imagem: Nickelby/Getty Images/iStockPhoto

That’s why the small town has heated swimming pools, spas and hotels that offer baths that relieve symptoms of arthritis, skin infections, and help fight stress. Carahue also houses the Museo Regional de Adolfo Alsina, which is an interesting stop for a better understanding of the history of Apacuen. In addition, the city has a famous thermal park and a curious Guinness record.

Carhué managed to collect the largest number of people swimming at the same time without the help of any equipment. In January 2017, exactly 1941 people broke this record in the waters of Lake Apecuen.

For those who wish to visit this unique place, summer is a great time to visit Apecuen as it is quite cold in winters. However, hotels in Carhué are open throughout the year.

Those in the know indicate that the best time to visit a ghost town is at the end of the day. The sun sets right there on the lake and the sight of nature reminds us once again that it is possible to find beauty even in adverse circumstances.

Apecuen And Argentina - Lucas Carrizo / Getty Images / Istockphoto - Lucas Carrizo / Getty Images / Istockphoto

Ipequean Cemetery

Image: Lucas Carrizo / Getty Images / iStockphoto

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.
Latest news
Related news