Villa Epecuén Buenos Aires Province – A Captivating Tale of Rise, Fall, and Remarkable Resilience

Imagine stepping into a world frozen in time, where the echoes of a once-thriving resort town
still linger. Welcome to Villa Epecuén Buenos Aires Province, a place that tells a captivating tale
of rise, fall, and remarkable resilience.
Nestled on the eastern coast of Laguna Epecuén, this now-abandoned ghost town, blanketed in
a surreal layer of white and gray salt invites visitors to witness its haunting beauty and
immerse themselves in the enigmatic story of human endeavor and the relentless force of
Discover the allure of Villa Epecuén, where history and mystery converge in a mesmerizing
the spectacle that beckons the curious traveler.

Where Is Villa Epecuén Buenos Aires Province Located?

Villa Epecuén Buenos Aires Province

Villa Epecuén was a well-known holiday destination in Argentina’s Buenos Aires Province,
located on the eastern coast of Laguna Epecuén. The Villa Epecuén station on the Sarmiento Railway line, which ran from Buenos Aires to this lovely location, was located about 7
kilometers (4.3 miles) north of the city of Carhué.
Additionally, the Midland Railway and the Buenos Aires Great Southern Railway provided
transportation options for travelers, connecting them to the nearby Carhué station.

What Happened at Villa Epecuen?

Buenos Aires Province previously had a bustling tourist resort called Villa Epecuén, but its
intriguing past ultimately caused it to be abandoned.
The town, which was founded in the early 1920s, flourished as tourists from Buenos Aires and
elsewhere came to enjoy the healing properties of the Lago Epecuén’s saltwater. It’s superb
infrastructure allowed for easy access to Villa Epecuén station via the Ferrocarril Sarmiento line
as well as connections to the nearby Carhué station via the Midland Railway and Southern
When it was at its busiest, Villa Epecuén could formally house up to 5,000 guests, with an
additional 2,000 finding unapproved lodging. The 1950s to the 1970s saw 25,000 visitors pour
into the region between November and March, and the hamlet hummed with activity, housing
a thriving neighborhood and a variety of enterprises, including lodges, guesthouses, and hotels.

However, fate had a different plan for Villa Epecuén. On November 6, 1985, an unusual
meteorological event set off a seiche that first breached a local dam and then the protective
dike that surrounded the settlement. The water quickly flooded the town and reached an
incredible peak height of 10 meters (33 feet). Villa Epecuén’s ruins were left with a chilling
legend and became uninhabitable. Sadly, the village was never reconstructed.
The ruins of Villa Epecuén still stand as evidence of its previous grandeur and eventual demise
on the eastern bank of Laguna Epecuén. A covering of white and grey salt has been applied to
the ruins, creating a bizarre and alluring picture. The 2013 documentary “Pablo’s Villa,” which
follows the life of the town and its lone resident, Pablo Novak, brings the village’s moving story
to life. Novak, who was born in 1930, went back to his house when the waters subsided after 25
hard years of swallowing the town.
The intriguing past of Villa Epecuén has also garnered interest in the world of entertainment. It
has appeared in TV programs like “Abandoned Engineering” and “Mysteries of the Abandoned,”
which highlights the town’s unsettling charm.
The village was also used as a location for the 2010 film “And Soon the Darkness,” which starred
Karl Urban and Amber Heard. Notably, Villa Epecuén served as an eye-catching setting for one
of Danny MacAskill’s street trials cycling videos, bringing even another interesting layer to its
Even though Villa Epecuén was abandoned, its story has been preserved in history as a reminder of the ups and downs of human endeavors and the unstoppable force of nature.

What Happened to Epecuen in 1985?

Villa Epecuén Buenos Aires Province

Epecuén experienced a tragic incident in 1985. A seiche brought on by an unusual weather
pattern resulted in the rupture of a nearby dam and the subsequent breach of the village’s
defense dike. The result was a quick rise in the water, which peaked at 10 meters (33 feet).
The village was utterly uninhabitable by this catastrophe, and it was never rebuilt. Now
abandoned and encrusted in a layer of white and grey salt, Epecuén’s ruins stand as a mournful
reminder of the village’s untimely end.

The Submersion and Re-Emergence of Villa Epecuén: From Spa Town to Ghost Town

Villa Epecuén Buenos Aires Province

The once-thriving resort town of Villa Epecuén fell untimely in the 1980s when it was
completely inundated. Extreme weather conditions caused a nearby dam to burst, which then
allowed water to breach the protective dike surrounding the town, setting the stage for the
events of November 6, 1985. Villa Epecuén was buried by the swelling waves in a surprisingly
short amount of time, burying it under an incredible three meters of water in just two weeks.

Tragically, the flood brought an end to the lively village of Villa Epecuén. The once-vibrant spa
town was abandoned and allowed to rot at the lake’s bottom like a ghost town stuck in the
past. Villa Epecuén was submerged in the water for about 25 years, its streets and structures
submerged beneath the surface.
However, Villa Epecuén made a spectacular comeback, much like a phoenix rising from the
ashes. The natural ebb and flow of things played a part, and the waters started to decrease
when droughts started. After 25 years underwater, the ghost town rose from the lake in 2009,
displaying a menacingly attractive scene. The remains of Villa Epecuén served as a vivid
reminder of the town’s tragic end and the passage of time, and they were now covered with
layers of white and gray salt.
Unexpectedly, one person from the restored ghost town reappeared amidst the bleak remains.
Pablo Novak, a 1930-born man, returned to his house in 2009. The fact that Novak came back is
evidence of the strong bond and unbreakable spirit that can survive even the most
heartbreaking levels of desertion. Villa Epecuén serves as a moving reminder of the town’s
former splendor and the perseverance of the human spirit with its salt-covered ruins and one
lone resident.


In conclusion, Villa Epecuén in Buenos Aires Province offers a captivating and unforgettable
experience for visitors. Although now an abandoned ghost town submerged in salt-covered
ruins, its intriguing history, the remnants of its once-thriving spa town, and the resilience
displayed by its sole resident, Pablo Novak, make it a destination worth exploring.
Witnessing the haunting beauty of the ruins and understanding the town’s tragic demise and
subsequent re-emergence from the lake provides a unique perspective on the transient nature
of human endeavors and the indomitable spirit of the human soul. For those seeking a blend of
history, mystery, and a connection to the forces of nature, Villa Epecuén is truly worth visiting.

Villa Epecuén Buenos Aires Province Is Worth Visiting?

Yes, Villa Epecuén provides guests with a unique and enticing experience. The location has a
certain allure for those looking for a glimpse into the past and a connection with the
unbreakable human spirit, despite the fact that it is now an abandoned ghost town submerged
in hauntingly beautiful salt-covered ruins.

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