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The history of Pampa Linda dates back to 1907 when a Belgian doctor coming from Canada arrived in town to settle down as the first doctor in Bariloche. His name was Don José Emanuel Vereertbrugghen and together with his wife and his little son called Benito they decided to come to this beautiful land with many prospects of progress. In those days if anyone got ill in Bariloche, they either had to be transferred to Chile or treated with herbs. Soon people started making some marvelous comments about this new neighbour who gave exact diagnosis and who had not a very sociable look but showed some sweet and simple manners.
In 1912 following the legendary path of the Vuriloches in search of grazing pastures Don Ben, his son, settles down in the southwest side of the Mascardi Lake thus becoming the first settler in Mount Tronador valley. As the cows gradually went up this valley, a path was originated and in 1920, having reached the Pampa Linda area, a poor station was built.
Mount Tronador was so close to this place that Benito and his wife, Clara Runge, used to welcome visitors very often. Little by little their home, a strategic point for mountaineers, became an inn. And by 1929 it had started to be known as Tronador Hotel. In those days there was still no road and National Parks did not start to exist as such until 1934. Consequently all guests, avid explorers and adventurous sportsmen, had to come by boat and then either on foot or horseback riding. Some of their names are still remembered on some geographical features and spots along the Andean Range.
Bustillo visited the glaciers and found them so absolutely marvelous that he soon arranged everything for the motor road to be opened in 1940.
As the road to Pampa Linda was made, a little house was built and then tea started to be offered here in summer. At the same time, José Cretón, Don Ben´s friend and foreman, used to take tourists on horseback riding excursions. In 1942 this first house was generously given as a temporary border post to the National Borderline Office. And it was then in 1947 that the original Pampa Linda Lodge was built by the Vereertbrugghen family.
Later Don Ben decided to move to his house in Bariloche, leaving his two sons, José in the Tronador Hotel and Andy in Pampa Linda, in charge of continuing with his own tourist and cattle tradition. Since then this family has been offering their services to visitors from all over the world. And in 1994 Andy made his dream come true by building all the facilities Pampa Linda offers nowadays. The lodge is currently managed by his own daughter.
Jose Vereertbrugghen, pampa linda, historiaBenito Vereertbrugghen, pampa linda, historia
Dr. José Vereertbrugghen Benito Vereertbrugghen
pampa linda, 1927, tronador, historia
Mount Tronador from Pampa Linda valley in 1927.
doña Clara, marcacion, pampa linda, historia
Doña Clara making a 'marcación'.
José Cretón, historia, pampa linda, tronadorAndy Vereertbrugghen, historia, pampa linda, ordeñe, tambo
José Cretón
(upright, dressing a hat)
Andy Vereertbrugghen
Nahuel Huapi National Park - Mount Tronador
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