Aigüestortes National Park and San Mauricio Lake
The National Park of Aigüestortes and the Lake San Mauricio form a paradise loved by all nature fans: lakes, streams, cascades, peatlands, scree, rough peaks and overgrown forests of black pine tree, conifer, wild pine tree, birch tree and beech give home to lots of different plants and animals. The main differential aspect is the over 200 lakes or estanys, the impressive cliffs of “Els Encantats” and the peculiar high mountain river bends (the aigüestortes).
In this area we can find the typical elements of the high mountains and they form the perfect example of what a great mountain range is in its very centre, the most continental part. The National Park is without doubt one of the most gorgeous landscapes in the whole of the Pyrenees.
The main element around here is of course, the water, in the shape of rivers, cascades, wetlands or the almost 200 lakes found all around, making it one of the areas with more lakes in the whole of the Pyrenees. We will find the most beautiful water images in two of the rivers of the area, Sant Nicolau and the Aiguamòg. Some of the lakes can be found in the valleys, like the Lake Mauricio or Lake Llong, but most of them formed the high glacial cirques, like the Estany de Mar, Rius, Monges, Mangades, Travessani, Negre, Contraix, Gerber o Saborèdo.
Lake San Mauricio is about 1100 metres long by 200 metres wide and it has a capacity of 2,6 cubic hectometres thanks to a small reservoir built to help increase its capacity. It is situated at 1910 metres above sea level, in the deep end of a glacial cirque.
The best way to visit the Park is without doubt on foot. There is a large paths and routes network that allow you to go all around easily. You can follow the itineraries that take you from the car parks situated at any of the main entrances to the Park all the way to Aigüestortes or the Lake San Mauricio. There is also a Park Visitors Centre where you can take some detailed routes and guides.