The Ruins of Villa Epecuen

Back in the 1920s, a tourist village was established along the shore of Lago Epecuen, a salt lake some 600 kilometers southwest of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The resort town, named Villa Epucuen, soon had a railroad station, and it thrived for several decades, peaking in the 1970s with a population of more than 5,000. Around the same time, a long-term weather event was delivering far more rain than usual to the surrounding hills for years, and Lago Epecuen began to swell. In 1985, the salty waters broke through an earthen dam, and Villa Epecuen was doomed. A slow-growing flood consumed the town until it reached a depth of 10 meters (33 feet) in 1993. The wet weather later reversed, and the waters began to recede in 2009. AFP photographer Juan Mabromata recently visited the ruins of Villa Epecuen, met its sole inhabitant, and returned with these images.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Lucas Jackson / Reuters

    The Finale of 'The Greatest Show on Earth'

    After a run of 146 years, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, known as “The Greatest Show on Earth,” has come to an end.

  • Pascal Pochard-Casabianca / AFP / Getty

    Photos of the Week: 5/13–5/19

    The world’s fastest shed in Wales, France welcomes a new president, a portrait of the late singer Chris Cornell on stage in Atlanta, a new eruption of Mount Sinabung, and much more.

  • Carlos Garcia Rawlins / Reuters

    Venezuela's Crisis Deepens, Protests Escalate

    Since April 1, daily anti-government  protests across Venezuela have frequently devolved into clashes with riot police, leaving thousands arrested, hundreds injured, and 43 dead.

  • Reza / Getty

    A Trip to the Dead Sea

    The Dead Sea, on the border between Israel and Jordan, is the lowest and saltiest body of water in the world—and experts say it is on course to dry out by 2050.

Join the Discussion