San Carlos de Bariloche is a city tucked away within the oldest park in Argentina. From European architecture, to delicious chocolate treats, to mountain views unlike anything you may have seen before, Bariloche is the place to see in Argentina.
Thanks to Aerolíneas Argentinas, the supplier sponsor for this article, you won’t miss your chance to visit the charming city of San Carlos de Bariloche.
San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina
San Carlos de Bariloche, or usually styled as Bariloche, is a city found within the province of Río Negro, Argentina. Bariloche is situated at the foothills of the Andes and the southern shore of Nahuel Huapi Lake, a sight that should not be missed on a visit to Bariloche. The lake brings anglers from all over the world, for it contains several introduced, non-native series of trout. Compromised of seven branches, Nahuel Huapi Lake’s beautiful blue waters also hold a number of islands. At the beginning of the 20th century it was even speculated that a creature called Nahuelito was living in the depths of the water, so make sure to be on the lookout while exploring the lake! One of the more popular activities in Bariloche is trekking, or backpacking through the wilderness. The outdoors in Bariloche are some of the most impressive in Argentina and should not be missed on your trip. With treks spanning from half a day to multiple days, and many refugios, or mountain huts, along the way for camping, it is one of the best ways to see the beauty of Bariloche.
Bariloche is actually located within Nahuel Huapi National Park, making it absolutely impossible to miss on your trip! Established in 1934, it is the oldest park in Argentina as well as the largest of national parks in the region; Nahuel Huapi National Park spans nearly 2 million acres! The park offers many options for enjoyment and recreation, with the city of Bariloche being one of them. Within the city limits several geographic features affect the weather, thus creating several micro-climates and allowing for an array of outdoor activities; one of the more popular ways to spend the day in Bariloche is skiing. Twelve miles from Bariloche you will find Cerro Catedral Mountain, and on this mountain is the beautiful Catedral Alta Patagonia Ski Resort. Boasting the most modern resort base in South Africa, the section of the Andes mountain range that surrounds the area is nothing short of spectacular views and exciting slopes. Catedral Alta Patagonia Ski Resort makes access easy with paved roads, something not as common as you would think, and relatively easy transportation to the surrounding area of Bariloche. Catedral Alta Patagonia Ski Resort even has a lift capacity of over 20,000 skiers per hour!
Don’t let spending a day on the mountain tire you out too much, as there are many other things to see and experience on your Bariloche vacation. One of the most unique qualities about Bariloche is the Swiss architecture seen throughout the city; the town itself has a European alpine feel to it between the weather and the architecture. The Civic Centre of Bariloche is the city’s most prominent and well-known Swiss architectural feature, and you cannot visit Bariloche without checking it out! Designed by renowned architect Ernesto De Estrada, the Civic Centre is composed of buildings that date back over 70 years, and was even named a National Historic Monument in 1987. Made from green stone, the buildings give off a European vibe, and the wooden doors and delicate touches emphasize how quaint and serene the Civic Centre of Bariloche is; the mountain backdrop helps wraps the city in a cozy cloak of charm. City Hall, the Post Office, and the Police Station are just a few of the buildings found in the Civic Centre area of Bariloche. If you are lucky you might even catch a glimpse of the Saint Bernard dogs known to roam the square!
Not only is it a magnificent structure that is part of the buildings that compose the Civic Centre, but The Francisco Moreno Museum of Patagonia encompasses the history of the area, and is an excellent way to spend an afternoon on your vacation. Inaugurated in March of 1940, the museum was designed by Estrada and the building itself is a work of art all on its own! Inside, the museum is divided into sections ranging from natural sciences to aboriginal history, and naturally San Carlos de Bariloche. This exhibit focuses on the history of the city, from its establishment to its later rejuvenation, and subsequent rise as a popular destination among tourists. While the architecture may be a feature that highlights the Swiss feel of Bariloche, it is not the only one; Bariloche is also known for its chocolate. There are chocolate shops and businesses found all over Bariloche, so do not miss the opportunity to try some of the best chocolate you can find.
The Avenue of Chocolate Dreams is the path along Mitre Avenue that is home to a large concentration of chocolate shops in Bariloche. Mamuschka is one of these shops, characterized by the Russian nesting dolls found both throughout the store, and on the storefront’s entrance signage. Located on a prime corner of the street, Mamuschka uses the best products for their chocolate. Thanks to their dedication to the craft, Mamuschka’s chocolates are both delicious and creative; everything they produce is full of detail, from packaging to flavor. For a more personalized experience on your journey to find the best chocolate be sure to see Torres. Family owned and one of the older chocolate producers in Bariloche, the stores are smaller and offer a more intimate experience. At Torres not only can you sample chocolates, but you can see what goes into their process! A third shop to check out is Chocolates del Turista; they are situated all over Barlioche and have been around for over 50 years. In their shop located on Avenida St. Martin they offer a production making process completely open to the public. Not only do you get to enjoy delicious chocolate, but you get educated how its made from beginning to end!
San Carlos de Bariloche Cathedral, otherwise known as the Cathedral of Our Lady of Nahuel Huapi, is another beautiful structure located in Bariloche that you should not miss on your trip to the Argentinian city. The cathedral was designed by Alejandro Bustillo, one of the most important architects in the history of Argentina. The Cathedral is surrounded by two magnificent squares complete with beautiful gardens. The Chapel San Eduardo is another masterpiece from Bustillo; built in 1938 it exemplifies a mountain style building with neo-gothic features. Its specific location on raised ground and the stone access staircase gives the Chapel San Eduardo a nice atmosphere, and with the Llao Llao Hotel and Cerro López in the backdrop it is hard to consider this area anything less than spectacular. Though the buildings in Bariloche are what makes it such a popular destination, the cuisine found in the city is an added bonus. Bariloche has a plethora of delicious restaurants, and after all that trekking and sightseeing an authentic meal is a great way to end your day in Bariloche.
If you are looking for a taste of classic Argentinian cuisine, check out El Boliche de Alberto. Well known for the enormous size of their steaks, El Boliche de Alberto is affordable while still being authentic. A testament to how great there are is the fact that they have lines outside their doors before opening! The cozy atmosphere resembles a wine cellar, and could easily relax anyone who steps inside. Familia Weiss is another delicious eatery local to Bariloche. A classic chalet style building that fits right in with the rest of the Swiss architecture, Familia Weiss serves a combination of Argentinian and Central European food. Be sure to try the German-style potatoes and goulash! For something very upscale, eat dinner at Butterfly, Bariloche’s nicest restaurant. With only seven tables, you must make a reservation but it will be worth it; the menu spans seven courses with an array of flavors and foods ranging from gazpacho to fondue. The best part is not the food, but the breathtaking view of Lake Nahuel Huapi from the large windows in the dining room.
If San Carlos de Bariloche was not on your list of destinations, be sure to put it on there now. With hiking trails and camping, history, and chocolate Bariloche has something to offer for everyone.
-International & Domestic flights with Aerolineas Argentinas
-Daily breakfast, transfers, tours with bilingual guides, and local taxes
-4 nights accommodation in double room at Llao Llao Resort & Hotel in Bariloche
-Upgrade subject to availability
-Health/Fitness Center access
-WI-FI internet access
-One bottle of water, per person, per room
-Happy Hour every afternoon in the Hotel’s Lobby (1 complimentary drink per person and 50% in the rest of the menu)
-1 half-day Bariloche history & nature
-1 full-day exploration of tristeza sound
-International Air Tickets from New York
-Round trip transfers Airport/Hotel
-3 nights of accommodation in DBL BB in Bariloche
-3 nights in Buenos Aires
-Bariloche Small Circuit tour, El Trebol lagoon, Colonia Suiza, Cerro Campanario
-City tour in Buenos Aires
-Airfare from Miami on Aerolineas Argentinas
-Private round trip transfers
-Transfers where described
-4 nights accommodation
-Half-day city tour
-Small circuit with Cerro Campanario
-Full-day excursion to Puerto Blest, Cascada de los Cantaros
-Full-day excursion to San Martin de los Andes, 7 Lakes, Villa Angustura
-Assistance by licensed tour guides (English and Spanish)
-Entrance fees where required
-Porterage of 1 piece of luggage at airport and hotel
-Hotel hotel taxes
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