Latin America Travel & Tour Information
San Carlos de Bariloche Travel Information
Bariloche is a beautiful city rising majestically from the southern shores of Nahuel Huapi Lake in the Río Negro province. The surrounding landscapes combine mountains, lakes and the lush green of the forests; nature dominates everywhere. The mountain range is dressed in white snow during the winter months, giving the surroundings a angelic touch.
San Carlos de Bariloche is considered one of the chief tourist destinations in Argentina, both in summer and wintertime. Its geography teems with lakes, glaciers, forests and ridges that form a singularly dazzling landscape and allow for many recreational activities: skiing, snowboarding, trekking, fishing and rowing, just to mention a few. This is all complemented by excellent services and a wide choice of entertainment.
Nahuel Huapi Lake is no doubt one of the area's major landscape attractions. Stemming from a glacier, it covers a 560-km² surface with waters that flow into the Nahuel Huapi National Park area. Victoria Island lies on the lake like a sentinel and the Arrayanes Forests close by, amazes all visitors with its uniqueness. There are plenty of excellent tours which help you to explore the area, such as fishing trips to admire the lake´s immensity and soak-up the spirit of so much beauty. Canoeing and kayaking will also offer the chance to absorb this marvelous environment.
Bariloche is definitely a very special destination: good restaurants, specialized in the local and international cuisines, complemented by the exquisite local chocolate. It is customary that visitors take some of this chocolate along while touring around the area.
Bariloche welcomes visitors the whole year round and available activities depend on the season. In wintertime, ski tracks are flooded by experts and amateurs. Many tourists dot the slopes along the several kilometers available for winter sports. The tracks also offer sweeping panoramic views of the startling southern landscapes. Sight-seeing here is possible in many ways: all-terrain vehicles, snow bikes or simply walking on tennis rackets. During summer when snow is gone, trekking, rock climbing and other adventure tours come in handy to fully enjoy the place.
Bariloche Main Attractions & Sites
Walking down 'Los Pioneros' Avenue will lead to a couple of important destinations: Otto Hill and 'Piedras Blancas' (White Stones). High up on Otto Hill a rotating lookout allows for a full sweeping views. Here there are replicas of David, Moses and 'La Piettá' by Michelangelo, plus an array of available activities like trekking, rock climbing, sled riding, skiing and paragliding. The hill is easily accessible by means of a cable car, or there are also options of driving or walking to the top. The fun here does not lie in the ascent, but the actual arrival at the top.
The Piedras Blancas winter complex is located on the northern slope barely 9 km from Otto Hill, where 6 ha of steep terrain make up the ideal setting for the practice of Alpine skiing. Beginners have the option to practice Nordic skiing along 15 km of conditioned tracks.
'Tronador Hill', 90 km from town, harbors Los Alerces Waterfall and one of the most picturesque vistas around. Three summits: the Argentine, the Chilean and the International, together with eight glaciers put up a breath-taking spectacle. A magnificent natural painting springs to view through singing rivers, blue hills, crystalline lakes and peaceful forests. The Los Alerces Waterfall and a rocky formation called The Devil´s Throat will surely take several minutes of anyone's attention. A feast of colors and landscape diversity will leave a deep imprint in everyone's memories.
Another enjoyable trip is heading up Cathedral Hill, which has become the classic outing for Bariloche. Situated just 8 km from town, access is open from 10am to 6pm every day.
Nahuel Huapi National Park, nearby the city of San Carlos de Bariloche, hosts an ample spectrum of landscapes, constituted by mixed forests and lakes like Traful, the Mirror and Villarino that dot the northern sector; and Gutiérrez, Mascardi, Guillermo and Steffen lakes covering the south. The waters conjugate with the dense vegetation, endowing the area with incomparable beauty. There is always the opportunity to observe the different local flora and fauna species, including the condors- the kings of this area
Circuito Chico (Short Round Tour) and Circuito Grande (Long Round Tour) are some of the highly recommended trekking excursions to explore the lakes and enjoy the surroundings.
There is a wonderful natural and unspoiled spot, on the south-easternmost corner of the Río Negro province within the mountain range, which offers special touristic choices. It is called El Bolsón, a villa that started as a shrine to hippie culture which has given the place its very distinctive features. Stone and wood cabins, vegetation, wild life and immense forests are among its highlights. Piltriquitrón Hill overlooks the area and is considered an energy spot that improves mood. Places to visit here: 'Rio Azul' lookout, Loma del Medio, 'Amigo Hill', 'Escondida' and 'Mallín' waterfalls. The visit to the regional fair at the Andean Community on the 42nd Parallel brings visitors within closer contact with local arts and crafts, exhibited in around 250 stalls. Horse riding, swimming, paragliding, easy trekking and mountaineering are the main options in this area. El Bolsón is surely included among the choices when looking for a way to relax: a complete spiritual and physical renewal.
La Angostura Villa in Neuquén Province offers countless amazing places to visit. 'Los Arrayanes National Park' preserves a dense and typical forest located on the Quetrihué Peninsula. Due to its singular characteristics it has become the icon of the Argentine Patagonia. A fascinating color spectrum floods 20 ha out of the total 1,753 occupied by the Park. The average age of these trees ranges from 160 to 250 years, though there are some older trees ranging between 500 and 600 years of age. The singularity of these species lies in the heights they reach and their gray-spotted orange bark that acquires a unique ochre shade when hit by the sun rays. Quetrihué Peninsula is the place to go for this natural beauty display.
There exists a fascinating lake with crystalline green waters and irregular coastline located in the area near La Angostura Villa, Correntoso Lake. The spot where it joins Nahuel Huapi Lake gives birth to the Correntoso River. These places are frequented by expert fishermen attracted by stunningly big trout specimens that make up one of the region's cuisine specialties. The lake is accessible by the Ruta Nacional nº 231 (National Freeway 231).
Bayo Hill is another of the really attractive places to visit in this region, located barely 9 km from La Angostura Villa on the provincial route 6. Flanked by forests and adorned by Nahuel Huapi Lake waters, it constitutes the chief skiing facility at La Angostura. It owns an impressive service infrastructure, capable of meeting anyone's needs and tastes. The tracks are perfectly conditioned for either experts or beginners. It covers 200 ha and extends along 20 km ready for skiing and snowboarding. Sleds and all the necessary gear are available for rent. The restaurant offers excellent food to top an active day
Victoria Island is a great place to visit, though recommended as a half-day trip. This is paradise surrounded by transparent waters and carpeted by vegetation consisting chiefly of pines. The best view of the area awaits at the top of Bella Vista Hill.
There is a narrow trail that links one lake with the other, called 'The Seven Lakes Trail'. Mountains and dense forests line the trail along the way. The first water featuyre to spring to view is Mirror Lake; some kilometers further down lies Escondido (Hidden) Lake, small and beautiful it gives way to other lakes like Villarino and Falkner. The trail leads into Lanín National Park, characterized by Lanín Volcano in full view, showing its snow-capped summit, and Hermoso Lake. Up ahead, the landscape changes into arid terrain, which presents Machónico Lake and arrives to San Martín de los Andes, featuring Lácar Lake. The whole trail is 110 km long, beginning near La Angostura Villa and ending in San Martín de los Andes.