Bariloche: Argentina’s Patagonia Paradise

By August 25, 2014 Featured, Photo Essays 2 Comments

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Bariloche, also known as Argentina’s little Switzerland, is a mecca for visitors from around the world. Situated in the foothills of the Andes and on the banks of Lake Lago Nahuel Huapi, it’s a picture perfect place for winter and summer activities.

As we landed at Bariloche’s airport, the group immediately donned jackets and shoes to ward off the chilly temperatures. It never seems to get warmer than 10 degrees Celsius in the summer.

Alpine styled buildings in the centre of Bariloche

Alpine styled buildings designed by Ezequiel Bustillo and built in the 1930s, now home to the city hall, police station and the Museum of Patagonia in the centre of Bariloche

The town is teeming with visitors from all over the world and Argentinians on vacation. The streets are tough to navigate without bumping into people. Looking around the town, you realize that this is a favourite spot for end of year school celebrations. Masses of school children line the sidewalks.

Civic Center Plaza, the town square  is also famous for its Saint Bernard dogs.  Owners wait for tourists to pose for photos with the their dogs.  Painted on the ground are memorials to the disappeared from the 70's from Argentina's dark past.

Civic Center Plaza, the town square is also famous for its Saint Bernard dogs. Owner’s wait for tourists to pose for photos with the their dogs. Painted on the ground are memorials to the disappeared from the 1970’s, Argentina’s dark past highlighted.

Famous for its chocolate shops and cafes, no visit would be complete without taking a coffee and chocolate tasting at the famous Mamuschka’s artisan chocolate shop. Dulce de leche, a caramel treat, is the foundation of many sweets and is in abundant supply in Mamuschkas, further confirming Argentinian’s obsession with their sweets.

Mamsuschka colourful storefront

Mamsuschka colourful storefront

Mamuschka's famous chocolates on display

Mamuschka’s famous chocolates on display

Enjoying a coffee break at Mamuschka.

Enjoying a coffee break at Mamuschka.

Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapa

Spending a day in the magnificent Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapa and getting out of busy Bariloche, one can breathe a sigh of relief. This park is a sports enthusiast’s paradise. Travellers can easily spend time hiking, biking and gazing at the Andes Mountains ranges. In the distance, the Andes appear like a Cézanne painting coming to life.

Cerro Companario is the best lookout point in the region with exceptional views of  Nahuel Huapi and Perito Moreno lakes and breathtaking views of the Llao Llao Peninsula. The chairlift takes visitors to the viewing areas for a $2.00 US  fee.

The Chairlift takes visitors to the top.

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LLao LLao Peninsula views

LLao LLao Peninsula views

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LLao LLao Hotel

LLao LLao Hotel

Victoria Island and Arrayanes Forest Boat Excursion

Taking a boat trip on Nahuel Huapi Lake and exploring Victoria Island with its rugged landscape, appreciation of plants and fauna is a must for anyone visiting this region. Parque Nacional Los Arrayanes, one of the stops on the trip, is a fascinating island with the protected Arrayanes Tree, which are cinnamon or brick-red in color – a byproduct of the tannin concentration.

Embarking point for Isla Victoria and Arrayanes boat tour

Embarking point for Isla Victoria and Arrayanes boat tour

Views of Lake from the boat

Views of Lake from the boat

Arrayanes Forest

Arrayanes Forest

This was one of our priciest excursions during the tour (costing around 500 pesos, approximately $100 US for the day), but absolutely worth the experience.

Note: Bariloche was just one of the stops on the Best of Chile and Argentina tour with Intrepid Travel.  Special thanks to Intrepid Travel for hosting my trip.

 

 

2 Comments

  • The hiking (and the chocolates) look great! We’re thinking of visiting Argentina next year, so we’ll keep Bariloche in mind :-). Thanks for the great information…

    • Parm says:

      Thank you. If you need more information about Mendoza and Buenos Aires happy to help. Salta is a big destination aswell. In Buenos Aires i have a great B&B to recommend.

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