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Welcome to Bariloche

Operating at an entirely different pace than cosmopolitan Buenos Aires (a two-hour flight away), San Carlos de Bariloche offers adventurers a host of ways to get close to nature. Nestled at the foot of the Andes and on the banks of glacial lake Nahuel Huapi, this Patagonian town offers easy access to pristine wilderness and show-stopping views. Go horseback riding on the Llao Llao peninsula; kayaking through Andean lakes; and skiing on snow-capped peaks—Cerro Catedral is a popular resort with both visitors and locals—against stunning natural scenery. The town of Bariloche itself is a pleasant place to while away some time: Stroll past the Alpine-style shops on the main street, and duck into one of the many restaurants or ice-cream shops for a bite or a sweet treat. Day trips are easy and plentiful, and it is easy to lace up your boots and go hiking at nearby Cerro Tronador, Cerro Campanario, or through the Bosque de Arrayanes national park. Visit Villa la Angostura, filled with old-fashioned wooden buildings; or visit the market filled with handmade goods in the town of El Bolsón. Whatever activity, guided tour, or day trip you pick, Bariloche rewards with adventure—and photo ops—at every turn.

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Top 10 attractions in Bariloche

Nahuel Huapi National Park
#1

Nahuel Huapi National Park

Nahuel Huapi National Park, which surrounds the lake of the same name, and within which San Carlos de Bariloche is located, is an expansive park of nearly 1.8 million acres, and Argentina’s oldest national park. The park actually contains another park, Parque nacional Los Arrayanes, which is where the much-visited Quetrihué peninsula is. This peninsula is home to a large tract of 300-650 year old red-to-light-brown-barked Arrayan trees. The larger park covers a large range of altitude, from 700 to 3400 meters, and contains four distinct ecosystems, from high Andean peaks (above 1600 meters), including the imposing Cerro Tronador, Andean forests, Valdivian rainforests and (mostly treeless) windblown Patagonian steppe. With four different ecosystems, there is a great variety of different types of vegetation, including several types of Patagonian beech....
Tronador Hill (Cerro Tronador)
#2

Tronador Hill (Cerro Tronador)

Cerro Tronador is the standout attraction among many day-trip and hiking options in Bariloche. It is named for the thunderous sound the volcano made before it went extinct, but the name (Thundering Mountain) is still apt, for the rumbling icefalls as giant pieces of ice shed from the glacier, which are audible at a safe distance. The main attraction is the Ventisquero Negro (also called El Manso), which means black glacier, and it’s easy to see why. It is mainly covered in darkish soil and moraine, and small pieces that have broken off float in a milky lake at its foot. The glacier is the source of one of the nearby rivers, called Río Manso (tame river), which you can also see, and there are waterfalls, including the impressive Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat), where several waterfalls come together....
Victoria Island (Isla Victoria)
#3

Victoria Island (Isla Victoria)

Isla Victoria is a small island located in Nahuel Huapi lake, which is part of the park by the same name. The lake is one of the main defining features of this part of Patagonia, with the city of Bariloche on the south shore, and smaller town of Villa La Angostura on the north side. Victoria Island is located in the middle of the northernmost branch of the lake and is accessed from Puerto Pañuelo, a 30-minute drive from Bariloche. There are a couple of sailings daily, some of which continue to Parque Nacional Los Arrayanes, specifically, to the Quetrihué peninsula, which is home to the rare protected arrayán (Chilean myrtle) forest, with slender, cinnamon-barked trees which grow in a dense grove, and some examples of which are up to 650 years old. Isla Victoria has varied foliage, including the arctic beech, and some easy hiking trails, and if you spend time wandering, you can find some solitary beaches on which to sit and contemplate the lake, or take a chilly dip....
Lake Moreno
#4

Lake Moreno

Lake Moreno is a glacial lake in the providence of Rio Negro near Bariloche, Argentina. The lake covers an area of more than 4,000 acres, and mountains, such as Lopez, Capilla, and Catedral, are the predominant feature of the surrounding landscape. The lake is divided into two sections, Western Lake Moreno and Eastern Lake Moreno. The western section is connected to Lake Nahuel Huapi by a narrow channel. The water in Lake Moreno is generally mild since most of its water does not come from ice melt. This makes it a popular destination for water sports and swimming. There is also a small circuit track that goes around the lake, and it is one of the most popular tracks in the area. The northern end of Western Lake Moreno is part of Nahuel Huapi National Park. The rest of Lake Moreno has seen more development and human interaction than other lakes in the Bariloche area....
Centro Cívico
#5

Centro Cívico

The Centro Cívico was built in the late 1930s, to reflect the architecture of the early German and Swiss settlers (from Berne) in a style referred to as “Bariloche-Alpine.” It serves as a central reference point, and a nearby sheltered area houses the helpful, multilingual tourist office. The plaza that lies between the civic center and Lake Nahuel Huapi is a scene of ongoing activity and contrast. There are the tourist-happy vendors, complete with photo-ops with barrel-toting Saint Bernards, and more than its share of postcard vendors. At the same time, there’s a continual rotation of graffiti on the statue of General Roca, a controversial figure in Argentine military history....
San Eduardo Chapel (Capilla de San Eduardo)
#6

San Eduardo Chapel (Capilla de San Eduardo)

Capilla de San Eduardo, or San Eduardo Chapel, was built in 1938 in Bariloche, Argentina. It was built with neo-gothic and European influences by architect Alejandro Bustillo, who also built the Hotel Llao Llao next door. It was built with stone and cypress logs from the area, and the stained glass windows depict religious scenes and stories. The chapel lies within the boundaries of the Nahuel Huapi National Park, and from the front of the building, you can enjoy beautiful views of the forest, mountains such as Mount Tronador, and several lakes including Lake Nahuel Huapi and Moreno Oeste....
Otto Hill (Cerro Otto)
#7

Otto Hill (Cerro Otto)

Cerro Otto is a hill just barely on the outskirts of the town of Bariloche which has turned what was formerly just a lookout point into a tourist center. It has several activities and attractions in addition to the cable car ride up, the sweeping vistas and the 360 degree rotating restaurant on top. The summit is at 1400 meters, and you can either opt to walk or bike a steep 8 km up, or do as most do, and go up in one of the hanging red gondolas up the the top. Once on top, the views, either outside or while inside enjoying a warm drink (it’s nearly always chilly up here, and there’s always a breeze blowing) are expansive, and include lake Nahuel Huapi (and Isla Victoria) as well as a few of the other nearby peaks, such as Cerro Catedral, Cerro Tronador and Cerro Campanario. The restaurant turns slowly, completing a rotation in 20 minutes. Activities at the top include sledding on groomed trails in the winter, or a kind of tubing in the spring, summer and fall....
Belfry Hill (Cerro Campanario)
#8

Belfry Hill (Cerro Campanario)

Patagonia is a popular region of Argentina for exploring nature, and many people base themselves in Bariloche for some time due to the many lakes and mountains in the area. If you enjoy hiking, this is the place to be. There are many hiking trails with gorgeous views of Bariloche and the Nahuel Huapi National Park, but the best view is from Cerro Campanario, or Belfry Hill. It's an easy hike, and the elevation is 3,442 feet. From the top of Cerro Campanario, you will enjoy spectacular views of Lake Moreno, San Pedro Peninsula, Llao Llao Peninsula, several mountains, and other parts of the national park. Signs help visitors identify the different landmarks that are visible from the viewpoint. At the top there is a cafe with a view offering cake and other sweets....
Lopez Hill (Cerro Lopez)
#9

Lopez Hill (Cerro Lopez)

With its alpine peaks, crystalline lakes, and wealth of artisanal chocolate, Bariloches is a dream destination for South American travelers. In summer, the hiking, biking, kayaking, and fishing are some of the best in Patagonia, and the accessibility and ease of access make them easy for travelers to enjoy. In terms of hiking and views of Bariloches, one of the best trails in northern Patagonia is the climb up Cerro Lopez. This 7,178-foot mountain towers above Bariloches, and offers unparalleled, panoramic views of the entire Argentinian Lakes District. Standing atop the windswept summit, gaze out towards active volcanoes that rise from the spine of the Andes. Down in the valley, thousands of feet below, the outline of Lake Nahuel Huapi shimmers and weaves through the hills, and the summit holds an inspiring and energizing sense of alpine freedom....
Cathedral Hill (Cerro Catedral)
#10

Cathedral Hill (Cerro Catedral)

Cerro Catedral is a major attraction in the Bariloche area. It’s 20 km southwest of the city, and is a 2388-meter (7,800-foot) high peak from which you can see the contours of the valley, and the snow-capped volcanoes in the distance, on both the Chilean and Argentine side. There are abundant wildflowers in summer, and you get a view over one of the area’s major winter sports centers as well. Most visitors take the Cablecarril and Silla Lynch, (two different gondolas/lifts) which also have a great view, and stop at the Confitería (café) for a coffee or hot chocolate to enjoy the view. From here you can continue hiking along the ridge, to Refugio Frey, for a day hike or to spend the night. The area is very popular with rock climbers, and the mountain takes its names from the rocky spires that look like those of a Gothic Cathedral....

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