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Bariloche, Argentina - A Taste Of Switzerland In South America!

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Map location: Bariloche, Argentina
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Argentina travel blog by Mark Berman - October 2017   » View Photoset (27 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for over 12yrs!
A taste of Switzerland in South America! I was glad to get to Bariloche from across the mountains in Osorno Chile (5hrs bus). There was now sunshine and I could clearly see the lakes and snow-capped mountains all around me, it had been a rainy and cloudy week during early October in Chile. Bariloche is a charming and tidy city with beautiful picturesque scenery and views on the horizon all around. There is plenty to enjoy in the surrounding area and of course there are tours to take you there but I would highly recommend that you rent a car like I did and make your own tour! If you, like me, love chocolate or have a sweet tooth then you'll be amazed by the fantastic quality and variety available in the specialist shops in the high street of Bariloche!

Main Sights in the City

The main sights in Bariloche city itself include the Civic Centre which is a very prestigious building made of stone and wood and has a clock tower, it houses the Patagonia Museum (Museo de la Patagonia Dr. Francisco P. Moreno) and has a theatre / town hall. In the square is a monument of a man on horseback - Julio Argentino Roca (1843-1914), an army general and ex-President. On the waters edge is the Puerto Rock Nightclub, the amazing thing about this building is that it has 3 gigantic electric guitars slapped to the side of it, they are complete with steel strings, pickups, tuning pegs and volume knobs! The impressive stone cathedral (Cathedral of Our Lady of Nahuel Huapi) sits in the middle of a park-like lakefront setting with large grassy lawns and features stained glass windows depicting Biblical stories. Puerto San Carlos, the port area, has a fishing pier and promenade where you can walk out over the water for clear views of the snowy mountains on the other side of Nahuel Huapi Lake. Around the lakefront you will also find scattered around - tall carved wooden figures of indigenous origin. There's a few streets in town that have a Bohemian flavour with their street art and quirky things upon rooftops to look out for too!

Activities and Surroundings

Both summertime and winter bring thousands of people to Bariloche for a wide range of activities, skiing being one of the biggest drawcards! Catedral Alta Patagonia is the largest ski field here. Biking, hiking, trails for trekking, boat excursions, birdwatching, forest walks, horseriding, camping, kayaking, rafting, paragliding and cable car rides are just some of the many options! Waterfalls, lagoons, lakes, rivers and snow-capped mountains surround the area around Bariloche. A typical tour office in Bariloche will offer tours of the City (day and night), Victoria Island, Cerro Tronador Volcano (extinct), Negro Glacier, Route 40, Perito Moreno, Calafate, San Martin de los Andes to see the 7 lakes, Cerro Catedral, Villa la Angostura, Duendes Waterfall and Mirador Otto.

Chocolate Lovers

Chocolate lovers have a fantastic time in the main street of Bariloche with all the tempting window displays and full open displays of delicious chocolate in the atttractive specialist shops. Whole figs bathed in chocolate, whole plums with sweet milk and caramelized dates with mazipan. Chocolate with dried fruit, toasted hazelnuts, blueberries, almonds, pistachios and walnuts. White chocolate, milk chocolate, mint flavour, chocolate mousse, creme-filled bombons, licor flavours and coated whole cherries. Some are made in the shapes of animals, volcanoes, hearts and clusters.

Daytrip in a Rental Car

Read about the daytrip myself and a friend did in a rental car from Bariloche up to San Martin de los Andes via Route 65 through Villa Traful and Villa La Angostura on the 'Road of 7 Lakes'! After a few days in and around Bariloche I headed south by bus to El Bolson (2hrs).


View all photos in the Bariloche Photoset

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My Hostel & Hotel Reviews for Bariloche, Argentina:

Hotel Antartida, Bariloche, Argentina - Large Photo
Hotel Antartida, Bariloche, Argentina (December 2021 - 1 night) - One of the many overpriced hotels in Bariloche at $35USD. Located on the main street close to everything. Breakfast included, double bed, private bathroom and a window. Not a bad place to stay, you could do a lot worse for your money or pay a lot more for something better in Bariloche (tourist central where everything is overpriced because they can charge what they like and you have no choice but to pay).
Phoenix Hostel, Bariloche, Argentina - Large Photo
Phoenix Hostel, Bariloche, Argentina (October 2017 - 3 nights) - Making an online booking gets you a cheaper deal at Phoenix Hostel! $170 pesos ($10USD) for a bed in a small dorm with private bathroom. Breakfast is included each morning and the staff are friendly and helpful. Located in and around the city center just a couple of blocks up from the main street. A kitchen is available to use and there is a TV lounge. Recommended.

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Bariloche, Argentina - A Taste Of Switzerland In South America!. A taste of Switzerland in South America! Bariloche is a charming and tidy city with beautiful picturesque scenery and views on the horizon all around. Mountains, lakes, rivers, lagoons and chocolate!