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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.