Things To Do In Bariloche
Nicely settled along the foothills of the towering Andes Mountains, the San Carlos de Bariloche or Bariloche of Argentina, is considered the biggest ski region in South America. A city that has existed since 1902, Bariloche offers a host of exhilarating and daring things to do; canoeing, yacht cruising, trekking, mountain climbing and paragliding are all options in this exciting location. Only the passionate and fearless adventurer dare swim into the freezing Lake Nahuel Huapi, which has typical temperatures of 12° Celsius, even in the summertime.
The view from the top of the Cerro Catedral Ski Resort is breathtaking, and you can see as far as the mountains of Chile. For a reasonable price, it is possible to access the chairlift to the highest part of the summer resort. From here, you have to walk on foot for half an hour in order to have a beautiful view of the Cerro Tronador and the Lake Districts of San Carlos de Bariloche. The entire activity takes around three hours, and you can stop to take great pictures of the idyllic view, then eat at a revolving restaurant.
When To Go:
Everything depends on what you plan to do or explore while in Bariloche. On average, it is cool from May to October and humid from November to March. The peak summer season begins in December and finishes in March. The ski/snowboard/hiking and trekking season runs from June to October while the fishing season goes from November to April. The off seasons are mid-October up to the first week of December (spring season) or late April to mid-June (fall).
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Here are the top attractions and things to do in the city of Bariloche…
Nahuel Huapi National Park
The Nahuel Huapi National Park contains all the wonders of the Patagonian Andes mountain. It has incredible views of the countryside and different hills. The park is well maintained, and you’ll find magnificent landscapes, lakes with translucent colors in all shades of green and blue and colorful and lush vegetation. The enchanting valley along the Rio Limay has a fascinating view of the park Nahuel Huapi, which is 67 km from Bariloche. The unique aspect of this valley is its mysterious rock formations of volcanic origin. The path of the erosion emulates the most colorful figures, giving the place a magical tone. Rock shaped castles, lions, towers and gothic cathedrals all surprise visitors to these incredible mountains.
Some of the rocks have captivated visitors so much that they have been baptized with their own titles like; the famous "Finger of God", the "Express Train", the "Lions In Love" or "The Valley Sentinel".
The park has postcard perfect images that are complemented by its gorgeous nature. It is rich in unique landscapes, rides, food, and accommodation. It spans from easy walks to crossings in tents or shelters, to winter skiing or climbing in summer. It is a magical place where you should go no matter what the season. Everything here is worth discovering. Undoubtedly, it is one of the most beautiful places in Argentina because of its size, color, and wealth of attractions to explore.
Catedral de San Carlos de Bariloche
The Catedral de San Carlos de Bariloche is strategically located on the hills of the Nahuel Huapi Park. From the point of arrival on the chairlift (2000 m), it has a panoramic view of Lake Nahuel Huapi, the Tronador, the Lopez, and Otto that is unmatched. Clear your day so that you can enjoy it to the fullest. The cableway and chairlift combination costs about $220. There is a bus that leaves from the center of Bariloche and reaches the village of the Cathedral running every 2 hrs (9:15, 11:15...). The "Our Lady of Nahuel Huapi" Cathedral is the main Catholic church in the city of San Carlos de Bariloche; you’ll recognize it by its beautiful gardens and it’s easy to find location between the two squares.
The famous La Catedral Nuestra Sra. De Nahuel Huapi in San Carlos de Bariloche is one of the beautiful works of architect Alejandro Bustillo, designed in Neo-gothic style. The primary image is the Nuestra Sra. De Nahuel Huapi, located on the main altar of the church. The left aisle houses the image of La Virgen de Las Nieves, a saint that is known to protect families and mountaineers. This cathedral is worth visiting while you are doing a tour of the Nahuel Huapi Park in Bariloche.
The view over the black glacier is almost as breathtaking as the thunderous roar of breaking ice, giving it its name –Cerro Tronador. It is gorgeous, and the best view is from Pampa Linda. The hill is an active volcano covered with snow. The site is amazing, but the only downside is the route to the place. It is made of narrow gravel roads, and there are certain times that you need to go up and down a challenging hill. However, it never fails to amuse every guest with its rich and magnificent scenery along the way.
The tour begins on a 4x4 that that easily handles the gravel roads. As the landscapes become more attractive, you’ll want to make stops for photos. Upon arrival, you can see the deep blue bordered glacier transform into white coated peaks. It is unique, and you won't be able to resist taking some incredible photos.
There is an excellent restaurant there where you can enjoy a typical meal; it is very exquisite and economic. There are fixed times for round trips to the black glaciers. This is the right moment to admire the Tronador and see one of the three highest peaks, 3,554 meters above sea level. There are several lookouts to watch the glaciers, floating ice, and lagoons.
The tour and the landscape are very diverse; there are valleys, mountains, ice and waterfalls, all in a completely natural setting. The dirt road leads to the park; travel on it with a knowledgeable guide that knows the trails. This place is ideal for fans of skiing. It is very cozy, the city hotels are superb, the atmosphere is very relaxed, and the local cuisine is delicious. Enjoy the scenery and then at the end of the afternoon return safely to the city of Bariloche.
Lago Gutierrez is a quiet and magical lake with sandy shores and a calm atmosphere. In its various margins, there is much vegetation, making it suitable for camping. It is an excellent place to practice rowing, kayaking and water skiing, and is ideal for a peaceful summer day on its shores. In addition, it is close to everything: shopping centers, supermarkets and beautiful hotels with cute diners where you can enjoy a delicious afternoon tea. The Villa Catedral is a few kilometers from here.
Along the lake, there are many schools of canoeing, and you can possibility organize horse riding or trekking adventures with family and friends. It is surrounded by hotels where you have the chance to stay in the middle of coniferous forests. In the summer, there are people bathing in the lake, even if the water is cold. It can be reached from the city by bike, an excellent choice for those who like sports and nature. Do not forget to walk around the "villas" that are in the surrounding area. From there you will find a gorgeous viewpoint easily accessed on developed roads and / or marked trails. One of the trails is leading to the Waterfall of the Elves, and the other one is leading to the viewpoint of the Lake La Paz.
This place is fantastic, and the only thing to consider is that, (being in an area where currents collide), it rains almost throughout the whole year (which allows for a Valdivian Forest). It is a good option to have a tour guide and to wear appropriate clothing. The Puerto Blest is really recommended because it provides the opportunity to walk around and explore what is inside the Valdivian Forest. It is the perfect location for discovering the rich flora and fauna of Argentina.
Join this tour in Puerto Handkerchief, where in addition to the Forest, your ticket pays for entrance to the National Park and the boarding fee. After about an hour by boat, you reach Puerto Blest where you can choose to walk to the rocky creeks on the wooden walkway or try out the longer journey up to the Lake Frias.
This tour is recommended for those who enjoy walking because you have to climb 700 steps to the Cascada Los Cantaros. You’ll also have the chance to walk through the thick jungle, which is also highly recommended but only with appropriate shoes. The landscape is unique and is one of the best parts of Bariloche City that you must not miss.
This is one of the most traditional, but complete circuits in the Bariloche area. The tour of the Circuito Grande takes all day and is quite exhausting, but has spectacular scenery that makes it worth it. It can be visited year-round, but a tour during spring and summer is the best time to go. The last stretch back to the Limay River is the most challenging trail, and it requires a vehicle.
A tour of Circuito Grande is easy to arrange as there are tour companies that do it several times a week. The amazing viewpoints, bizarre rock formations, and dense forests are some of the things to be found in this 248 km attraction. The tour of the 7 Lakes is an excellent path with a natural landscape that makes the Circuito Grande a traveler’s dream destination. It is also nice to go to the chocolate factories that you will pass along the way (try everything as you go). The atmosphere of Circuito Grande, with its beautiful landscapes and lakes, will encourage you to return to Bariloche City.
The Piedras Blancas is an excellent place to spend a winter afternoon and enjoy the snow. It is a beautiful experience and one of the best family-oriented attractions of Bariloche. It has a circuit for performing declines and curves that never fails to amuse children and adults. There is a parking lot at the entrance and a bakery with delicious breads. Of course, you should go during the winter when there is snow on the ground. Access is not simple, but it is still worth going. There are several things to do here like riding on the five tracks for sleds, taking one of the two chairlifts, climbing the slope for skiing, or trying the Zip Line adventure. Besides skiing, there is also a bar where you can eat local dish or drink hot tea infusions. The zip line is highly recommended; it is a journey of 1.5 km of mountain flying at 60 km/h and is divided into two sections.
Piedras Blancas and the nearby Cerro Otto has the best view of Bariloche. It is an outdoor adventure, and you’ll need comfortable, waterproof clothing. Here you will feel determined and inspired to finish a full snow course and then reward yourself afterward with hot chocolate in the confectionery shop. It is impossible to miss this experience for the whole family. If you visit Bariloche, seeing Piedras Blancas is a must!
The Isla Victoria is a nice place to go where you can enjoy every minute of your stay in Bariloche. You won't have to hurry at all because of the fun things to do while on board a catamaran. Go early in the morning so you can have more time on the island and the nearby attractions. The climb up the hill is crucial, and the views are spectacular. Then, take the catamaran ride and admire the magnificent scenery with nice surprises along the way. Try a relaxing meal on the boat, then resume the tour at 2pm.
The time to visit the Myrtle Forest is usually short. Don’t forget to bring bread or biscuits to enjoy the spectacle of hungry seagulls flying up to the boats to snatch the snacks from passengers' hands. The boat ride is an enjoyable event with impressive scenery along the way. You’ll love the adventure almost as much as you’ll marvel at the diversity of flora, fauna, and beautiful huge trees on your island destination.
Climbing the Cerro Otto via the cable car ride offers an exceptional view of the entire landscape of lakes and mountains surrounding the city of Bariloche. When you reach the summit, visit the basement of the cafeteria where you can see interesting replicas or living sculptures of Michelangelo, Pieta, and Moses.
Enjoy your time at the rotating cafeteria (Bariloche360°) where you can marvel at the natural environment while enjoying a cup of delicious hot chocolate. There is also a small theater and a mini disco. In the confectionery, the tables in the lounge area sit against the windows and rotates very slowly. It takes little more than 15 minutes for a ride in silence, letting you see all Bariloche and its surroundings.
A tour to the Cerro Lopez involves a certain amount of adventure and a number of rewarding sights to see. The remarkable journey begins with a climb up the mountain in a jeep (4x4), then a long walk in the snow with snowshoes. Don’t worry, there will be lots of time for skiing fun that ends with a delicious lunch served with fondue. The place is also beautiful and equipped with attentive guides. This is a very cool place to visit with kids because, beyond traditional skiing, they can play, make snowmen, and sled down the ski slopes. The Cerro Lopez is a special place in Bariloche, and the difficult access is part of its charm and beauty. Be sure to visit and enjoy its scenic views of the Andes Mountains and the Lake District of Bariloche.
Bariloche hosts innumerable activities to keep a curious traveler entertained and amused to no end. It has sensational views and wild trekking adventures that would leave an impact on anyone. Whether it is challenging 4x4 rides on rough mountain roads, chilly mountain treks to fantastic ski slopes, long walks over the hills, or a visit to a roaring mountain filled with ice, a tour of Bariloche City will stay in your memory forever.
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