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Strung out along the shoreline of Lago Nahuel Huapi, in the middle of the national park of the same name, Bariloche (formally San Carlos de Bariloche) has one of the most gorgeous settings imaginable. This, combined with a wealth of summer and winter activities in the surrounding countryside, has helped it become, for better or worse, the Lake District’s principal destination.
The soaring peaks of Cerros Catedral, López, Nireco and Shaihuenque (to name just a few) – all well over 2000m high – ring the town, giving picture-postcard views in nearly every direction.
These mountains aren’t just for gazing, though – excellent snow coverage (sometimes exceeding 2m at the end of the season) makes this a winter wonderland, and a magnet for skiers and snowboarders.
In summertime the nature buffs take over, hitting the hills to climb, hike trails, fish for trout and ride mountain bikes and horses.
There’s so much fun to have, that this has become the destination for Argentine high school students’ end of year celebrations. And if all this wasn’t enough, Bariloche is also Argentina’s chocolate capital and the only thing that approaches the amount of storefront window space dedicated to fresh chocolate is the infinite number of peculiar gnomes of all sizes and demeanors sold in nearly every shop downtown.
Officially founded in 1902, the city really began to attract visitors after the southern branch of the Ferrocarril Roca train line arrived in 1934 and architect Ezequiel Bustillo adapted Central European styles into a tasteful urban plan. Bariloche is now known for its alpine architecture, which is given a Patagonian twist through the use of local hardwoods and unique stone construction, as seen in the buildings of Bustillo’s centro cívico (civic center).
The flip side of Bariloche’s gain in popularity is uncontrolled growth: in the last two decades the town has suffered, as its quaint neighborhoods have given way to high-rise apartments and time-shares. The silver lining is that many accommodations have remained reasonably priced.
1- MuseoPaleontológico Bariloche - It is a museum of paleontology with displays of regional fossils, including dinosaur skeletons. One of the specimens it possesses is the ichthyosaurus of the Lotena hill. This species inhabited 150 million years ago in the Jurassic seas. In addition, one can observe the reconstruction of a jaw of shark that lived 22 million years ago, during the Tertiary era. Numerous amphibians, plants and insects can also be observed. Of course, there is also a very large collection of fossils that confirm the existence of a great variety of flora and fauna throughout the Patagonian sector.Each showcase of the museum presents a clear explanatory card with all the information of the period and the place of origin of the fossil. Many of the elements date back 300 million years.
2- Museo de la Patagonia - It is a natural history and cultural anthropology museum. The museum's collections are divided by a number of categorized halls: Natural Sciences, Prehistory, Aboriginal History, Regional History, The Conquest of the Desert, San Carlos de Bariloche, National Parks, Francisco Moreno. The museum also includes a hall for temporary exhibits, an auditorium, workshop, library and archives, as well as facilities for curators and researchers.
3- Museo del Chocolate - It is a museum with guided tours and exhibits exploring the history of chocolate. The varieties of chocolate and their processes are presented clearly with drawings and posters that illustrate everything you hear. The Aztecs made an effort to leave hieroglyphics about their daily customs. As a result, we learned how they ground the cocoa beans and turned them into a drink they would offer their gods. They bestowed a mystical and religious value upon this product.
4- Centro Civico - It is a building complex. The whole was declared a national historical monument in 1987. In addition to the functionality of the buildings that make up the Civic Center, in its conception it was sought to endow the city of Bariloche with an architectural point of interest that would serve its launch as a first class tourist center.
5- Cathedral of Our Lady of NahuelHuapi - This cathedral features a Neo-gothic style with simple lines, very high walls and a dome crowned with a significant crucifix and a globe. Inside, its classical construction in the shape of a Latin cross combines perfectly with the simplicity outside.
6- Plaza Belgrano - Plaza Belgrano is situated in a safe and quiet residential area. The square is like something out of a storybook, leafy and mysterious, perfect for a walk and for meeting new local acquaintances.
7- Plaza Italia - Plaza Italia, also known as Park Italia, is a crowded, green public space. It is a popular square where the monument "La LobaRomana" stands. It depicts a wolf suckling 2 Roman babies: Romulus and Remus. There is a plaque on the memorial, inscribed with the words: "From Italy to the city of San Carlos de Bariloche on the occasion of 8th Raduno Alpine, 1967."
8- ParqueNacional NahuelHuapi - It is the oldest national park in Argentina. It surrounds NahuelHuapi Lake in the foothills of the PatagonianAndes. The park is completely protected while the reserve is partially protected. The national park is dominated by the high mountain chain of the Andes, many lakes, rapid rivers, waterfalls, snow-clad peaks, glaciers and extensive forests. It is bordered by Chile on its western side.
9- ParqueNahuelito - Traveling through the footsteps of the past and in the middle of a forest in the shadow of distant prehistory, ParqueNahuelito enters its visitors in the fantastic world of Cretasic, with more than 30 life-size and scale replicas of the main dinosaurs of this period. Guided visits by specialized guides allow you to know in depth the history and particularities of these ancient inhabitants of Argentina and the world.
10- Capilla de San Eduardo - It is a small chapel. The chapel was built in a mountain style with neogothic characters , with evident influences of European architecture. The chapel of simple rectangular plant is crowned by a gable roof with external covering of tejuela of larch and a small tower of bell tower on its front in the form of needle adorns and completes the set.Its walls are built of stone, and its front presents cypress trunks chopped in natural color.
1- Alto El Fuego Parrilla - Address: 20 de Febrero 451, San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina. Tel: +54 294 443-7015
Upon entering Alto el Fuego, you might at first think that you’ve walked into a cute little tea house, with its mint green furniture and dainty decor. However, you will soon discover that there is nothing dainty about the beef served at this parilla. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, and the service is really good.
2- La Salamandra Pulpería - Address:Av. ExequielBustillo 5818, 8400 San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina. Tel: +54 294 444-1568
Cozy restaurant set in the style of the old pulperías of the pampas.LaSalamandraPulpería offers a limited menu with creole delicacies such as empanadas, chopped and chorizo steak.
3- Butterfly - Address: Hua Huam 7831, 8400 San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina
Tel: +54 294154534999. E-mail: [email protected]
It is located on a terrace a few meters from Lake NahuelHuapi. From there you can witness the wonderfulCordillera de Los Andes. There are only 7 tables and a small intimate room with Patagonian design elements. They offer a menu with Patagonian products with Spanish and French influence.
4- RincónPatagónico - Address:Av. ExequielBustillo 14200, San Carlos de Bariloche8400, Río Negro, Argentina. Tel: +54 294 4463063. E-mail: [email protected]
It is presented to tourists from all over the world as a revealing option of thetraditions and gastronomic customs of southern Argentina. In each room the visitor can be in contact with the immensity and magic of the Argentine South, savoring the pleasures of a gastronomy as traditional as creative.
5- JaujaRestaurante - Address: Elflein 148, San Carlos de Bariloche, Patagonia
Tel: +54 294 442-2952. E-mail: [email protected]
Jauja Restaurant and Grill is one of the oldest and most traditional restaurants in San Carlos de Bariloche. This has led them to have a very caring customer treatment and a very extensive menu, with the aim to offer variety and service, both to tourists and residents; therefore, in their menu, apart from the traditional cuts of Argentina grill and Patagonian lamb special, you will see two types of trout of the area, Chilean salmon, Spanish squid, fried calamari, shrimp and haddock Atlantic. Pasta varieties: vegetable ravioli, pumpkin or trout, sorrentinos, lasagna.Typical dishes of European cuisine cuts alternate with hunting deer and wild boar. They are also classic smoked trout, deer, boar and lamb, venison and lamb patties, as their variety in desserts make up a large and sober menu.
6- Las Morillas - Address: 7673, Av. ExequielBustillo 7521, San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina. Tel: +54 294 446-2253. E-mail: [email protected]
Las Morillas offers a young, careful, and authentic cuisine. They seek new experiences by merging the traditional flavors of classic gastronomy, French, Mediterranean, and Andean-Patagonian cuisine.
7- Grisu - Address: Juan Manuel de Rosas 574, San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina
Tel: +54 294 442-2269
It is the most historic disco of Bariloche.It was the first leisure center of its kind at the time, and today it remains the most popular nightlife destination in the city. It has wood-like walls and it is designed in such a way that it is easy to get lost if you don't know your way around. It has a very quiet place with a huge window showing the NahuelHuapilake. There are no laser effects but the bartenders are experts and it is worth watching them doing all sorts of tricks.
8- Roket Disco - Address: Juan Manuel de Rosas 424, 8400 San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina. Tel: +54 294 443-1940. E-mail: [email protected]
This is a four-story nightclub with a capacity of 2000 people. Rocket is renowned for its high-powered sound systems across South America. The lighting system is equally impressive, with creative color diversity. There are 4 bars and every level ofRocket has its own musical style, so you have quite a choice. Be prepared to party!
9- Ice Bariloche - Address: España 476, San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina
Tel: +54 294 443-7681
Ice Bariloche is the first ice bar in South Americaand represents a new concept as far as recreation spaces are concerned.
1- Bus - To move around the tourist circuit there are several public buses that cover different routes, but which take you to all the places. The buses belong to the 3 de Mayo public transport company, and it also covers the bus terminal and the shopping centre Patagonia. The cheapest option to move around is to take the buses.
At the main local bus stop, Codao del Sur and Ómnibus 3 de Mayo run hourly buses to Cerro Catedral. Codao uses Av de los Pioneros, while 3 de Mayo takes Av Bustillo.
From 6am to midnight, municipal bus 20 leaves the main bus stop every 20 minutes for the attractive lakeside settlements of Llao Llao and Puerto Pañuelo. Bus 10 goes to Colonia Suiza 14 times daily. During summer three of these, at 8:05am, noon and 5:40pm, continue to Puerto Pañuelo, allowing you to do most of the Circuito Chico using public transport. Departure times from Puerto Pañuelo back to Bariloche via Colonia Suiza are 9:40am, 1:40pm and 6:40pm. You can also walk any section and flag down buses en route.
Ómnibus 3 de Mayo buses 50 and 51 go to Lago Gutiérrez every 30 minutes, while in summer the company’s Línea Mascardi goes to Villa Mascardi/Los Rápidos three times daily. Ómnibus 3 de Mayo’s Línea El Manso goes twice on Friday to Río Villegas and El Manso, on the southwestern border of Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi.
Buses 70, 71 and 83 stop at the main bus stop, connecting downtown with the bus terminal.
Bariloche’s local buses work with magnetic cards that can be purchased at the 3 de Mayo ticket office, downtown or at the bus terminal. You can also pick up handy horarios (schedules) for all destinations from these offices. Cards cost AR$20 (recharged with however much credit you want). For most routes a ride will cost AR$9, with AR$15 being the highest fare. Some hostels loan cards to guests on payment of a deposit.
2- Taxi - Alternatively, you may take a taxi. If you are travelling on U.S. dollars or euros, the exchange rate will make them a suitable choice.You pay what the metre marks. A taxi from the bus terminal to the center of town costs around AR$40. Taxis within town generally don’t go over the AR$25 mark.
3- Car - Bariloche is loaded with the standard car-rental agencies and is one of the cheapest places to rent in the country. Prices vary greatly depending on season and demand, but usually come in around AR$400 per day, with 200km.
1- Centro Civico
Address: Centro Civico s/n, 8400 San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina - Tel:+54 294 442-2412
2- Cathedral of Our Lady of NahuelHuapi
Address: Vice Almte. O'Connor 500, San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina
Tel:+54 294 443-4084
3- MuseoPaleontológico Bariloche
Address: Av. 12 de Octubre, 8400 San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina
Tel: +54 294 461-1210
4- Museo de la Patagonia
Address: Centro Cívico, San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina
Tel: +54 294 442-2309. E-mail: [email protected]
5- Museo del Chocolate
Address: Av. ExequielBustillo 1200, San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina
Tel: +54 294 443-3575
6- Plaza Belgrano
Address: 20 de Febrero, San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina
7- Plaza Italia
Address: San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina
8- ParqueNacional NahuelHuapi
Address: Av. San Martín 24, San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina
Tel: +54 294-4423111. E-mail: [email protected]
Address: Ruta Provincial 77, Km. 24500, Circuito Chico, 8400 San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina
Tel: +54 9 294 459-8818. E-mail: [email protected]
10- Capilla de San Eduardo
Address:Av. ExequielBustillo 8401, San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina
Tel: +54 294 444-8441\