Situated on the banks of the Nahuel Huapi Lake, Bariloche is the gateway to Patagonia. Bariloche was founded by German settlers, and subsequently, is reminiscent of a quaint alpine town. Today, Bariloche is considered one of the best ski resorts in the Andes, attracting winter sports enthusiasts from far and wide. During the summer months, the city’s location in the Nahuel Huapi National Park makes it the perfect base for a hiking holiday. Here, we count down our top ten things to do in Bariloche Patagonia and the surrounding area, from hikes to sights, to food and drink.
Cerro Campanario viewpoint
Looking to get an overview before starting your adventure? Then there’s no place better to take it all in than atop Cerro Campanario. Towering over the valley at 1,049 meters, the viewing platforms can be accessed by hike or chairlift. Once you’re at the top, you can enjoy a 360-degree view.
2. Refugio Frey trek
For more astonishing views, the Refugio Frey trek in the Nahuel Huapi National Park is a must. Although the route is challenging, the landscape makes it all worth it – the giant granite pinnacles, orange boulders, and crystal clear lakes are truly out-of-this-world.
Steak is the Argentinian national dish – and Bariloche is a great place to sample Argentine steak or churrasco. There are several Argentinian barbeques, or parrilla, around town. Some of the best reviewed include Alto El Fuego and La Parrilla de Julián, which is one of the few restaurants open on a Sunday.
Bariloche’s alpine heritage means that you can find some truly delicious chocolatiers. There are several to choose from, but a stand-out emporium is Mamuschka. Despite the somewhat garish Russian-doll themed decor, the chocolates are to die for.
5. The city museum in Bariloche Patagonia
The Francisco P. Moreno Museum of Patagonia in Bariloche is a great way to spend the day if the weather turns sour. With displays about natural and cultural history, the museum is a great way to improve your local knowledge and swot up on Patagonia trivia.
6. Craft beer
More culinary influence from Germany means that the people of Bariloche Patagonia do a mean craft beer. The town is littered with microbreweries, serving a range of intriguing beverages. A favourite is Cervecería Lowther, which specializes in porters and stouts.
7. The Steeple in the Water
One of the more offbeat tourist attractions in Bariloche is the Steeple in the Water. An exact replica of the spire of the Catedral de San Carlos de Bariloche, the steeple pokes out of the lake with no explanation as to why it’s there…
8. Cerro Tronador hanging glacier
The trek to the Cerro Tronador hanging glacier is astonishingly beautiful. Suitable for intermediate hikers, the walk takes you to the bottom of the break-taking Cerro Tronador glacier, where you can see frozen waterfalls pouring over the cliff edge.
9. Paseo de los Artesanos
Paseo de Los Artesanos is a great place to pick up some authentic Patagonian souvenirs. Local craftspeople sell traditional wares, including goods made from leather, silver, wood, wool, and other traditional materials.
10. Ruta de Siete Lagos
A trip to the heart of the Patagonian Lake District isn’t complete without witnessing the lakes’ clear turquoise waters. La Ruta de Siete Lagos – or ‘Route of Seven Lakes’ – is a trek which takes you past the stunning beaches near Bariloche Patagonia.