Laguna Toncek near Bariloche, Argentina

Bariloche, A Paradise of Chocolate, Beer and Outdoor Sports

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Lying on the foothills of the Andes, Bariloche is surrounded by beautiful lakes and breathtaking mountains. After spending a few days off grid in El Chalten, arriving to Bariloche feels like being back in Europe. In the city center and the surrounding area there are many prominent buildings with Swiss-like architecture. Also, there seems to be in every corner a chocolate store and there’s also many microbreweries. I start to feel like I’ve died and gone to heaven: a place with awesome hiking, delicious chocolate and good beer!

The main square in downtown Bariloche, Argentina Rapa Nui chocolates in Bariloche, Argentina

If it wasn’t because there are lots of outdoor activities to do in Bariloche, I’d have gain more than a couple of kilos during my stay. When the weather is nice, one of the most popular activities is to cycle the Circuito Chico, a 27 kilometres loop that borders a pristine lake and offers some magnificent views. 

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Bianca Bauza cycling around the Circuito Chico near Bariloche, Argentina

Another popular tour is the Seven Lakes route, a scenic circuit that borders gorgeous lakes, links charming towns and passes through beautiful Patagonian forests. There are several companies in Bariloche that offer tour packages. It’s also possible to do the circuit by bike, but that takes several days.

For this one, I got together with some friends I met at the hostel I stayed at. Between the five of us, we hired a car for the same price it would have cost to hire a tour package for all. It was great since we were free to go and stop as we pleased and we had fun singing stupid songs along the ride. The only problem we had, was that we got a flat tire half way through our trip!

Lake view near Bariloche, Argentina Flat tire near Bariloche, Argentina

If you don’t have much time and would like to see some of the awe-inspiring views that the Nahuel Huapi National Park has to offer, you should climb to the top of Cerro Campanario. It’s a short bus ride from Bariloche and you can either take the chairlift or enjoy the beautiful hike to the top. In any case, you’ll be rewarded by an amazing 360º view of the peaks in the park.

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Views from Cerro Campanario near Bariloche, Argentina

However, if you’re looking for a longer trek, then I’d recommend you do the hike to Refugio Frey. The trail starts at the base of Cerro Catedral, from the ski resort of the same name. The hike covers some 24 kilometers there and back and you get to see lakes, forests and majestic peaks. In fact, I saw some of the most beautiful landscapes that I saw in Patagonia during this hike. It’s possible to do it in a day, but you must start early. If you want to take your time, it’s also possible to camp or to stay at the refuge.

Hiking to Frey in Bariloche, Argentina On the way to Frey near Bariloche, Argentina

In the end, Bariloche was the perfect ending for my travels in Argentina. From there, it was time to move on to Chile. And the first stop was another great place for outdoor activities: Pucón.

To see more photos of my time in Bariloche, visit my gallery.

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960 536 Bianca Bauza

Bianca Bauza

Bianca Bauza is a world citizen who spent almost four years traveling around South America and Europe. Her passions include photography, street art, outdoor sports, and cooking exotic dishes. She's now based in the Netherlands where she lives with her partner and young daughter. She still enjoys traveling, on her own or with her family, and is always looking for an opportunity to see new places.

All stories by : Bianca Bauza
  • Love this post guys, really great photos, and you’ve combined my 3 favourite things beer, outdoor sports and chocolate :D
    I’ll be heading to South America soon

  • Found this post very helpful, can I ask how you got to pic on from bariloche thankyou

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