Recently I went on a lovely trip to San Carlos de Bariloche. Situated in the south of Argentina, Bariloche is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Patagonia region. Nestled within a national park, surrounded by lakes and with stunning mountain views no matter which way you turn, it is easy to see why.
It takes around two hours to fly from Buenos Aires, making it a perfect destination for a long weekend. The city centre is famed for its beautiful views, swiss style architecture and chocolate shops. However the real beauty is found by venturing a few miles up the road.
My boyfriend was overseas so I went alone which was fun because I got to choose what I wanted to do. I didn’t plan on going out in the evenings so I organised fairly strenuous activities during the day and reading at night.
In Bariloche there are lots of hills (or cerros as they are called in spanish) to climb. I climbed Cerro Centenario which has both a track leading up and a chair lift. Walking it will take you around 45 minutes to reach the top. The walk itself was strenuous but on arrival I was greeted with panoramic views of Lake Nahuel Huapi and a café where I had lunch and stared dreamily out the window before heading back down again.
On my second day there I ventured slightly further past the cerro centenario to the Circuito Chico. This is a must do if you have limited time in the area as it is a great way to pack a lot of scenery into a short amount of time. A 26km route through the Nahuel Huapi national park winding around mountains and lakes, it can be done in a tour group, in a car or on a bicycle. There are companies that rent bikes at the beginning of the route for those that want to take that option.
Along the way there are many notable stops. One of these is the Colonio Suiza. This was where the first Swiss settlers lived on arrival at Patagonia. Here you will find more Swiss style architecture, shops and tea houses.
When not cycling and walking up hills I was found on the ground eating all of the chocolate.
I spent two short days in Bariloche and it left me lusting after Patagonia, I reluctantly returned north to Buenos Aires despite wanting to venture further south.
Seeing more of Patagonia is now definitely on my to-do list.
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