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From what Theodore Roosevelt called, almost a century ago, "a real frontier village," San Carlos de Bariloche has become THE gateway to Argentina's Northern Patagonian lakes district. The explorer and scientist Francisco P. Moreno, whose name graces the museum on the city's landmark Centro Cívico, jump-started the country's national parks system by donating an Andean land grant that, expanded under succeeding governments, became Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi. Just beyond the city limits, the park extends from the lakeshore through dense midlatitude forests to alpine fell fields and glacial tarns and summits; an integrated network of trails ...

From what Theodore Roosevelt called, almost a century ago, "a real frontier village," San Carlos de Bariloche has become THE gateway to Argentina's Northern Patagonian lakes district. The explorer and scientist Francisco P. Moreno, whose name graces the museum on the city's landmark Centro Cívico, jump-started the country's national parks system by donating an Andean land grant that, expanded under succeeding governments, became Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi. Just beyond the city limits, the park extends from the lakeshore through dense midlatitude forests to alpine fell fields and glacial tarns and summits; an integrated network of trails and shelters makes exploring the backcountry simple. Bariloche, as a concept, is more than just the city of 100,000-plus inhabitants along the south shore of Lago Nahuel Huapi, a Pleistocene glacial finger lake. It extends west toward the Chilean border, connected to the neighboring country by the bus-boat shuttle known as the Cruce de Lagos or Cruce Andino. At the Llao Llao Peninsula, where the catamaran to Chile sails east, the Hotel Llao Llao is a classic luxury accommodation in the Euro-Andean style pioneered in the Centro Cívico. En route, Catedral Alta Patagonia is one of South America's emblematic ski areas.

Wayne Bernhardson
About the Expert

Wayne Bernhardson is the author of Moon Handbooks to Argentina, Buenos Aires (including coastal Uruguay), Chile (including Easter Island), and Patagonia (including the Falkland Islands).

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Wayne Bernhardson for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: San Carlos de Bariloche, usually known as Bariloche, is a city in the province of Río Negro, Argentina, situated in the foothills of the Andes on the southern shores of Nahuel Huapi Lake and is surrounded by the Nahuel Huapi National Park.
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency: Argentine Peso
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    All year, but the summer months of January and February, and the ski season of June to September, can get really crowded. The shoulder seasons of November-December and March-April are best.