Bariloche Travel Guide
Bariloche, officially San Carlos de Bariloche, is the premier ski resort of not only Argentina but that of South America. In fact, it is to Argentina and the southern hemisphere what Aspen is to North America and St. Moritz to Europe – the pick of the bunch, the place to be and be seen. From June to September, skiers and snowboarders from all over Europe and South America – particularly Brazil – descend on Bariloche by the planeload, sporting the latest in ski fashion, both on and off the slopes, and packing the town's bars, discothèques, casinos, shops and boutiques. The town itself, founded in 1895 by Swiss-German settlers, exudes a distinct Alpine flavor, with Swiss chalet-style buildings with flower-filled window boxes, scores of chocolate confectionaries, ceramic shops selling decorative gnomes, and restaurants where fondue is just as popular as the traditional parrillada. And still, despite its wintery feel and huge notoriety as a ski resort, Bariloche sees even greater numbers of visitors during the spring and summer months, who come to revel in its warm-weather offerings: typically, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, sailing, swimming, sunbathing, fishing, and mountain climbing.
Bariloche is situated in the foothills of the Andes in the Rio Negro province of Argentina's Patagonia region, close to the border of Chile. It sits on the southern shore of Lake Nahuel Huapi in the national park of the same name, and makes an ideal base from which to explore Argentina's lake district with all its lakes and national parks, including those across the Andean range in Chile. From Buenos Aires, Bariloche is 837 miles (1347 km) to the southwest, and from Santiago, Chile, approximately 534 miles (860 km) directly south.
For travelers, there are regular flights from Buenos Aires to Bariloche on Aerolíneas Argentinas and LAN Airlines.
Bariloche's principal ski area is the one at the Cerro Catedral mountain in the Nahuel Huapí National Park, some 12 miles (19 km) from the center of town, boasting no fewer than 100 kilometers of ski runs, with a top elevation of 7,890 feet (2,405 m) and a ski lift capacity of more than 22,000 skiers per hour. As for beaches, the most popular ones here, strung along the periphery of Lake Nahuel Huapi, are Playa Bonita and Villa Tacul; while the town's architectural highlights include the 1940's tuff stone, slate and fitzroya Bariloche Civic Centre, which has in it the Francisco Moreno Museum of Patagonia, and the neogothic San Carlos de Bariloche Cathedral and Llao Llao Hotel, the latter two outstanding examples of the work of celebrated Argentine architect Alejandro Bustillo.
Bariloche's most (in)famous resident may well have been former SS Hauptsturmführer and Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke who ran the German School in town for several years. There have also been claims that Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun escaped to the outskirts of Bariloche at the end of World War II: British authors Simon Dunstan and Gerrard Williams, in their book, Grey Wolf: The Escape of Adolf Hitler, suggest that Hitler and Braun hid at the Hacienda San Ramon, just 6 miles east of Bariloche, until the early 1960s; while Argentine writer Abel Basti makes a similar claim in his 2004 book, Bariloche nazi-guía turística, pointing to the estate of Inalco on the outskirts of Bariloche as Hitler's place of refuge.
© Indian Chief Travel Guides
Ischgl is a small mountain village turned hip ski resort, with massive appeal among the party-hearty young crowds. It is... Read More
Andorra la Vella is its own little world, and not just because it’s a 290-square-mile independent principality (a fifth the... Read More
Bariloche (officially San Carlos de Bariloche) is the place to be seen. It is to Argentina what Aspen is to the... Read More
Aspen is America's most famous ski resort. And that's an understatement. For, as a ski complex, Aspen is unsurpassed. Its... Read More
Zermatt is a small but glamorous mountain resort town, with a population of approximately 5,700. It is one of Switzerland's... Read More
St. Moritz is a glitzy, alpine resort town in the celebrated Engadin Valley of Switzerland, with huge notoriety as the... Read More
Lake Tahoe is the premier lake resort of America, and the largest alpine lake in all of North America. It is an absolutely... Read More
St. Anton, Sankt Anton am Arlberg in German, is Austria's premier ski-bum resort! It's actually a small village cum... Read More
Kitzbühel, a small, Tyrolian resort town in the Kitzbüheler Alps, comes with international renown and huge snob appeal, and... Read More