41°09S, 71°18 W - 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 located inside Nahuel Huapi National Park. After an extensive public works and architectural buildup the city emerged in the 1930s and 1940s as a major tourism centre with ski, trekking and mountaineering facilities apart from numerous restaurants, cafés and chocolate shops. The city has a permanent population of 108,205 according to the 2010 census.
Bariloche has a cool temperate climate with dry, windy summers and rainy winters. Generally speaking, the summer season (mid-December to early March) is characterized by long stretches of windy, sunny weather, with pleasant afternoons (18°C to 26°C) and cold nights (2°C to 9°C). Fall brings colder temperatures in March, then stormier weather in April and May. By mid-May the first snows fall, and winter lasts until early September, bringing stormy weather with mixed precipitation (snow, rain, sleet), occasional snowstorms and highs between 0°C and 12°C, lows between -12°C and 4°C. Spring is very windy and variable; temperatures may reach 25°C in October and then plummet to -6°C following a late-season snowfall. On average, there are a handful of snowy days between 5 cm and 15 cm (2 in to 6 in) every year, and many more days with mixed precipitation. However, there have been extreme snow events in the past that have brought well over a foot of snow (30 cm) to the entire city, and well over a meter in some higher areas.
Higher elevations see much colder conditions: the top of Cerro Catedral, 30 km from the city centre, sees snow cover from late April till at least December, with a maximum in early September that usually reaches well over 150 cm (in 2007, over 400 cm were recorded). The tree line is located between 1,600 m (southerly slope) and 1,800 m (northerly slope), and snowstorms happen in the summer as well. Water temperatures at the Nahuel Huapi lake vary from a high of 14°C in late summer and a low of 7°C in early spring. Alpine streams and ponds often have much lower temperatures, and can be frozen for months.
The name Bariloche comes from the Mapudungun word Vuriloche meaning "people from behind the mountain" (vuri = behind, che = people). The Vuriloche pass was used by the Poyas to cross the Andes and was kept secret from the European priests for a long time. Further info check here
Tourism, both domestic and international, is the main economic activity of Bariloche, all year around. While popular among Europeans, its also a very popular attraction for Brazilians. One of the most popular activities is skiing. The most popular season to visit Bariloche is the winter, summer for North Americans and Europeans, and there are regular flights from Buenos Aires with LAN airlines and Aerolíneas Argentinas.
The main ski station is the one at Cerro Catedral. During the summer, beautiful beaches such as Playa Bonita and Villa Tacul welcome sun-bathers and some brave lake swimmers (the waters, from melting snow, are always very cold. Lake Nahuel Huapi averages 14 °C in the summertime). The fishing season is another great attraction. Bariloche is the biggest city of a huge Lakes District, and serves as a base for many excursions in the region. Trekking in the mountains, almost completely wild and uninhabited with the exception of a few high-mountain huts operated by Club Andino Bariloche, is also a popular activity. The city is also famous for its chocolates and Swiss-style architecture.
WHERE TO SLEEP?:
We experience Patanuk Hostel, a very well and clean Hostel right besides the Nahuel Huapi Lake. The manager, Kiki, will provide you with all the local info you may need and the place has many different kind of accomodation, from share rooms to individual apartmet with windows facing the beautifull lake. as shown in the photos above. Check Patanuk Hostel website for more info and booking, www.patanuk.com
WHERE TO EAT?:
If you go to Bariloche you shall go to "El Patacon", argentinean restaurant, placed on km 7 of Bustillo road. There is no way that you go out from the city without going to lunch or dine to "El Patacon". A very well set resto where you can taste fine patagonian cousine for about 40 U$ per person . As you can see on the photos, the places is wonderfull, elegant, good decorated and food is supreme. Check "El Patacon" web site for more info and booking, http://elpatacon.com/
Another good option for eating in Bariloche is "El Fundo ", where you can taste typical Switzerland cheese or chocolate fondue. Located in Colonia Suiza, a couple of milles from downtown, you can reach the resto in 15 min. by car or bus. You will be well received by Alejandra, the administrator, who can guide on the best options to taste. You can have a very good meal for aprox. 20 to 30 U$ per person. Visit facebook page of "El Fundo" for more info. Press here
Bariloche is well known as an ski center, but we can say that you have activities to do all year long. Each season in Bariloche is unique. You can ski in Winter, biking in Spring, water sports in Summer and trekking in Autumm, but really you can enjoy the area all months. We are working to provide you a list of best things to do for each season. Hold on.
Enjoy the area, have fun
Mark Royo Celano