Spread along the shoreline of Lago Nahuel Huapi with the soaring, jagged crests of the Cerro Catedral massif encircling the town, Bariloche is practically picture-perfect in every direction. Combine this with a staggering array of summer and wintertime activities available and you have the Lake District’s most popular destination. In the warmer months travellers flock to Bariloche to hike in the surrounding hills, mountain-climb, fish for trout and ride bikes and horses whilst in the winter months when the mountain of Cerro Catedral is blanketed in thick, white snow, it becomes a magnet for skiers and snowboarders. And for those looking for adventure off the beaten track, Bariloche also offers prime access to some genuinely wild areas of the cordillera.
Adventures in Bariloche can be divided into the categories of land and lake. Numerous trekking trails lead through pine forests and incredible rock formations for spectacular hill-top views whilst boat trips take visitors to Isla Victoria for its rock paintings and pretty beaches. Puerto Blest is also a worthy attraction for the condors that gather at a local roost, and for the stepped Cascada Los Cántaros waterfall.
Fashioned in an alpine-style with charming chalets and St Bernard dogs roaming the streets on leads, Bariloche is also Argentina’s chocolate capital. Streets-worth of window space is devoted to tantalising fresh chocolate sculpted in amusing shapes from gnomes to horses. Chocolate outlets range from mall-style operations to homely stalls with the town boasting an entire museum dedicated to the production of and eventual moulding of the humble cocoa bean.