Argentina: Switzerland of Argentina (Bariloche)

After a long drive from Puerto Varas to Bariloche with a time-consuming border crossing, we finally made it to the Switzerland of Argentina: Bariloche. The city is mainly known for the biggest ski area in South America and also for trekking and mountaineering.

In case you are wondering while it is called the Switzerland of Argentina, it is because the center of the city was redesigned in the 1930s to have the appearance of a traditional European alpine town. As it was called “Little Switzerland.” This was mainly caused by the German and Austrian settlements in Bariloche.

I started the day with a freezing cold morning photo shoot of the sunrise over the Nahuel Huapi Lake. It was amazing, the red light in the clouds with a clear view on the snow capped mountains.

As we wanted to get the best out of our only full day in Bariloche, we started our breakfast early. The food became our second concern because the whole attention went to the waves of the Nahuel Huapi Lake and the mountains in the background.

First stop of the day was Villa Catedral, in winter the sky area and in summer the hiking area. As September is still early in the Season for hiking we stopped our attempt to hike in the area as we saw that the ski season was still ongoing. Nether the less, already the drive to this area gave us amazing views on the mountain range that is surrounding Bariloche.

Second stop on our tour was the hike up to the Cerro Campanario. The hike starts on the right side besides the chairlift and it is a 30 minutes steep hike up to the mountain.

At the top two big platforms can be found and a cafe. Do not be worried about all the people from the chairlift, they were mainly concerned with the cafe and standing in line to go up and down the lift. Mostly only interested in taking one selfie and getting back down to their bus.

On our hike up and down we only saw a few people and on the platform we even sat on chairs for 10 minutes with nobody else present. Only the view at the most typical Bariloche post card. It was possible to enjoy the silence and enjoy the beauty of the nature.

With all the hurly-burly in Bariloche we went on the search for a silent place, and we found it at the Villa Tucal  Beach. The area is a bit remote and can be reached over an unpaved road in a forest. The stretch to drive there is totally worth, as we had the whole place for yourself. A rocky beach with a stunning view. An unbelievable beautiful unreal place.

With the goal to hike a bit more we attempted to drive to Pampa Linda in order to see the Glaciar Castano Overa. What  we sadly did not know was that Pampa Linda is a one way line and there are certain times when you are allowed to drive (driving down to Pampa Linda 10.30 – 14.00. Going back, 16.00 – 18.00). As we were there 14.30 we were only able to drive the first 9 km in the Parque nacional Nahuel Huapi till the one way line  (31 km) to the Pampa Linda. But as the area is really beautiful we just enjoyed the short ride in an amazing surrounding.

In order to get the full Bariloche experience we went to one of the many chocolate shops in town. We tried a combination of chocolates, and we can prove that the chocolate in Bariloche is just as delicious as the one in Switzerland.

On our way to find the best steak in town we crossed the monumento a roca which was facing the sun going down in the perfect mountain panorama.

We ended the perfect day in Bariloche with the best restaurant in Argentina – at least for me – the Huacho.

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