Bariloche is one of the most popular cities in the south of Argentina, located near the border with Chile, it is known for its outdoor activities and outstanding views. Its location is perfect since it combines the beautiful mountains of the Andes and the crystalline blue water of the Nahuel Huapi Lake. Before getting to Bariloche, make sure you have packed your hiking gear and a pair of swimmers. The best time to visit this town, is in the summer months from December to February, unless you are looking to hit the slopes, then go in the winter months from June to August. We usually go around the summer months.
Start Your Day With A Breakfast For Champions
Bariloche is known to be the capital of chocolate in Argentina. Chocolate is an extremely important part of the culture, you will find it everywhere. However, save yourself the search and go straight to Abuela Goye Restaurant for breakfast. Here you can have one of the most amazing breakfasts you'll ever have that will keep you with energy for the rest of your day. I was first introduced to Abuela Goye's chocolates as a child, and they became a precious gift that anyone who visited Bariloche would bring back home. You can order their delicious coffee or try out their hot chocolate. Abuela Goye is one of the oldest chocolatiers in Bariloche. Most of their ingredients are locally produced in Patagonia and their chocolates are home-made. They really empathize the important of sustainability since they care about reducing the environmental impact of the company.
Get Awestruck By The Views of Frey Mountain
After breakfast, pack your bags and lace up your hiking boots, because it's about to get intense. Head over to the base of Cerro Catedral and purchase a ticket for the “Diente de Caballo” chairlift to the top. By doing this you are starting the trekk from “El Filo”, and personally, its the best way to do it. You trekk along rocks at the edge of the mountain, overlooking the outstanding views of the Rucaco Valley and you cannot miss the monumental figure of Monte Tronador with its eternal snows on its top, even if you tried. As you hike through this trail you'll feel such an adrenaline, all your senses will be in tune. I had my GoPro attached to the strap of my backpack, which allowed me to maneuver around with my hands while still getting amazing shots and videos. Follow the red dots that lead the way until you reach Laguna Schmoll, from here the trail will descend and take you to the famous Refugio Frey located on the shore of the Laguna Toneck. For a few pesos, you can sleep here for a night, and cook a meal in the picturesque kitchen while sharing a beer with other travelers as well as have amazing conversations. In the morning, after having some mate, you can start your way back to the base of Cerro Catedral by the route that goes through the forest.
Stop For a Quick Lunch
If you didn't decide to camp for the night at the Refugio, you can head over to ONA Cocina Saludable Restaurant for lunch. It is a vegetarian restaurant with a sustainable approach to its cooking methods. Their food will refuel you and connect you back to nature if that hike didn't connect you enough. It is important to stay healthy while traveling, as well as supporting local businesses that are conscious about the environment and sustainability. Every time I go to Bariloche I make sure to visit ONA and have their veggie burger, it just makes my day ten times better.
Spend The Afternoon By The Lake
After lunch, the best way to relax is by the Nahuel Huapi Lake. It is one of the largest lakes in Argentina, and its name, Nahuel Huapi, means “island of the jaguars” in Araucanian Indian, the aboriginal tribe of the area. The lake is speckled with beautiful islands, including Isla Victoria, which can be reached with a sailing boat or motor boat. Its waters are cold since its profundity is deep, and its color is clear. The National Park Nahuel Huapi has facilities for boating, mountain climbing, and fishing. When we are there, we usually do a series of water activities like wakeboarding or waterskiing. A neoprene suit is a must since the water temperature is low even during the summer months. What we usually do is hop from island to island, visiting different beaches and making a BBQ at the facilities provided by the National Park, wherever it's allowed. There are camping sites along the different islands and you can take your own tent or rent one. Make sure you read the signs because some places it's prohibited to camp or make fires.
End Your Day With A Beer
When speaking about beer, Bariloche knows how to do it right. The beer here is a part of the culture as much as chocolate is. The town even has a street called Pasaje Peatonal de la Cultura de Montaña,
which is filled with different pubs and breweries.
The Patagonia Brewery Pub is one of the best in Bariloche. Their beer, as well as their aesthetic, is fantastic. Cerveza Patagonia has a different range of craft beers, all locally produced with their famous ingredient called “lúpulo”. The bar is designed to enjoy a good beer and good company, they have a menu of iconic foods from the Patagonia and to top it all of you can sit overlooking the Moreno Lake. What I liked the most about this pub, besides its amazing beer, was the vibes they have as a team and company. They are an environmentally friendly company, they respect nature and the technology they use is green and they have a couple green roofs to promote sustainability. We enjoyed a cold beer and relaxed as we watched the sunset over the lake and incredible mountain range around us.