When we finally had a look at the transportation options to head North to Bariloche we were slightly dismayed to realise flights were around $900 per person whereas the 28-hour bus ride was just a quarter of the price. That being the case we were left with one option and booked the first of what would be many long bus rides through Argentina.
We arrived late in the evening and checked in to our Luxury Lakeview Suite – a little present for Will (which I too reaped the benefits of) as it was his birthday the next day. We slept in late, recovering from the long bus ride before heading into the main town area to explore. Bariloche was not really as we had both expected, while Lago Nahuel Haipi offers panoramic views in every direction, the town itself seems to have long surpassed the charm that many ski towns tend to offer. That being said, it still has its drawcards… predominantly parillas (steakhouses) and chocolate – Bariloche is Argentina’s chocolate capital! There is areas of downtown where the architecture is quite pretty too, with many buildings constructed of local woods and stone resembling log-cabins.
Will’s steak campaign continued and in the afternoon we took a small chair lift up Cerro Viejo up to a lookout and were entertained by a short toboggan ride back down. Later for dinner we went to an Italian restaurant for some pasta and we had the attention of the whole restaurant when the staff brought us desert singing Happy Birthday with a candle for Will to blow out (small fist pump for asking correctly with my limited Spanish)!
On our second day we took the local bus to Cerro Campanario where after another chair lift ride we found ourselves surrounded by an absolutely stunning 360 degree view which has regularly been voted one of the top ten views of the world and you can understand why with exceptional views of the lakes and mountain peaks that surround you.
Day 3, we caught the bus once more to Parque Nacional Nahuel Haipi where we hired bikes to complete Circuito Chico, a scenic bike ride around the Llao Llao Peninsula. We stopped throughout to enjoy the panorama and took many photos with Argentina’s most famous Llao Llao hotel prominent in the background. The water was crystal clear and an incredible bright blue unlike any colour we had seen in a lake before. The bike ride was enjoyable and at times the hills were challenging but we pushed through and took joy in passing a number of people ‘walking’ their bikes. We road to the Llao Llao hotel for a quick look before rewarding ourselves with pizza and beers at the end. Some chocolate purchases in town and a final steak dinner and it was nearly time to say goodbye to Bariloche.
More photos from Bariloche here…