Bariloche is a relaxed, picturesque little town in northern Patagonia, nestled up to the stunningly beautiful Nahuel Huapi national park. It's the perfect launching point for hiking, boating, and other adventure sports like parasailing. Oh, and the culinary scene is primarily made up of Argentinian grillmasters, Swiss chocolatiers, and German brewers.
You had us at hello, Bariloche.
Parilla fever: part two
After a crack-of-dawn flight from Mendoza, we pulled up to our Airbnb and met our host, Oliver, who got us settled in and thankfully, gave us expert tips about his favorite parillas in town. This picture really says it all.
Before he left us, Oliver also gave some sage advice for making the most of our time there: don't try to battle the rain. Bariloche's location in northern Patagonia makes it prone to some of the heavy rainfall, strong wind, and rapidly-changing weather patterns we'd seen further south. When the weather's great, get out there and enjoy it with a hike or other excursion. When it's not, just accept it and curl up with some chocolates and a good book at home. That's the kind of plan we can get behind.
Luckily, we only had two days of downtime because of bad weather, giving us just enough time to make full use of in Oliver's in-unit washing machine.
Here comes the sun
We started out the active portion of our trip with a short hike from the edge of Nahuel Huapi national park to a secluded beach with a lookout over Cerro Lopez. Afterward, we headed to Cerro Campanario and took the chairlift to the peak for a panoramic view of the park and the town of Bariloche in the distance.
The next sunny day, we set out on a boat trip up one of lake Nahuel Huapi's inlets to the tiny dock of Puerto Blest. The site is a popular border crossing, as it's only 3km from the Chilean border and the nice little tour takes the edge off of Argentina's strict customs inspections.
Once we hopped off the boat, we hiked around the temperate rainforest, scaled a waterfall, and made some furry friends. At least, we hope this is friendly:
On our last full day, we set out on a more ambitious 6 hour hike from the ski resort of Cerro Catedral to Refugio Frey.
It was a long, steep climb to the top, but every step of the way was a testament to Patagonia's rugged beauty. Plus, we finally felt like we deserved the mountain of steak we'd undoubtedly eat later on.
Trading in mountaintops for skyscrapers???we're off to Buenos Aires!