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Bariloche
Nahuel Huapi National Park


Argentina, Patagonia, Lake District, & Nauel Huapi Lake

Mountains, Forests, Lakes, Rivers, Waterfalls, & Glaciers

Cerro Otto, Gondola, Cerro Catedral, Monograms, & Globus

One of many beautiful views in Nahuel Huapi Lake in Nahuel Huapi National Park in Argentina.

One of many beautiful views of Nahuel Huapi Lake in Nahuel Huapi National Park.

Tours

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Buenos Aires to Patagonia to Santiago

We were on a Monograms hosted tour that started in Buenos Aires, where there were two nights. From Buenos Aires we flew to Bariloche where we spent two nights, and the details are described here. We flew back to Buenos Aires and spent the night in order to catch an early morning flight to Ushuaia where we spent one night. The next day we boarded the Stella Australis cruise ship where we spent three nights and visited four islands in Chile at the southern tip of South America. We were taken from the ship to Punta Arenas to spend one night. The following day we flew to Santiago where the hosted tour ended after spending two nights. Contact Us for more information.

Arrival in Bariloche

Raquel Galindo, our host and guide in Bariloche and Nahuel Huapi National Park in Argentina.

Raquel Galindo, our host and guide in Bariloche and Nahuel Huapi National Park.

When we arrived at the Bariloche airport our host and guide, Raquel Galindo and a driver met us. They took us to our hotel and Raquel helped us get checked in. She also told us about Bariloche, which is within the Nahuel Huapi National Park. We learned about restaurants and things to do there on our own. Raquel is pictured above.

Nahuel Huapi National Park and Lake District

The Nahuel Huapi National Park was established in 1934. Its name is derived from the Nahuel Huapi Lake, which it surrounds. The park is in the foothills of the Patagonian Andes Mountains. It is in the northern part of Patagonia; Patagonia is in the southern part of South America and is spread across Argentina and Chile. This park is the largest national park in the region, and is bordered by Chile on its western side. Because there are so many lakes in the park this area is known as the Argentine Lake District. The park covers an area of approximately 2,720 square miles (7,050 square kilometers) and varies in altitude from 2,362 to 11,726 feet (720 to 3,574 meters). In addition to lakes the park contains rivers, waterfalls, forests, glaciers, and snowy peaks. You can do many things in the park including rafting, kayaking, mountain biking, trekking, rock climbing, paragliding, and skiing.

Nahuel Huapi Lake

Nahuel Huapi Lake is both the largest and deepest clear water lake in the Argentine Lake District. It has a depth of 1,394 feet (425 meters), is at an altitude of 2,516 feet (767 meters), and has an area of 210 square miles (544 square kilometers. The lake has many islands. It was discovered by a Jesuit priest in 1670.

Area Tour

We were picked up at our hotel by Raquel, our host and guide, and a driver for a tour of the Nahuel Huapi National Park. The Lake District has extraordinary beauty, as can easily be seen by viewing the picture of Nahuel Huapi Lake at the top of this page. As we drove around we saw many photo opportunities.

Cerro Otto

Gondola at Cerro Otto with view of Nahuel Huapi Lake near Bariloche in Argentina.

Gondola at Cerro Otto with view of Nahuel Huapi Lake near Bariloche.

West of and not far from the city center of Bariloche is a gondola, pictured above, that we rode to the top of Cerro Otto. The summit is at 4,608 feet (1,405 meters). During some of the winter months it is possible to do dog sledding and cross-country skiing here. But we were there in the summer, and our purpose was to view and photograph the gorgeous views from our lofty position.

View from the summit of Cerro Otto near Bariloche in Argentina.

View from the summit of Cerro Otto near Bariloche.

The view above is one example of the many picturesque views we saw from the summit of Cerro Otto. Note the rugged mountains with some snow capped peaks that surround the lake. If you look carefully at the picture below of us you will notice that our hair is blowing toward the left side of the picture. There was considerable wind, and that is not unusual at this location. We are also wearing warm down coats, because even though this was during the summer, it was cool while we were there, especially with the wind chill factor.

Rebecca and Sunny at the summit of Cerro Otto mear Bariloche in Argentina.

Rebecca and Sunny at the summit of Cerro Otto near Bariloche.

City of Bariloche

It should be noted that Bariloche is also known as San Carlos de Bariloche. You might find it listed that way on maps or in encyclopedias. It is located in the foothills of the Andes in the province of Rio Negro close to the border with Chile. In the picture below Bariloche can be seen across the lake in the distance close to the center of the picture.

Bariloche in the distance seen from the summit of Cerro Otto in Argentina.

Bariloche in the distance seen from the summit of Cerro Otto.

Since the Nahuel Huapi area is so close to Chile, during most of the 1800s the area was more closely associated with Chile than Argentina. However, the Argentine government made a claim for the area, and in 1881 a border treaty between Argentina and Chile made the Nahuel Huapi area part of Argentina.

Shopping for crafts in Bariloche, Argentina.

Shopping for crafts in Bariloche.

Bariloche is on the southeastern shore of the Nahuel Huapi Lake and is surrounded by the Nahuel Huapi National Park. It was established as a town in 1902. But it was not until the 1930s and 40s that Bariloche and the area emerged as a major tourist destination. That was brought about by making the city center more like a European alpine town, which they called "Little Switzerland." Also, Bariloche became connected to the rest of Argentina when the railroad reached there in 1934. It is known as the Honeymoon Capital of Argentina, and it is famous for producing chocolate. It is also where you find the Atomic Center of Bariloche, which is a research center of the National Atomic Energy Commission. They do research in the physical sciences.

We enjoyed taking walks from our centrally located hotel in the city center. There are many quality restaurants, chocolate shops, and stores where you can buy souvenirs. In the above picture we are checking out one of the places where crafts were available. In the picture below Rebecca, on the right, has been joined by friends Dave and Vicki for a relaxing and enjoyable lunch.

Dave, Vicki, and Rebecca at lunch in Bariloche, Argentina.

Dave, Vicki, and Rebecca at lunch in Bariloche.

Today Bariloche is the prime tourism base for all of the activates available in the Nahuel Huapi area. Tourism there is greatest during the winter months due to its popularity of skiing. The mountain of Cerro Catedral, only 14 miles (23 kilometers) from the city, is very popular. The summit is at 7,835 feet (2,388 meters) and there are many skiing runs. But the many summer activities, noted above in the Nahuel Huapi National Park, attract many tourists. Beyond that a big draw is the charm of Bariloche and the pure natural beauty of the Lake District. There are magnificent views and photo opportunities throughout the area.

Departure from Bariloche

Following our second night in Bariloche our host Raquel and a driver took us to the airport where Raquel helped us to get checked in. We flew back to Buenos Aires to spend the night. In Buenos Aires our host Patricia and a driver met us at the airport and took us to our hotel where we were checked in. After a brief night Patricia and a driver were back to take us to the airport. Patricia made sure that we were checked in for our flights. It was very comforting to have the personal transfers, especially since we are not fluent in Spanish. We flew to Ushuaia.

Buenos Aires to Patagonia to Santiago

We were on a Monograms hosted tour that started in Buenos Aires, where there were two nights. From Buenos Aires we flew to Bariloche where we spent two nights, and the details are described here. We flew back to Buenos Aires and spent the night in order to catch an early morning flight to Ushuaia where we spent one night. The next day we boarded the Stella Australis cruise ship where we spent three nights and visited four islands in Chile at the southern tip of South America. We were taken from the ship to Punta Arenas to spend one night. The following day we flew to Santiago where the hosted tour ended after spending two nights. Contact Us for more information.

Photos by Sunny Breeding. Photo of Rebecca and Sunny by Raquel Galindo. We sell prints and images.