For the Easter week-end, I decided to cross the country with a short 13hrs bus drive and head to Bariloche for 4 days. It was short and sweet, but oh how beautiful. I wish we had longer, and will definitely go back in that area before the end of my trip in Argentina. Bariloche reminded me a lot of Whistler, BC and the Sea-to-Sky area. I found it to be vibrant, young and with endless activities to do for outdoorsy souls. Also, if you like chocolate, you will find there some of the best chocolate (if not the best) in Argentina. Make sure to visit Rapanui and Mamushka!
We stayed at the Achalay’s hostel near the Centro Civico of the city. It was a small and homie hostel with shared bathrooms, full-day breakfast and tons of information about the activities and the town. It was really clean and the bed are also very comfortable, which is great for a hostel! I would definitely recommend staying there. It’s just about a 5 to 10 minutes walk to the main areas of the town for the restaurants and close by to some of the best pubs and bars (not that I had any energy left after my days in Bariloche to go out at night!).
The second day, we went for a trek to Refugio Frey that I will cover in a separate post, because there are a few technical details I would like to cover. On our 3rd day, I booked for a full-day horseback riding tour with arianepatagonia. Ariane is from France and I found her information in the Petit Routard travel book. She has lived in Bariloche for many years now and organises half-days, full-days or multi-days horseback riding tours in the Pampas around Bariloche. For those who love horseback riding, just do it. You will have a real gaucho experience, riding with one hand, followed by the 8 dogs who run around all day trying to hunt hares, have a pic-nic under the trees and drink wine (of course!). Ariane is very welcoming and it is also possible to book a room in her beautiful home if you would like to stay outside of the center of the town. We rode from 10:30AM to about 5:30PM with a 2hrs break for lunch. The area is really dry and dusty, so we embraced our inner gauchos with bandanas to protect ourselves from the sand.
Overall I really loved Bariloche. I feel like it’s a place where I could see myself living, especially because it reminds me so much of home in Vancouver and BC. There is a lot I didn’t have time to do and I am planning on going back later to visit other smaller towns around such as El Bolson, San Martin de los Andes and Villa Agostura. If you have any suggestions, send them my way!