Although San Carlos de Bariloche is the largest city in the Argentine Lake District (population 108,205), it didn’t feel all that big. Bariloche is located just off the shores of Lago Nahuel Huapi Lake and is surrounded by lofty mountain peaks from all directions. Besides being in Argentina’s Patagonia, Bariloche is know for it’s Swiss alpine architecture and its chocolate. Unfortunately Ryan and I weren’t in the best of health during our time there and did not fully get to experience the outdoors or the chocolate. But this did not stop me from falling in love with the fresh, crisp mountain air, the excellent food, and the astonishing views that we did get to see.
Just twenty minutes out of the city is the Campanario Hill Viewpiont. The trip to the top of Cerro Campanario (Bell Tower Hill) which can be accomplished either by chairlift or by foot, was especially rewarding for the million dollar view it afforded. Lake Lago Nahuel Huapi branching out below was well worth the 30-45 minute hike and just may have been the most lovely view I’ve ever seen (sorry Wyoming).
Besides the numerous outdoor activities in Bariloche, the food was excellent. I ate possibly the best ribeye steak (bife de chorizo) I’ve had in my life at Alto El Fuego (sorry Daddy). The meal began with a dish of Provoleta, plenty of freshly baked bread, and chimichurri sauce. The steak was juicy and tender and accompanied by a side of mashed potatoes. I couldn’t have been much happier or more full by the end of the evening.
I was sad to leave Bariloche after only 18 days, especially once my health had improved and I felt more like exploring, but our time in this magical place had abruptly come to an end. All that remained of Barlichoe as we braved the twenty hour bus ride back to Mendoza were the pictures of the view and the savory flavor of steak still lingering in my memory.