The bus journey from Pucon to Bariloche (via San Martin de Andes) was spectacular. The views of rivers, mountains and plains has to be up there with one of the most awe-inspiring journeys. Once in Bariloche, however, we regretted spending the time and money to cross the Chilean-Argentinean border once again. Bariloche is a very expensive place for a backpacker, with a high street that could be Stoke or Hull and very little to offer to tourists in the town centre – other than chocolate shops packed with school kids on excursions.
There was a stylish square that featured tourist info offices etc, however.
When we asked at tourist information, the unhelpful woman said that activities in the town included chocolate shops, the cinema, a casino and a small ice rink. Nothing of historical or cultural significance it seemed.
To be fair, the fact the weather was so bad had a big effect on our experience of Bariloche: it rained for the majority of the three days.
We’d hoped for a nice day so we could visit further parts of the national park (that the town itself sits within) but the weather just wasn’t clear enough to appreciate the views. We’d seen amazing photos of the local hikes so it was a real shame.
We did manage to visit a local hill that had panoramic views of the area. We walked up and got the ski lift back down at Aerosilla Cerro Campanario – a bus ride from town.
The hostel we stayed at, Moving Hostel Travel Bar, was cool and they even provided free dinner to guests, along with breakfast. We didn’t eat out in the town because it was too pricey (a McDonald’s meal was like £9!), but we did have a few beers on day and watched United in a bar.
Unfortunately that was about it for Bariloche. We regretted the trip across the border and wished we’d stayed on the beautiful Chilean side, where people were much more welcoming.
As we boarded the bus to Puerto Varasto once again cross the border, we were unaware of just how much we would love our time in the next destination.