Located in Patagonia, approximately 1,020 miles southwest of Buenos Aires, San Carlos de Bariloche, also known as Bariloche, Argentina, is home to about 140,000 people. With its spectacular national parks and rivers such as the Rio Manso, Bariloche is a great destination for bikers, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
Circuito Chico (Small Circuit Tour)
Rent a bike and go riding. Circuito Chico (Small Circuit Tour) is a 62-kilometer tour around the Patagonian city. The roughly four-hour tour starts at the Civic Center, on Ezequiel Bustillo Av, and continues along Nahuel Huapi Lake. The tour leaves the city, then returns and ends downtown, but not before stopping at Moreno Lake. Bring your own bike and gear or rent a bike, helmet and repair kit for the day. Beginning bikers should not attempt the circuit, but bikers with some riding experience should be fine to complete the tour. The uphill mountainous trek can be strenuous for novice riders not accustomed to the varying twists and turns of the circuit.
Go whitewater rafting on the Rio Manso. Tour companies advertise half-day and full-day tours, with lunch and snacks included. Travelers in search of a more challenging whitewater rafting experience should wait until November to visit, as early spring produces the highest tides and choppiest waters. Because Argentina is in the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons are reversed from those of the Northern Hemisphere. Winter runs from June to August, summer from December to February, spring from September to November and autumn from March to May. Spring and summer months are highly popular among travelers.
Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapí
Go hiking or climbing in Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapí, a park that encompasses 2,927 square miles. Outdoor enthusiasts can go kayaking, fly fishing, rafting, trekking, horseback riding, mountain biking or climbing in the summer and fall or skiing at Cerro Catedral in the winter. Spring is a great time for outdoor enthusiasts in search of breathtaking waterfalls from the melting snow. It is also a great time to experience the beauty of the mountains, valleys and meadows. The park is just 12 km, about 7.5 miles, from Bariloche. Hikers can choose from a variety of routes, which are rated by four levels of difficulty: weigh, average, moderate and difficult. The ascent is different with each route. (See "Resources" below for hiking and walking opportunities and suggested pathways in Bariloche.)