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Nestled in the foothills of the Andes and alongside Lago Nahuel Huapi is San Carlos de Bariloche. 

While Bariloche is set up for hiking, mountaineering and skiing, there’s more to the city than just the standard Patagonian wonders. 

With a heavy Swiss influence, Bariloche has become famous for its chocolate with more than a dozen boutique chocolate vendors in the city.

The mountains near Bariloche have plentiful hikes.

Because of the Swiss influence in the area, the city’s architecture has a European feel, especially the cathedral – which was actually built in 1946 to resemble the buildings of Europe a thousand years earlier.

The state buildings around the city centre also have a European feel.

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After-School activities for students of La Montaña: Horseback riding to Cerro Catedral through Camino Viejo/Balcón del Gutiérrez 

Balcón del Gutiérrez, also called Camino Viejo, is the old trail to get to the Catedral ski resort. Students of La Montaña Learn Spanish in Bariloche enjoy this activity all year round.
This old trail was built in the 40' starting in the head of the Lake Gutiérrez crowned by the old Hostería Los Coihues. It still remains as a rough road for trekking or biking, cars are not allowed to use it. In this area you can enjoy the native fauna and flora of the National Park Nahuel Huapi during the four seasons.
Nowadays, a modern paviment road connects Bariloche town centre with Cerro Catedral in 20 minutes by car. Walking from Villa Los Coihues, you get up to the base of the Ski Resort in about 2 hs simply; if horseback riding, 1 1/2 hour, more or less. We strongly reccommend this activity.


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What to do in Bariloche?

Bariloche is the perfect place for combining Spanish Learning, Adventure, Culture and Outdoor Activities.

Where is Bariloche?

Bariloche, a small town in northewest Patagonia on the shores of Lago Nahuel Huapi, is the doorstep to the Andes. The altitude is 800 mt above sea level, and the weather varies gradually from the tipical mountain rain forest to the arid plains. 
The city is very well connected to the main cities in Argentina and Chile by plane or bus.
The picturesque village stretches along the banks of the beautiful lake (Nahuel Huapi), surrounded by mountains to the west and the dry steppe in the east.  The geographic and cultural center is the city-hall, built in 1938 in a perfect Patagonian version of the alpine style.  Because the public transportation system quickly connects all parts of the city, visitors don't waste much time communiting.

What´s the weather like in Bariloche?

There is so much to do all year round, with four distinct seasons. Patagonian summers, with 16 hours daylight, allow for extended timetables for all kinds of outdoor activities. As for the climate we can expect long, hot and dry days in summer, more precipitation during autumn and spring, and snow covered mountains in winter.

What is the Population in Bariloche?

The population of Bariloche  is currently 120,000 inhabitants, mostly descendants of European immigrants. Swiss, Germans, Austrians, and Italians settled in these beautiful surroundings and kept their traditions and customs giving a special character to Bariloche. 
Bariloche shares with Buenos Aires the highest percentage per capita of Argentineans holding advanced degrees. You will find that locals are friendly and supportive with Spanish students. I strongly recommend homestays with a local host family to improve your Spanish skills and also to gain a valuable local perspective.

What kind of Cultural life can I find in Bariloche?

Bariloche offers a big variety of events, like theater, exhibitions, cinemas and concerts. There are several interesting museums, and a big public library near the town hall. Centro Civico is the cultural heart, the perfect space for open parties: concerts, parades, dances and other events.
The school makes arrangements to enable students to participate in social or cultural events. When a public event takes place, such as shows, meetings, lectures, or exhibitions, students receive all the information and the school organizes the activity for those who are interested.
Bariloche is home to three universities: Universidad del Comahue, Universidad Fasta and Universidad Nacional de Rio Negro, therefore the university environment is present all over. 
While a relatively small city, Bariloche is very modern with wifi available in many public spaces, cafes, bars, accomodations and homestays.

Does Bariloche have an interesting nightlife?

Bariloche is the capital of the nightlife in Patagonia. There are several well known discoteques, where you can meet Argentinean football stars and artists. Within its buzzing nightlife, with plenty of great bars, you can learn to unwind like a true Argentine!
Restaurants and bars are open until early hours. At the ski resort, you can find more entertaiment, including ski parties, with fireworks, discos, etc.

Are there Shopping areas in Bariloche?

Most of the important shops in Bariloche are located along Mitre and Moreno streets. There, you will find all the gear you need for outdoor activities or skiing. The ski resort has a big shopping mall where is possible to find all the services and facilities needed.
Traditional chocolaterias and cafes are open all day for people to enjoy delicious specialities in chocolate and cakes. Bariloche is also well known for delicious pastries, smoked food and breweries, which taste even better with dramatic mountain ranges and lakes as the scenery.

What about Safety in Bariloche?

Bariloche is a small town, with about 120,000 inhabitants. It is one of the safest cities in Argentina. While crime rates are low throughout the year, minor thefts sometime occur and we recommend keeping valuables out of sight or safely stored in your hotel or homestay. Foreigners and women are not specifically targeted and the police are very supportive with tourists. During high season, when more tourists populate the area, the city doubles the number of  policemen.

What weekend Trips and Excursions can I take?

Bariloche is considered the gateway to Patagonia. It is possible to combine Spanish lessons with Half-day excursions, Day trips, week-end getaways and longer excursions throughout this famous region of the world, possible with rented cars, short flights and an extensive, modern and comfortable bus system.
Half-day excursions: (Easily organised right after your Spanish lesson)
Cerro Campanario, Cerro Catedral, Cerro Otto, Cerro Leones, Lago Gutierrez Mirador and Cascada de los Duendes, Llao Llao forest, Piedras Blancas, Playa Bonita.

Day trips:

Seven lakes Road (Ruta de los Siete Lagos) San Martin de los Andes, Villa La Angostura, El Bolson, Cerro Tronador, etc.

Weekends getaways:

El Hoyo, Lago Puelo, El Maiten, Esquel, Parque Nacional Los Alerces, Chile, Pucon, Valdivia, Puerto Montt, Puyehue.
Longer Excursions (4 or more days):
Calafate, Copahue hot springs, Puerto Madryn, Puerto Piramide, Gaiman, Parque Nacional Los Alerces, Esquel.

How to get to Bariloche?

Bariloche is a popular town and is easily accessible by bus or plane from Buenos Aires and many other interesting towns.  Both the local airport and the bus station are only 5 to 15 minutes from city center by taxi or local bus.

By Plane:

Several airlines fly daily from and to Bariloche, connecting Chalten, Calafate, Puerto Madryn, Ushuaia in Patagonia or Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Salta, Iguazu and Cordoba.

To check for up to date timetables and prices, please visit their websites:

By Bus:

A cheaper option is to travel by bus, which leaves daily from Buenos Aires and takes at least 20 hours. The Bus network in Argentina is very popular so there are plenty of different companies. Often it is even possible to find buses with “camas” (beds). 
Our students receive very good deals for the best bus companies, please, email us if you are interested.

If you would like to know more about Bariloche, please, visit:

LOCAL CULTURE www.galeria-bariloche.com 

GENERAL INFORMATION www.bariloche.org 

LOCAL NEWS: www.elcordillerano.com.ar 

SECRETARY OF TOURISM: www.rionegrotur.com.ar 

SKI CLUB: www.clubandino.com.ar 

LOCAL TOWN COUNCIL: www.bariloche.gov.ar     

SNOW FORECAST: http://www.snow-forecast.com/resorts/Catedral/6day/top

SKIING INFORMATIONFOR CERRO CATERAL – (tariffs, weather, piste maps)  www.catedralaltapatagonia.com 

SNOW FORECAST FOR CERRO CATEDRAL: http://www.catedralaltapatagonia.com/invierno/partediario.shtml                    

SNOW FORECAST FOR CERRO CATEDRAL http://www.snow-forecast.com/resorts/Catedral/6day/mid

Gabrielle, from the US


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