With its ski slopes, chocolate boutiques and bustling small-town charm, Bariloche could well be a Swiss ski village in disguise. And yet, this tiny but beautiful lakeside town is situated in Argentina, beneath the foothills of the Andes, in Argentina’s popular Lake District region. A natural haven for outdoor enthusiasts, Bariloche is a year-round destination. In winter, between June and September, the mountains are shrouded in a thick cloak of snow, perfect for skiing and snow-related sports. The ski resort of Cerro Catedral is particularly well received and situated just outside Bariloche. Later, as summer approaches, the snow melts to reveal a land of lush, green terrain, complemented by a series of twinkling crystal-clear lakes and brilliant-blue skies.
Lovers of the great outdoors will enjoy the multitude of hiking, climbing and mountain-biking opportunities, as well as fishing trips, paragliding and rafting. If all the above sounds a little too taxing, stay within Bariloche and explore its charming rows of chocolate shops and cosy coffee stops, while the clock tower, library and cathedral all add to the town’s quaint attraction. Boasting a fair amount of nightly entertainment, Bariloche is frequented by Argentine students, descending on the town’s sophisticated nightclubs. Lively, rather than rowdy, their arrival adds an instant holiday vibe to the vicinity, which spreads out into the local restaurants and bars. For culinary experiences, try fresh wild game, seafood and cheese fondue, especially after working up an appetite outdoors. And, of course, being the 'Chocolate Capital of Argentina', the desserts are absolutely divine.