|Lakes, Mountains and Trees of Patagonia
Bariloche is placed on the south side of a large lake, surrounded by trees and in a small valley. It reminds me of Colorado, but with bigger lakes and smaller mountains. The scenery is stunning and very serene. This area would be considered the north end of Patagonia on the Argentinian side.
Bariloche Chocolate Obsession
This city is absolutely obsessed with chocolate; the downtown area has two or three chocolate shops per block and usually there are restaurants attached which serve hot chocolate, chocolate dips, chocolate cakes and other deserts. They are more common and popular than any Starbucks in the USA.
Cold, Cold Trees in the Arrayanes Forest
The Isla Victoria is home to a myrtle tree forest and one of the rare places this tree grows. This is a unique tree due to its very smooth cinnamon-color bark that features fair reddish marks as it peels off. This provides distinctive hues in the forest. Towards the end of the summer, the myrtle trees bloom into white flowers that will turn into shiny black fruit in the fall. This is a perfect spot for this tree to develop, as it needs plenty of water. Specimens reaching 15 meters of height stand out. Some of them can live for between 500 and 650 years. Due to the lack of bark and extremely high liquid content, these trees are very cold and feel like stone when you touch them (instead of the warmer feel of a tree).
Best Steak Dinner Ever!
Argentina is known world wide for high quality steak dinners. Another unique aspect of restaurants in Argentina is the pricing structure. Typically the cheapest sandwiches you can buy for lunch or dinner will be priced around $8 to $10. At the same time, you can get an exceptional, high end dinner with fabulous service for $20 to $25. Such was the case with my steak dinner at the El Boliche de Alberto restaurant in Bariloche. The huge steak cost only about $14 (we are talking a three inch thick steak) and three of us split wine, salad and fries brining my dinner total to $22 with more food than any of us could eat. The steak was too die for delicious and a fabulous experience!
Costs in Bariloche, Argentina
I tried hard to keep costs down with free breakfast at the hostel, street food for lunch and saved money for a steak dinner at a famous restaurant.
Hostel: $15/night (shared dorm) including breakfast
Food: typically $8-$12 meal for lunch or dinner (I paid $22 for the a high-end steak dinner and ate $3 street food for lunch)
Next: Mendoza, Argentina!