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San Carlos de Bariloche

Topics: Ski areas and resorts in Argentina

San Carlos de Bariloche is a city in the , situated on the foothills of the Andes, surrounded by lakes and mountains . It is famous for skiing but also known for sight-seeing, water sports, trekking and climbing. Cerro Catedral is one of the most important ski centers in South America.


The name Bariloche comes from the Mapudungun word Vuriloche meaning "people from behind the mountain" . The Vuriloche pass was used by the Mapuches to cross the Andes and was kept secret from the European priests for a long time.

In 1672 the jesuits established in Chiloe Island founds a mission in the Nahuel Huapi Lake that last until 1717


Settled primarily by Austrians , Germans, and Italians from the city of Belluno, about 1895, it was first named after pioneer Carlos Wiederhold was born in Germany but had migrated to San Carlos de Bariloche, who established a little shop called "La Alemana" near the present city center after crossing the Andes from Chile. In letters addressed to him, he was erroneously addressed San Carlos instead of Don Carlos, which is why the city was called San Carlos de Bariloche. Most of the commerce in Bariloche went by the seaport of Puerto Montt in Chile. In 1896 Perito Moreno wrote that it took three days to reach Puerto Montt from Bariloche while traveling to Viedma in the Atlantic coast took "one month or more".

In the 1930s the centre of the city was built to have the appearance of an alpine town with many buildings made of wood and stone. and a population of 93,600 . In 1909 there were 1,250 inhabitants, telegraph, post office, and a road connecting the city with Neuquen. Commerce, however, continued to depend on Chile until the arrival of the railroad in 1934.

Between 1935 and 1940, the Directorate of National Parks carried out a number of urban works, giving the city a characteristic beauty. Among them: the Civic Center , the Cathedral, Llao Llao Hotel, and others.

Second World War

Bariloche made headlines in the international press in 1995 when it became known that a former high ranking official of the SS 'Hauptsturmfuhrer' Erich Priebke had been living there for years.


Tourism, both domestic and international, is the main economic activity of Bariloche, all year around. The main ski station is the one at Cerro Catedral. During the summer, beautiful beaches such as Playa Bonita and Villa Tacul welcome sun-bathers and some brave lake swimmers . The fishing season is another great attraction. Bariloche is the biggest city of a huge Lakes District, and serves as a base for many excursions in the region. Trekking in the mountains, almost completely wild and uninhabited with the exception of a few high-mountain huts, is also a popular activity. The city is also famous for its chocolates.

It is also noteworthy that the city serves as the destination for Argentine secondary school students on their traditional senior year trips. The students are shepherded through week-long excursion packages including snowboarding, 4X4 excursions and passes to a series of night clubs. The students, who travel during their winter break in July, fill the town with mobs wearing identical, travel agency-issued cold-weather gear.


Besides tourism and the many activities and services associated with it, Bariloche is home to first class scientific and technological activities. The Centro Atomico Bariloche [*] is a research center of the National Atomic Energy Commission, where basic and applied research in many areas of the physical sciences is carried out. One of its departments is the Instituto Balseiro [*], a higher education institution with a small and carefully selected number of students, that awards degrees in Physics, and in Nuclear and Mechanical Engineering, and Masters and Doctorate degrees in Physics and in Engineering. The city also hosts INVAP, a high technology company that designs and builds nuclear reactors and space satellites, among other projects. In addition, there are also several departments and laboratories of the Comahue University.

Climate and geography

Bariloche has an inland temperate climate.


The city is served by San Carlos de Bariloche International Airport (IATA BRC/ICAO SAZS) equipped to receive any kind of aircraft. Several of the Argentina's most important airlines maintain regular flights to Bariloche, as well as some international lines from neighboring countries, especially during the ski season.

The city lies close to Chilean border and is connected to Chile by the Cardenal Antonio Samore Pass crossing the Andes Mountains.

See also

Nahuel Huapi National Park

Huemul Project

External links

Official Website

Bariloche Information page

Short introdution, name origin

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article San Carlos de Bariloche