Patagonia region covers a vast territory of Argentina and Chile. The border mainly runs through the Andes though both cultures are very much mixed at this latitudes. The Patagonean culture that spreads along this land is of great richness and it can be felt when you enter a ranch at the far end of a valley or while sharing a mate with a “gaucho” besides a trail. Patagonia is the land of solitude, harsh weather conditions, dramatic mountains and clear waters. Do not expect to find large numbers of big mammals but yes get surprised by our huge Andean Condor and the numerous birds that populate our dense forests.
The region can be divided in three, Southern Patagonia conformed by Tierra Del Fuego with its channels and amazing fly fishing. Santa Cruz and Magallanes provinces divided by the Southern Ice Field which creates beautiful huge glacier flowing East and West eroding vertical peaks as Torres del Paine, Cerro Torre and Fitz Roy. This is the land of the wind and challenging climbs and adventures.
Further North you find Central Patagonia, probably the wildest land and less populated. Region of great natural beauty unknown to many, filled with enormous lakes and beautiful mountains with many glaciers still shaping their slopes. Valleys with tough “pobladores” (ranchers) with friendly harts who will welcome you to their homes any day. Spending time on those self-sustained isolated ranches is something worthwhile living. Overtaking the sky here you find majestic mountains as San Lorenzo and San Valentin, the kind of the Northern Ice Field. To the West, the Chilean Fiords, land of the almost disappeared Kawesqar people. Here glaciers flow strait to the Pacific Ocean offering amazing sceneries and amazing sea kayaking along the icebergs.
Northern Patagonia covers probably the largest area of the three, it has a rich diversity of environments and topography. From the Atlantic shore with sea wildlife watching opportunities and lots of semi-dessert flora and fauna that spreads all the way to the foot hills of the Andes to the West. This area is called “The Lake District” which recieves enormous amounts of rainfall from the Pacific, a lot of it falling on the Chilean side of the Andes creating the Valdivian Temple Rainforest. The remaining precipitation crosses the Andes allowing beautiful Temple Andean Forest to grow till they reach the clear water glacier curved lakes that spread to the East.
San Carlos de Bariloche city itself is a great point from where to starts adventures. It is located on the shore of a huge lake called Nahuel Huapi and surrounded by the first National Park in Argentina (Third in the World). Bariloche was recently named the “Capital of Adventure Tourism” in Argentina because of the great variety of activities you will find here. From horseback riding and bird watching on the steppe, trout fishing on lakes and rivers, day or multi day trekking & backpacking options all over the park, sport or alpine rock climbing around the city and at Frey Valley, kayak-touring along the lakes, rafting and white-water paddling on Manso River, endless options of mountain biking trails, paragliding from Cerro Otto, sailing on Nahuel Huap lake and full on mountaineering at Monte Tronador. All of this options and more you can find one hour and a half drive from the city, which offers a great variety of accommodations, restaurants, entertainment, nightlife, cultural life and shopping options. Bariloche is a city with a lot of options to enjoy the solitude and quietness of its amazing natural environment, you just have to know where to go!