While San Carlos de Bariloche, commonly called Bariloche, is known for its Swiss alpine-style architecture and its chocolate, it's really a great example of what happens when there is no urban planning. Even with it's location on the edge of Lago Nahuel Huapi and surrounded by the Andes Mountains, Bariloche is not particularly attractive. This may explain why most photos online are areal views or from a distance. The landmark town hall in the main square is lovely alpine-inspired architecture complete with trained Saint Bernards with wooden casks under their necks waiting for you [to pay] to take your picture with them. Outside the main square it's pretty much anything goes architecturally. Even the setting on the lake is not that impressive - think Lake Michigan not Lake Tahoe. It can, however, provide some nice sunsets over the foothills.

In winter Bariloche is major ski destination while in summer it is a starting point to explore the amazingly gorgeous lake region [see post on Route of the Seven Lakes here]. You'll probably land here by plane or bus. Spend a day then head out to the lakes and take your time enjoying the region.

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