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Useful Information about Patagonia

The capital of Patagonia, BARILOCHE, or San Carlos de Bariloche, to give it its full title, spread along the southeastern shores of Lago Nahuel Huapi. It banks up against the slopes of Cerro Otto, behind the Cerro Catedral mountain. Everything in town faces the lake: an impressive expanse of water that can seem like a benign Mediterranean one moment and a froth of seething whitecaps the next, lashed by the winds that sometimes whip off it into town.

Bariloche has more than 1,000,000 visitors arriving annually. The area's main attraction is a large one: the Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi that surrounds town, although in winter, it's specifically the ski-resort of Cerro Catedral nearby – the most important of Latin America. For five days in August, Bariloche celebrates the Fiesta Nacional de la Nieve, with ski races, parades and a torchlit evening descent on skis to open the season officially, as well as the election of the Reina Nacional de la Nieve.

Bariloche's airport is 14km to the east of town. The main bus terminal is next door to the train station. The tourist office is located in the Centro Cívico. Most of what you'll need in town can be found in the commercial area to the east of the centro cívico plus the hilly Belgrano borough to the southwest. Avenida 12 de Octubre from the terminal runs along the lake front, past the cathedral and the elevated Centro Cívico park, where its name changes to Avenida Juan Manuel de Rosas. Further west this becomes Avenida Bustillo, which runs through the western neighbourhoods and is the start of the Circuito Chico.

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Ski and Snowboard in Cerro Catedral

16km south of Bariloche is Cerro Catedral, named after the Gothic spires of rock that make up this craggy massif's summits (2,405 meters). The Catedral ski resort attracts international tourists (from USA, Europe, Chile and Brazil). The northern foreigners (USA and Europe) always are looking to ski during the northern summer. Infrastructure is constantly being upgraded in the resort, and it's easy to find rental gear. The main skiing months are June, July and August (late July is peak season), although it is possible to ski from late May to early October. Snow conditions vary wildly from year to year, but you can often find excellent powder snow.

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In Summer, the village of VILLA CATEDRAL at the foot of the bowl (just over 1000m) is the starting point for several fantastic treks, and you can take a cable car and then a chair lift to reach Refugio Lynch near the summit (1870m). Views from here and from the ridge above are beautiful. In Winter, the village serves the main ski-resort, with an infrastructure that includes hotels, restaurants, and shops offering ski rental. There are 67km of pistes, and descents of up to 4km in length. July and August are the busiest months to visit the Cerro Catedral. There are many buses that travel every 15 minutes to the Catedral Resort on Winter. Alternatively, you could take a half-day organized trip to the village or you can travel by taxi or remisse.

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Cerro Catedral ski Resort, the longest-established in the Argentina, is the classic Patagonian ski centre, with their wonderful panoramas of the Nahuel Huapi region.

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Bariloche and its seasons!

WINTER ... ski and snow! Cold, snowy days - and some sunshine to enjoy the snow - are typical of this season. Tourists from different parts of the world come to CATEDRAL Hill to ski in the most important ski resort of South America. Snow can be 30 cm. deep in town and up to 3 meters on the top of the mountains. You cannot miss the beautiful snowed winter landscape. Temperature: 3 C° to 11 C°.

SPRING ... wild flowers and hiking! All Bariloche changes its colors. An ideal season to hike in the mountains and enjoy the remaining snow. Cool to warm temperature in the afternoon but still cold at night. Temperature: 15 C° to 22 C°.

SUMMER ... lakes and fishing! The best season for trips and outdoor activities, for sports such as trout fishing, rafting, trekking and hiking. Long days at the lake and river beaches can be enjoyed as well as mountain climbing. Temperature can rise 30° C, but falling to cool at night. This is the season that offers more options. Temperature: 20 C° to 27 C°.

AUTUMN ... the mountains and its autumn foliage colors! All mountains of the area appear in a different and unique way. The varied flora of this region changes its colors and shades turning the landscape into a beautiful sight. The first snowfalls generally start at the end of autumn. Temperature: 8 C° to 17 C°.

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How can you arrive in Bariloche

There are many ways to arrive in Bariloche. The majority of our students fly into Buenos Aires or Santiago de Chile, and then to Bariloche. If you live in USA or Europe, the best way to arrive in Bariloche is by plane from your country to Buenos Aires (Capital district of Argentina). Options:

FROM BUENOS AIRES, by PLANE (recommended): From Buenos Aires there are more than 10 direct flights every day (more in high-season months). You can travel by plane (duration: 2 hours). The best airlines are: - Aerolineas Argentinas: website: www.aerolineas.com.ar - LAN airlines: website: www.lan.com

Please vist the websites mentioned above. From there you can book your flights and pay for the tickets. They offer online services, so you can book and pay for your tickets from your home country.

FROM BUENOS AIRES, by BUS: In Argentina we there is an excellent bus service. Duration: 18 hours in comfortable coaches that go from standard to sleepers (here called "Coche cama"). Meals are served on board and all buses have toilets. Films are shown during the trip. Very good services. Several bus companies cover this route daily, more than 20 buses every day: - Via Bariloche (bus company), website: www.viabariloche.com.ar - Chevallier (bus company), website: www.nuevachevallier.com

FROM SANTIAGO DE CHILE, by PLANE: Direct flights taking about 2 ½ hours (only available some days of the week, please visit the airlines websites). The best airline is: - LAN airlines: website: www.lan.com

Please vist the website mentioned above. From there you can book your flights and pay for the tickets. They offer online services, so you can book and pay for your tickets from your home country.

FROM SANTIAGO DE CHILE, by BUS: Leaving Santiago from 7:00pm and 7:30pm, arriving in Osorno city at 9:00am (southern Chile). Comfortable buses from standard to sleeper with meals on board and toilette service. You can catch the combination: buses across the Andes to Bariloche in the same day. Osorno is the Chilean city closest to Bariloche on the other side of the Andes, in the South.

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See further information about:

- Argentina
- Buenos Aires city
- Mendoza city
- Ushuaia city
- Santiago de Chile

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