Tag Archives: Bariloche

Mt. Tronodor, Argentina

Meet Sally, the Latest Swoop Member

Sally, the latest member of the Swoop team, is a true Patagonian enthusiast. Having worked as an English teacher and Tour leader in Chile and Argentina throughout the last 8 years, Sally has a wide and diverse knowledge of Patagonia. Take a few minutes to find out about her Patagonian adventures and her top tips on where to go.

Mt. Tronodor, Argentina

What is it that you love so much about Patagonia?

It is impossible to name just one attribute, but a combination of many is what makes it such a unique place. Here is a list of a few of the reasons why Patagonia has really got to me…..

  1. The Landscape – a bit of an obvious choice, but the Patagonian landscape really is simplyincredible, surprising and at times completely unexpected. For example, I have been fortunate enough to visit the Torres del Paine National Park many times, and it never once looks the same; the light changes, the clouds frame the peaks in different and unusual ways and as the colours change through the seasons, they are landscapes that are hard to tire of.
  2. The birds – as an avid bird enthusiast (a true twitcher at heart), Patagonia is an exciting place to be. From the mighty Condor to the tiny Wren, the Patagonian steppe and forests have a surprisingly large variety of birds. The stunted growth of trees in the Southern Beech forests make the birds easy to spot and even a novice can become a birding expert by the end of a trip.
  3. The food – I’m sure many people don’t think too much of food when they consider Patagonia, but it can be quite the gastronomic experience; from roast lamb to hearty stews, fresh Trout to delicious King crab, Patagonia really is a place to get the taste buds going. And obviously, with a large range of vineyards in both Chile and Argentina, there is never a shortage of wine to wash it down with.
  4. The history – Patagonia has a huge wealth of history and the incredible part of it is that much of it is relatively modern; whether to do with the indigenous peoples, Colonial wars, Darwin, Missionaries or Gauchos, knowing a little will add a whole new dimension to your visit. Drop me a line if you’d like some recommendations.

Do you have a favourite place in Patagonia?

A very difficult question to answer – I love it all! But to name my top 5, I’d have to go with:

  1. Chiloe Island – come rain or shine the beauty and magic of this place always leaves me wanting to stay.
  2. I still can’t decide which I find most impressive, Torres del Paine or El Chalten – both are incredibly breathtaking and great  for trekkers of all abilities.
  3. The Argentinian lake district – a great place for cycling as every tough up hill climb is always rewarded with a another stunning lake view.
  4. The Beagle Channel – a place full of history that really gets your imagination going as you sail up the channel accompanied by soaring albatross.

What is your best memory of Patagonia?

It would have to be reaching the glacier line of Mount Tronodor, reached from Bariloche, it literally translates as ‘The Thunder’ due to sound made by avalanches from its many glaciers. After a steep 5 hour hike through a glacial valley and up through virgin forest, I popped out onto a high plateau where I was faced with one of the most incredible views I have ever seen. I was surrounded, 360°, by the snow capped Andes and I was higher than all of them (or so it seemed!). Mt. Tronodor sits at 3491 meters above sea level and I was at about 2400 meters, at the snow line, where there was a little refugio to spend the night. A moment I will never forget was, as the sun set it turned the 3 peaked Mt. Tronodor a shade of pink that was so intense and surprising, when seen in a photo, you would never believe it to be true.

Bo & Deb’s family trip to Patagonia

Deb & her family returned in February from a trip to Patagonia during which they spent 6 nights at a private lodge on the edge of Lake Nahuel Huapi, and embarked on some trekking in Bariloche. They then headed to Los Glaciares National Park for some trekking in and around El Calafate and El Chlaten. Here Deb tells us about the highlights of their trip, and their experience of booking with Swoop and our partners…

‘Bo and I want to thank you for helping us to arrange a trip of a lifetime that came through for us in a mighty way. We had such a greatly blessed time!’

Every place we stayed was very nice and the private lodge in Bariloche was by far the most incredible accommodation and lodging experience of our lives! What a place and the personal, kind, professional staff there added so very much! Every meal and every snack was homemade and precisely made and we enjoyed such tremendous food and times together! The Argentinian barbecue topped it off the last night we were there.  What an experience!

Thank you so much for helping to arrange all of this! It so set the tone for the rest of our vacation, which was also top notch in different but appreciated ways! Patagonia is spectacular: Majestic mountains, beautiful glaciers, all just sensational.

All of our tours and guides were better than our best expectations: expert staff, who were friendly, helpful, endearing, and the transportation which went smoothly and was timely and comfortable.

Thank you for your advice, help and the wonderful results we enjoyed from your services and planning. Our LORD, my husband, much prayers and Swoop Patagonia teamed up to bring forth a real WIN WIN!!! Our regards and best to you.

Emilie Roederer glacier

Emilie & Xander’s Tailor-Made Week of Trekking in Los Glaciares National Park

Emilie and Xander returned just a few days ago from a trip to Patagonia, during which they embarked on a week-long tailor made Trek in Los Glaciares National Park. Here Emilie tells us about their experiences…

Thank you so much…it was an amazing experience and we are definitely coming back to Argentina!!

Emilie Roederer glacierHow was your trip overall?

We really enjoyed the trip and will be back for sure! We especially enjoyed the variation of accommodation and hikes, and the general way of travelling. Hiking with a guide is great as they give you so much information, and it is easier for you to plan your days.

What was the highlight of your trip?

The second day of hiking to the border and back to the lodge was our favourite.

The first day of hiking was quite tough. We went up to the glacier first, which was really nice, and then walked the length of Lago Del Desierto (the boat wasn’t functioning so the original programme was changed slightly). This walk was quite long and a lot of up and down, also it was raining.

The second day was a lot easier, we decided to walk to the border of Chile and back and continue on to the lodge halfway along the lake. It was sunny and the hike to the boarder was very scenic.

Gaston, our guide, told us a lot about the plants, trees, birds and glaciers which we much enjoyed. Eventually we hiked for about 8 hours on each day. The reason we also preferred this area to the last day’s hike is because it was more quiet. We did see quite a few cyclists, but overall it was a very secluded area.

emILIE ROEDERER LAKE 2

How was your accommodation on the trip?

We liked all of the accommodation we stayed in, especially the lodge on Lago Del Desierto.

Did you manage to visit anywhere else in Chile or Argentina on your trip?

Yes, we continued to do some hiking in Bariloche (Thanks for the accommodation tip, we stayed at Marianna’s hostel which was very nice), then at Hotel Tronador (very nice area but so many horse flies it was difficult to do long hikes. 

We did some small hikes, went to Tronador to see the black glacier and waterfalls, and did some canoeing), then to Villa de la Angostura (very nice as well, we did a boat trip and hiked up and down the peninsula – very nice hike), then to San Martin de los Andes (again very nice, we went to Quila Quina beach for a day and climbed to the base of volcano Lanin – very recommendable hike).

After about 9 days in the lake district we spent 4 days in Buenos Aires which was also good but very warm (heatwave - 40 degrees…). We did the usual touristy stuff and most enjoyed the Palermo Soho area.

EMILIE ROEDERER TORRES

How well did Swoop Patagonia do helping you plan your holiday, and in finding the best trip or operator for you?

Very well. We were extremely happy with the trip.

How was the operator, Walk Patagonia, and how were their guides on the trip?

Very good. Gaston, the guide, was really great. He told us all about the nature, area and Argentinian culture and was flexible in terms of hike options and durations.

The operator overall was also good, Zoe met us at the bus station and provided detailed information on the next days.

Emilie Roederer Lake

Was there anything that you wish had happened differently/or not happened at all?

We would have liked more time at Perito Moreno. We were picked up at 9 and left at 3 so had about 4 hours there. This was sufficient for a boat trip and walk on the paths (which were really nice!) but we would have like to do the mini trek on the ice. We only heard about that option on the way there and there was space for us to do it, but not enough time as we had to catch the bus to El Chalten in the evening. We would have been keen to leave earlier so we could have done that. But good reason to go back :)

emilie roederer beach

Do you have any tips for other people who are planning a trip?

We looked at some of your existing itineraries and picked one with varied hikes and accommodation (camping followed by nice lodge) and can highly recommend keeping it varied. The hikes are quite long (all at least 8 hrs) and it is nice to spoil yourself a bit in between and have a “rest day” (even though we did do some small hikes!).

Once again, thanks for everything.

Las Marianas in Bariloche

Customer review of Hosteria Las Marianas, Bariloche

Anthony visited Bariloche in early 2012 and whilst there stayed at Hosteria Las Marianas, run by several generations of ‘Marianas’.
I spent 6 very happy nights at the Hosteria Las Marianas. It is clean and the rooms are nice. I felt utterly secure there to the extent that I left many of my possessions there for the 2 days that I went kayaking. They serve only breakfast but it is a good one.
Both the owners and the staff are really delightful; nothing is too much trouble for any of them.
Las Marinias is 10 minutes walk from downtown and so very convenient.
It is very good value and, without hesitation, I recommend it very strongly as a great place to stay. Thank you for booking me in.
Las Marianas is certainly a favourite of ours too, Luke stayed there last October and agreed that it’s a great place to base yourself whilst in Bariloche. If you’d like to stay there, get in touch with Swoop or book online.

Hotel in Bariloche: Las Marianas

Tim and Carla spent their honeymoon in Argentina and Chile mixing Buenos Aires luxury with skiing and exploring in Bariloche. They’ve been kind enough to share some of their experiences on the Swoop blog. This second post is about a lovely little friendly hotel that they stayed at in the alpine town of Bariloche, in the Patagonian Lake District.
‘There were very few regrets we had on our travels, however, the decision to stay only one night at this delightful hotel was one. Due to problems with the ash cloud our transfer to Bariloche was delayed and we arrived in the middle of the night. Not to worry, Mariana had arranged for a small welcome party to let us and get us settled. The rooms are cosy and clean, the breakfast is homemade, simple but delicious. Mariana and the staff are fantastic. Prior to our arrival, during our stay and even after, Mariana was only too happy to help you make the most of the trip and make suggestions to help us including ski hire, directions, taxis and where to get the best meal on the mountain!
A delightful hotel in a wonderful location.’
Fancy staying at Las Marianas? Get in touch here or read more about Tim and Carla’s adventures in Patagonia.

Cruce Andino

An exciting way to see the mountains and lakes of the Patagonian Lake District, Cruce Andino is a boat and bus journey that mixes pleasure and adventure with views of snow-capped volcanoes, glaciers and forests. It’s practical too – leaving each and getting you get from A to B across the sometimes tricky border from Argentina (Bariloche) to Chile (Puero Montt) or vice versa.

       (Volcano Osorno)

Starting out at 7:45 from Puerto Montt or 8:30am from Puerto Varas by bus, you’ll soon move on to Petrohue, bordering Llanquihue Lake, where you’ll have wonderful views of Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes. Your journey will take you into Vicente Perez National Park where you’ll discover Patagonia’s diverse flora and fauna, waterfalls and impressive volcanic rock shapes. Stopping at the village of Peulla you’ll have lunch and relax or enjoy outdoor activities before staying in Hotel Natura or Hotel Peulla for the night.

Day two sees you crossing the Andes and thus the border by bus, always with spectacular landscape surrounding you, before getting on board to cross the turquoise waters of Lago Frias. After a hearty lunch, no doubt of exiquisite seafood or steak, you’ll depart ‘Puerto Blest’ by boat along the huge Nahuel Huapi Lake, which stretches some 204 square miles. Eventually you’ll end in Bariloche’s Puerto Pañuelo (Port Handkerchief, named so because women would wave goodbye to their husbands off to sea from here) at about 5:30pm, plenty of time to wander this alpine town, try it’s famous hot chocolate and get ready for a hike in the stunning surrounding mountains.

 

 

 

 

The itinerary can also be done in reverse at any time of year and they also offer a 1-day trip if you’re pushed for time. The only extra recommendation we’d make is to make sure you go with an open mind about the weather. On the Chilean part side of the Andes in this part of Patagonia, the weather can be pretty rainy. January is usually the driest month, whilst June is the wettest. If you’re someone who can’t bear the rain, then coming to this humid but beautiful part of Chile probably isn’t for you!