Patagonia is the vast southern end of South America, stretching between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and encompassing parts of Argentina and Chile, with the tall Andes marking the international border. We visited three areas and were awed by the mountains, lakes, and glaciers.
We started in San Carlos de Bariloche, a town in the foothills of the Andes, actually fully inside Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi.
This was our first glimpse of lavender in South America. Lots of it. We expected to see it in Provence last spring but were too early in the season. Here in Argentina it’s at the peak of its bloom.
Bariloche was established along the shores of the glacial lake, Nahuel Huapi, hundreds of years ago, with Spanish missionaries arriving in the 1600s. It’s also possible that some German war criminals arrived here in the 1940s.
The lake has its own sea monster, Nahuelito. We didn’t see it. 🙂
We did see something quite rare these days…
The national park has a short circuit (Circuito Chico) and a long circuit (Circuito Grande) around parts of the lake. Michael biked the short route, competing with speeding cars on the narrow twisty road. See his route and photos on Strava. We also drove the long route, passing seven lakes and numerous waterfalls (cascadas).
Bariloche is famous for its chocolates, with a chocolate museum, chocolate factories, and numerous chocolate shops, established in the last century by German and Austrian immigrants. Our favorite chocolate shop was Mamuschka. We made MANY stops here.
Next, we’re back to Buenos Aires and then on to other parts of Patagonia and glaciers!