Winter Fun for the Family in Bariloche
Spreading out along the shores of Lago Nahuel Huapi, Bariloche is the Patagonian Lake District’s prime tourist draw. Ringed by the towering peaks of Cerros Catedral, Shaihuenque, Nireco and López, Bariloche enjoys a picture-postcard mountain setting but it also scores points for a great
collection of family-friendly activities. If you’re looking for a family skiing vacation, Bariloche has all you need. But if your little ones aren’t too keen on falling face down in the powder, there’s plenty more to experience in the winter vacation capital of the Argentine south.
Top Things to Do in Bariloche in the Winter
● Ski at Cerro Catedral (Mount Cathedral) Cerro
Cerro Catedral: Photo by Vinicius Pinheiro
If you’re booking a trip to the south of Argentina for the snow you probably already know that Bariloche is Argentina’s skiing mecca, but did you know that there’s often 2m of snow on the ground at the end of the season, and nearly 3000 acres of skiable terrain? The resort of Cerro Catedral is 12 miles from the center of Bariloche and has 38 lifts and is the oldest ski resort in South America – buses run regularly to the resort from Bariloche and surrounding hotels.
Older children and experienced skiers will be happy with their powder-savvy parents, but younger snow enthusiasts will probably need lessons. Ski schools like La Base offer classes for kids (aged 4
to 12) in English, as does Escuela Xtreme which has an Xtreme Kids program for three to 11 year olds.
● Enjoy Some Non-Ski Snow Fun
Sledding Fun: Photo by Mikael Wiman
Kids – and big kids – older than 11 can rent snow BMX bikes – easy-to-manage snowmobiles that you can propel around the lower slopes for a couple of hours. Or try snow tubing – kids aged six and above can tackle the snow tubing piste alone, while younger kids can go down with an
adult. Cerro Catedral also has a toboggan run for families. These facilities are located between the Parador and Midway Station in Princess II. Alternatively, have a more leisurely experience with the family by taking the scenic cable car up the mountain for the best views of the entire area.
● Take a Boat Trip
Immerse yourself in the alpine-like surroundings by taking a boat trip to the picturesque forested Isla Victoria – the largest island in the lake – and onwards to Parque Nacional Los Arrayanes. An ideal family trip, this combines fresh air, running around, and some scenery that will impress even the most jaded young traveler. Day trips to Isla Victoria and Parque Nacional los Arrayanes leave from Puerto Pañuelo, on the Península Llao Llao, and are run year-round by Cau Cau and Turisur.
Tempt kids out into the cold with the fact that Bariloche is the chocolate capital of Argentina (and perhaps the world, save Switzerland….) Head to the main street Calle Mitre for store upon store of artisan chocolate in a range of local varieties like dulce de leche, fresh berry, and lemon. Several of the stores also have family-friendly cafes inside where you can warm up with a chocolate caliente or a submarino (warm milk with an entire chocolate bar melted into it).
While there is plenty of fun to be had in Bariloche and the surroundings with the entire family, there will inevitably come a time when you’d like to explore on your own – particularly if you want to take advantage of the Bariloche nightlife or you’d like to tackle those tough ski runs on your own. World Class Nannies provides a fully bilingual nanny and sitter service in Bariloche and El Bolson for families on vacation, and also families living in the area. Hire a sitter for the evening who will come to your rental apartment or hotel room, or take a bilingual nanny out with you for the day – this service helps ease the pressure and gives mom and dad a vacation as well as the
Bariloche in Winter: Photo by Cami Photography