ExperiencePlus! Blog

South America – Patagonian Sunshine Awaits

Bicycling Patagonia's Lakes District with ExperiencePlus!

The time change is a clear reminder that winter is coming. In just a few weeks it will be dark when we leave the office at 5:00 p.m. (group sigh). We all agree that the only sensible course of action is to start planning an active vacation to a warm locale.

If you feel the same way you definitely need to check out our cycling options thought Patagonia’s Lakes District in Argentina and Chile and we aren’t the only ones who think so!

Bicycling Patagonia’s Lakes District – 7 Days. Starts in Bariloche ends in Puerto Varas with a shuttle to Puerto Montt Airport

U.S. News and World Report:

“Stretching across northwestern tip of Argentine Patagonia sits the picturesque Lake District. Sandwiched between the Andes mountains with Chilean Patagonia to the west and Atlantic Patagonia to the east, the Lake District contains breathtaking vistas from nearly every angle. San Carlos de Bariloche, known simply as Bariloche, serves as the region’s major hub. Towering over the immense Nahuel Huapi Lake and the surrounding national park, Bariloche provides a tranquil setting for lounging outdoors, savoring local cuisine, and admiring the picturesque scenery. But Bariloche boasts more than natural beauty. Venture into Bustillo, the heart of the city, and you’ll discover European architecture infused with local hardwood accents, which create a lofty urban setting.

We suggest visiting during November or March, when you can soak up the fresh air, marvel at postcard-perfect views of the Andes, and relax at a tucked away mountain retreat without heavy crowds.”

Travel and Leisure:

“Every country should have a mountain retreat. Argentina’s is its Lake District.”

Rough Guides:

“Argentina’s Lake District – the northwestern wedge of Argentine Patagonia – is a land of picture-perfect glacial lakes surrounded by luxuriant forests, jagged peaks and extinct volcanoes….

The supposed lure is the alpine flavour of this “Argentine Switzerland” – a moniker borne out to some extent thanks to the Mitteleuropa-like setting, wooden chalet architecture and the region’s breweries, dairies and chocolate shops. Yet the real attraction is the sheer unspoilt beauty of the goliath Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi, the grandfather of all Argentina’s national parks, packed with enough trekking and other outdoor activities to last any enthusiast weeks.”

Lonely Planet:

“Strung out along the shoreline of Lago Nahuel Huapi, in the middle of the national park of the same name, Bariloche (formally San Carlos de Bariloche) has one of the most gorgeous settings imaginable….

The soaring peaks of Cerros Catedral, López, Nireco and Shaihuenque (to name just a few) – all well over 2000m high – ring the town, giving picture-postcard views in nearly every direction.”

Bicycling Patagonia’s Lakes District Plus! Chiloé Island 10-days. Starts in Bariloche ends in Cucao with a shuttle to Puerto Montt Airport

CNN Travel:

“Tourism comes (slowly) to Chile’s best-kept secret

You’ve likely never heard of the island of Chiloé, in southern Chile, but Charles Darwin knew all about it.

The island’s diverse ecosystem inspired the famed scientist to explore the area.

Much of what Darwin saw in 1834 you can still find today.

Bright green forests populate the entire western side of the island, a close-knit penguin colony makes its home on the north. Marine fauna includes blue whales, dolphins, sea lions and sea otters.

Because the island developed independently of the mainland, it was and remains largely free from the influences of colonialism and capitalism that marred the country’s modern big cities with a dull urban monotony.

The country’s second-largest island (8,394 square kilometers), Chiloé has a cool climate and fresh breezy air that offers a pleasant alternative to the dry heat of Chile’s big cities.”

Wall Street Journal:

“Exploring Chile’s Secret Island

The savage beauty and rich culture of the country’s second-largest island, Chiloé, have been overlooked for decades.

Compared with the rugged peaks of Patagonia, the lunar landscapes of the Atacama Desert or the steep ski slopes of the Andes, Chiloé is subtle and soothing, with rolling hills and meadows where sheep graze and wildflowers bloom. It has echoes of Ireland and of Oregon’s coastline.”