Discovering Bariloche’s Waterfront

We believed it was worth touring around this splendid area of town and get to see this natural viewpoint of Lake Nahuel Huapi in detail as we filled our lungs with its fresh air.

A large stone wall separates life in the City of San Carlos de Bariloche from Lake Nahuel Huapi. It is part of the waterfront promenade and it runs parallel to 12 de Octubre Avenue. It is a permanent invitation to go for a walk or, why not, ride a bicycle.

“It may be said that the waterfront promenade starts at Port San Carlos and spans to the bridge over the Ñireco River”, Eduardo Pérez from Museum of Patagonia told us. “The local citizens take advantage of this site to train, jog or just go for a walk and enjoy a new scene every day.”

The port is a great terrace over Lake Nahuel Huapi, with an eye-catching commercial gallery containing tourist attractions. The wharf is rarely used by watercrafts any more.

It was at this spot where, over a hundred years ago, Argentina and Chile would exchange their goods to both sides of an almost invisible border. It was the place where the famous Modesta Victoria and private excursion boats would moor.

  • Natural viewpoint of Lake Nahuel Huapi

    Natural viewpoint of Lake Nahuel Huapi

  • Bariloche and its lake, old photo

    Bariloche and its lake, old photo

  • The cathedral square

    The cathedral square

  • A Lake with A Thousand Faces

    A Lake with A Thousand Faces

Basically, the tour along the waterfront led us to recognize the typical architecture of Bariloche, present in the Civic Center and in some emblematic buildings on the coastline. Featuring generous sizes and stone foundations, their large balconies and openings were made of the same wood used for the Civic Center.

The Bustillo insignia lies all over the cathedral, the Movilidad de Parques Nacionales building, the Aguas Rionegrinas building and Elementary School No. 266, raised in 1949.

We took advantage of the opportunity to sit on a bench located on the cathedral square, near Palacios Street. In a way, we lost track of space as the thick vegetation was muffling the noise of the speedy traffic on 12 de Octubre Avenue.

We raised our eyes and spontaneously let out “What a beautifully landscaped area!”. We were welcomed by the old huge shady pine-trees, the protagonists of this stretch. Religious images and steps rising towards the cathedral would complete the picture.

We continued along the wide path towards the exit of the city. We noticed that several institutions are based on the other side of the wall, where their excellent buildings are located.

While driving along the waterfront, we had been able to see the roofs of the Municipal Sports Center. Boasting a superb outdoor swimming-pool, spacious halls and shelter, the building lay on a very neat beach area near the water.

Another building was the Nahuel Huapi Fishing and Hunting Association and its well-known restaurant. Beyond, the Paleontology Museum and its interesting collection of items gathered in the region.

As far as the rest of the buildings opposite the lake shore are concerned, we made out the most ancient houses from the ones built in the last few years thanks to the materials and design used.

Very old hotels such as Tres Reyes and apartment buildings of 7 or 8 stories are privileged with an extraordinary view. A common thing is to add large windows on the constructions to invite the view of the lake inside.

As we advanced towards Route 237, the square in between started to become broader. All of a sudden, we realized the sound of the engines on the avenue had died down and it seemed as if the buildings had hidden behind the tree grove.

The wall continued to our side and we sat on it letting our legs hang onto the shore. We were impressed to prove the width of the lake and the snow-capped mountains that hid the road towards Villa La Angostura on the opposite shore.

At the end, we spotted an old neighborhood of wooden houses and mossy roofs settled down in one bend many years ago. It shelters the first high school building in the city.

We got to the end of the tour, where a small square with flags and another one devoted to Francisco P. Moreno, defender of territorial integrity, bade us farewell.

The next day, we set off very early in the morning and the waterfront surprised us again dressed in the mist that was resting upon the lake and would barely reveal the mountains we had seen the previous day.

A Lake with A Thousand Faces

With or without wind, the thousand faces of Lake Nahuel Huapi may be seen while strolling along its waterfront, both during the day and at night. It always offers a different view.
Read complete Outing... Mónica Pons / Eduardo Epifanio

See more points of interest in San Carlos de Bariloche


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