Learn Spanish in Bariloche, a small town in a breathtaking location at the foot of the Andes in the south of Argentina.
This charming town lies in a valley on the shores of the lake Nahuel Huapi, one of the biggest lakes in the country. Bariloche is not only the "gateway to Patagonia" but also a very important tourist destination in itself, known for the Cerro Catedral ski resort. Fans of the outdoors will not only enjoy the breathtaking views, but also the incredible landscapes which have multitudes of activities on offer including hiking, trout fishing, trekking, or mountain climbing.
A popular excursion is to visit the Nahuel Huapi National Park, which was founded in 1934, making it the oldest national park in Argentina. Several lookouts reward you with incredible views of the beautiful area. The winter sports resort Piedras Blancas and the Cerro Campanario are great places for panoramic views. You can also reach the top of the mountain by chairlift.
For those with a sweet tooth, Bariloche is the perfect place. Here you can find a rich variety of chocolates, in the city which is often known as the chocolate capital of Argentina. The town has many chocolate stores and even a dedicated museum, the "Havanna Museo de Chocolate", where you can marvel at chocolate sculptures. Each year one of the biggest Easter eggs in the world is created here, weighing over seven tons, made entirely of chocolate. Lucky visitors receive a piece on Easter Sunday after it is broken apart.
Bariloche, originally named Carlos de Bariloche after the first settler of the same name, is a relatively young city. The city was officially founded in 1902 and used as a trade route with Chile. The construction of a railway line in the 1930s brought prosperity and the town eventually turned into a tourist destination. The mountains and forest landscapes, as well as Swiss migration are the reason that many refer to this area are the Argentine Switzerland, which is also reflected in the alpine design of the buildings, especially in the city center.
The influence of the German, Austrian and Swiss migrants in Patagonia can be seen in the typical cuisine of the area. A dish of Patagonian lamb is a specialty known throughout the country and you will likely find smoked fish and cheese fondues. Another typical dish is Curanto (hot stone), a traditional indigenous Mapuche dish which is prepared, as the name gives away, using hot stones to cook vegetables, meat, and fish in the outdoors. You will also be able to find locally brewed beer throughout the area.
Similarly to other countries in Latin America, you will find that Argentina has its own distinct accent which is different to the Spanish language of Spain or other countries. It is especially noticeable that the double l is pronounced not as a "j" which is usually the case is Spanish phonetics, but with English "sh", which gives the language a softer tone which goes well with the Italian intonation. Despite its different pronunciation, the Argentine Spanish is well-known worldwide and easy to understand for other Spanish speakers.
Bariloche is a fantastic place to learn Spanish. Explore the beautiful natural landscapes or practice winter sports while also improving your language skills.