After we wrapped up our workaway, we took a series of buses from Coyhaique, Chile back to Argentina and the hippy town of El Bolsón. We had learned about this city from Laura’s dad, who heard that it was full of microbreweries. A perfect transition after leaving our workaway brewery! After trying the beer in El Bolsón, we headed north to Bariloche in the heart of the Lake District.
Upon arriving in El Bolsón, we went to the visitor’s information center to find a cheap hostel. The woman helping us there asked us what brought us to the city: Friends? Trekking? We sheepishly replied, “Cerveza?” She laughed and confirmed there were a lot of breweries in the area. We learned that this region is the largest producer of hops in Argentina, which explained all the hop farms we passed on the bus ride into town. Fresh hops + glacial water = perfect beer? We spent the next couple of days sampling our way around the town to test this theory. It may not have proven to be true, but we enjoyed our time nonetheless!
In contrast to El Bolsón’s laid-back hippy vibe, Bariloche is a bustling tourist destination known for its scenery, hiking, skiing, fishing, and more. The city feels like a Swiss alpine ski town, including many chalet-style buildings and gourmet chocolate shops. It was quaint, charming, and also the home to a few more breweries! We spent much of our time outdoors here enjoying the warm temperatures (50 degrees is the warmest weather we’ve had in over a month!) and the beautiful scenery.
These two cities were our last stops in Patagonia. Overall, this region has been one of the biggest highlights of our trip. We recommend the area to everyone we meet, and we encourage all of you to add it to your places to visit. We would happily tag along on another trip to Patagonia if you want some company!