Outdoorsy types will love El Bolsón, a scenic and bohemian town in western Argentina. Known for its artisanal food products and for its abundance of outdoor activities in proximity, there is something for everyone in this charming town and its environs. Here are the top ten things to do and see in El Bolsón.
Hike the Rio Azul
For a day out in nature, get outdoors and hit the hiking trail which runs along this gorgeous river. Experienced hikers can spend the night in a mountain shelter along the path, but amateurs ought not to worry; the 5 km trail makes for a good day hike, with a stop at a refugio for a bite to eat. Don’t forget a swimsuit for a dip in the clear blue water!
Hit up the Feria Artesanal
Spend a few hours wandering around the vibrant market for shopping, food, and live music. Local artisans sell everything from woodcarvings to natural perfumes and soaps to clothing, and the food available ranges from fresh fruit to beer to even vegan sandwiches. There is often live entertainment, like acrobats or jazz bands, to add to the atmosphere. Feria Artesanal, Plaza Pagano, El Bolsón, Argentina, +54 294 449-2604
What better way to see the Rio Azul than from within a kayak or a whitewater raft? With highly experienced and friendly instructors and excellent equipment, this water-sports company is happy to make that happen. The best part? Enjoying coffee, mate, and a bite to eat afterwards courtesy of the company. Paddling Patagonia, Julio Cortazar 5050, San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina, +54 294 448-3507
Check out the Museo de Piedras Patagonicas
This geological museum explores the history of Patagonia through its collection of minerals and rocks. Don’t miss the section on meteorites, as well as the outdoor geological ‘theme park’, which mixes education with natural beauty.
Take to the skies with Aeroclub El Bolsón
For the most unique view of the region, book an aerial tour in a Cessna 182 with Aeroclub El Bolsón. Flights can be anywhere from 10 to 110 minutes, and encompass views of the lakes, glaciers, and parks. To avoid cloud cover, book a flight in the morning.
Have a sweet treat at Jauja
Everyone’s favourite confíteria in town is this authentic spot, renowned in these parts for its delicious and unusual ice cream. Don’t stick to boring old chocolate or vanilla helado here; Jauja specializes in incorporating local flavors in interesting ways. Go for a scoop of boysenberry, mate with sugar, or even beer-flavored ice cream. Jauja, Av. San Martín 2867, El Bolsón, Argentina, +54 294 449-2448
Experience art amidst nature
At El Bosque Tallado, the ruined dead trees resultant of a 1980s forest fire have been carved into elaborate sculptures by an assortment of different South American artists, creating a striking and powerful art installation well worth the 40 peso admission charge. El Bosque Tallado, A 1400 mts. de altura, Faldeo del Cerro Piltriquitrón, El Bolsón, Argentina
Have a spa day at Lumina
Feeling worn out from the stresses or travel, or craving a break from hiking and swimming? For a relaxing day, head to Lumina, a holistic wellness center housed in a funky pink building, for anything from a massage to yoga to meditation classes. Lumina, Perito Moreno 2186, Perito Moreno y Guemes, El Bolsón, Argentina, +54 294 720220
Go chasing waterfalls
The Cascada Escondida makes a perfect half-day adventure: hike along a marked trail, passing a smoothie and snack stall and picnic area, to the foot of these scenic waterfalls. After a quick swim, head uphill through the wooded trail for a glimpse of the Botanic Gardens and more waterfalls. Jardín Botanico Cascada Escondida, El Bolsón, Argentina
Sip a beer at Cervecería Otto Tipp
El Bolsón is known for its micro-brews, and this is the best place to relax after a day of activities and enjoy a drink. Guests can sample the six varieties of beer on offer before choosing one, perhaps to be accompanied by a dinner of Patagonian lamb or another Argentine delicacy. Cervecería Otto Tipp, Roca y Islas Malvinas, El Bolsón, Argentina, +54 294 449-3700
By Madeleine Bazil
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.