The Top 10 Things To Do and See in El Bolsón
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.
Rio Azul, El Bolsón | © Marcelo A. Gonzalez/WikiCommons
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.
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.
Museo de Piedras Patagonicas | © Pablo Gimenez/Flickr
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
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