Bariloche : Argentina


What It Is Like to Retire in Bariloche

San Carlos de Bariloche, or as it's more frequently known, Bariloche, is a gorgeous lakeside town that sits as the regional capital of Argentina’s Lakes District. The city is Argentina’s top tourist destination for good reason. Situated on the shores of Lake Huapi and surrounded by the Andes, the town offers something for everyone. It is located with the Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi, a large protected area made up of forests, stunning green lakes and snowcapped mountains. Runners, hikers and bikers love making use of the extensive trail system found within the park. In the summer, Argentines flock from hot Buenos Aires to the cool beaches of the lakes district. While the water is quite cold year round due to glacial melt, you can still see some brave swimmers take to the water on hot days. Kayaking and windsurfing on the lake are also popular activities, and the fly-fishing is world class. Winter sees skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts taking to Cerro (Mt.) Catedral for some of the best snow conditions in the Southern hemisphere. The mountain also makes for great hiking and mountain biking in the summer, and less energetic retirees looking for a good view can ride to the top on the chairlift.

Where to Retire in Bariloche and Home Prices

The city of San Carlos de Bariloche has a unique architectural style; the early inhabitants of modern day Bariloche were Germans, moving across the border from Chile. As a result of this, houses and buildings look as though they belong in the German Alps. The most famous building in the style is the Llao Llao hotel, sitting a few miles out of town. Built by Bustillo, it is the ultimate representation of the Argentinean Lakes District style. The city and surrounding area is quite safe, especially by South American standards.
Prices are higher than in most of Argentina, and much higher compared with the rest of South America. However, the daily cost of living is still less costly than in the US. Argentina has experienced very high inflation this year.

What Is Special about Bariloche

Seemingly every outdoor recreational activity can be easily arranged from the city. Bike along the shores of the lake, fly-fish in nearby rivers, camp in the National Park, etc. The surrounding beauty of the wilderness makes Bariloche a very special place to live in retirement.

What Is Not Special about Bariloche

Rapid development within a pristine wilderness area generally do not go well together. The city of Bariloche features many high rises which have been criticized by residents as ruining the town. The nearby towns of El Bolson and San Martin de los Andes offer similar recreational activities with less of an urban landscape. The area is very touristy, which can be a turn off for permanent residents.

Who Will Like Retirement in Bariloche

People who enjoy outdoor activities combined with an urban lifestyle like retiring to Bariloche.

Local Economy Is Driven by

The largest contributor to the local economy is tourism. 700,000 visitors arrive every year; most are Argentinians. The Lakes District also produces fruit, wine and artisanal beer for use within the country and export.

Climate and Physical Environment

Bariloche is part of Patagonia, and so strong winds tend to blow through town. Because it is in the Southern Hemisphere, they experience summer during our winter. The warmest months are January and February, with highs around 70. May through July see colder temperatures (lows in the 30s), with snow falling occasionally in town and frequently in the mountains.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

The urban setting and tourist industry support many cultural events, ranging from films to theater to dance performances.


Crime increases in the high seasons, especially petty theft, but Bariloche is a relatively safe city.

Medical Facilities

Many doctors operate in the region, and there is a private hospital in the city.


Bariloche is about a two hour flight from Buenos Aires. In general, the roads are well taken care of and driving from one Lake District town to another is not a problem. However, roads within the Park are not paved and require appropriate cars. 

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