El Bolson is only 2 hours away from Bariloche and famous for it’s artisan market (feria artesenal). The market is held every Tuesday, Thursday, Saterday and Sunday. At this market they sell homemade handicrafts, home made beer, sweets, mate (argentinian herbal tea), food, homemade juices and clothes.
There is a large hippy community living in El Bolson and the atmosphere here is very relaxed. There are some good restaurants and cervecerias (beer shop/bar). The biggest hop production in Argentina is around El Bolson so there are multiple micro breweries around the small town were you can buy/try some of the best beers.
As usual in southern Argentina you can go hiking, fishing, kayaking or just look at the mountains surrounding you. Paragliding or parapenting is a big thing here so check if you can go out to fly like a bird.
Make sure you visit El Bosque Tolledo for fantastic views to El Bolson and the mountains. In this “carved forest” you will find some really cool sculptures made out of wood/trees. In the town itself you can find some really cool sculptures already and a lot of restaurants and stores have their own handcarved wooden sign outside.
Check out Cerro Piltriquitron/El Bosque Tolledo. Cerro Piltriquitron is the very dominant mountain that almost overshadows half of El Bolson. From El Bosque Tolledo you can hike onward to a refugio hut from which, after registration, you can hike all the way to the summit of this impressive mountain.
For an impression of this hike check our video: El Bolson Piltriquitron hike
Rio Azul deserves a visit too when the weather is good.
Where to sleep in El Bolson
Airbnb, a nice apartment at the back of Eduardo’s house. A little bit outside the city center but only a 1,2 kilometer walk to the city center. You get you own tiny house with a small kitchen and bathroom. Wifi was ok but the bed was not very comfortable.
11 euro per night/ 2 persons. We stayed 7 nights. Paid directly to Airbnb so 21% IVA was included.
Where to eat in El Bolson
The best ice cream in the south of Argentina is made at Jauja. You can choose from at least 30 flavors like dulche leche mousse or pineapple or mascarpone with white chocolate.
Take time for a flap jack. This is the best lunch/dessert you can ever get. 3 layers of pancakes each topped with something different like dulche leche with banana, cream with raspberry and strawberry and the last one with whipped cream topped of with chocolate and walnuts and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Trust us, you will go back here. Jauja has two different menus! The flap jack is on the cafeteria menu and costs only 250 peso (4,25 euro).
They also have a store were you can buy chocolates.