Argentina’s ‘Little Switzerland’ Is A Paradise Of Mountain Sports And Chocolate

Flickr/Luciano135

Deep in Patagonia, you would never expect to find the makings of a Swiss chalet town. Yet, that’s exactly what you’ll discover in San Carlos de Bariloche, a city in the foothills of the Andes Mountains in Argentina.

Bariloche calls itself “Little Switzerland.”

The skiing, mountains and chocolate mimic the European country.

Bariloche has two high seasons: summer and winter.

July and August offer great hiking weather while January and February bring the skiers.

St. Bernards are always hanging out around town.

Trained to rescue people lost in the mountains, these giant dogs are a mascot of the city.

Bariloche is the chocolate capital of Argentina.

There are dozens of chocolate shops in the town.

You can walk down “The Avenue of Chocolate Dreams.”

Mitre Avenue is basically a walk through Willy Wonka’s wildest fantasies.

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The chocolate is pretty good in ice cream form, too.

Chocolate shops like Mamuschka Chocolate sell artisanal ice cream, but the local favorite is Helados Jauja.

Every year, La Fiesta Del Chocolate celebrates cocoa in the city.

Right around Easter, Bariloche starts to overflow with gigantic chocolate Easter eggs.

Last year, it boasted the longest chocolate bar in the world.

The chocolate bar spanned an entire city block.

So go drink some hot cocoa with a St. Bernard in Bariloche!

Just remember: winter here is summer there, and vice versa.