PATAGONIA

 


Location:

Patagonia is located in the Southern region of South America and extends from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean through the Andean Range, encompassing both Chile and Argentina

Within its extensive limits Patagonia region features at least five different and well-characterized eco-subregions.

This region that combines endless yellowish steppes with spectacular mountain sceneries is one of the world's last great wildernesses.  




 


San Carlos de Bariloche: 

Selva valdiviana - Patagonia ArgentinaBariloche city it is located at northern Patagonia Argentina, at the South shore of Nahuel Huapi lake, next to the Andes mountain range, which helps to have easy access to the mountains as well to the Patagonian steppe offering a wide range of activities to do in so exuberant natural environments.

The city of Bariloche has around hundred thousand inhabitants and it has a well developed service infrastructure like no other in Patagonia.

Estepa PatagonicaClimate patterns and the four well-defined seasons in Patagonia allow you to enjoy each time of the year and practice a wide range of outdoor activities. To the West, abundant rain and snowfall makes the area to be covered by dense forests and vegetation, being one of the places in Argentina with higher average precipitation yearly. Meanwhile, to the East, vegetation becomes substantially sparse until some 50 km from the range the biome we can observe is the typical Patagonian steppe.

 

 

Some historical facts

The presence of human beings in America and Patagonia is quite contemporary if compared with other world regions. The oldest artifacts belonging to primitive cultures have been found in the Magellan zone, Tierra del Fuego and the continent's southernmost end and date back more than 10,000 years. As Patagonian cultures were essentially nomadic, no trace of early settlements or any writing material has been found but certainly a great number of cave paintings and engravings.

At the turn of the XVII century Araucanos or Mapuche Indians began a decisive land occupation from what nowadays is Chile to the East. This movement started a peaceful though deep ethnic change in Western Patagonia. The tough and arrogant Mapuches belonged to a more complex culture and bravely resisted Spanish invasions. They produced excellent woven fabrics, pottery, as well as elaborated silver craftsmanship. Between 1879/1885, the Argentine military campaign called Desert's Campaign put an end to Mapuche's rule over Patagonia and was the starting point for the massive settlement of "white men" in Northern Patagonia.



Methods of payment:

Argentine currency is the Argentine Peso. It is more convenient to change money in Buenos Aires to obtain a better rate for dollars or euros though ordinarily, in Bariloche, dollars are accepted almost everywhere and there are many authorized currency exchange bureaus. The use of traveler checks is not advisable due to its cost. Also credit cards are widely accepted in Bariloche and there are many automated cash dispensers. Here you can consult about the present local currency change rate using this currency converter

 

Argentina Entry Requirements:

Argentina: Citizens from most countries are given a 90-day stay permit. No visas are required, only valid passports. Citizens from neighboring countries are required only identity cards.
There are no vaccine requirements. It is not allowed to enter plants, vegetables, fruits and perishable food (sweets, fresh food, and so on). When arriving to Bariloche you will find a SENASA (Animal Sanitary Department) checkpoint to control the entry of vegetables, fruits and fresh beef from other regions because of sanitary reasons. Patagonia is a zone free from foot-and-mouth-disease and agricultural pests.
If you travel with self-drive car and you are not an Argentine citizen or from a neighboring country, you will need an international driving license.  

 

Comunications:
In Argentina international phone calls are quite cheap and service very efficient. Public phones function with coins and/or cards. The per-call carrier selection service is available from almost all phones (normally, even at the smallest villages there are phones).
Nearly all accommodations in Bariloche, from 5-star hotels to hostels have public pay phones and Internet. Making international phone calls from hotels is not recommended because there can be surcharges. In downtown area there are phone centers (known as "locutorios") where you can obtain information, make phone calls and buy prepaid phone cards. .

In Argentina communication and information systems are highly developed and the use of E-mail and Internet is widespread. In Bariloche many Cybercafés have computers connected to Internet via ADSL or dialup.

 

Getting to Bariloche

By land: Road transport system in Argentina is highly developed while the railway network is limited and inadequate. There are several bus lines and companies (buses in Argentina are ordinarily known as "colectivos") that offer different type of services ranging from regular non-reclining seats to first class totally reclining-seats like a couch (supercouch bus, first-rate service; here known as "coche supercama, servicio ejecutivo").
There are different roads to get to Bariloche. From the North by Ruta 237. Traveling by bus it takes approximately 20 hours to get from Buenos Aires to Bariloche. Many bus companies offer this journey at different hours and with a wide range of service types. This route passes through the city of Neuquén, 450 km from Bariloche. From the South by Ruta 258, passing by the nearest city of El Bolsón, 130 km from Bariloche. There are many buses from Puerto Madryn and Comodoro Rivadavia to Bariloche which allows good connections from Southern Patagonia. From the West by Ruta 231, passing through the nearby city of Villa La Angostura. You can also arrive from Chile, a 150-km drive from the border. In Chile the nearest important city is Osorno, from where you take also many buses daily.
By air: Several daily flights arrive to Bariloche International Airport from different places, though the majority of them from Buenos Aires. However, you can make a considerable number of connections to and from different tourist destinations and arrange amendments in flight schedules according both to local and destination seasons. Airport taxes for home flights are generally paid when buying plane tickets. Anyway, we recommend confirming this before getting to the airport. There are at least three airlines that offer this kind of flights (Aerolíneas Argentinas, Austral, American Falcon, SW and Línea Federal). From smallest cities you will have less frequent flights and smaller planes, a service offered by the national airline LADE. During winter time Lanchile offers non-stop flights from Santiago de Chile to Bariloche and from Bariloche to Pto. Montt.

 

Drinking water:

In Bariloche's area we still have the possibility to drink water directly from rivers and lakes without having to make it drinkable. And the more you get into the Andean Range the purer the water.

 

Local customs and manners:

Tips: In Argentina there is not a fixed rule with respect to tips, generally a 10% is considered adequate depending on service quality. Usually tips are given in restaurants and bars but not in taxis, except if we want to round up the fare or when the driver helps us with the luggage. In other services it is not necessary and it is up to you.

Social manners: Shaking hands is the commonest way of greeting and just one kiss on the cheek when greeting a friend or a close acquaintance. In Argentina also men use to kiss each other when greeting.

 
 
 
 
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