A must visit at any time of the day, as nature does not rest and presents itself as impressive before those who wish to enjoy.
All dressed in yellow and wearing a long cape provided by the transportation company, we watch the departure of the group of tourists that resolved to enjoy the marvels of this tour on a chairlift to the top of Cerro Campanario
(Bell Tower Hill). Some of them hesitate and ask about the visibility at the top. They do not make many questions about those seven minutes they will spend on a very slow ride on the chairlifts, which resembles a tunnel whose walls are made up by the high thick trees.
Eager to leave, few of them appreciate the sign posts at the foot of the hill which give hints of how to recognize the native and exotic species. They just wish to reach the top and take all the pictures they can.
Already at the ticket office, I make contact with lots of people who use this means to enjoy one of the most beautiful tours in the City of Bariloche
. In the rain, the sunshine, in the cold or the heat, Cerro Campanario
offers the possibility to appreciate Lake Nahuel Huapi in its entire splendor. This water body bathes the city and spreads towards the Chilean border. It joins Bariloche with the District of Villa La Angostura
, in the Province of Neuquén
, and it is the largest lake in the region.
The bright green and the humidity of the environment attempt to catch our attention as we go up but we soon become alert for the time to get off the chairlift. Several vantage points display a 360-degree view of the lake, Victoria Island
and San Pedro and Huemul Peninsulas. The mountain range where López Hill is located appears in the forefront and small hamlets are surrounded by intense green shades and smaller water mirrors.
Some visitors cannot stop shooting their flashes. Others save minutes to visit some nook in the viewpoint and watch the vastness alone and in silence. They remain astonished before the scenery and try to keep everything in their retinas. Cypress woodlands support the mountain.
As a perfect finale, an excellent coffee-shop invites everybody to enjoy some hot beverage as they behold the equally beautiful impressions of this fascinating site.
How to get here: To reach Cerro Campanario, from the center of San Carlos de Bariloche, take Bustillo Avenue up to the 17.5 kilometer marker. There lies the detour to access the hill, which stands 1,050 meters above sea level.