El Bolsón

El BolsónEl Bolsón - Photos: Jorge González

Speaking about El Bolsón inevitably leads to thinking about elves, hippies and wonderful sites where mountains, rivers and lakes speak for themselves. “One day I’ll leave everything behind and move to El Bolsón” may be one of the most commonly heard phrases when someone resolves to change their life drastically.

El Bolsón is part of the so-called Comarca AndinaAndean Shire) of the 42nd parallel, which includes Districts such as Ñorquinco (also in Río Negro) and El Hoyo, Lago Puelo, Epuyén, Cholila and El Maitén, in Chubut. The valleys connecting these communities are framed by the Andes Mountain Range and boast incredible beauty, with rivers, lakes and creeks bordered by native woods.

The Town of El Bolsón is nestled at the foot of Mount Piltriquitrón, on the banks of the Quemquemtreu River. Its history dates back to 1880, with small agricultural settlements. However, it was not until 1926 that it was organized as a municipality. In turn, its heterogeneous population resulted from a significant inner migratory current and the arrival of foreign immigrants from some European countries.

In order to preserve this privileged natural environment, El Bolsón was declared Non-nuclear Zone in 1984. As the Municipal Charter contemplates that this region is free from radioactive pollution, it has been granted the title of Ecological District.

A very particular micro-climate prints different scenes on every season. In the winter, the snow-capped hills of Mount Perito Moreno are an invitation to ski. In the Spring and the Fall, the reddish, ocher and green hues explode on the cypresses coihues and lengas growing in the trees. In the summer, the waterways are ideal for fishing, lake tours and other nautical sports such as surfing and river rafting. Hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking and climbing are other possibilities, as well as spending a day on the beach at some lake or creek.

Intense agricultural tasks are carried out at the community. These may be seen through some visit to local farms specialized in growing hop –an ingredient that provides aroma to beer- and fine fruit.

Besides being the seat of the National Hop Festival, El Bolsón is known for its regional handicrafts market, where works done in pottery, wool, wood, leather, metal, dry flowers stand out. Other products such as jam, fresh vegetables, recently picked-up flowers, knives and candles are also for sale.

El Bolsón may be accessed through National Routes 258 and 40. There are also airlines flying to the nearby Cities of San Carlos de Bariloche or Esquel. The remaining distance is completed using various means of transport.

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