Between 1935 and 1940, the Argentine Directorate of National Parks carried out a number of urban public works, giving the city a distinctive architectural style. Among them, perhaps the best-known is the Civic Centre.
Bariloche grew from being a centre of cattle trade that relied on commerce with Chile, to becoming a tourism centre for the Argentine elite.
One of the most popular activities is skiing, and most tourists visit Bariloche in winter (June–September). The main ski slopes are the ones at Cerro Catedral (map), the biggest ski resort in South America and in the southern hemisphere. During the summer, beautiful beaches such as Playa Bonita (map) and Villa Tacul welcome sun-bathers; brave lake swimmers venture into its cold waters (chilled by melting snow).
Trekking along trails in the nearby mountain wilderness is supported by a few high-mountain huts operated by the Club Andino Bariloche. The city is also noted for its chocolates and Swiss-style architecture.
San Carlos de Bariloche lies close to the Chilean border and is connected to Chile by the Cardenal Antonio Samoré Pass (map) crossing the Andes Mountains.
Antares Brewery (map). Nice variety of food and great beer. The barley wine is especially potent. Two-for-one pints during happy hour, every day 18:00-20:00.
Never hike alone on the trails which touch the city, particularly up to Piedras Blancas. There have been many reported robberies of tourists on these paths.