Travel Diary: Bariloche and Llao Llao

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No trip to Argentina is complete without visiting Patagonia, a vast territory in the southern part of the country known for its staggeringly beautiful landscapes, including lakes, glaciers and the Andes Mountains. When we arrived in Bariloche it was hard to believe we were still in Argentina. The main town feels like a quaint German village and it’s easy to imagine for a moment that you’re surrounded by the Alps!

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Friends in Buenos Aires had raved about their stay at the Llao Llao, and we were happy to take their recommendation. Perched on the top of a hill overlooking two crystal blue lakes, the Moreno and Nahuel Huapi, the Llao Llao is perfectly positioned for guests to take advantage of the best outdoor activities Patagonia’s lakes region has to offer. We stayed in their new Moreno wing, which is designed so every room has incredible views of the Andes. We decided to order room service for a few meals so we could enjoy the view from our own terrace, but even our bathtub and shower looked out on the mountains!

The decor is rustic-chic and reminds me of Ralph Lauren’s ranch in Colorado. I especially loved the grand hall where they serve breakfast each morning, with 30 foot ceilings and massive chandeliers hanging over a banquet table offering the most decadent breakfast spread.

Since the Llao Llao is situated about 40 minutes from town they’ve curated enough activities to keep guests very busy. On our first afternoon, we set out to explore the lake in a two person canoe, paddling along the edge of the lake, sliding along little inlets and looking for birds. The following afternoon we had a spectacular outing climbing Cerro Llao Llao, the mountain for which Llao Llao is named. The hike starts at the hotel and is only two hours round trip, but the summit offers a fantastic vantage point of the surrounding lakes–one of the most breathtaking landscapes I’ve seen. We wished we were there for a whole week to try the host of other outdoor activities available, from archery to paddle boarding. After a day of excursions I loved returning to the hotel for a massage at Llao Llao’s wonderful spa, where each treatment room has a view of the Andes.

Weather in Patagonia is similar to other mountain regions – chilly in the mornings and evenings but quite warm during the day. While most of my luggage is full of warm weather dresses, I made sure to include a few more transitional pieces, and this incredible baby alpaca sweater from Erlum Alpaca was perfect paired with shorts for mornings spent sipping coffee on the docks. Many of you have been asking how I’ve packed for this trip so stay tuned for a packing post soon! (And subscribe here if you’d like to keep up with our round-the-world trip!)

Thank you Llao Llao for so many adventures in Bariloche!

xx, SF

All photos by David and Stacie Flinner for stacieflinner.com.

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