It’s not hard to see why the hippies started flocking to El Bolsón back in the ‘70s. It’s a mellow little village for most of the year, nestled in between two mountain ranges. When summer comes, it packs out with Argentine tourists who drop big wads of cash and disappear quietly to whence they came.
In the last 30-odd years El Bolsón has been declared both a non-nuclear zone and an ‘ecological municipality’ (are you getting the picture yet?). What’s indisputable is that just out of town are some excellent, easily accessible hikes that take in some of the country’s (if possibly not the world’s) most gorgeous landscapes.
The town welcomes backpackers, who often find it a relief from Bariloche’s commercialism and find themselves stuffing their bellies with natural and vegetarian foods and the excellent beer, sweets, jams and honey made from the local harvest.
Rows of poplars lend a Mediterranean appearance to the local chacras (farms), most of which are devoted to hops (El Bolsón produces nearly three-quarters of the country’s hops) and fruits.
Motorists should note that El Bolsón is the northernmost spot to purchase gasoline at Patagonian discount prices.