El Bolsón Travel Guide

José Luis Bruni

El Bolsón is a small Patagonian town famous throughout Argentina and much of South America for its year-round artisan fair and unique local culture. The town (along with El Hoyo and Lago Puelo, two other, smaller towns located within 20 kms) sits in an enormous and spectacular valley. To the West is the Andes mountains or Cordillera, with high alpine peaks, some of which have permanent snowfields and glaciers. On the Eastern side is a tall arid ridge called Piltriquitron. The deep valley traps moisture coming from the Pacific, creating an unusually temperate and humid microclimate ideal
for growing a variety of crops.

El Bolsón is home to a decades-old community of artisans, musicians, and farmers who gather several times a week in the Plaza Pagano at the center of town for the feria, or artisan fair. You'll find the local culture at the feria surprisingly diverse, with crafts, food, art, and music reflecting the indigenous Mapuche mixed with European immigrants who came in the late 19th century as well as urbanites from Buenos Aires who migrated to El Bolsón in the 1970s as part of the Hippy movement.

With national parks located nearby (at Lago Puelo, and further south at Los Alerces) and a large protected reserve in the headwaters of Rio Azul, El Bolsón has ideal wilderness access along with a growing culture of fishing and outdoor adventure, from kayaking and rafting to mountaineering and snowboarding, mountain biking, and paragliding. 

In a kind of cultural phenomenon, thousands of young, mostly high-school age Argentines backpack through El Bolsón during the summer high season (Dec-Feb).

Where to Go in El Bolsón


La Confluencia

Apartado 111

La Confluencia is a luxury spa and lodge built and operated on an ethic of sustainability and stewardship of the local environment.

Cerro Perito Moreno

Circuito Mallín Ahogado

Cerro Perito Moreno is a truly "local" ski area in the wintertime, and among the easiest access points for getting up into the Andean Cordillera year-round.


Roca y Onelli

Local creamery serving organic ice cream and cheeses, micro-brewed beer and homemade baked goods in a clean and quiet setting downtown.

El Bolsón Blog Posts


Day Hiking Lago Puelo
It's been sunny for the last 4 day in Patagonia. This was after nearly two months of rain (June, July up until now). We took a remis one way (40 pesos) from El Bolson to Lago Puelo, the next town to the south, about 15 kms.  Read more

Argentina World Cup Retrospective
There's probably little in the world deader than the World Cup in Argentina after Argentina has been beaten. Nobody here really cares who wins now.  Read more

3 Places to Watch the World Cup in El Bolson, Argentina
We've been celebrating a lot here each time Argentina plays in the World Cup. After a victory the restaurant and bars and houses and schools empty and everyone goes to the center of town (Plaza Pagazno) to cheer.  Read more

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