The stunning mountain town of Bariloche is Argentina’s top destination for active travelers year round, offering amazing hiking, mountain biking and climbing during the summer. Once the June snowfall comes, you will see all sorts of wonderful winter sports at some of South America’s best ski resorts. It’s a classic (and classy) resort town, perfect if you’re sick of the Northern Hemisphere’s recent heat waves and would like to go skiing in July.
That’s because it’s the peak of the ski season, when Bariloche hosts one of Argentina’s biggest and coolest parties: The Bariloche National Snow Festival. Begun in 1954 atop Cerro Catedral, the once modest sporting event has blossomed into a week-long extravaganza involving ski competitions, sweater contests, beauty pageants, lots of live music and a spectacular fireworks show to finish it all off.
The Snow Festival usually takes place in July or August, with this year’s bash getting started on July 25th. The event will attract more than 10,000 people from all over Argentina and the world. From chocolate tastings to cocktail contests, with a soundtrack from some of South America’s biggest bands playing live on the main stage, it promises to be a party to remember.
If you miss the main event, fear not! This being Argentina, there’s also a Fiesta de la Nieve Gay (Gay Snow Festival) also held in Bariloche. In 2012, this popular party runs from September 3rd to 8th. In addition to skiing, skating and snowboarding competitions, among many other outdoor activities, a King and Queen of the Snow will be crowned to lead a spectacular final parade.