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EL BOLSON Patagonia Argentina

Rio Azul - El Bolsón

Viewing Platform of the stunning Blue River located just 7 kilometres from El Bolson.

El Bolsón

The beautiful town of El Bolson foreshadowed by the imposing mountain Piltriquitron

Lupines

El Bolson is a array of colours and the beautiful lupines are in full bloom most of the year.

Rio Azul - El Bolsón

Viewing Platform of the stunning Blue River located just 7 kilometres from El Bolson.

El Bolsón - Craft Market in Plaza Pagano

The beautiful and vibrant Plaza Pagano located in the centre of El Bolson. Has one of the best craft markets in South America.

Villa Turismo

The stunning mountain village of Villa Turismo located just 5 kilometres from El Bolson

Villa Turismo - El Bolson

Idyllic scene of a traditional house in Villa Turismo surrounded by glorious nature.

  • El Bolsón

El Bolson: History and Legends

  • Located in:
  • Rio Negro, Argentina

Immersed in the Andes Range, El Bolsón is located on the southwest of Río Negro province, 75 miles (120 km) from San Carlos de Bariloche, and is part of the Andean region known as Paralelo 42°. This area is located on a glacial valley which is 1,116 feet (340 m) above sea level and is magnificently framed by Piltriquitrón Mountain and Quemquemtreu River. The beautiful natural environment and the local people transmit unique sensations. In order to preserve the natural resources of this area, in 1984, El Bolsón was declared Non-Nuclear Zone —an area which is free of radioactive pollution— and was declared "Ecological Municipality" in 1991. The community is highly involved in agricultural activities, which are featured in specialized farms as a tourist attraction. There, you'll find crops of hop, fine fruit, organic vegetables and dairy products. El Bolsón is also renowned for its craft fair, where you can acquire a wide variety of products. Piltriquitrón Mountain is a must: it's one of the most important tourist attractions and one of the most beautiful places where you can make an excursion. Over twenty massive sculptures carved on dry trees by renowned sculptors, both local and from all over the country, add on to the natural beauty of the place. Thanks to the unique microclimate, visiting El Bolsón will be amazing at any time during the year. In winter, the snow-covered slopes of Perito Moreno Mountain are great for skiing and snowboarding. In summer, fishing, sailing, rafting, are the main activities. In the early seventies, El Bolsón was the spot chosen by Southern hippies. Today, this valley still breathes the air of that magical utopia.

Videos

El Bolson - Natural Attractions

120 Km. south of Bariloche, by a magnificent mountain road, we find the valley of El Bolson, a region that focuses on organic farming, handicrafts, production of sweets, beer and tourism.(Official video of Municipal Tourism Bureau El Bolson).

El Bolsón, Rio Negro, Patagonia, Argentina

This is the most beautiful town of Rio Negro that has retained its original character and beauty. Surrounded by beautiful mountains and rivers this is one of the last frontiers of the planet.

El Bolsón, Rio Negro, Patagonia, Argentina

Promotional video from the Tourism dept of El Bolson with beautiful images of the town and surrounding areas.

El Bosque Tallado - El Bolsón - Patagonia Argentina

A burned down forest brought about the creation of artistic wood carvings just a few kilometres outside of El Bolson. The carved forest is situated on the slopes of Mount Piltiquitron and is a unique and amazing experience. A group of local artists initially carved about 30 sculptures giving life to the surviving lenga forest that was devastated by fire in 1982.

Video del Canal YouTube de Turismo El Bolsón (Oficina de turismo Municipal)

El Bolsón, Craft Market

The beautiful and vibrant Plaza Pagano located in the centre of El Bolson. Has one of the best craft markets in South America.

Epuyen

The stunning Lake Epuyen located just 40 kilometres from El Bolson.

Lago Puelo, Rio Negro, Patagonia, Argentina

Taken from a drone above the beautiful small village of Lago Puelo located 7 kilometres from El Bolson.

Paragliding in El Bolson

​El Bolson has the most incredible parachuting and paragliding in Argentina from the Piltriquitrón mountains.

On Top of Cerro Piltriquitron, El Bolson, Argentina

A 2 and a half hour climb from Refugio Piltriquiltron to the summit overlooking the Andes and El Bolson

Beatriz Pichi Malen - Lullaby "Canción para dormir a un niño"

Tradional moving song from one of the original tribes of Patagonia the mapuche.

History

Tehuelche tribes lived in the area hundreds of years ago, then the white man came in search of the mythical City of the Caesars. Some historians mention Captain Juan Fernández as one of the first who arrived at the region in 1620.

But the real settlement in the area took place from 1883 when the first Chilean agriculturers who travelled through the paths in the cordillera occupied the valley. This migratory wave imprinted well defined characteristics in the agriculture of the region, since they introduced the Chilean knowledge and style.

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A second migration took place between 1903 and 1905, they were Argentine citizens from different parts of the country.

Around the 30s the map of the city was traced, while streets and public buildings were being built. An important number of foreigners settled in the area at that time. Ukranian, Polish, Russian, Italian and Croatian workers were hired by engineer Alberto Pagano as skilled labor to build all the infrastructure of the town. These people had been previously been working in the railway track between Jacobacci and San Carlos de Bariloche.

The social organization of the Town Hall in El Bolsón originated in the first Comisión de Fomento founded in 1926 by the government of the Territorio Nacional de Río Negro. The following year, the Civil Court was created.

By decree Nº 25.574/33 of 5th September, 1933, the territory of El Bolsón was assigned a surface slightly under 8.000 hectares. On 18th November, 1957, it was declared municipality of a second category, and from then on conducted by a municipal agent.

At present, Town Hall is headed by an Intendente and assisted by a Town Council of 5 members.

The first tracing of El Bolsón was passed by decree of 12th July 1939, but was modified by Provincial Law 459 on 21st December 1965, and assigned a definitive surface of 20.000 hectares.

Within the area there is also a sector of 23.000 hectares under national jurisdiction, Parque Nacional Lago Puelo, in the province of Chubut around lake Puelo.

In the 60s, bohemian people searching for tranquility and a new way of life settled in El Bolsón. They belonged to the “hippie movement”and came from big cities; they chose the farms in the surroundings for their new life. This immigration imprinted some particular characteristics to the town, not repeated in other parts of the country: community life, handicraft work, economic self-sufficiency, what gives a different image to the city today.

In the history of the region mingle old legends with the fantasy of the people who gave a spicy touch to these stories. Such is the case of the legend of Butch Cassidy, or the story of the plesiosaur that caused the Director of the Zoológico de Buenos Aires to come in 1925, or the legendary narrow gauge train that was so important in the development of these valleys.

James Ryan was the famous Butch Cassidy, a bank and train robber in the USA, who arrived in 1991 together with Harry and Etta Place and were assigned 6000 hectares in Chubut. The three of them and their activities gave origin to one of the most conroversial legends of the beginning of the century in Patagonia, then in other parts of the country and finally in Bolivia, the scenery of their criminal activities. The cabin they built is still preserved.

Another legendary character was Martin Sheffield, an American sheriff who came from Chile to the Nahuel Huapi in 1889, he worked there with other Americans and then settled in El Bolsón, where he was renowned for his personality and his proverbial gun shot. He was an amusing man, very much appreciated in social gatherings, who married to María Ancapichun, a native woman with whom they had 12 children, of which only Juana lives today in Cuesta del Ternero. Doña Juana says that she saw the plesiosaur which caused her father to write to Clemente Onelli in laguna Epuyén.

Native People

Indigenous people

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