This town in the Patagonian region of Argentina sits near some of the country's best ski slopes. However, this is one place where you can enjoy yourself without even taking a chairlift. Bariloche has a unique atmosphere, and many people compare it to the most charming towns in the central European Alps, which are literally half a world away. This is actually a very apt comparison: Bariloche even has chocolate shops, breweries and Saint Bernards. The Cerro Catedral ski area, one of the continent's biggest with more than 60 miles of runs, sits just outside the town.
When the town was first settled more than a century ago, most of the residents were immigrants from German-speaking countries like Austria, Germany and Switzerland. The architecture resembles their homeland, including the Cathedral of San Carlos de Bariloche, a neo-Gothic church surrounded by pine trees that creates a holidaylike landscape when snow covers the ground in June and July.