El Bolsón ("the purse") lies in a valley enclosed on either side by the jagged peaks of two mountain ranges. You catch your first glimpse of the valley about 66 km (41 miles) from Bariloche, with the glaciers of Perito Moreno and Hielo Azul—both more than 1,980 meters (6,500 feet) high—on the horizon south and west.
The first in Argentina to declare their town a non-nuclear zone, El Bolsón’s residents have preserved the purity of its air, water, and land. In spring (late November–December), the roads are lined with ribbons of lupine in every shade of pink and purple imaginable. Red berry fruits, which are exported in large quantities, thrive on hillsides and in backyard chacras (farms); and huge fields of green hops support the exploding Patagonian microbrew industry.