Eco HostelÂ and Learning Center -Â El BolsÃ³n, Argentina
Whether you’re looking to get close to nature or experience traditional Patagonian ‘Gaucho’ culture, El BolsÃ³n is sure to please. This deep-cut Andean valley boasts a milder climate to the surrounding Patagonian Steppe, making it possible to grow fine fruits such as berries and hops, as well as a thriving local economy based on artisanal food and crafts. Further, one can enjoy the stunning scenery without the large herds of tourists found in more popular areas like Bariloche and El ChaltÃ©n. Read on to find out more about what El BolsÃ³n has to offer, where, as the town motto goes, “The Magic is Natural.”
Without a doubt El BolsÃ³nÂ´s hiking is its top attraction.Â There are ample trailheads easily accessible from town via local bus, taxi, hitchhiking, or a combination of the three. You can find half-day, full-day, and multi-day treks of varying difficulties, with a wide range of offerings from high peeks with 360 degree views such as Piltriquitron, to deep-cut canyons with rushing and vibrant rivers, like the walks along Rio Azul and to Refugio Motoco. We have plenty of information to help you plan your trip in town at the Earthship, as well as ample first-hand experience.Â If you plan on taking any multi-day trips into the mountains, you need not bring tents, as there are many mountainÂ “refugios” with beds, warm fires, and friendly company. A sleeping bag will suffice, and it is advised to bring some food for at least snacks, as homemade food is available for purchase in the refugios. They are operated by families and friends of the original Patagonion settlers and areÂ rustically charming and remote yet homely, and are, without a doubt, an unmissable Patagonian experience. Prices vary by season, and are usually the same as a standard hostel dorm bed.
A trip to El BolsÃ³n is incomplete without a visit to the famous artisan market, or “Feria Artesanal”. You can enjoy the Feria 4 times each week: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. While Saturdays are certainly the busiest and most exciting, other market days are sure to please. It is a 5 minute walk from Earthship Patagonia, making it the perfect distance to stumble back to after enjoying craft beer from one of the many local brewers accompanied with my personal favorite, empanadas de roquefort. Be sure to stick around until the evening during summer months to see talented live musicians perform around the plaza.
It is easy to spot the everlasting Gaucho lifestyle around town. You are likely to see these traditional ranchers riding horses through the town’s streets while sipping mate in southern cowboy clothing. They are surely friendly and, if you asked, would gladly let you pet the horses and offer you a mate. If you’re extra lucky, you may get invited back to their homes for an “asado”!
Whether you decide to spend a few weeks or just a few days in El BolsÃ³n, we know you will find some old Patagonian charm through its people and scenery. Either way, you can reserve your spot with us at Earthship Patagonia right here on our website, so that you can get the most out of your stay, while learning about sustainability and contributing to the preservation of the pristine Patagonia.
Creating Earthship Patagonia: Our Story
In 2007, Earthship Patagonia was a distant dream. International travelers looking for more than a hostel bed in a tourist trap town embarked on a journey to re-imagine the backpacking lifestyle, hoping to capture the goals and aspirations of many into a single and cohesive social enterprise manifested into the form of an accommodation. We wanted to learn, create, share, experience, harmonize, and grow during our travels, while respecting and experiencing every environment we encounter, contributing to its future and inspiring others to care about their impact on the world around them. Years of focus, hard work, charisma, creative talent, and a ton of magic carried out by a group of dreamers lead to enough resources of all types to birth the project’s initation.
In March of 2015, we broke ground on a plot of land in the center of El BolsÃ³n, Argentina with the help of 50 international sustainable design students and a powerhouse crew of 20 volunteers and dreamers. TogetherÂ we laid a foundation of tin cans, built walls of dirt-packed tires and recycled glass bottles, raised a roof with solar panels and rain water tanks, and learned along the way design principles for all participants to be able to continue and create similar projects around the world.
We will be open for guests during the 2015-2016 Summer season. Some services we hope to offer include accommodation inside the Earthship and in adjacent Yurts, bike rental, gardening workshops, and optional communal meals. If you will be traveling through the area this season, consider staying with us to learn and create together!
El BolsÃ³n is a special valley deep in the Andes of Southern Argentina which boasts a mild climate and rich soil. Here, we are lucky to encounter a melting pot of global cultures from local gauchos and native Mapuche to European and North American transplants enjoying the progressive small town energy. It is a hub for alternative buildings and holistic lifestyles, making it a perfect location to grow our project. Earthship Patagonia is one of the few locations incorporating various alternative building styles in the town center.
lear more atÂ earthshippatagonia.com