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Bariloche
Travel Guide


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Bariloche at a glance

Nestled among the lakes and mountains of Argentina’s Patagonian Lake District is the quaint city of San Carlos de Bariloche. Perched on the edge of spectacular Lake Nahuel Huapi and surrounded by snowy peaks, you can easily forgive the slightly messy growth of Bariloche from a small village to bustling town. The region has an alpine feel that goes beyond just the terrain. In the 1800s many German and Swiss immigrants arrived from Chile and settled in the region, bringing traditional cheeses, craft beers, and chocolates perfect to enjoy after a full day exploring the great outdoors. Whether you’re hiking, biking or on a boat ride, you’ll enjoy being surrounded by the beauty of the lakes and National Park.

Experiences around Bariloche

What not to miss

Bariloche is a place to be enjoyed at a slow pace thanks to its charming Swiss-style stone and wooden chalet architecture and renowned artisan chocolate shops. Whether you’re enjoying adventure activities or simply relaxing, you’ll always find yourself surrounded by stunning mountain landscapes and endless vistas. Set in the heart of Argentina’s Patagonian Lake District, Bariloche is the perfect center to go out and explore Argentina's oldest National Park - Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi. The Seven Lakes on the Circuito Chico, or to take an enchanted day trip to Isla Victoria and the magnificent Llao Llao Resort. Bariloche is also the gateway to a number of small mountain villages such as San Martin de los Andes located on the banks of Lake Lácar, Villa Angostura which is known for its beautiful alpine wooden buildings and El Bolson which is the gateway to some of the region’s most stunning scenery.

Circuito Chico Top

The tour starts in the city of Bariloche and heads west from the city by the AV Bustillo bordering Lake Nahuel Huapi. At km 8 is Playa Bonita, from there you can see Huemul Island. At km 17 the foot of Cerro Campanario is reached, and a chairlift operates that moves people to the summit (1050m) from where you will see one of the most beautiful views of the region. Following Bustillo Avenue passing zone San Pedro Peninsula at Km 25 the Llao Llao area is reached. There is the Chapel St. Edward regional architectural jewel, and on Lake Nahuel Huapi Scarf port where sailing excursions leave from Lake Nahuel Huapi. To the south a stunning view of Llao Llao Hotel framed by the Capilla and Lopez Hills. Later you will arrive at Panoramic Point from where you can see the lovely view of the Llao Llao Peninsula and surrounding lakes. Then you will reach the bridge over Moreno Lake in their narrowness. Later at 2 km It is the junction with Av Bustillo where it returns to the city thus ending this excursion.

Circuito Grande Top

You will head northwards along National Route 237, crossing the outlet of Nahuel Huapi Lake and the spring of Limay River. Following the river, you’ll pass by the Amphitheater and then go on towards the Valle Encantado (Enchanted Valley) and Confluencia Traful, a region of transition between the Patagonian steppe and the Patagonian Andean forest. Leaving behind Route 237, you’ll take Provincial Route 65 west, towards Villa Traful bordering Traful River until you reach a natural balcony overlooking Traful Lake. The road continues bordering the lake, passing through Villa Traful towards Arrayanes Port. From there you’ll go on up, through a shady forest to El Portezuelo (940 m), where you will meet the Seven Lakes Road going southwards to lakes Correntoso, Bailey Willis, and Espejo. Finally you’ll take National Route 231 towards Villa La Angostura. From here, there is an optional sail to Arrayanes Wood. As you continue the ride, you will reach Nahuel Huapi Lake once again and take National Route 237 that leads back to Bariloche. 

Kayak Gutierrez Lake Top

Pick up from your hotel and travel to the lake Gutierrez, only a 15 min drive. Here the guides will be waiting for us. The guides will give instructions and all the gear and clothing necessary. We will then get on board and determine the paddling route depending on weather conditions (calm or windy) and on the needs of the group. We will stay around 2 hours on the lake, including a stop on a lonely and paradisiacal beach for a cup of coffee, tea, or hot cocoa with regional alfajores. After our snack we will paddle to our exclusive boarding spot at the El Retorno inn. There, we will dress in our regular clothes and get ready for the drive back to Bariloche.

Lake crossing Bariloche - Puerto Varas Top

This is a full-day group tour from Bariloche across the Naheul Huapi Llake to Puerto Varas. It’s a relaxing trip packed with jaw-dropping scenery. After being picked up from either your hotel or a central Bariloche location, you’ll drive to Puerto Pañuelo, perched on the edge of the lake. On the way, you can admire the quirky swiss-style architecture that characterises the region. At the port, you’ll board a catamaran and drift across Nahuel Huapi to Puerto Blest, a journey that takes around an hour. With Andean peaks set against the deep green rainforest, the backdrop is simply gorgeous. At Puerto Blest, you’ll take a bus nearby Felix Frías Lake and sail through its turquoise waters, with beautiful views of Tronador Mountain. Arriving at Puerto Frías and organising your entry formalities in Peulla, you’ll find yourself in Chile, where you’ll stop for lunch. Next, you’ll set sail for Petrohué, navigating the Todos los Santos Lake, surrounded by volcanoes and snow-peaked mountains. You’ll stop to visit the dramatic Petrohué waterfalls and soak up the scenery from the shores of Llanquihue Lake before sailing back to Puerto Varas and being transferred home to your hotel. 

Victoria island and Arrayanes forest Top

This full day lake tour to Victoria Island and Arranyanes Forest leaves from Puerto Pañuelo at Llao Llao. Here, you’ll pay the entrance fee and port tax before hopping on the ferry for the beautiful half-hour journey to Puerto Anchorea on Victoria Island. When you arrive, you’ll set off on a hike across the island, exploring a scenic former conifer nursery. Next, you’ll take the chairlift up to the dizzying summit of Mount Bella Vista at a whopping 900m high. Walking back down, you’ll follow a narrow path between ancient coihues and local cypresses, passing several viewpoints along the way. Afterwards, you’ll board the boat again and sail over to Puerto Querihue, where you’ll find the world-famous Bosque de Arrayanes (myrtle forest). This ancient forest is completely unique and the area has been declared a natural monument. The myrtle bark is cold, silky smooth and cinnamon-colored, with white flowers resembling orange blossom and delicious purple fruit.

7 lakes to San Martin de los Andes Top

During this tour you’ll set out along a winding, wooded path that runs along the north shore of Lake Nahuel Huapi, towards the beautiful Villa La Angostura. From here, you’ll follow the scenic Seven Lakes Trail, passing by the Mirror Lakes, Correntoso, Escondido, Villarino, Falkner and Machónico. Next, you’ll enter San Martin de los Andes bordering Lake Lacar, where you can visit the sweeping beaches, the resort of Chapelco and Quila Quina. Heading out on the Catrite Myrtles circuit, you’ll be treated to gorgeous views of the city and lake, before stopping for a breather and a bite to eat. After lunch you’ll return by road, swinging by picturesque Lake Meliquina and its twisting river along the way. You’ll then arrive at Casa de Piedra to visit the atmospheric rock caves before making your way back to Bariloche. 

Catamaran to Puerto Blest Top

The excursion starts in Bariloche and after a 25 km ride along Ezequiel Bustillo Avenue you’ll arrive at Pañuelo Port. There you’ll board the El Condor catamaran and sail to Puerto Blest, on the western coast of Nahuel Huapi Lake. One of the attractions along the way is Centinela islet, where Francisco P. Moreno is buried. Once you arrive at Blest, you can visit the area. You will board the catamaran again and navigate to Cantaros Port. A path of steps leads up to Los Cantaros Lake. Along the way, you can admire several cascades along Cantaros River that flows down to Nahuel Huapi Lake. Then you will walk down and sail back to Pañuelo Port. 

Fast Facts on Bariloche

USEFUL TRAVELER INFORMATION

This section is a quick overview to help in planning your trip to Bariloche.

When to go

The Lake District around Bariloche can be visited all year round, but of course, when you choose to visit depends very much on your interests. Spring, summer, and fall are the domain of the hikers when blue skies, sunshine and mountain breezes make the whole area perfect for exploring. Be it an easy summer stroll or a full-on hike, the best time to visit is between September and May. If you love walking through a winter wonderland and snuggling up to a warm cup of artisan hot chocolate, then the Southern Hemisphere’s winter is from June to August. You should keep in mind if you are planning to travel to Bariloche during the winter that a number of activities are not available during this time of year.

How to get there

Daily flights run from Buenos Aires’ Ezeiza and Jorge Newbery airports to Bariloche’s Teniente Luis Candelaria airport. You can also fly from other local cities, such as Esquel, El Calafate, Trelew and Mendoza City depending on the time of year. There are also direct flights also that connect Bariloche with Santiago de Chile and seasonal flights to Ushuaia, Mendoza, Salta, Iguazu and Sao Paulo. We recommend flying to and from Bariloche to save time in your itinerary as the buses from Buenos Aires to Bariloche take 20 and 24 hours. However, if you do decide to travel by bus there are a range of prices and service levels including lie-flat seats with food service. It’s also possible to travel by boat and bus to Chile aboard the Lake Crossing tour.

Infrastructure

From quaint B&Bs on the banks of the lake to stunning five-star hotels located on lake peninsulas, Bariloche has a wide range of accommodation options. If you’re looking to stay outside of the town, Villa La Angostura has a number of remote cabins, aparthotels, and B&Bs where you can soak up the village’s peaceful atmosphere. The best way to explore this region is by car or 4×4 vans, especially along the Seven Lakes Route. Having a car in Bariloche allows you to choose your own routes and stop off to admire the views when and wherever you wish. Several car rental outlets are available in Bariloche, San Martín, and La Angostura. Within the towns and villages, walking is the best way to get around and browse the various cafes, local bars and restaurants.

Tour Packages connections with Bariloche

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