- Things to do in Bariloche
- Where to eat in Bariloche
- Best time to visit Bariloche
- Where to stay in Bariloche
Located in the province of Río Negro in Argentine Patagonia, Bariloche is a privileged place full of natural beauty.
As an Argentinian, I consider Bariloche to be one of the best destinations to visit in our country. It is one of my favorite places and one I return to every time I can.
Not only is it a great place for adventurers, lovers of snow sports and mountain trekkings, but it is also an ideal destination for those who want to simply have a holiday and rest while having spectacular views and take dale trips to the incredible places of our Patagonia.
So for you to have all the options of the best things to do in Bariloche, I am going to tell you the 10 essential things to do in this city, regardless of the order since each activity is worth it.
Things to do in Bariloche
1. Circuito Chico
One of the most popular attractions in Bariloche is touring the Circuito Chico, a route with spectacular views that can be done by car, by bike or on a tour. This route goes through different important points where you can appreciate the nature of the place.
The route is approximately 60 kilometers and crosses the Nahuel Huapi National Park and the Llao Llao Municipal Park.
Some of the most important points to stop at on the Circuito Chico are: Villa Tacul, Hotel Llao Llao, Puerto Pañuelo, Bahía López, Lago Moreno, Lago Escondido and Punto Panoramico .
2. Colonia Suiza
From Circuito Chico you can take a detour to visit Colonia Suiza, a town located at the foot of Cerro López. It bears this name because originally the population was made up of Swiss immigrants. Here you can try “curanto”, a traditional method of cooking food with hot stones in a hole that is covered with leaves.
There are also many campsites in this area, for those looking to camp. I highly recommend Camping SAC where I stayed once to trek to Laguna Negra.
3. Cerro Catedral
The protagonist of winter in Bariloche is Cerro Catedral. This mountain is located within the Nahuel Huapi National Park and is the most important ski center in South America. It is visited by thousands of tourists from all over the world.
Cerro Catedral is open all year round. Even if you don’t ski, you can go up and admire the spectacular views of the mountains, do some trekking in the summer or take this 4-hour Cerro Catedral tour.
4. Cerro Campanario
Cerro Campanario is one of the best things to do in Bariloche since it has an incredible view (for me, the best view of Bariloche). From its summit you can see Lake Nahuel Huapi and Moreno, Cerro Otto and Cerro Catedral, among others. Upstairs there is a small cafe where you can drink a coffee and enjoy the view.
To go up you can choose to do it on foot or by chairlift. The walk lasts around 30 minutes, the difficulty ism low and it’s free. If you choose to go up by chairlift, the ticket is purchased at the base of the cerro and it is not necessary to reserve in advance.
5. Isla Victoria & Bosque de Arrayanes
One of the most popular tours in Bariloche is Victoria Island and Arrayanes Forest. It is a boat excursion that starts at Puerto Pañuelo in Bariloche.
Arrayanes Forests takes its name from the typical trees of this region of Argentina. Victoria Island is a small island with unique landscape
6. Bariloche city center
Another must-see on a trip to Bariloche is taking a tour of the city center.The Civic Center is the most popular area of downtown Bariloche with the most important buildings in the city such as the municipality or the library. Another must-see place in the center is to walk along the waterfront that borders Lake Nahuel Huapi and visit the Nuestra Señora del Nahuel Huapi Cathedral.
Calle Mitre is the most commercial street in the center. There you will find a lot of chocolate shops that you obviously can’t stop trying. My favorite place is Rapanui, it has the best chocolates and ice creams!
7. Cerro Otto
Cerro Otto and its rotating cafeteria is another of the best things to do in Bariloche. The hill is just 5 km from the city of Bariloche and at the top you will find a circular cafe that rotates constantly allowing you to have a 360º view of Bariloche.
There’s a cable car that takes you to the top of Cerro Otto, you can book it here.
In addition to having a coffee at the famous cafeteria, you can do activities such as zip lining, sleds, snowshoe hikes, etc.
8. Lago Gutierrez
For those who want to spend time in nature, Lake Gutierrez is one of the best places to visit in Bariloche. It is a lake of glacial origin located 15 km from San Carlos de Bariloche, surrounded by the Otto, Cathedral and Ventana mountains.
In the areas you will find several campsites ideal for the summer. You can also kayak on the lake and even swim in the summer season as the water is relatively warm.
From Lake Gutierrez you can also access several trails, which are:
- Cascada de los duendes: low difficulty, 600m distance. It is super easy and takes you to a small cascade.
- Mirador Lago Gutierrez: low difficulty, 1 km distance.
- Playa Muñoz: low difficulty, 6 km distance.
- Senda Frey por Gutierrez: medium difficulty, 10 km distance. It takes you to Refugio Frey where you can spend the night.
9. Cerro Tronador
One of the great natural attractions of the area is Mount Tronador, an active volcano located on the border between Argentina and Chile, near the city of Bariloche. It takes its name from the thunderous noise produced by the ice of the glaciers that compose it when it breaks off. I think this is one of the most worthy tours you can take from Bariloche.
You can get to Cerro Tronador on your own or book a tour to Mount Tronador from Bariloche.
10. Excursiones desde Bariloche
Bariloche is a great starting point to visit nearby places in Argentine Patagonia. Below you can see some of the tours you can do:
Where to eat in Bariloche?
This are some of the best restaurants I personally recommend:
- El Mallín: a restaurant with typical Patagonian food located on Av. Bustillo. Super abundant and rich dishes.
- Bechamel Club House: this is the restaurant located on the golf of Hotel Llao Llao. Ideal for luch or tea time with a unique view.
- Cervecería Patagonia: located on Circuito Chico. Perfect for having some beers or snacks with a stunning view.
Best time to visit Bariloche
No matter what season you travel, Bariloche is always a good choice.
Summer in Bariloche is beautiful. The temperature is warm and you can enjoy outdoor activities such as trekking, kayaking, bike rides and even the beach.
In autumn all the trees turn orange and the landscapes are spectacular. The temperatures are already starting to get low but it is possible to continue enjoying outdoor activities. It’s mid/low season.
Winter in Bariloche is the high season as people travel from all over the world to ski at Cerro Catedral. During this time accommodation prices increase so I recommend that you book your hotel in advance.
Spring is always a good time to travel anywhere. The season is medium/low.
Where to stay in Bariloche
I have a complete post about where to stay in Bariloche with all the pros and cons of each area. These are some hotels I recommend:
- El Casco Art Hotel: I stayed at this hotel the last time I was in Bariloche and I highly recommend it. It has direct access to the lake and the view is incredibly beautiful. The hotel staff is friendly and always ready to help. It has a swimming pool, spa and gym. Truly one of the best hotels in Bariloche! Click here to see photos, availability and prices.
- Selina Bariloche: a 3-star hotel with modern spaces and a young atmosphere. They have cheaper rooms with shared bathroom and others with private bathroom. It has a swimming pool, gym and restaurant. Click here to see photos, availability and prices.
- Hostel Inn Bariloche: I stayed in this hostel twice and would recommend it if you’re looking for a cheap place with great location. The rooms are simple but the hostel has an amazing terrace overlooking the Nahuel Huapi Lake. Click here to see photos, availability and prices.
I hope this complete guide on things to do in Bariloche has been useful to you. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments!
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