Bariloche is a well-known city of Brazilians, located in the province of Río Negro, Argentina, where tourism is strong both in winter and summer. In the cold everyone seeks to see the snow, skiing, eating fondue and drinking hot chocolate. Already in the summer, the walks in the lakes of the region and trails in the mountains are much wanted.
I made this trip in the height of winter in August 2013 and spent five nights in San Carlos de Bariloche. Very cute town, with plenty of variety of lodging, restaurants, shops and fun.
How to get :
Flights from Brazil to San Carlos de Bariloche generally have connection in Buenos Aires. Pay attention not to happen to inconvenient exchange airport, as there are two in the Argentinean capital: Ezeiza and Aeroparque. Search for prices in Latam, Gol and Aerolineas Argentinas. I indicate the site GoogleFlights to search flights. Super practical!
If you visit Bariloche outside the winter season, it is best to rent a car. I recommend the website of RentalCars . But if you go in winter, as in my case, avoid driving. In that post I’ll tell you how you should get around using public transport, taxi (or remis ) and tourism agency.
Best season :
Snow is likely in the months of July and August.
You can visit the region at any time of the year, as the landscape changes completely between the seasons. During the winter temperatures are negative and attracts many tourists who want to play sports in the snow. During the fall it is already getting cold at night and in the spring the evenings can be cold but enjoyable during the day. In summer, tourists seek out the region to enjoy the lakes, fishing, trekking and other outdoor activities. The bravest ones on the hottest days risk even a swim in the lake (there are lake “beaches” in Bariloche).
See below the average per month of temperatures and rainfall:
Where to stay :
Staying in the city and especially in the vicinity of the Civic Center, the center of Bariloche, you will have walking access to many shops and restaurants.
We stayed at Hotel Tirol, next to the Civic Center. This hotel overlooks Lake Nahuel Huapi, comfortable and heated rooms, Wi-Fi access and breakfast included in the room rate. It also offers ski storage, but as I did not need it, I did not know that part. To find out more about the hotel, click on here .
Fabi was there in the spring (Oct / 07) and stayed at Villa Huinid Hotel Bustillo. He’s not in the Civic center, but he’s not far. Ideally, rent a car or use a taxi to get to the center. To see more hotel photos click Booking.com or Hotels .
how much time :
I stayed 5 nights in Bariloche and could have stayed another 3 days without repeating schedule. You can ski in several hills in the winter, besides just visiting them and for this you will need more time.
What to do :
The most famous and most sought after place in winter, whose highest point is at 2,180m altitude. Go dressed because it’s cold and it sells a lot. If you want to go to Cerro Catedral for skiing, better be aware of the opening and closing period of the slopes that varies depending on the weather conditions. Search for updated snow calendar information on the Cerro Catedral website (click on here ). In addition to skiing and snowboarding, other activities can be found on site: skiing, snowshoe trekking, snowmobiling, a kind of toboggan descending from a float and even a Kids Club, as well as the 38 different lifts that cater to both skiers pedestrians (non-skiers).
For skiing and snowboarding, Cerro Catedral has 53 ski slopes, but only 6 are considered for beginners. So check the type of entry you want as there are several. Search for what interests you most in the site of Cerro Catedral, because it is better to already know what options are open at the time. The infrastructure of the base of Cerro is very good, with several restaurants and snack bars, ski and snowboard schools, shops to rent clothes and equipment, that is, do not bother to take anything.
The best and most comfortable way to get to Cerro Catedral is by car, but urban bus was our choice. The ticket of the passage must be bought in some “kiosk” (type of magazine) before embarking. You can also go from remis , which is a type of taxi with closed price or with tourist agency. We left the hotel at 7:30 am and at the bus stop there were already a lot of people queuing up. It was a 45 minute journey (20km), in a crowded vehicle, but everyone was super excited.
We rented the equipment at a downtown store the day we arrived, there are many options, so it is best to research prices. The equipment is only taken there at the base of Cerro Catedral in a place previously indicated (the equipment left for 300 pesos and 2 hours of private tuition for 800 pesos for two people). I suggest spending an entire day enjoying the activities of Cerro Catedral.
In the afternoon we went on the pedestrian cable car to a very high point, very cold and quite a lot. We stayed about 1pm waiting in the cold and standing in line to get off the cable car. At 5:00 p.m. we went to the bus queue because there was not enough cab for everyone to return to Bariloche. We stayed there for another hour, but it was cold, but it had a wonderful look.
Our choice here was also to go by urban bus, with ticket purchased at kiosk . The driver indicated when we should get off and the cable car is well on the road, 17 km from the Civic Center of Bariloche.
Cerro Campanário is 1,050m high and offers beautiful views of lakes and mountains. There is a small confectionery there. It was very cold and snowing as we climbed the open cable car. Upstairs the view is unbelievably beautiful, worth every penny chilled out. As the cable car is open, if it is winter, it is best to go well cushioned and protecting the ears. For more information, click on here .
From Cerro Campanário we take the same bus, but in the opposite direction, to Cerro Otto, which is 3.5 km from the Civic Center. The driver dropped us off at a corner and we walked two more blocks to the chairlift, very quiet. It was a great logistics, because there we learned that from Otto to the center there is a free bus.
The Cerro Otto runs the whole year from 10h to 18h30min, is 1,405m high and to climb has a cable car closed. Up there, in addition to the 360 degree view of the beautiful mountains, lakes and peninsulas, there is a revolving cafeteria super busy, where we could escape the cold and have a leisurely lunch looking at one of the most beautiful landscapes of Bariloche. Another possibility is to go up the funicular.
At the top of this mountain there are some activities like sliding in the snow with buoys, sledges or esquibunda and even dancing in a nightclub (yes, it was working in the middle of the afternoon).
For more information click on here .
This is a tour that lasts the whole day if you are staying in Bariloche. We hired the tour through the hotel as we chose not to rent a car because they explained that it was far and there was snow on the road. In fact it is far and it was the most expensive tour, but it was well worth it. The place is spectacular and was what I enjoyed most of this trip. It is on the border between Chile and Argentina and within the Nahuel Huapi National Park (site on here ), whose entrance fee was 65 pesos per person.
The Tronador is 3,470m high and has this name due to the bang you hear when the ice comes off and falls, as there is a glacier at the top, which is called Castaño Overo. It’s amazing to see a glacier so high and, in summer, some waterfalls form, completely changing the landscape. The black glacier, whose name is Ventisquero Negro, the darkest ice and next to the frozen lake that you can see in the photos, is in the winter whitish due to the snow. Altogether the Cerro Tronador has 8 glaciers and I was very eager to return there in the summer to do some trails.
We had a wonderful home-cooked meal at a campground at the base of Cerro Tronador overlooking the glacier. There are only two choices of place to eat, this campground and a restaurant just ahead. On the way, the van still made several photographic stops, such as the belvedere of Lake Mascardi, which has a heart-shaped island. The return trip was 2 hours without stopping.
A small town in the province of Neuquén, 85km from Bariloche. On the main street there are shops and restaurants and it is also the bus station. The passage to Villa La Angostura cost 45 pesos per person each way and we bought at the time of boarding. It was 1h of travel on a beautiful road around Lake Nahuel Huapi.
Arriving there, we picked up information at the tourist center, with maps and bus schedules. We take an urban bus to go to the pier of Bahia Mansa, which is in the Los Arrayanes National Park, a beautiful landscape on the lake’s edge.
There was hardly anyone there and we walked through the streets to another pier, Bahia Brava. There are boat trips around the lake, but it was so cold that I opted to look for a restaurant to warm me up.
I was hungry and the only little resturante I saw open was packed in its less than 10 tables. I wanted to go back to the center of the Villa, but there were no buses because schedules are scarce. I left asking how to get a taxi and was the owner of kiosk the square that called a remis come and get us. We went back to the center of La Angostura and the shops were still closed, only open restaurants. We had lunch at the Nevada restaurant a pizza that was great, but the atmosphere smelled a lot of fat. I still had coffee with churros on Route 40 before returning to Bariloche. In Villa La Angostura you can ski and snowboard at Cerro Bayo, which has 22 slopes and shops that rent equipment at its base. The summit is 1,782m high.
For those who want to stay in Villa La Angostura it is worth knowing the super exclusive Correntoso Lake & River Hotel. For more information click on here .
Other cool places to meet :
- Piedras Blancas : place very close to the city and indicated mainly for children, for the practice of activities such as skiing for beginners, sleds or esquibunda, zipline, cable car and even a safari in the snow. site on here .
- Boat Trips : the best known of them is the one that crosses the Nahuel Huapi lake, stopping at places like the Bosque de Arrayanes and Victoria Island that is in front of Villa La Angostura.
- Circuito Chico : it is the best known city-tour and the best way to contemplate the region of Bariloche in a guided way. It lasts about one shift and runs along the southern bank of Nahuel Huapi Lake, with stops at Cerro Campanário, rose hip shops, San Eduardo Chapel and the famous and beautiful Llao Llao Hotel. If you are rented car you can also do this circuit on your own.
- Route of the 7 lakes – it is possible to do by rental car or with some tourist agency. This route is between Bariloche and San Martin de los Andes. In fact, the beginning of it is in Villa La Angostura. From there there are 100km of road with incredible views of the lakes. Part of the road is not paved.
- Crossing the Andean Lakes : the crossing that connects Puerto Varas in the Chilean Patagonia to Bariloche in Argentina is beautiful. The tour lasts a full day: there are 4 bus routes and 3 catamarans. It is possible to do Puerto Varas-Bariloche or Bariloche-Puerto Varas. Ideally, for those who want to make the crossing, is to start the trip through Chile and finish in Argentina or vice versa, so, do not have to make the crossing twice. The crossing is carried out by the company Cruce Andino. To access the site click on here .
- New Crossing of the Andean Lakes : nowadays there is a new option for crossing the Andean lakes, which connects Pucón in Chile to San Martin de Los Andes in Argentina. For more information access on here . San Martin de Los Andes is located 160 km from Bariloche.
- Pizzaria Friends : nice little house, well decorated and with choices of different brands of beers. There were 168 pesos for two people, with dinner.
- Il Capo : small, simple but cozy, we ate delicious pasta for 195 pesos the couple.
- Rapa Nui : the most crowded chocolatier I’ve seen and has a delicious ice cream.
- La Alpina : nice restaurant with central fireplace, but the meat fondue left to be desired (350 pesos for the couple).
- The corner : good value for money, a dinner for 150 pesos for two people.
- Rincon Patagonico – this was the Fabi she met and recommended for anyone who wants to try the so famous Patagonian lamb.
- Weiss Family – traditional restaurant in Bariloche, specializing in Patagonian cuisine and overlooking Lake Nahuel Huapi.
- The Patacón – another great option to try the Patagonian lamb.
I edited a video with images of the unforgettable scenarios of the region of San Carlos de Bariloche:
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