Things to do in Bariloche: the entrance to Patagonia

Statues in Bariloche in front of Rio Negro

This post is also available in: Español

Argentina from north to south is a great country, metaphorically and literally speaking. It is rich in landscapes and culture, its ice fields will seduce you and its arid areas will surprise you. You’ll be speechless and, at the same time, you won’t be able to stop talking. That’s Argentina! A country as varied and contrasting as its own climate. We know you have in mind touring Argentine Patagonia from beginning to end. How about we start by telling you things to do in Bariloche?

Bariloche city center

Bariloche is the entrance to Patagonia and you can imagine that it’s not the city itself that will surprise you the most, but its surroundings. Stop! We didn’t say don’t visit the city, in fact, you can’t start with tours in Bariloche and miss its cathedral, Our Lady of Nahuel Huapi and the Bariloche Civic Center square, declared a national historic monument.

Roof of Bariloche Cathedral

Beyond historic buildings, what we recommend is that you discover its chocolate shops and walk along the waterfront of Nahuel Huapi Lake while tasting Rapa Nui’s bitter chocolate ice cream. If before getting ready to run into the wildest landscapes you feel like having a look around, there’s no better option than taking the cable car. Prices:

  • From 13 to 64 years of age: Argentinean $650 (6,50 € and 8$ US).
  • From 6 to 12 years old: Argentinean $350 (3,50 € and 4$ US).
  • Aged 65 and over: Argentinean $400 (4 € and 5$ US).

Route of the Seven Lakes

From Bariloche you can do the Route of the Seven Lakes and reach Villa Traful, a classic tour through the Andean forests of Argentine Patagonia. Along the way you will have the opportunity to visit three cities, two national parks and the 7 lakes, of course.

Correntoso, Espejo, Escondido, Villarino, Falkner, Machonico and Lacar are waiting for you when you pass by San Martín de los Andes and Bariloche. We are sure you have heard about the fly fishing in San Martin de los Andes that you will have the opportunity to put it into practice when you have finished with Bariloche.

Nahuel Huapi National Park

Cerro Tronador

Bariloche is a city surrounded by hills, perfect for long walks. The highest in the area is Cerro Tronador. It is a dormant volcano in the southern part of the Andes Mountains at more than 3.400 meters above sea level. It has 7 glaciers and its name is due precisely to the noise of the detachments and falling pieces of ice.

Nahuel Huapi Lake

Nahuel Huapi Lake is shared by the Argentine provinces of Neuquen and Rio Negro. It is no coincidence that it has the same name as the Nahuel Huapi National Park and it is because the park is surrounded by the lake. You can navigate for 7 hours, although you will only need a moment to discover its immensity.

On the excursion on Nahuel Huapi Lake you will visit Isla Centinela, where the remains of Perito Moreno rest, but not the Perito Moreno glacier, but the naturalist. You will sail to the Blest arm from where you will climb Los Cantaros waterfall and then continue to Lago Cantaro and Puerto Blest later on.

Nahuel Huapi Lake excursion

Cerro Catedral

In Cerro Catedral is located the ski resort of Bariloche, the largest in the southern hemisphere. Cerro Catedral has 200 skiable hectares and more than 60 kilometers of ski slopes. Apart from the skiing activities, there are several hiking trails to do in non-winter weather. There is always things to do in Bariloche!

And for those who enjoy heights we present Cerro Campanario, the best panoramic point in the area and from where you can enjoy 360-degree views of the Nahuel Huapi glacier Lake. You can use the cable car to go up, it’s cheaper than the one in Bariloche!

Swiss Colony

Southern Argentina and Chile were the destinations of large groups of European emigrants. The Swiss Colony was the first European settlement in the region. It is a beautiful place not only because of the surrounding nature, but also because of the Central European-style buildings.

One of the main activities is gastronomy, especially the tasting of curanto, a typical Chilean dish made from seafood and cooked in an underground oven to cook the food.

Swiss colony settlement around a crystal-clear lake

Bariloche Small Circuit

The Bariloche Small Circuit is one of the main tourist activities to do in Bariloche. It is a 65-kilometer circular circuit that crosses lakes, forests, and villages located west of Bariloche.

The circuit departs from Bariloche and borders Nahuel Huapi Lake. Along the route, Playa Bonita and Cerro Campanario are crossed. Then the circuit continues along the San Pedro peninsula to the Llao Llao area to admire San Eduardo Chapel, an architectural gem.

From Puerto Pañuelo, on Nahuel Huapi Lake, sailing excursions depart along the river. To the south, you will enjoy incredible views of the Llao Llao hotel, framed by the hill of the chapel and Cerro Lopez. Towards the end of the tour you will cross the bridge over Lake Moreno and follow the route around El Trebol Lagoon before returning to the city of Bariloche.

It doesn’t seem like a bad idea to spend a few days in Bariloche. But do not stop, there is still much to discover until you reach Ushuaia at least, although remember that the world does not end there and that if you feel like it you can continue to Argentine Antarctica. Don’t run, first one, then two. Do you already know how many days you want to spend in Bariloche?

Paula

Journalist, nomad and adventurer. Paula would never say no to a camping trip and is an expert in setting up a tent in less than 10 seconds.

Besides that, she loves to dance and maybe that's why she loves Latin America so much. One of her best trips was to Argentina, but she has many more destinations behind her, which she talks about in this blog.

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