South America Living

San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina Travel Guide

Puerto Pañuelo at the Town of Llao Llao Where Boat Tours Depart

One of the most visited locations in the Rio Negro province of Argentina, San Carlos de Bariloche (or Bariloche as is commonly used) is a high-end tourist town boasting a ski resort (Cerro Catedral), fly fishing, trekking, lakeside camping, numerous bars, nightclubs & eatiers plus world-class chocolate.

Summer and winter are both high-season when rates will be high and rooms in short supply.

      View Photos       Interactive Map       Where To Eat       Where To Stay

The word Bariloche is derived from the Mapudungun word Vuriloche meaning “people from behind the mountain“. A fitting phrase for a town that seems to have a 180 degree view of gorgeous mountain scenery in the background from wherever you happen to look, the rest tranquil blue waters of Nahuel Huapi. You can party your heart out in Bariloche, or simply chill and enjoy the surrounding beauty.

It is easy to cross the border to Puerto Varas, Chile from Bariloche and many tour operators specialize in this scenic journey. The trip takes you across the Andes Mountains through the Cardenal Antonio Samoré Pass and three lakes: Nahuel Huapi, Fria and Todos los Santos. Approximately 26km (17 miles) from Puerto Varas via the Pan-American Highway is Puerto Montt, Chile.

Tourist Attractions in Bariloche

  • Summer (December to March) is camping and hiking season with lakeside resorts (such as Lake Nahuel Huapi and Lake Moreno) and low-cost camping areas galore.
  • Dancing in the Sunlight at El Bolson

  • For the thrill lovers, paragliding is available through and rock climbing adventures with experienced Andescross guides.
  • Mountain bike yourself through El Circuito Chico – a 60 km (37 miles) loop through the Llao Llao Peninsula and take a rest stop at the spectacular viewpoint area Cerro Campanario
  • The main attraction in Bariloche during winter (July to September) is of course skiing at Cerro Catedral just 20 km (12.5 miles) from the town center. Cerro Catedral website
  • There are three museums in town: Museo del Lago Gutierrez, Museo Paleontológico and Museo de la Patagonia. Museo de la Patagonia is in the Centro Cívico and has a Natural Science section, urban archaeology, lithographs, exhibits on aboriginal history and many others.
  • For gorgeous 360 degree views of the area during winter, summer or any month inbetween, ride the gondola to the top of Cerro Otto (Otto Hill), located close to town.

The towns of Bolson (hippy haven two hours away) and Esquel (low-cost ski area and summer resort located five hours away) are popular tourist destinations near Bariloche.   Ski Town in Argentina – Esquel

Transportation to Bariloche from Buenos Aires by Bus or Plane

Bariloche is a short 2-hour flight from Buenos Aires, arriving at The San Carlos de Bariloche International Airport – the fourth largest in Argentina serving the airlines LAN, LADE, PAL (Santiago de Chile), Aerolineas Argentinas, PLUNA (Montevideo) and others.

Taking a bus from Buenos Aires is approximately 22 hours, with deluxe service offered by Via Bariloche.

Taking the Train from Bariloche to Viedma

There is train service (22 hours, view website below for dates and times of departure) from Bariloche to Viedma through Tren Patagonico. Go to the train station next to the bus terminal and buy tickets days in advance to ensure a seat. For more information here is the offical website: Tren Patagonico.

Where to Stay in Bariloche

Name: Hotel Edelweiss   Book Now
Address: Av. San Martin #202
Website:   In downtown Bariloche steps away from Lake Nahuel Huapi and the town center. Luxury resort with pool, spa & restaurants for those in need of pampering and can afford it.

Name: Lago Gutierrez Lodge   Book Now
Address: Ruta 82. Km 16 Lago Gutierrez
Website:   Twenty minutes from downtown located on Lake Gutierrez. Upscale rustic-lodge type of setting with private beach, WiFi, restaurant, boating activities.

Name: Refugio Patagonia
Address: Mitre 1338
Website:   Grassy outdoor yard for lounging and relaxing indoor areas too with game & T.V. room. Full-service separate apartment for rent on premises.

Where to Eat in Bariloche

Name: Butterfly
Address: Bustillo, Km 7.9, Playa Bonita
Website:   Seven course ‘tasting menu’ with many tasty dishes made from fresh-picked ingredients, paired with the best Argentine and International wines. Allergies can be accomodated for, just reserve in advance and let them know your needs.

Name: El Boliche de Alberto
Address: Villegas 347
Website:   Parilla with grilled sausages and beef plus deluxe pasta dishes and wine cellar on site.

Name: Rock Chicken
Address: Rolando 245
Website: None. Fast food – chicken, chorizo, milanesas.

Interactive Map of Bariloche

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Want to relocate to Bariloche? Get your FREE online Living in Argentina Guide.

Photograph at top of page of Llao Llao by Stevage
Photograph of El Bolson by Kati Engholm, all rights reserved.

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