Argentina

Bariloche Travel Guide

You're about to visit the capital of the Argentine Lake District, best known as the "national capital of adventure tourism" (and chocolate!). Learn about the best time to visit and the things to do in Bariloche with our insiders’ travel guide.

The city of Bariloche arises at the shore of the Nahuel Huapi Lake in the Argentine province of Río Negro, neighboring the Andes Mountain Range. The city is entirely located inside Nahuel Huapi National Park, famous for its stunning lakes and mountains, like the Tronador, which is actually a non-active volcano. In 1903, Francisco Moreno (best known as the “Perito Moreno”, yes, like the famous glacier in El Calafate), an intrepid explorer and scientist donated

 these lands in order to create the Nahuel Huapi National Park, the first in Argentina, and thus, Bariloche starts to flourish. Today, Bariloche is one of the most populated cities in Patagonia, the base for numerous hiking and skiing slopes, artisanal chocolate, and craft beer hub, and also one of the most essential scientific poles in America. Here sits the Balseiro Atomic Center and Institute where it’s possible to follow Physics and Nuclear Engineering studies. 

Attractions

Nahuel Huaip National Park

Nahuel Huapi National Park spreads between the povinces of Río Negro and Neuquén. It was created to preserve a portion of the Patagonian woods and steppe, and to encourage tourism. Lake Nahuel Huapi is a glacial lake in the Argentine Patagonia and the largest inside the park.  Its intense blue color, its islands, and the surrounding landscape, make it one of the most attractive places in southern Argentina.  The Mapuches gave the most important island the name Nahuel Huapi, which means in Mapudungun “island of the jaguar” and refers to Victoria Island, the largest island in the lake.

Cerro Campanario

A hill that is characterized by the impressive views it offers from its summit can be reached on foot or with the chairlift. Many travel guides have called this view one of the “best in the world”.  From the Campanario hill you can observe the Nahuel Huapi and Moreno lakes, the El Trébol lagoon, the San Pedro peninsula, the Victoria island, the Otto, López, Goye, Bellavista, Catedral, Capilla, the Llao Llao hotel and the woods of Colonia Suiza.

Price per person: USD 7.- Includes ascent and descent

Cerro Otto

This hill can be accessed by a main road for vehicles or by several mountain trails for mountain biking and short distance hiking.  You can also go up by cable car. In the winter there are tracks for Nordic skiing and others for Andean skiing.

Visit the Llao Llao Hotel

It is necessary, almost obligatory, to pass through this hotel and, at least, admire it from the outside. However, we highly recommend having tea with scones, with beautiful views of the golf courses. Public buses to Llao Llao leave from the center every 20 minutes.

Address: Av. Ezequiel Bustillo Km. 25
Days and hours: Each hotel restaurant has its own schedule.
The tea house works in the evenings.

 

Centro Cívico

A group of buildings with a particular architecture, which surround three sides of a plaza (the fourth is open, because it overlooks Lake Nahuel Huapi) is known as a «civic center». The architectural complex, which includes the buildings of the Municipality, the Post Office, the Library, the Police and the Museum of Patagonia, was declared a national historical monument in 1987.

Address: Civic Center, R8400 San Carlos de Bariloche
Days and times: Open 24 hours a day.

Museo del Chocolate Havanna

Where else can you find a chocolate museum if not in Bariloche? A journey through the history of this delicacy that ends at the Havanna chocolate shop.

Address: Av. Bustillo 1200, San Carlos de Bariloche.
Days and times: Every day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Museo de la Patagonia

Being the gateway to Patagonia, Bariloche has this interesting museum where you can learn about the Mapuche community, but also about the pioneers of the area and the history of the town. It is small, but very well located and usually shows temporary art displays.

Address: Civic Center – 8400 Bariloche
Days and times: From Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Saturdays from 10 am – 5 pm.

Hunting and Fishing Association

Museum of particular interest for fishermen offers an exhibition of trout, which includes -among its specimens- the world weight record of 16 kilos.

Address: October 12 and Onelli.
Days and hours: Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Museo Paleontológico

This small museum has nests of dinosaurs, some copies and an ancient shark jaw that is a favorite for taking photos. While it is not large-scale, its visitors always enjoy it.

Address: October 12 and Sarmiento.
Days and times: Monday to Saturday 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Playa Bonita (Bonita Beach)

This is one of the favorite beaches of both locals and tourists. During the summer months, on really hot days, it fills with families and the brave who get into the cold waters of the Nahuel Huapi.

Address: Av. Exequiel Bustillo KM 8.
Days and times: Open 24 hours a day

La Costanera (The Coastline)

This is the street that runs along the edge of the lake. Along it, you will find people running and couples going to watch the sunset in the afternoon. The views are exceptional and you will be able to see the old buildings such as the Cathedral, the port and the civic center.

Address: Av. Exequiel Bustillo.
Days and times: Open 24 hours a day.

Eating & Drinking

Abuela Goye

Namuncura 59, San Carlos de Bariloche. Tel. (0294) – 4432201.
Chocolates / Ice Cream

The chocolates, like the ice creams of this traditional place, are of great quality. And it is a super cozy place especially for the winter months. Their hot chocolate and their lemon pie are unmissable.

Rapa Nui

Miter 202, San Carlos de Bariloche – Tel: (0294) 442379.
Chocolates / Ice Cream

Rapa Nui is the favorite chocolate shop and ice cream shop of several in Bariloche and now it can also be found in Buenos Aires. Not only that its products are of the highest quality and delicious, but the place is also a beauty: it has an art-deco style that makes it unique. Do not forget to try their waffles with cream and red berries, their ice cream and their “franui” (raspberries covered in chocolate).

Mamuschka

Miter 298 (corner of Rolando street), San Carlos de Bariloche – Tel. (0294) 4423294.
Chocolates / Ice Cream

In this small place, they make the creamiest chocolates in Bariloche (also the most expensive). They are a great option to take as a gift since they offer beautiful cans and boxes decorated with chocolates and other products inside. It has a cafeteria (small, but always full) where you can taste the best patisserie in the area.

Bellevue

Av. E. Bustillo km 24,600, Villa Llao Llao – Tel. (0294) 4448389.
Teahouse

Tucked away with a 15,000-foot park, Bellevue is a cozy teahouse located on the shore of Lake Moreno. It has incredible views of Mount Tronador and Cerro Lopez. In each season the surroundings of the landscape change significantly, which makes it the perfect place to visit it at any time of the year. Don’t forget to try the brioche bread, the scons and the cheesecake. Magnificent!

El Boliche de Alberto

Villegas 347, San Carlos de Bariloche – Tel. (0294) 4431433.
Meat / Traditional

This traditional restaurant has the best lamb in the area. It is a simple and unpretentious place. Perhaps that is why it is one of the best. You can choose between your local pasta or grill as both are excellent.

Restaurant Bahía Serena

Av. Exequiel Bustillo 12275, San Carlos de Bariloche – Tel (0294) 4524614
Pasta / Meat

If you are looking to have a different experience in Bariloche, this small restaurant will not disappoint you. It specializes in pasta, meat and seafood. Although it is not central, as it is located on the outskirts of the city, it is worth the trip here because it has beautiful views of Serena Bay and Nahuel Huapi Lake.

Familia Weiss

Palacios y O’connor, San Carlos de Bariloche. Tel. (0294) 4421998/4435789
Meat

Although the place is a bit noisy, the smokehouse is well deserved for its popularity. The dishes are abundant, smoked meats and very fast service.

El Chucaro

Av. Exequiel Bustillo Km 11,500, San Carlos de Bariloche – Tel (0294) 4525809.
Meat / Minutes

This grill is a taxi driver’s favorite. With an informal and carefree stamp, this place is the opposite of the classic tourist place and in it you can enjoy the best meat in Patagonia.

Wesley Brewery Downtown Pub

February 20 451- Paseo de la Colina – Tel (0294) 4283664.
Brewery

Starting at 6 pm, “happy hour” begins in Wasley. This brewery offers a variety of 6 craft beers, and good finger food. It is located on a hill, with an excellent view of the city and the lake.

 

Cervecería Bachamann

Elflein 90, corner of Quaglia, San Carlos de Bariloche – Tel (0294) 4436337.
Brewery

The Bachamann Brewery offers happy hour from 6pm to 7pm at its premises. It offers German beer, good pizza and tasty tapas. It is a very cozy pub, run by the couple who produce the beer, carry out the advertising and cook the pizza.

Cervecería Blest

Av. Exequiel Bustillo 5AV 11600, San Carlos de Bariloche. Tel (0294) 4461026.
Brewery

The most popular, with incredible tapas and a vibrant atmosphere. It is usually crowded and it is difficult to find a place to park the car, but these small mishaps will be forgotten after the second round.

Berlina

Exequiel Bustillo 5AV 11750, San Carlos de Bariloche. (0294) 452 3336.
Brewery

The Stout beer that these brothers produce is on our top 5 list in the country. A nice place with a large rear garden overlooking the mountains to enjoy sunny afternoons.

Tips & Advices

How many days should I stay in Bariloche?

 

We recommend at least 3 nights. This way you can spend 2 full days for the longer tours and have the day you arrive and the day you leave for the shorter tours, or to buy some chocolate in the center.

 

Best time to visit

 

Bariloche is a destination to enjoy all year round. Each season has its magic and a wide variety of activities to choose from. The best time to visit Bariloche are  summer and the intermediate seasons tovisiti the lakes, enjoy trekking, kayaking, horseback riding, bike tours and landscaping. The winter is perfect for snow sports, such as skiing and snowboarding.

 

How is the weather like in Bariloche?

 

  • Summer: Windy and sunny, from 18°C to 26°C, and cold nights, from 2°C to 9°C. From October on, days in Patagonia are longer, the sun rises at about 5:00 am and sets around 10:30 pm. Higher elevations will carry cooler climate, and frosts can occur at night, even during the summer. 
  • Autumn: Temperatures drop in March, storms in April and May. During April, daytime temperatures are usually in the 15 ºC, and drop to 2ºC at night.
  • Winter: Storms and rain (snow, rain, sleet) and occasional snowstorms. In winter, Bariloche can have temperatures between 12°C and -12°C. 
  • Spring: Windy and variable. Temperatures from -6°C to 25°C.

 

How to get to Bariloche?

 

  • Flight: Bariloche is a very well connected city with the rest of the country. By air you can get there directly from many cities, Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Rosario, Bahía Blanca and El Calafate. With stopover, from Mar del Plata, Ushuaia and San Pablo (Brazil). 
  • Bus: In addition, from different cities, you can choose the option of traveling by long-distance bus. You can choose basic services, semi-bed, bed or executive bed. They offer comfortable seats, movies on board, drinks, breakfast, lunch or dinner during the trip. 
  • Train: There is a train that reaches Bariloche from the Atlantic coast called the Tren Patagonico, this is a long distance train that travels through the landscapes of the southern plateau of the Argentine province of Rio Negro. The route is from Viedma to Bariloche or vice versa. 
  • Self-drive: Bariloche is the perfect destination for car rental. It can be rented for several days to tour the lake area.

 

Can I find ATMs in Bariloche?

 

ATMs are located in banks, most of them, but are open 24hs. Each bank has a different fee that will charge you to use their system, plus your bank fee. We recommend bringing a couple of US dollars and exchanging them, so you have some cash to move around and then pay with Credit cards or use an ATM whenever you run out of money.

 

What is the proper tipping?

 

In restaurants, it’s customary to tip about 10% of the bill. Note that tips can’t be added to credit-card bills, so carry cash for this purpose. For tour guides, estimate around USD 10/15 per person, for a full day tour and half of it for the driver. In hotels, you should tip porters for handling bags: USD1.00 for every two bags, the same amount is calculated for drivers if they help you with your suitcases, the housekeeping (between USD0.50 – 1.00 per night), and the concierge staff if the have helped you to arrange dinner reservations, transportation or leisure activities. In Argentina, we don’t regularly tip taxi drivers.

 

How much money can I spend per day in Bariloche?

 

Estimate around USD 50/100 per day, per person for daily expenses like eating, shopping and transportation, depending on how much money you want to spend on these.

 

Exchange money and using CC

 

Credit cards and US dollars are widely accepted in Bariloche. It’s better if you exchange pesos rather than using US dollars because the rate that shops or restaurants use might not be the most convenient for you.

What to include in your luggage

 

If you visit Bariloche in summer in your luggage you cannot miss: sunscreen, sunglasses, comfortable walking shoes, open sandal-type shoes, bathing suit, shorts and long pants (or removable), a warm jacket, fleece or frilled coat, a hat, and a medium backpack for excursions.

If you visit Bariloche in winter in your luggage you cannot miss: gloves, scarf and wool hat, thermal shirt, many pairs of socks (if it rains they can get wet or also with the snow), comfortable shoes, waterproof boots and warm to wear outside, warm woolen sweater, a good airtight and waterproof/wind warm jacket, waterproof pants and a fleece or frosted coat, comfortable clothes for indoors (since there is a lot of heat everywhere!), briefs / long pants, glasses / goggles for the snow and a medium backpack / bag for excursions.

 

Tickets to National Parks

 

Remember that tickets to all national parks in the country are paid in Argentine pesos and are not included in the tours. As credit cards are not accepted, we recommend that you always carry change in local currency. 

Nahuel Huapi National Park entrance fee: USD 14.- per person

 

What is the Bariloche Ecotasa?

 

It is the fee paid by visitors for each night of accommodation (up to a maximum of three nights). The funds collected are used to create or improve tourist infrastructure and thus offer more options to enjoy every corner of Bariloche. The value varies according to the category of the hotel, but is from USS 0.5.- to USD 3.- per night.

 

Where can I do snow sports in Bariloche?

 

  • Catedral Hill: The most important ski center in Bariloche. It is located 19 km from downtown Bariloche
  • Baguales Center: Thanks to the diversity of terrain and infrastructure of shelters and services Baguales turns out to be the ideal place for the practice of ski touring.
  • Bayo Hill: Located in Villa La Angostura. 
  • Nordic ski center: Located in Cerro Otto at 1280 mts. above sea level, only 6km from the city of Bariloche, easy access.  

 

Where to go for a run in Bariloche?

 

  • Bustillo Avenue: Along the Avenida Bustillo, which is the one that borders the Nahuel Huapi, you can always see many people doing sports. In addition, it is a fairly long journey and with an enviable view.
  • Circuito Chico: If you are a more experienced runner and you want to do a slightly more demanding circuit, we recommend that you run the Small Circuit. Although the total route until the return to the city center is about 60 kilometers, its main attractions are in a moderately circular section of about 20 kilometers, formed by Route 237, or Exequiel Bustillo Avenue, and Route 77. It is not necessary to run the 60 kilometers, you can choose a route, they are all beautiful.

 

Where to meditate?

 

Stupa of Illumination on Cerro Otto

Somewhat hidden on the side of Cerro Otto, the Stupa de la Iluminación has become a place of pilgrimage in Bariloche. Stupas are Buddhist sacred monuments that are used to revolve around them. They represent the Buddhist path from the moment a person is interested in spiritual growth to the ultimate goal, the Buddhahood.

Beyond its beauty it has a deep symbolism. Arriving at kilometer 6,100 from Avenida de los Pioneros, a narrow gravel road called Sayhueque, leads to the Buddhist monument, located about 1800 meters above.

 

Where to watch the sunset?

 

Cervecería Patagonia

One of the most visited places by tourists in Bariloche is, without a doubt, Cervecería Patagonia. And it is not precisely because of its beer, which is also very rich. Visitors choose this brewery because it has an enviable view of Lake Moreno and the sunsets are magical. We recommend you go before the sun goes down, so you can see the full show.

Address: Km 24,700, Cto Chico, R8400 San Carlos de Bariloche
Phone: 0294 436-8337

 

Sustainability

Local businesses

 

  • Colonia Suiza Artisans

In the nearby town of Colonia Suiza, which we highly recommend visiting, there is a fair of artisans who make different types of regional products and crafts. Liquors, cheeses, preserves, beers. You will find a lot of variety and, in addition to walking, you can taste the products that they offer you.

Address: Colonia Suiza, San Carlos de Bariloche.
On Wednesday and Sunday there is a handicraft fair with different stands, tasting of local products and the elaboration of the famous curanto.
Price: Free entry.

 

  • Casa de Artesanías Mapuche

“Zuem Mapuche” is a place where the Mapuche community shows their crafts, you can see some of the native crafts and learn a little more about the first inhabitants of this area who claim these lands as their own.

Address: Moreno and Villegas.
Days and times: Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Price: Free entry.

 

 Who to meet

 

  • Kike mayer

He is one of the most successful and well-known plastic artists in Bariloche. He has won a large number of international awards, scholarships, commendations, etc. His latest work sold for $ 10,000. He works mainly in acrylic paintings and masks on letterhead. He conducts workshops in the city and also occasionally organizes samples of his work. To find out when and where you can enjoy the artist’s work, it is recommended to get in touch.

Villa Arelauquen, San Carlos de Bariloche, 8400
Email: kikermayer@gmail.com
Tel: +54 (9) 294 450 1109

 

How to help

 

  •  Red Solidaria Bariloche

It is a non-profit association that encourages the participation of young and old in joint volunteer actions. Its objectives include raising awareness of social values ​​through training environments, giving priority to gender equality and cooperation between people of different generations.
Email: redsolidariabariloche@gmail.com

 

 

  •  Gotitas de Esfuerzo

Droplets of Effort is a Non-Profit Civil Association. It works as a training canteen providing food to 120 children and 40 adults, located in the city of Bariloche in the province of Río Negro. The dining room not only provides food to the beneficiaries, but also provides activities for adults and children.
Address: San José Obrero and Tierra del Fuego, Bariloche.
Phone: 02944 – 440988
Email: gotitasdeesfuerzo@hotmail.com

 

 

Sustainability tips

 

Bariloche has its own sustainability program. They ask visitors and residents to separate the garbage and take everything recyclable to the green points that are distributed in the city. In addition, they especially emphasize that if a place is visited, the garbage must return with the visitors.


Other useful tips to be responsible travel:

  • Take your reusable bag with you when you go shopping.
  • Choose the consumption of local products from artisans and small producers.
  • Travel the city by bike or on foot, it is healthy and does not leave a carbon footprint.
  • When you go on an excursion, ask for food without plastic wrap.
  • Don’t leave trash in nature.
  • Take a reusable bottle with you to carry water in restaurants.
  • Don’t feed native fauna.
  • Use rechargeable batteries and batteries.

 

Get in touch