Travelling to Bariloche is arriving at the North gateway of Patagonia. You can enjoy and access 12 different lakes in only a matter of minutes, inside one of Argentina’s most shocking natural reserves. Each lake has its own colours, forests and beaches.
Summers in Bariloche are simply amazing: you never ran out of things to do. There are over 60 hiking circuits, lake activities, woods, waterfalls and mountain shelters. We suggest you follow us on social media (Facebook and Instagram) to access weekly tips that consider different weathers, travel types (family, friends or couples). We also recommend the best “non-traditional” touristic activities that most visitors miss. The lakes provide endless options: windsurfing, kitesurfing, sailing, kayaking, water skiing, rowing, and swimming in our amazingly transparent and colourful waters.
Winters in Bariloche include the traditional skiing but so much more. The “Cerro Catedral” mountain is the largest ski center in Latin America, offering ski and snowboard circuits for all levels. With over 200 hectares open for skiing, you can access ski tracks for everyone. Additionally, snowmobiles, sleds and snow rackets guarantee everyone enjoys the snow. There are multiple dining experiences and circuits you can only reach in snowmobiles at night, offering a unique sense of adventure. You can also practice nordic ski in Piedras Blancas, in the Cerro Catedral.
Bariloche also offers amazing dining experiences. These options range from local cuisine to italian, french, german and vegetarian options, on top of the incomparable Argentinian barbecue and meat. There are amazing local beer shops that offer both traditional and avant garde beers as well casual dining.
Bariloche in the fall is ideal to enjoy the red and yellow colours that cover every landscape. The fruit trees and poplars dye every valley, coast and mountain of unique colors, creating amazing landscapes.
Finally, Springs in Bariloche are full of color: lakes start to unfreeze, tulips grow and landscapes become full of flowers, smells and colors.
● NAHUEL HUAPI LAKE: The largest lake of the area is the Nahuel Huapi lake. It is made up of 550 square km of water, and its deepest areas are 500 metres deep. Its deep blue colors are simply astounding. It reaches the Chilean border and is ideal for sailing and fishing. It includes multiple islands and beaches, reaching the Myrtle Forest, where Walt Disney found his inspiration for “Bambi”. There are also spaces to enjoy trolling or fly fishing.
● MORENO LAKE: The Moreno lake begins in a glacier, and goes through “Circuito Chico”. There are two small touristic centers in its coasts: Colonia Suiza and the Llao Llao Villa. In spring you can taste the traditional “Curanto Mapuche” every sunday. Its waters are warmer than the ones in the other lakes. It is divided into two areas, with a bridge in the middle, and its ideal for water sports. Here, you can also find the “Punto Panoramico”, a panoramic destination with views of Rio Negro and Neuquen.
● MORENITO LAKE: It is a stream that emerges from the larger Moreno Lake. In its coasts you´ll find astounding private villas and one of the best teahouses in Bariloche.
● “LAGO ESCONDIDO” (HIDDEN LAKE): To access it you have to go through a simple, 20 minute hike that goes through a myrtle forest and natural tunnels. It’s an amazing activity to do with children. It is part of “Circuito Chico”, but only a few people know how to access it, so many tourists miss it. You can continue walking and arrive at the Bahía de Los Troncos, an amazing bay where you can admire the “Capilla” and “Lopez” hills.
● GUTIERREZ LAKE: It is only 7 minutes away from our hotel. It has one of the warmest waters of Bariloche. The Tehuelches (a local, native community) called it “God´s eye” because of its shape. It has multiple corners with small beaches, where you can arrange kayaking or hiking activities for either beginners or advanced hikers.
● MASCARDI LAKE: Its emerald green color is simply dazzling. It is metres away from the Gutierrez lake and surrounded by the famous route 40. It’s one of Bariloche´s most beautiful lakes. It’s ideal for private barbecues, horseback riding, and water sports. You can skirt around it all the way to Villa Mascardi, where you can enjoy beautiful hiking circuits that lead to the larches waterfall or the base of the Tronador Mountain. There are camping sites where you can rent barbecues, hike, horseback ride, rent kayaks or practice windsurfing.
● GUILLELMO LAKE: It finds its origins in a glacier nearby. It is fairly deep, so it has a greyish color. It has a picturesque path that is ideal for renting mountain bikes or hiking with beginners. You must visit it if you´re going through route 40 or travelling south.
● STEFFEN LAKE: Its located in the deep valley and has a transparent, astounding green color. It is surrounded by a pristine forest filled with coihue trees. This is where the Manso river is born. This river is famous for hosting the 3 best rafting activities in Patagonia. Its a great spot to fish trouts, either with fly or trolling fishing. You can have picnics, bathe or sail, but you need a car to get there, because the path is a little tricky. Local rangers are always there, offering meals for visitors.
● MARTIN LAKE: You can only reach it by going through the mountains or by following a small stream that surrounds the Steffen Lake. It is both lonely and amazing, with only a few fishermen arriving each year.
● PUELO LAKE: The Mapuche community called it “Waters of the East” because it’s one of the few lakes that finds its way through the Andes mountains and all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Its deep blue waters are ideal for sailing when there is no wind. It is home to a small community that cultivates strawberries, cherries and raspberries. There are many hiking tracks and horseback riding paths.
● TRAFUL LAKE: Its part of the Nahuel Huapi National Park, and it marks the beginning of the Traful river. In order to get there you must go through a gorgeous panoramic route, with views of the lakes, the “Enchanted valley” and forests. Its irregular coasts, cliffs and beaches have multiples viewpoints, and in “Villa Traful” you can taste fresh trout or have an amazing afternoon tea.
● LIMAY RIVER: This astounding river connects the Nahuel Huapi lake to the Neuquen Lake. You can skirt it by driving through route 237, and you can cross to the province of Neuquen, to visit the rocky formations named “God’s finger”, the “Little fox” and the “Amphitheatre”. It is great for fishing trouts, and its calm currents make it ideal for “Floating” tours, which are great for families with children. In these tours you can even swim, and let the currents take you. Nearby you can have amazing hot chocolate with local pastries. In its shores lives a native Mapuche community that delights us with their customs, traditions and handicrafts.
For those who enjoy observing nature, birdwatching or photographic safaris, Bariloche is also ideal. Horseback rides or simple hiking paths through the forests provide amazing landscapes and the opportunity to photograph the famous red deer or other local fauna. If you visit the patagonia steppe you can even find the condor´s nests.
The lake tours can either be booked through local companies with boats that cross the Nahuel Huapi lake, or you can book your own private boat, with or without a helmsman. With these tours you can visit:
- The “Pitcher´s waterfall”, Blest port, and Frias lake. In this tour you can either cross the lake all the way to Chile or just go for the day.
- Victoria´s island
- The myrtles´ forest
- Villa la Angostura. We recommend you have lunch there before returning to the hotel.
- “Manzano” bay
- “Brazo Tristeza”. This tour is ideal for people who love fly fishing, or families who want to visit the natural rock slides.
- “Brazo Machete”, with amazing landscapes.
- “Dina Huapi”, where you can watch the most amazing sunsets
- Villa Tacul, if you rent your own boat. You can explore the area, and stop in a small beach to enjoy a picnic that you can purchase at the hotel.
THE 10 PLACES/ ACTIVITIES YOU CAN’T MISS:
- CIRCUITO CHICO: A 40 km path, where you can visit the amazing forests Patagonia has to offer. You can stop in Cerveceria Patagonia, a famous local beer shop, that has amazing panoramic views of the lakes, peninsulas and islands of the area.
- HIKING UP THE LOPEZ HILL: A hiking path that leads to a daytime shelter.
- RENTING A BOAT: You can visit Victoria´s island, the myrtle forest and Villa la Angostura.
- HIKING TO THE NEUMEYER SHELTER: This activity can be done year-round.
- ENJOYING THE VIEWS OF THE TRONADOR MOUNTAIN: This mountain marks the border between Argentina and Chile. You can appreciate its grand glacier and its valleys.
- SWIMMING IN THE LAKES: Whether it is in Playa Bonita, Serena bay, or any of the small private beaches in the lakes´ shores.
- HIKING TO THE HABSBURGO ROCK: You will enjoy the most extraordinary views and witness unique local forests and flora.
- HIKING TO THE “CASCADA DE LOS DUENDES” (ELVES´ WATERFALL): This ideal for families with small kids or older generations, as the path is short, flat and picturesque.
- FLOAT IN THE LIMAY RIVER: You can just jump on the water and let the currents take you through the Limay River. You can end your day at one of the local ranches where you can taste local pastries and hot chocolate.
- DRIVE TO PASO CORDOBA AND VILLA TRAFUL: This route and its landscapes are simply unique.
All the way from Bariloche´s town up to the 8th kilometre of Bustillo Avenue, there are multiple shops where you can buy exquisite regional chocolates. Some of these shops were funded more than a hundred years ago, when Bariloche was just being built, and were originally owned by Swiss and German immigrants. Local bars and restaurants will give you a taste of local beer and traditional argentinian dishes. You can buy crafts from local craftsmen and native communities like the Mapuches.
The gastronomic possibilities are greatly diverse. You´ll find amazing restaurants and bars that offer italian, french, german, swiss and local food. Local dishes include a variety of unique meats, like wild pig, deer and trout. You´ll also taste other exquisite flavors like local mushrooms, and berries like fresh raspberries, strawberries, rosehip, blueberries and elderberry.
At night you can visit Bariloche´s Casino (only 10 minutes away from Nido del Condor), the Icebar and the multiple nightclubs, like Grisu, Cerebro, Rocket, Bypass or Genux, that don’t close until the 7 am.