Coming from Pucon and intending to go to Chiloe Island, Bariloche was definitely not on our way. It was a big detour, but one totally worth it. I litterally fell in love with the landscape around San Carlos de Bariloche: yellow flowers everywhere, blue lakes and white mountains in the background. And “blue lakes” is a poor description of what we have seen. There were tens of blue shades ranging from a sparkling turquoise to a deep royal blue. Bariloche itself has a ski resort flair, with its many wood and stones buildings. The city is not particularly beautiful, but there are many things to do and see around it.
You like chocolate?
Then you are in the right place, as Bariloche is known as Argentina chocolate’s capital 🙂 there are many shops you can visit in order to try the local chocolates: Fenoglio, Rapa Nui, Del Turista, Mamushka… All these chocolatiers are located on the Mitre Avenue, a street whose nickname is “The Chocolate Dreams Avenue”! Everytime you enter in a shop, you get free samples 😀 If you are really fond of chocolate, there is even a museum you can visit to get more information about Bariloche’s history with chocolate.
You prefer beer?
No problem at all! On the top of its chocolate avenue, Bariloche also offers you the possibility to travel the beer route 😀 From international to local beers, we don’t doubt any second that you will find one to your liking. And when you enjoy this view while drinking it, how could you complain?
And what if want to do something else than eating or drinking?! Well, that’s a hard thing to imagine for both of us! But we will try our best to give you an idea of other things you can do around Bariloche :p
If you don’t have a lot of time around Bariloche, go to the viewpoint Cerro Campanario. It is located only 20 kilometers away from the city, easy to access with public transportation and the view from there is very beautiful. Once at the parking, you have two options to get to the top:
- going up with the chairlift – you have to pay around 150ARS for a 5 minutes ride
- going by up by foot – the solution we chose, it takes between 20 to 40 minutes, depending on how fast you walk
From the top, you have a 360° view on the surrounding mountains and lakes. I could have stayed there for hours if the wind wouldn’t have tried to blow me away!
The Chico Circuit
From Cerro Campanario, we walked 1 kilometer in the direction of Llao Llao. We were hoping to find bikes to rent in order to discover the Llao Llao Peninsula. Our aim was to ride bike on the Chico Circuit, a 25km road passing by several panoramic viewpoints and beautiful beaches.
We found two shops which rented bikes, both with ridiculously high prices – we paid around 20€ per bike for one afternoon… The Chico Circuit is very beautiful, but the road is not flat! It is not very hard, but we spent the whole time going up and down 🙂 on our way, we stopped several time to walk in the National Park for a while. It is really worth it to start the tour early in order to be able to stop at some interest points and hike around.
Almost at the end on our tour, we stopped by a local brewery where we enjoyed a selection of local beers with an amazing view: life is hard!
Hikes around Bariloche
There are various hiking possibilities around Bariloche, including the famous hike to the Frey Refugio. Sadly, we were once again to early in the season to be able to fully enjoy the nature around Bariloche. There was still a lot of snow on the mountains, and on the top of that, the wind was mad when we were there. As a result, the Nahuel Huapi National Park was closed most of the time…
BUT, I liked Bariloche and its stunning landscape so much, that we decided to come back a little bit later in the season 😀 so we will definitely post another article about hikes around Bariloche in the future! As for now, Kai decided that he wanted to cross the Andes by foot in order to go back to Puerto Varas… Don’t miss our next article about this crazy adventure!! And if you want to see all our pictures for Bariloche, click here 🙂
Accommodation in Bariloche
We stayed in the hostel Marcopolo Inn for 550ARS/night for double room with private bathroom. The room was ok, but coming from our Small family run hostel in Puerto Varas, the contrast was hard. The hostel is quite big and there to make business. But everything was clean, the kitchen was well equipped and the location was good, close to the city center.
- Get to Bariloche: from Puerto Montt, Puerto Varas or Osorno, there are only day bus. It takes around 6 hours and costs 18.000CP/Person.
- Get to Cerro Campanario: from Bariloche city center, take the bus 20 in the direction of Llao Llao for 19ARS/person. In order to take the bus in Bariloche, you need a SUBE bus card that you can buy and load in kiosks.