10 Best Day Trips From Bariloche

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San Carlos de Bariloche (commonly called Bariloche) is a beautiful town situated in the heart of Argentina’s Patagonia region. It is a captivating destination that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, outdoor adventures, and charming alpine town vibes.

It borders Nahuel Huapi, a large glacial lake surrounded by the Andes Mountains. It’s also a popular base for hiking, skiing the nearby mountains, and exploring the surrounding Lake District. With its picturesque landscapes, towering snow-capped mountains, and crystal-clear lakes, Bariloche is a haven for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers.

The town itself is a delightful mix of Swiss-inspired architecture, cozy chocolate shops, and boutique stores selling regional crafts. Strolling through the streets, visitors can’t help but be enchanted by the alpine charm and the breathtaking views that surround them.

Bariloche is renowned for its world-class skiing and snowboarding resorts, drawing winter sports enthusiasts from around the globe. Cerro Catedral, the largest ski resort in South America, offers an array of slopes for all levels of experience, while Cerro Otto provides stunning panoramic views of the region.

During the summer months, Bariloche transforms into a paradise for outdoor activities. The area’s vast network of hiking trails beckons adventurers to explore its hidden treasures.

Bariloche is also known for its mouthwatering cuisine, with a particular emphasis on hearty Argentine dishes and delectable chocolate creations. Indulging in a traditional Patagonian lamb barbecue or savoring a slice of the town’s famous chocolate cake is a must-do for food lovers.

Whether you’re seeking thrilling adventures in the great outdoors, immersing yourself in the local culture, or simply basking in the awe-inspiring beauty of the landscapes, Bariloche promises an unforgettable experience that will leave you yearning to return.

So, let’s delve into our carefully created list of the top 10 must-see day trips in Bariloche:

1. Circuito Chico

Total Time – 6 – 8 Hours

snow-capped mountains, pristine lakes, and lush forests.

Circuito Chico, Río Negro, Argentina
Circuito Chico, Río Negro, Argentina

Welcome to Circuito Chico, a scenic and breathtaking route nestled in the heart of Bariloche, Argentina that showcases the natural beauty of the region.

Circuito Chico, or “Small Circuit,” is a 60-kilometer road that winds its way through the picturesque landscapes surrounding Bariloche. Prepare to be mesmerised by the stunning scenery consisting of snow-capped mountains, pristine lakes, and lush forests that unfold before your eyes.

The journey begins as you embark on a leisurely drive along the shores of Nahuel Huapi Lake, which is one of the largest lakes in the region. Marvel at the azure waters reflecting the surrounding peaks and breathe in the fresh mountain air.

As you continue along the circuit, you’ll encounter iconic landmarks and hidden gems. Make a stop at the renowned Llao Llao Hotel, an architectural masterpiece nestled between lakes and mountains. Take a moment to capture the breathtaking panoramic views from the hotel’s viewpoint.

The circuit also offers opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. Lace up your hiking boots and explore the trails that meander through the surrounding forests, leading to secluded beaches and cascading waterfalls. Feel the adrenaline rush as you embark on a mountain biking adventure or try your hand at fishing in one of the pristine lakes.

Don’t forget to indulge in the culinary delights along the way. Treat yourself to a traditional Argentine meal at one of the charming restaurants or enjoy a picnic in the midst of nature.

Circuito Chico is a feast for the senses, offering a perfect blend of natural beauty, outdoor adventures, and cultural experiences. Join me on this enchanting journey and let the magic of Circuito Chico in Bariloche captivate your heart and soul.

2. Cerro Catedral

Total Time – Full Day

haven for winter sports enthusiasts

Cerro Catedral, Río Negro, Argentina
Cerro Catedral, Río Negro, Argentina

Nestled amidst the stunning Andes Mountains, Cerro Catedral is a captivating destination that offers an unforgettable adventure for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. As a travel blogger, I recently had the pleasure of visiting Cerro Catedral and was taken aback by its breathtaking beauty.

At Cerro Catedral, you’ll discover a world of exhilarating possibilities. With its renowned ski resort, it is a haven for winter sports enthusiasts. The mountain boasts a wide range of ski slopes catering to all levels of experience, from beginners to seasoned skiers. The pristine white snow, framed by towering peaks, creates a picturesque backdrop that will leave you speechless.

Beyond the thrill of skiing, Cerro Catedral offers a wealth of activities to enjoy all year round. During the summer months, the mountain transforms into a paradise for hiking and mountain biking, with an extensive network of trails that allow you to explore the surrounding wilderness.

Cerro Catedral is not only a place of outdoor adventure but also a vibrant hub with a lively atmosphere. The base area is dotted with charming cafés, restaurants, and shops, where you can savour delicious local cuisine and browse for unique souvenirs.

Whether you’re seeking thrilling slopes, breathtaking vistas, or a vibrant mountain atmosphere, Cerro Catedral has it all. The duration of your visit will depend on the activities you choose to partake in and the amount of time you have available. But rest assured, a trip to Cerro Catedral promises an unforgettable experience that will leave you yearning to return.

3. Victoria Island and Bosque de Arrayanes

Total Time – Full Day

Playful dolphins frolicking in the lake

Bosque de Arrayanes, Neuquen, Argentina
Bosque de Arrayanes, Neuquen, Argentina

I recently had the opportunity to visit Victoria Island and Bosque de Arrayanes, and I must say, it was a truly magical experience. Located in the picturesque region of Bariloche, Argentina, these two destinations offer breathtaking natural beauty and a glimpse into the rich biodiversity of the area.

Victoria Island, surrounded by the stunning blue waters of Nahuel Huapi Lake, is a haven for nature lovers. The island boasts lush forests, secluded beaches, and towering cliffs, making it a paradise for hiking enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers. During my visit, I embarked on scenic trails, marveling at the panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. I also had the chance to spot native wildlife, including majestic eagles soaring overhead and playful dolphins frolicking in the lake.

Next, I ventured to Bosque de Arrayanes, a unique forest that seems straight out of a fairytale. This enchanting forest is home to a rare species of cinnamon-colored arrayan trees, which create a magical atmosphere with their twisted trunks and smooth bark. Walking through the forest felt like stepping into a dream, with the sunlight filtering through the canopy and casting a warm glow on the forest floor.

Both Victoria Island and Bosque de Arrayanes are easily accessible by boat from Bariloche, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty of these natural wonders. Whether you’re seeking adventure or tranquility, these destinations offer something for everyone. I highly recommend allocating a full day to explore Victoria Island and Bosque de Arrayanes to fully appreciate their charm and capture unforgettable memories amidst nature’s splendor.

4. Seven Lakes Route

Total Time – 2 – 3 Days

This iconic route and its natural beauty is a must see.

Seven Lakes, Argentina
Seven Lakes, Argentina

Embark on an extraordinary journey through the picturesque landscapes of the Seven Lakes Route, a scenic drive that takes you through some of the most breathtaking sights in Patagonia. This iconic route and its natural beauty is a must see.

Starting from the charming town of San Martín de los Andes, the route winds its way through a stunning series of seven interconnected lakes, each with its own unique charm and character. The turquoise waters of Lacar, the tranquil beauty of Falkner Lake, the mirrored reflections of Villarino Lake – every lake on the route offered a distinctive and unforgettable experience.

Driving along the winding roads, surrounded by towering mountains and dense forests, I couldn’t help but be captivated by the pristine beauty of the landscapes. The route also presents numerous viewpoints and stopping points where you can pause to soak in the magnificent vistas and capture those perfect Instagram-worthy shots.

Throughout the journey, there were ample opportunities to engage in outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, or simply enjoying a picnic by the lakeside. The route is also dotted with quaint villages where you can sample local cuisine, interact with friendly locals, and learn about the rich cultural heritage of the region.

The duration of the Seven Lakes Route can vary depending on your pace and the number of stops you make along the way. While some travelers choose to complete the route in a single day, I highly recommend taking your time and dedicating at least two to three days to truly immerse yourself in the natural splendor and tranquility of this scenic drive. Each lake and viewpoint deserves your attention, and by allowing yourself more time, you can enjoy the beauty at a leisurely pace and create lasting memories of this unforgettable journey.

5. Nahuel Huapi National Park

Total Time – 3 – 5 Hours

Marveling at the vibrant wildflowers

Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi, Río Negro, Argentina
Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi, Río Negro, Argentina

Nahuel Huapi National Park is truly a site to behold. I was immediately captivated by the sheer beauty and pristine wilderness that awaited me. Nestled in the heart of Argentina’s Patagonia region, this national park is a true paradise for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers alike.

Upon arriving at the park, I was immediately greeted by the breathtaking views of the snow-capped Andes Mountains reflecting in the crystal-clear waters of Lake Nahuel Huapi. The vastness of the park seemed endless, with towering peaks, dense forests, and shimmering lakes stretching as far as the eye could see. It was a landscape that inspired awe and a sense of connection with nature.

Exploring the park’s trails, I ventured into its diverse ecosystems, encountering ancient forests teeming with native flora and fauna. I hiked through lush valleys, marveling at the vibrant wildflowers and listening to the melodious songs of the birds whilst the scent of fresh pine filled the air, creating an immersive sensory experience.

In the evenings, I found solace in the park’s cozy lodges and campsites, relishing the opportunity to stargaze and soak in the tranquility of my surroundings. The nights were filled with the soothing sounds of nature, creating a sense of serenity and peace.

My first visit to Nahuel Huapi National Park was a true immersion into the wonders of Patagonia. It left me with a profound appreciation for the beauty of untouched wilderness and a desire to protect and preserve these natural treasures for future generations to enjoy.

6. Puerto Blest and Cascada de los Cántaros

Total Time – 3 – 5 Hours

Scenic boat ride across the crystal-clear waters

Cascada los Cántaros, Neuquen, Argentina
Cascada los Cántaros, Neuquen, Argentina

Imagine embarking on a captivating day trip to Puerto Blest and Cascada de los Cántaros, where nature’s wonders come alive before your eyes.

The adventure begins with a scenic boat ride across the crystal-clear waters of Lake Nahuel Huapi, surrounded by towering mountains and lush forests. The tranquil journey offers a moment of serenity as you take in the breathtaking landscapes that unfold around you.

Upon reaching Puerto Blest, you are greeted by a picturesque lakeside village embraced by nature’s splendor. Stroll along the charming pathways, marvel at the vibrant flora, and breathe in the fresh mountain air. The soothing sound of cascading water leads you to the enchanting Cascada de los Cántaros, a hidden waterfall tucked away amidst the wilderness. As you stand in its presence, you are captivated by the sheer power and elegance of nature.

Immersing yourself in the natural surroundings, you can embark on a guided hike along well-marked trails that wind through the forest. Discover hidden viewpoints that offer panoramic vistas of the surrounding peaks and immerse yourself in the harmony of the ecosystem.

As the day unfolded, I indulged in a leisurely picnic by the lakeshore, savouring local delicacies and taking in the peaceful ambiance.

The day trip to Puerto Blest and Cascada de los Cántaros is a breathtaking experience that transports you to a world of natural wonders and serenity. It is a reminder of the extraordinary beauty that awaits in the heart of Nahuel Huapi National Park, leaving you with memories to cherish long after the journey ends.

7. Arrayanes Forest

Total Time – 3 – 4 Hours

Feel like you are stepping into a fairytale.

Bosque de Arrayanes, Neuquen, Argentina
Bosque de Arrayanes, Neuquen, Argentina

The enchanting Arrayanes Forest in Argentina is tucked within Nahuel Huapi National Park and its uniqueness makes you feel like you are stepping into a fairytale.

The Arrayanes Forest is famous for its stunning grove of cinnamon-colored trees, known as the Arrayanes trees. These trees, with their smooth trunks and distinctive white flowers, create a magical atmosphere that transports you to a world of wonder.

The forest is home to a variety of wildlife, including birds and small mammals, which adds to the immersive experience. The scent of the trees, the gentle rustling of leaves, and the dappled sunlight filtering through the canopy create a sense of tranquility and serenity.

Exploring the Arrayanes Forest is a delight for nature lovers and photographers alike. The winding paths lead you through a picturesque landscape, revealing breathtaking views of Lake Nahuel Huapi. You can take your time to admire the beauty of the trees, capture stunning photographs, or simply find a quiet spot to sit and soak in the peaceful ambiance.

A visit to the Arrayanes Forest is best enjoyed with a guided tour, which allows you to learn about the ecosystem, the cultural significance of the Arrayanes trees, and the conservation efforts in place to protect this natural treasure.

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a photography enthusiast, or simply seeking a serene escape, the Arrayanes Forest promises a captivating experience that will leave you with lasting memories.

8. Villa Traful

Total Time – Full Day

Postcard perfect setting

Villa Traful, Argentina
Villa Traful, Argentina

The charming village of Villa Traful is nestled amidst the picturesque landscapes of Patagonia and provides an enchanting escape from bustling city life.

Upon arriving in Villa Traful, you’ll be captivated by the breathtaking beauty of its surroundings. The village is surrounded by dense forests, towering mountains, and the pristine waters of Lake Traful, creating a postcard-perfect setting that will leave you in awe.

One of the highlights of visiting Villa Traful is exploring its natural wonders. Take a stroll along the lake’s shore, and you’ll be greeted by tranquil beaches, perfect for sunbathing or a refreshing swim. For adventure enthusiasts, hiking trails lead you to panoramic viewpoints, offering breathtaking vistas of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

The village itself is small and charming, with colourful houses and a peaceful atmosphere. You can wander through its streets, discovering local artisans selling their crafts, quaint cafes serving homemade treats, and friendly locals eager to share the stories of their beloved village.

If you’re seeking tranquility and connection with nature, Villa Traful is the perfect destination. Whether you choose to spend a day exploring its natural wonders, relaxing on the lakeside, or immersing yourself in the local culture, this hidden gem promises an unforgettable experience.

The duration of your visit to Villa Traful can vary depending on your interests and activities. A day trip can provide a glimpse of the village’s beauty, but to fully immerse yourself in its charm, consider staying overnight to witness the magical sunset and embrace the tranquility that envelops this idyllic destination.

9. Llao Llao Peninsula

Total Time – Full Day

Abundance of outdoor activities.

Llao Llao, Río Negro, Argentina
Llao Llao, Río Negro, Argentina

As a travel blogger, let me take you on a virtual journey to the enchanting Llao Llao Peninsula in Bariloche. Nestled amidst the breathtaking landscapes of the Argentine Patagonia, this destination is a true gem for nature lovers and adventure seekers.

The Llao Llao Peninsula is home to the iconic Llao Llao Hotel and Resort, a historic luxury hotel that offers stunning views of the surrounding lakes and mountains. The crystal-clear waters of Lake Nahuel Huapi glisten in the sunlight, while the snow-capped peaks of the Andes provide a majestic backdrop.

One of the highlights of the Llao Llao Peninsula is its abundant outdoor activities. Lace up your hiking boots and explore the numerous trails that wind through the pristine forests and meadows. From gentle walks to challenging hikes, there’s something for every level of adventurer. You can also embark on a kayak or boat excursion to explore the tranquil lakes, or try your hand at fishing for trout.

For those seeking a more leisurely experience, indulge in a round of golf on the world-class 18-hole golf course, or simply relax on the shores of Lake Moreno, taking in the serene surroundings. The Peninsula is also home to the Llao Llao Municipal Park, where you can wander through native forests and spot native wildlife.

As the day draws to a close, make sure to witness the mesmerising sunset over the mountains, casting a golden glow over the landscape. The Llao Llao Peninsula truly offers a slice of paradise, where nature’s beauty takes center stage.

So, whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, relaxation, or simply a chance to connect with nature, the Llao Llao Peninsula in Bariloche is a destination that will leave you in awe.

10. Frey Hut

Total Time – 8-10 Hours

The hut offers a serene retreat in the heart of nature

Frey Hut, Río Negro, Argentina
Frey Hut, Río Negro, Argentina

Perched high in the Andes Mountains, Frey Hut is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts seeking adventure and breathtaking scenery. I recently had the opportunity to visit Frey Hut and was captivated by its natural beauty and rugged charm.

The journey to Frey Hut begins with a picturesque hike through the stunning Nahuel Huapi National Park. The trail meanders through dense forests, past crystal-clear streams, and offers glimpses of towering peaks. The anticipation builds as you ascend higher, surrounded by panoramic vistas that seem to stretch on forever.

Upon reaching Frey Hut, the first thing that struck me was its idyllic setting. Nestled amidst towering granite cliffs and overlooking a pristine alpine lake, the hut offers a serene retreat in the heart of nature. The rustic charm of the hut adds to its allure, with wooden interiors and cozy communal spaces that invite relaxation and camaraderie.

But it’s not just the stunning surroundings that make Frey Hut a must-visit destination. It’s also the myriad of outdoor activities available. From rock climbing and mountaineering to hiking and skiing, Frey Hut offers endless opportunities for adventure. The granite walls surrounding the hut are a rock climber’s paradise, with routes for all skill levels.

As the sun sets behind the mountains, casting a golden glow over the landscape, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of awe and gratitude for the beauty of Frey Hut. It’s a place where nature and adventure converge, leaving visitors with unforgettable memories and a yearning to return.

Whether you’re an avid mountaineer or simply seek solace in the beauty of the mountains, Frey Hut is a destination that should not be missed. Embrace the spirit of adventure, immerse yourself in the stunning surroundings, and let Frey Hut leave an indelible mark on your heart.

Continent: South America

Argentina, Bariloche