There are many things to do in Bariloche and around, but there are five highlights if you are making a trip through Patagonia.
🔎 Check here our guide to travel to Bariloche.
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1) Circuito Chico
Travelling around the Circuito Chico is one of the main things to do in Bariloche. The 60 kilometers route can be easily done on car, public transportation and also travel agencies offer the loop as a half-day tour. It goes along the shoreline Nahuel Huapi lake and passes by the base of Cerro Campanario, the beautiful Llao Llao hotel and some panoramic overlooks where it’s worth stopping to take pictures.
a) Hotel Llao Llao
One of the icons of the Circuito Chico is the famous Llao Llao hotel. Built out of reinforced concrete, stone and wood, its operation began during the early 20th century, it was closed due to lack of funds for maintenance and then reopened again. Currently, it’s a five star hotel, where spending a night costs around 350 dollars. Its fine interior decoration is outstanding and, of course, the breathtaking views of the mountains and the golf course owned by the hotel.
b) Go hiking and enjoy the viewpoints to the lake
Another activity that can be done in Circuito Chico is hiking among the lush vegetation or the lakeside. Normally, the trails are well marked and doesn’t require a great physical effort. So, for example, there is a path that takes you to Llao Llao or another to Lago Escondido. Also, there are viewpoints on the route, where you can stop to take pictures.
2) Cerro Catedral
For ski lovers in winter, one of the things to do in Bariloche is to visit Cerro Catedral, the ski center of the city. Also it’s a perfect place for those who want to do some outdoor activities, or just relax with beautiful views all year round. It has different level of difficulties of slopes and has cable car and an area of restaurants and cafes.
3) Centro Cívico
While the city glimpses for its dreamy landscapes, don’t forget to visit the center, have a hot chocolate at a chocolate shop on calle Mitre (Mitre St.) and, of course, visit the famous Civic Center is another thing to do in Bariloche .
Centro Cívico is a scenic square with stone floor overlooking Lago Nahuel Huapi and the mountains. Buildings that surround it have the typical wood and stone architecture of Patagonia. Some of them are the Municipalidad (City Hall) and the Regional Museum of Bariloche.
4) Colonia Suiza
If you are doing the Circuito Chico, it’s worth taking a short detour to visit Colonia Suiza, a mellow little village almost hidden between the lakes and the mountain, originally founded by Swiss colonist. Visit the Feria Artesanal, the local handycraft fair and eat its famous Curanto. It’s not a meal but a way of cooking, which consists of different meats and vegetables prepared in a hole dug in the ground and covered by stones, leaves, earth and fabrics.
5) Arrayanes Forest and Victoria Island
One of the main things to do in Bariloche, is to take a lake cruise by catamaran to Victoria Island and the Arrayanes Forest. The excursion departs from Puerto Pañuelo, in front of Llao Llao hotel.
Arrayanes Forest is a National Park, so a protected area. The visit is guided and usually you will see a park ranger around. Along the wooden paths, there are «arrayanes» that are large shrubs, whose characteristic is the cinnamon color of the trunk and green leaves.