Welcome to Bariloche & the Lake District
Home to some of the country’s most spectacular scenery, the Lake District is one of Argentina's prime tourist destinations. People come to ski, fish, climb, trek and generally bask in the cool, fresh landscapes created by the huge forests and glacier-fed lakes.The paleontological sites and outstanding wineries just out of the city of Neuquén are well worth stopping off for en route; and way, way south is the resort... Read More
Top experiences in Bariloche & the Lake District
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Bariloche & the Lake District activities
Cerro Tronador Day Trip from Bariloche
Reaching an elevation of approximately 11,500 feet (3,500 meters), Cerro Tronador is the highest mountain in the Lake District, located near Bariloche on the border between Argentina and Chile. An extinct volcano in the southern Andes, Tronador was named 'thunderer' for the frequent sound produced by the ice tumbling from its seven glaciers.Start your day trip to Cerro Tronador upon pickup from your hotel in Bariloche, and enjoy the scenic drive aboard the coach, crossing the Pampa de Huenuleo en route. Travel alongside Pilmayen and Melgarejo creeks until you arrive at Gutierrez Lake, where you’ll stop at a lodge with its own private beach, including two wharves and a boat ramp.Back aboard the coach, continue along the east side of Mascardi Lake, crossing the Manso River – one of the region’s top white-water rafting rivers – to reach the base of Cerro Tronador. After a stop in the village of Pampa Linda for lunch (own expense), cross part of the Vuriloches Valley past a forest of coihues and lengas until your coach arrives at the glacier called Ventisquero Negro (Black Snowdrift). Here, see where the Manso River begins its journey all the way to the Atlantic Ocean.Just a bit further ahead, arrive at the foot of Cerro Tronador and gaze up at its three characteristic peaks – Pico Argentino, Pico Internacional and Pico Chileno – before embarking on a short, guided walk to the glaciers. Listen to the thunderous sound of ice calving off the glaciers as you approach, and look for mountaineers on three-day expeditions to the summit of Tronador before returning by coach to your Bariloche hotel.
Bariloche Sightseeing Tour
The area around Nahuel Huapi Lake is known for its picturesque beauty -- reminiscent of the Swiss Alps with A-frame chalets, St Bernard dogs and pretty flower boxes. On this coach tour through the Bariloche Lakes District, take in the scenic alpine meadows and pristine forests of beech, cypress and pine. See stunning scenery amid lakes full of trout, salmon and perch, and enjoy knowledgeable commentary from your guide as you ride in a comfortable coach through this incredible region. Half-Day Tour (morning or afternoon): After pickup from your hotel, enjoy a day’s drive covering about 37 miles (60 km) of stunning territory. First, head out on the road that skirts the shores of Nahuel Huapi Lake. After six miles (10 km) you’ll reach Cerro Campanario (Belfry Hill), where you can disembark to take pictures with incredible vistas of several lake and mountain landmarks. Then, continue on to experience the quiet beauty of the Llao Llao Peninsula. When you reach the Llao Llao Peninsula, stop in Puerto Panuelo, a small port along the Nahuel Huapi Lake. Admire the San Eduardo Chapel, an elegant wooden structure by architect Alejandro Bustillo, who built several masterpieces in this region including the spectacular Llao Llao Hotel. Next, continue along the scenic route past Lopez Bay and Lopez Hill to Clover (El Trebol) Lagoon before your guide returns you to your hotel. Full-Day Tour:On your full-day coach tour, travel 155 miles (250 km), starting with a drive along the Limay River past Rincon Chico, Rincon Grande and the Amphitheater, a gorgeous area of clear waters and quiet beaches surrounded by craggy mountains. Continue to the Enchanted Valley (Valle Encantado) with its amazing rock formations, then on through Confluencia and Cuyin Manzano. Gauchos (cowboys) and their families settled the rustic hamlet of Cuyin Manzano before the national park was established. The residents sell handmade crafts such as knives with bone handles, wool clothing and rugs. Next, follow the road across the Minero River to the incredibly scenic Traful Lookout, perched on a sheer cliff three miles (5 km) above Lake Traful. After taking pictures and enjoying the view, continue to the charming lakeside hamlet of Villa Traful, where you can eat lunch (own expense) and browse the shops. Afterward, pass the sandy lakeside beaches of Puerto Arrayan and Portezuelo as you rejoin the Seven Lakes Road and head to Villa La Angostura. Considered one of Argentina’s loveliest towns, Villa La Angostura is a popular town on the north side of Nahuel Huapi Lake. The work of architect Alejandro Bustillo gives the town a lot of its charm, as does the natural setting. After a stop in Villa La Angostura, your guide and coach will take you back along the scenic roadway to your hotel in Bariloche.
San Martín de los Andes and the Seven Lakes Day Trip from Bariloche
Start your journey north to San Martín de los Andes from San Carlos de Bariloche upon hotel pickup by your guide. Relax aboard the comfortable coach, driving along the scenic southern shore of Nahuel Huapi Lake and crossing the Limay Bridge over the Limay River. En route, your guide will offer commentary on the natural and historical features of the region.Bordering the Huemul arm of the lake's northern shore, pass Las Flores and Puerto Manzano with a brief stopover in the mountain town of Villa La Angostura. Here, stretch your legs and breathe in the fresh mountain air before continuing on the provincial route. (You can purchase snacks at several stops along the way, or bring your own food to eat.)Following the picturesque Road of the Seven Lakes, take in the spectacular sights of lakes Espejo, Correntoso, Escondido, Villarino, Falkner and Machonico before arriving at the shores of Lácar Lake (Lago Lácar), where the charming town of San Martín de los Andes is nestled between high mountain peaks.You’ll have about three hours to spend at your leisure in San Martín, including time to purchase lunch at one of the plentiful restaurants (own expense). Stroll through downtown streets teeming with arts and crafts shops and gear-rental stores that specialize in a range of outdoor activities – from hiking, biking, boating and skiing to hunting and fishing. As you walk around, admire the lovely character of San Martín and the Swiss Alpine architectural style of its wood cabins and quaint shops.On your return trip, the road goes through Cordoba Pass (Paso Cordoba) at an elevation of 3,940 feet (1,200 meters) and features a typical Patagonian landscape. See the confluence of the Traful and Limay rivers, the Valle Encantado (Enchanted Valley) and the Anfiteatro (a natural amphitheater) before arrival back in Bariloche around 5pm.
Puerto Blest Sightseeing Cruise and Waterfalls Hike from Bariloche
After pickup from your hotel in Bariloche by comfortable coach, a local guide will take you to Puerto Panuelo, where you will board your boat to Puerto Blest (boat tax and national park fee not included). As you cruise along the deep blue waters of Nahauel Huapi Lake, enjoy the stunning rainforest scenery of Patagonian cypress and coihue trees. This area has a unique microclimate with the most rainfall of any part of Argentina, which allows the growth of a rainforest with ferns, moss and fungi not found in other parts of the country. As you pass Centinela Island, view the gravesite of the respected founder of Nahauel Huapi National Park – Dr Francisco Moreno – an early explorer and naturalist who crossed the treacherous mountains by mule with his wife and four children when they first came to the region in the late 1800s. The boat will salute his memory with a blast of the horn as you pass the modest gravesite situated among the trees. Continue to enjoy the scenery and history as you arrive in Puerto Blest in time for lunch at a lakeside restaurant (own expense). Afterward, your guide will take you on an easy 650-yard (550-meter) walk up the steps that run alongside Los Cantaros Waterfall until you reach the top. Stroll along the banks of Los Cantaros Lake, which feeds the waterfall, and then enjoy free time to explore the trails of the area. After your day of exploring the scenery of Lake Nahauel Huapi and Puerto Blest, head back to Bariloche by boat before hoping on a bus with your guide to return you to your hotel.
Nahuel Huapi Lake Sightseeing Cruise with Victoria Island and Arrayan Forest Nature Walk
After pickup from your hotel in Bariloche by your guide, board a comfortable catamaran at Puerto Pañuelo, situated at the foot of the famous Llao-Llao Hotel. Set sail for an hour-long ride on beautiful Nahuel Huapi Lake – located within Nahuel Huapi National Park – and admire the scenic views from every angle as you enjoy a lunch break aboard the boat (available for purchase or bring your own).First, head to Victoria Island, the largest island on Nahuel Huapi Lake, and disembark at Puerto Anchorena. Enjoy a guided walk along several trails through the lush coniferous forest; your guide will show you a variety of trees – both native and introduced – including sequoias, birches, firs, aromos and pines. If you visit during summer months, dip into the lake at Toro Beach if you’d like, or take the chair lift up Cerro Bella Vista (Bella Vista Hill), situated 2,950 feet (900 meters) above sea level and flanked by enormous coihue and cypress trees. Enjoy panoramic views of Victoria Island and magnificent Nahuel Huapi Lake, followed by a break at an island snack bar (own expense).Next, disembark at Quetrihué Peninsula for a guided walk through the arrayán forest in Los Arrayanes National Park – a unique forest growing on the southern tip of the peninsula. A narrow isthmus to the mainland, in which the picturesque town of Villa Angostura resides, joins 2,470 acres (1,000 hectares) that comprise the Quetrihué Peninsula – the only place in the world where the arrayáns grow into full-sized trees.Stroll along 2,000 feet (600 meters) of walkway and admire the singular beauty of the hundred-year-old arrayán trees, whose cinnamon-colored bark is cold to the touch and peels off in flakes, giving the trunk its unique appearance. Depending on the season, keep an eye out for their white flowers and pleasant-tasting purple fruit, popular in Argentina and Chile.Your guide will point out a small cabin built in the middle of the forest, where you might also glimpse the pudú (a miniature species of South American deer) that inhabit the area. The world’s smallest deer, they are said to have inspired the famous Walt Disney character Bambi.After a full day exploring, you'll be transported back to Bariloche.
Andean Lakes Crossing from Argentina to Chile by Bus and Boat
Depart from Bariloche in the morning upon pickup from your hotel and enjoy the scenic drive to Puerto Pañuelo, your first stop en route to Chile. Relax aboard the coach and keep an eye out for the characteristic Swiss-style architecture of the wooden buildings as well as beautiful gardens and flowers that dot the landscape. When you arrive at the port, board your catamaran – either Victoria Andina or Victoria del Lago – and set sail on Nahuel Huapi Lake for an hour-long ride to Puerto Blest, located about 15 miles away. Your guide will inform you about the history of the area as you take in the grandeur of the landscape, including a variety of birds that inhabit the green forests surrounding the lake. Upon arrival at Puerto Blest, board a bus for a ride that borders the Frías River for just three miles to Puerto Alegre. Then, sail aboard City of Faith over the peaceful and pristine waters of Lake Frías and admire its deep green hue as you take in magnificent views of Cerro Tronador. Hovering approximately 11,500 feet (3,500 meters) above sea level, the extinct volcano is the Lake District’s highest mountain.After a 20-minute voyage, reach the small port of Puerto Frías, where you’ll go through departure procedures at Argentina customs before continuing by bus to Peulla. Along the way, appreciate the lush vegetation of the Cordillera de Los Andes and marvel at Tronador, which has nine glaciers on its summit. Enter Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park, Chile’s first national park, and arrive in Peulla. Once you’ve carried out entry formalities, you'll have free time to purchase lunch (own expense).Around 3:30pm, set sail on Todos los Santos Lake with great views of Osorno Volcano, Tronador and Puntiagudo Hill (if the weather allows). Then, continue to your final destination of Puerto Varas by bus, stopping en route for an optional visit to the Petrohué Waterfalls (Saltos del Petrohué), where green falls cascade over volcanic rock in the upper reaches of the Petrohué River (admission not included).