Bariloche Patagonia Argentina

Experience Chile can arrange a few nights in Bariloche as part of your wider South American travel itinerary or as a stay prior to taking the boat over to Chile or vice versa. You can also stay here prior to going south to El Calafate (El Chalten, Ushuaia) or after staying in El Calafate. If used as a standalone itinerary we suggest a minimum of 3 nights and other than that, one night if for logistics only.


Bariloche, formally known as San Carlos de Bariloche, is the largest city in the Argentine lake region in the Rio Negro province, with a population of around 130,000 in habitants. Located in Patagonia 1,680kms southwest from the Argentine Capital Buenos Aires. The city is situated on the southern shore of the large lake Nahuel Huapi. It is a rather large, lake-side development that serves as a principal base from which to explore the wilderness of the “Nahuel Huapi” National Park.

The area around Bariloche is very similar to the Alpine regions of central Europe. Particularly, forested mountains, rivers and lakes. In addition, the original European settlers from Germany built many of their dwellings in the same, German, Alpine style. Therefore, the city, with its surroundings, is often referred to as being very “Alpine”.

In the summer months, due to the natural geography of the area, most activities are centred around the outdoors such as lake bathing, kayak, canyoning, stand-up paddle, white-water rafting and sailing to mentioned a few, plus fly fishing. In the winter the snow-covered Andes offer skiing and snow-based activities.

Moreover, Bariloche also offers a number of mountain-trekking trails with simple refugios (operated by the Club Andino Bariloche) for overnight stays. On the

Bariloche History

History says that the Bariloche of today began when, in 1890, Carlos Wiederhold (a Chilean with German ancestry) settled by the lake Nahuel Huapi and opened a small convenience store. Over the subsequent years other settlers from Austria, Germany, Slovakia, Italy and Chile, constructed their homes near to the store. In the 1930s the city began to take on its appearance of an Alpine village with many buildings constructed from locally-sourced stone and wood, and between1935 to 1940 the town was further urbanized forming its current day, street grid layout.

It is also the end, or start (whichever way you do it), of the Cruce de Lagos boat cruise that crosses the lakes between Argentina and Chile. The cruise takes a full day passing through scenery of outstanding natural beauty, with an option to overnight en-route beside a Chilean lake. A visit to Bariloche is also an option from the natural hot-spring health spa Termas de Puyehue, in Chile, as it is close to the Argentine border.

Bariloche enjoys a cool-temperate climate with dry, often windy summers and rainy (snow on the mountains) winters. In the summer months of December to March the days are usually sunny and windy with temperatures between 18°C to 26°C, but cold nights (2°C to 9°C).

Experience Chile Custom Itineraries

Andes Lake Crossing
As mentioned above, this option involves crossing the Andes between Bariloche and Puerto Varas in Chile. Each city (Puerto Varas being a village in reality) is more or less opposite the other on each side of the Andes.

Particularly this trip includes crossing several lakes as well as a bus trip through the forests of the Andes. Travellers can do the trip, either way, in a long day or stop over night at Peulla, on the Chilean side, with a previously arranged reservation.

Andes Road Crossing
The alternative to crossing the Andes between Puerto Varas and Bariloche (or vice versa) is, instead of by boat, you take the bus option, either as a private transfer, or on a tourist bus. This transport method is quicker than the navigation option mentioned above.

In addition to all the above options, we will build in the required nights in both Bariloche and Puerto Varas.

Rent a Car

We can also arrange a self-drive for you with a car rental with a stay at the relaxing and excellent thermal spa centre in Chile called Termas de Puyehue, on the Chilean side not far from the border control.

Road Distances Between Bariloche and Places in Chile:
Frutillar: 300km
Osorno: 250km
Puerto Montt: 390km
Puerto Varas: 318km
Valdivia 348km

Note: If you are coming from, or going to southern Patagonia, such as Torres del Paine, the above fits perfectly into any itinerary pre or post Torres del Paine, or El Calafate (and El Chalten), as well as Punta Arenas.

Near to Puerto Varas is Puerto Montt and its airport with flights north to Santiago, or south to Punta Arenas. And, on the Argentine side, Bariloche offers direct flights to Buenos Aires and El Calafate, and from El Calafate there are flights to Ushuaia.

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