Plan your trip to Bariloche and the Lake District with this handy tourist guide. Learn more about Bariloche, find general information about the weather, how to get there and what to see and do in San Carlos de Bariloche.
At the foothills of the Andes in the Rio Negro province, nestled amidst the picturesque scenery of beautiful lakes and snow-capped mountain, sits the city of San Carlos de Bariloche – the gateway to the beautiful Patagonia in Argentina. The city has approximately 130.000 inhabitants and is hugely popular with foreign and Argentine tourists, who travel to Bariloche every year in search of the many adventure activities on offer or looking for relaxation, enjoying the pure and incomparable natural beauty of Bariloche.
Photo source: Sai89AJ
Bariloche's main attraction is the Nahuel Huapi National Park, the oldest and largest national park in the Patagonian Andes. Its impressive geographical location, high altitude and unique flora and fauna make Bariloche and its surroundings the perfect place to enjoy a vacation in both summer and winter, with a wide range of activities all year round.
During the winter months, Bariloche becomes one of the most important ski centres in South America. This means that between June and August, the local hotels fill up and the slopes are filled with Brazilian and Argentinean holidaymakers, whizzing (sometimes even tumbling) down the pistes of Cerro Catedral. This is the prime time to visit Bariloche to play in the snow and enjoy a range of exciting winter tours and activities. However, during the summer, life slows down to a gentler pace and travellers can enjoy all sorts of outdoor activities and get the most out of the amazing Patagonian nature.
Surrounding Bariloche there are many incredible locations, such as Playa Bonita, situated only 8km from Bariloche. Playa Bonita is a wonderful spot to practice windsurfing, go scuba diving or to simply relax on the sandy shores of the Lake Nahuel Huapi. You can also spend a moment of pure tranquillity next to Lake Correntoso with only a fishing rod for company or explore the surrounding area on different Bariloche excursions to discover stunning panoramic views of famous Bariloche tourist circuits and landscapes. See the beautiful 7 Lakes circuit to San Martin de los Andes; the Short and Big Circuit around the Nahuel Huapi lake and National Park; the awe inspiring Cerro Tronador (the highest peak of the Nahuel Huapi Park on the Chilean boarder); the peaceful atmosphere of the Andes whilst sailing on a Bariloche boat tour to Puerto Blest or a guided walking tour through the exceptionally rare Arrayan Forrest at Victoria Island.
Discover the attractive alpine architecture of Bariloche and the picturesque neighbouring towns of El Bolson, Villa la Angostura and San Martin de los Andes. The eclectic mix of their Nordic heritage and Mapuche Indian culture becomes evident in the variety of traditional and delicious Patagonian products, such as hand-made chocolates from chocolate shops like Mamuschka or Abuela Goye; to the traditional Patagonian lamb, homemade pastries, organic jams, cheeses, smoked trout or special brew beer. Souvenir lovers will also have fun discovering the enchanting wooden crafts and traditional handmade design and artworks. Whether you are looking to have an adrenaline pumped adventure, a tranquil moment or culinary discoveries; Bariloche and its exceptional Patagonian landscape is waiting for you! Take a look at our catalogue of Bariloche tours and activities and begin exploring the Nahuel Huapi area and discover for yourself why, year after year, travellers keep returning to Argentina’s magical Patagonia!
Photo source: Jer
By Bus: A bus ride from Buenos Aires' Retiro Station will take approximately 20 hours in comfortable coaches that range from standard to sleepers. Meals and drinks are served on board; all have toilets and films are shown during the trip. Several bus companies cover this route daily: Via Bariloche (Tutto Lutto is the premium service), Andesmar and El Valle. For timetables and prices, view the Plataforma10 website.
By Plane: Bariloche is located 1,650Km South West of Buenos Aires taking, approximately 2.15hours with a non-stop flight. Three airlines fly this route daily: Aerolineas Argentinas, LAN Argentina and LADE.
Formerly called the Teniente Luis Candelaria Airport, the International Airport of Bariloche, IATA code BRC, is located only 15 kilometres away from the centre of town. To book a convenient and reliable airport transfer service from Bariloche Airport to the centre of Bariloche city, click here.
Photo source: Andrei
Bariloche generally has a cool, temperate climate with dry, windy summers and rainy winters.
Summer season: Lasting from mid-December to early March, it is characterized by long stretches of windy, sunny weather, with pleasant afternoons (18°C to 26°C) and cold nights (2°C to 9°C).
Autumn Season: The temperature drops in March followed by stormier weather in April and May.
Winter Season: From mid-May to early September the weather is stormy with a mix of precipitation (snow, rain, sleet), occasional snowstorms. In winter, Bariloche reaches highs of between 0°C and 12°C and, lows of between -12°C and 4°C.
Spring season: The spring season is very windy and variable. Temperatures may reach 25°C in October and can plummet to -6°C following a late-season snowfall.
Photo source: McKay Savage
Accommodation in Bariloche:
There is a varied and large range of accommodation to choose from in Bariloche. Whether your preference is a large luxurious spa and resort, a small boutique hotel or a quaint hostel, you will find it here! If you prefer peace and intimacy, you can also book a cabin at the Nahuel Huapi's shore. However, they are located a few kilometers from Bariloche city center so you will need to organize transportation to the downtown area if you would like to take a day excursion. Take into account that during winter season, most of the hotels in Bariloche have minimum night restrictions due to busy ski vacation period.
Car rental in Bariloche:
Renting a car is relatively cheap in Bariloche, at rates around USD$50 per day. However, it is recommended to book from Buenos Aires especially of you would like to collect the car from Bariloche airport on your arrival. There are an abundance of amazing scenic highways which you can drive and explore by yourself in the Bariloche area and by renting a car you can also enjoy a broader number of scenic lodging options outside of the city center.
Please be aware that some routes and circuits, including the 7 lake circuit, are closed during the winter period due to extreme icy conditions on the roads. Car rental agencies will be able to give you more advice about the various safe and available routes at the time of your arrival.
Don't want to get lost on the roads whilst hiring a car? No problem, there are plenty of tours to choose from that suit every taste and every person. Visit our selection of tours in Bariloche for a comprehensive overview of the range of the activities on offer in Patagonia's Lake District.