Most people who know about Patagonia have no idea that Bariloche even exists. Which is a shame, because it’s gorgeous.
San De Carlos Bariloche is located in the very northwest area of Argentinian Patagonia. It’s a lake town to put it mildly. You can take this however you please, but Bariloche is CLEARLY a German town which was inhabited after the second World War. I’m sure it felt like home to fleeing Germans.
So, while Bariloche is not in the popular more southern regions of El Calafate, El Chalten, and Torres Del Paine, we believe it is worth a visit. Especially if you are a lake and mountain lover.
There are THE MOST activities to do in Bariloche. We chose to take a little drive, ride one of the multiple cable cars for a view, stop at a brewery (with a view of course), and walk the town.
Bariloche was bigger than I expected. Which was great, because this was the starting and ending point of our 22 Day Patagonia Road Trip.
We stayed two full days on both ends of the road trip. Essentially, we were in preparation mode during the first stay, and recovery mode during the second stay. Just for some context.
I definitely suggest riding the Aerosilla chair lift.
GET THERE AT 9AM (or whenever it opens) – we were one of three cars and one tour bus. That meant we were among the first to the top and then EVERY CHAIR after us was full, and there were seven buses + cars sardined in the parking lot when we left. This portion of our adventure took less than an hour.
As you’ll see, it’s WORTH THE VIEWS.
We got done with the chair lift relatively early; and were to the brewery before it opened at 11am. This was a lovely little experience. Driving around Bariloche is awesome. Even without an agenda, it would be difficult to not enjoy the atmosphere.
The rest of our time was honestly spent prepping for our road trip. We needed to pick up supplies from the pharmacy, pack non-perishable goods, do laundry, find a god forsaken bank to get money out at without COMPLETELY getting ripped off in fees, and BREATHE before taking off on our adventure.
Food and Accommodation in Bariloche:
We were always up too early for breakfast. There may be better places than these, but they were open at 8-9am so they did the trick.
Gino Cafe – pastry and coffee. Cool vibe. $600 pesos with tip for two coffees and two pastries and two waters
Breakfast – el molinto. Simple food, good coffee, super nice staff.
La casita Lavadero de ropa – laundry open 7 days per week, professional.
LloaLloa Hotel & Resort – outside the main town of Bariloche but GORGEOUS. Right across from the boat launch where you can take water tours. If you want to splurge…this is your 5 star hotel.
Hotel Panamericano Bariloche – connected to the casino. They have gated parking, valet and their nicer rooms are great for the price. We also stayed at Hotel Three Reyes. You technically have a lake view but it’s obstructed by trees and the Panamericano was a much nicer hotel all together. We would have much rather stayed there another night. But do your research, and find what YOU want.
Delirante – best coffee in Bariloche. It’s an actual roaster and specialty coffee cafe. They also have pre-made sandwiches and fresh pastries. All of the food we had here was great. Better than some restaurants actually.
Bariloche is a lovely, WINDY, place to visit. If you’re making your way down to Patagonia, we certainly recommend a few days in this magestic, festive, old German-town.
Getting to Bariloche is easy. You’ll either come from Santiago Chile or Buenos Aires via plane. Our hotel arranged taxi to and from the Airport. So that, of course, made the experience that much easier.
If you want to rent a car, we used Winterfell (intervnalia) Rent A Car, and had a great experience as well. A semi truck spewed up a rock that cracked our windshield during our 22 day road trip. We filed a claim with insurance through our Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card. The rental company was super helpful with providing the forms and documentation we needed. While I certainly hope that doesn’t happen to you, the company handled it well.
All said and done, we’d go back to Bariloche anytime.
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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.
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