The following excursions are very popular in Bariloche. You can see the surrounding villages and mountain landscapes of Patagonia in a single day tour from the city.
The following tours are one of the finest ways for visitors to truly enjoy Bariloche and all it has to offer. The Small Circuit takes about a half day, while the Grand Circuit and Seven Lakes Circuit require a full day. All are usualy explored by rental car, with a car and driver, or on a tour bus. More adventurous types explore these routes on mountain bikes.
Small Circuit - Circuito Chico
This half-day, 65 kilometer circuit allows visitors a taste of some of the most beautiful scenery in Argentina. Very close to Bariloche, the small circuit begins at the lake shore Avenue Esequiel Bustillo, traveling mainly along the Coast of Nahuel Huapi Lake. Stops are made at Bonita beach, Companario Hill (Bell Tower Hill), Llao Llao peninsula, and the beautiful Lopez Bay, with its views of Catedral, Lopez, and Otto Mountains. A trip up the Cerro Campanario chairlift allows for one of the most breathtaking views in the area. The final destination is the beautiful Panuelo Port, from which all sailing tours and lake crossings to Chile depart, before the return to Bariloche. This trip is provided by reservations only, and departures occur daily, year-round, at 8:30 AM.
Grand Circuit - Circuito Grande
This enriching, full-day circuit yields beautiful views of Bariloche, including lakes, forests, waterfalls, and majestic rock formations. Leaving Bariloche along national route 237, the circuit begins along the Limay river valley to the Amphitheatre, where you can soak in the river's work on the landscape. Further on, you travel through Valle Encantado, home of the aforementioned rock formations, with such well-deserved names as Tren Expreso (Express Train) and Dedo de Dios (God's Finger). You then cross the bridge at Confluencia, a lovely spot at the meeting of the Traful and Limay rivers. An additional opportunity, should you choose, arises to see more dramatic rock formations with the short trip into Cuvin Manzano, about 5km after the turnoff.
After crossing the Minero River, the road borders Lake Traful at the breathtaking Traful lookout, a cliff overlooking the lake. A little further on is the small village of Villa Traful, where you can relax, have lunch, and enjoy homemade chocolates and pastries. The road borders the lake, taking you through the Valdivian forest and over the Portezuelo Pass to meet the Seven Lakes Route. From here, you turn left and carry on to Villa La Angostura, in close proximity to Cerro Bavo ski area and the lovely Rio Bonito waterfall. The road carries on amidst spectacular scenery, across the northern shore of Lake Nahuel Huapi until the crossroad with National Route 237, by which you end the Circuit and return to Bariloche.
One of the most beautiful journeys around the country, the Seven Lakes circuit is framed by a road joining Villa La Angostura and San Martin de Los Andes. This full day (or longer), 184 km journey is filled with wonderful scenery and secluded places, and the chance to visit two national parks along the way, Nahuel Huapi and Lanin. Lodging is available at either Villa La Angostura or San Martin de Los Andes and, during the summer season, hostels and camping functions are available inside the National Park.
This excursion includes a rich variety of landscapes that may be enjoyed in this region; traveling along a wooded road, you will come across rivers and streams and skirt several lakes, including Nahuel Huapi, Correntoso, Espejo, Escondidi, Villarino, Falkner, and Machonico, where you can soak in the landscape by means of several panoramic lookout points and camping sites. Going around Lacar lake, you will arrive at San Martin de los Andes, where you can dine and explore the town before leisurely making your way back through Cordoba Pass. Here, the scenery changes - the wooded roads are replaced by beautiful rock formations and the winding Limay River, making the magical view of Valle Encantado and the "Anfiteatro" (Amphitheater) come alive. To get back to Bariloche, you simply follow the river bank up to its starting point at Nahuel Huapi Lake.
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