How Many Days In Bariloche (Hero)

How Many Days In Bariloche? [3, 5 & 7-Day Itineraries]

How many days in Bariloche is enough? Whether you have three, five, or seven days to spare, here are three expertly crafted itineraries to make the most of your time.

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How Many Days In Bariloche Is Enough?

5 days is the perfect amount of time in Bariloche.

 

This allows you to complete a couple of hikes, go kayaking or biking, and see the town without feeling rushed.

 

Here’s a general guideline to help you decide how many days you need in Bariloche:

 

 

  • 3 Days In Bariloche: with 3 days you can explore the city, complete one hike like Refugio Frey, and bike Circuito Chico. This is a good option if you’re short on time or looking for a quick weekend getaway, and want to experience the highlights of Bariloche. 

 

  • 5 Days In Bariloche: 5 days is my recommended itinerary. With the above activities, you can also visit Isla Victoria and include another trek or activity of your liking.

 

  • 7 Days In Bariloche: Going for a 7-day stay in Bariloche gives you the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the town and also incorporate rest days in between the big activities like hikingtog

Are you struggling to work out how many days you need in Argentina overall? Head to the post below to see a selection of itineraries that can help you:

 

 

How Many Days In Bariloche (Hero)

Bariloche 3-Day Itinerary

This itinerary is perfect for travellers short on time who want to visit Bariloche for the weekend or only have limited time in Argentina and want to see the best parts of town.

 

Follow this 3-day itinerary:

 

  • Day 1 – Day exploring the city, chocolate tasting and Cerro Otto
  • Day 2 – Hiking to Refugio Frey
  • Day 3 – Renting a bike and cycling Circuito Chico

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Day 1 - City Exploration, Chocolate Tasting & Cerro Otto

  • Duration: Half Day
  • Cost: 29,000 pesos
  • Timing: Mondays & Fridays at 10:00 AM (From July 2024 onwards, at 11:00 AM)

Bariloche is one of the most beautiful towns I’ve visited.  Surrounded by lakes and mountains, it’s a constant feast for the eyes.

 

The best way to begin your adventure here is by exploring the town.

 

A walking tour will take you on a wander through its charming streets where you can admire the Swiss-style architecture and learn more about the history of the town.

 

Historias Bariloche runs five unique walking tours all for a small fee.

 

The ’10 Secrets Tour’ will give you the best run down of the city whereas the ‘German Footprint Tour’ (see below) provides an insight into the unique history of German immigration to Bariloche.

 

After the walking tour, head to one of the many chocolate shops here. I would recommend trying Rapa Nui or Mamushcka as these are regarded as the best in town.

 

Towards the late afternoon, it’s time to head to a viewpoint. Cerro Otto is prominent hill overlooking the town that doubles up as a ski slope in the winter months.

 

From here you’ll get incredible views of Lake Nahuel Huapi and the Andes. 

The Beautiful Lakes and Mountains of Bariloche (Argentina)

Day 2 - Hike To Refugio Frey

  • Timing: Full Day (5–6-hour hike)
  • Cost: Free

For hikers seeking a challenging adventure, the hike to Refugio Frey is an excellent choice.

 

This 9.5km trail takes you through dense forests, rugged terrain, and glacial valleys, and should take between 5-6 hours total.

 

There are several stops on the way, such as Mirador Lago Guiterrez, where you can take a break and enjoy the views.

 

After a demanding climb, you’ll arrive at the Refugio Frey, a mountain hut nestled beside the pristine Laguna Toncek

 

You can even have a swim in Laguna Toneck if you fancy it (summer only though as it’s freezing).

Refugio Frey is one of my favourite day hikes in Argentina as well as South America. For a full list, that includes a couple more treks in Argentina, head to the post below:

 

 

Joe From Shall We Go Home Travel at Refugio Frey (Bariloche)

Day 3 - Biking Circuito Chico

  • Timing: Full Day
  • Cost: The cost of renting a bike varies but in summer around $8000-12000 pesos ($30-40 USD). Electric bikes cost more.

Circuito Chico is 17-mile (27 km) scenic road that takes you past the best sights in Bariloche.

 

On one side you’ll have the shoreline of Lake Nahuel Huapi and the other, stunning views of the Andes Mountains all the way around.

 

The best places to rent bikes is from Circuito Chico Adventure. They’ll also provide you with a map and instructions for the circuit but it’s pretty straightforward. 

 

Here are a couple of places you should definitely stop along the way:

 

  • Hotel Llao Llao –  Hotel Llao Llao is an architectural gem, and if you want you can enjoy a meal at its restaurant, boasting both gourmet cuisine and stunning lake vistas. However, there are plenty of food stops along the way so I would recommend building up an appetite first.
  • Cerro Llao Llao – If you are keen to include some trekking in the day, then the Cerro Llao Llao trek is a great. The trail is 5.6km and takes 2 hours to complete (there and back) so can easily be incorporated into the day if you are feeling spritely.
  • Cerveceria Patagonia/Punto Panoramico – As you come towards the end of the circuit, its time to reward yourself with two stops. First, a beer at Cerveceria Patagonia, and then a well-earned photo shoot and meal at Restaurant Punto Panoramico.

TOP TIPS:  1) Go anti-clockwise so you end at the Patagonia brewery. 2) If you aren't the strongest or best of riders, get an electric one! There are some tough hills along Circuito Chico. It will make your day much more enjoyable as you can enjoy the scenery rather than getting a workout in.

If you want to combine a trip to Chile alongside Argentina, then there are several ways to do this with a simple border crossing. The three itineraries in the post below can help you cross the borders a 3 different points in Argentina to see Chile:

 

 

the lakes in Bariloche

Preparing for your first trip to South America? 

 Here are 22 FAQ’s to help you prepare for the trip of a lifetime: 

Bariloche 5-Day Itinerary

This 5-day itinerary is my preferred option. You can use the extra days to slow down or to see more of the beautiful landscapes surrounding Bariloche.

 

Follow this plan:

 

  • Day 1 – Day exploring the city, chocolate tasting and Cerro Otto
  • Day 2 – Hiking to Refugio Frey
  • Day 3 – Renting a bike and cycling Circuito Chico
  • Day 4 – Ferry ride and day tour to Isla Victoria
  • Day 5 – Hiking Cerro Tronador

Day 4 - Isla Victoria

  • Timing: Half Day
  • Cost: $60

If you are choosing to do 5-days in Bariloche, then day 4 is a calmer one.

 

After 2 days of trekking and biking, your legs will need a little rest so it’s time for a day tour to Isla Victoria instead.

 

Departing from Puerto Pañuelo, the cruise takes you across Nahuel Huapi Lake, offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

 

When you reach Isla Victoria, you can explore the pristine trails and encounter ancient cave paintings, witnessing the island’s rich indigenous history firsthand.

 

The tour then proceeds to Bosque de los Arrayanes, a unique forest of cinnamon-coloured trees.

I went with Cau Cau as they had the best reviews and provide both English and Spanish guides. 

Bariloche and Mendoza are two popular places in Argentina, and travellers can often deliberate between visiting one or the other. If you want to see a detailed comparison along with my personal opinion of which is better, head to the post below:

 

 

Views from the dock on Isla Victoria (Bariloche)

Day 5 - Cerro Trondador

  • Timing: Full day
  • Cost: $44 shuttle bus + $20 national park fee

For your 5th day in Bariloche, it’s time to get back into the Andes and hike another incredible mountain.

 

Cerro Tronador, also known as “Thundering Mountain “, is a challenging but immensely rewarding hike.

 

The mountain stands tall at 3,491 meters (11,453 feet) above sea level and straddles the border between Argentina and Chile, with several large glaciers along its slopes.

 

This highly rated tour includes book a tour transport and a guide. 

TOP TIP:  If you aren't a hiker, then swap this day out for a trip to Colonia Suiza and Cerro Campanario (day 6 on the next itinerary). 

Exploring the Argentinian side of Patagonia is a must. But the Chilean side is so close, so whilst your here, why not hop across the border? It’s easy to do!

 

 

the mountains and green forests of Bariloche

Bariloche 7-Day Itinerary

  • Day 1 – Day exploring the city, chocolate tasting and Cerro Otto
  • Day 2 – Hiking to Refugio Frey
  • Day 3 – Renting a bike and cycling Circuito Chico
  • Day 4 – ferry ride and day tour to Isla Victoria
  • Day 5 – Hiking Cerro Tronador
  • Day 6 – Rest Day / Colonia Suiza
  • Day 7 – Road Trip to Route of the Seven Lakes

Day 6 - Colonia Suiza / Cerro Campanario

After another full of trekking, day 6 is a relaxed one. 

 

Head to the edge of town to check out the charming town of Colonia Suiza.

 

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Argentina saw a wave of European immigration, with many settlers coming from Switzerland, Germany, and Italy.

 

This is where the town got it’s European influence from.

 

Here, you try traditional Swiss customs such as tasting authentic fondue, and wandering around the artisanal market (only at weekends). 

 

Be sure to check out Casa Abuela Goye here for another amazing chocolate shop.

 

After that, take the cable car (or hike) to Cerro Campanario for one final viewpoint that won’t dissapoint!

Visiting Bariloche was one of the highlights of my trip to Argentina.

 

To see how to combine Bariloche into a three-week or one-month itinerary that covers the entire country, head to one of the posts below:

 

 

Cable Cars at Cerro Campanario in Bariloche (Argentina)

Day 7 - Road Trip Along The Route Of Seven Lakes

  • Timing: Full Day
  • Cost: $40-60 for car rental

Argentina is a great country for planning an epic road trip and it has some of the most picturesque roads in all of South America. 

 

So why not conclude your adventure with a stunning road trip along the famed Route of the Seven Lakes

 

As you cruise through this scenic highway, you’ll be treated to breathtaking landscapes around every twist and turn.  

 

The entire route can take around 5-7 hours to complete, depending on the stops you make along the way, or it can be split over a couple of days. Villa La Angostura is another great town worth spending some time in. 

 

I would recommend renting a car as it will cost the same as a tour, but you get to determine your own schedule.

 

You can rent a car in town or from the airport and most places will range from $40-60 a day depending on the size of the car.

Or if you are interested in a tour, check out this one here.

Argentina Flag

How To Get To Bariloche

How To Get To Bariloche From Buenos Aires

The best way to get to Bariloche from Buenos Aires is to fly. 

 

The flight takes around 2 hours and 15 minutes and should cost between $100-200 return.

 

I used WayAway Plus to book all my flights whilst travelling around Argentina. They find you cheap flights and then give you cashback every time you book!

How To Get To Bariloche From El Calafate

If you’re already in Patagonia, you may want to visit Bariloche on your way up north through Argentina. 

 

You have two options:

 

  • Bus – You can get an overnight bus which takes 24 hours. However, I don’t recommend taking buses in Argentina. Flights are quicker and cheaper.
  • Fly – this is a 1 hour 45 minute flight and should cost between $100-200 for a single. I recommend booking well in advance as there aren’t as many flights along this route so it can get expensive

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What's The Best Month To Visit Bariloche?

Bariloche is a different place in the summer compared to winter, so it depends on what you want to do.

 

Visit Bariloche in:

 

 

  • June-August – for the best winter sports. This is winter in Argentina so the slopes will be full of snow. However, other activities like hiking and kayaking won’t be available.  

 

  • Dec-Feb – for the best outdoor activities. This is summer so you’ll have the perfect weather for the hiking trails, biking and kayaking.

 

  • March-May and Sept-Nov – these are the shoulder seasons so the weather won’t be as nice as summer but still good for outdoor activities. There will also be less crowds which means cheaper prices.
Downloadable PDF timetable demonstrating the best time to visit south America

To download this chart in a handy infographic, head to the link below:

 

 

Where To Stay In Bariloche?

If you’re a backpacker, then I recommend staying at Selina.

 

Selina acts as perfect base before you embark on adventures amongst the lakes and mountains and is a short walk from the town square.

 

The rooms are spacious and comfortable and the common area has loads of sofas to relax in after a long day of hiking.

 

Selina can be pricey though so check out Hospedaje Penthouse for a budget option with great views of the lake.

Selina, Bariloche (Argentina)
reception of a hostel in Selina Bariloche

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