From the Seven lakes route to Circuito Chico, the town of Bariloche in Patagonia has a lot to offer: lakes with the most intense blue color, mountains peaks that scream trekking, and cute little islands where you just want to grow old in…
We spent around 6 weeks in Argentina discovering the bustling capital city, and gorgeous Patagonia. They say that when traveling to South America, Patagonia is a must. I agree. From the impressive Perito Moreno glacier to some of the best treks in the National Trekking Capital, not reaching this part of the continent would be missing out. Big time!
The Seven Lakes route
Road trips are a good way to discover a city and the Seven Lakes route is a must if you visit Bariloche.
For the trip, we rented a car and enjoyed a lovely day witnessing breathtaking views whilst taking Ruta 40 (the same one Che Guevara took when he toured South America), stopping by little beaches for lunch or to dip our feet in the water, and altogether being amazed at everything we saw.
We started off in Bariloche but the actual Ruta starts in Angostura and finishes in San Martin de Los Andes. We stopped at Lago Espejo Chico (before San Martin de Los Andes) because the car was rented until 7 pm so we had to get back.
Although we didn’t get to do the whole route, what we saw was amazing!
Cerro Lopez trek
You can’t leave Bariloche without doing a trek. There are endless options and I personally found it hard to choose one. We found help at the National Park Office where some lovely people explained us the different treks and helped us make a decision. After much consideration :), we chose to do the Cerro Lopez trek: 16km in 5h.
The first part of the trek was quite steep and with the burning sun following our every step, it was a bit tricky, but you do get some breathing and recovering time before reaching the last bit. However, even with all the hotness and steepness, it’s worth it. Reaching the top, admiring the view, chilling with a beer. Pure happiness.
It’s all about the views in Bariloche and Campanario makes no exception. You can take the easy way up and use a lift, or be sporty like us and climb :).
I’m not going to lie to you, it was hard. It was super hot and I regretted my choice for the first ten minutes. However, it’s only 30min in total and when you reach the top, you can relax and have a beer.
How and Where to:
How to get there: We took a flight with LADE airline: the cheapest flight we could find.
Find your way around: When you start planning your activities, a must is a visit to the Nahuel Huapi National Park Office. There, they will help you with maps, itineraries and all sorts of useful information.
Transportation: Unless you rent a car, you will need to take the bus for all the activities. If you have been in Buenos Aires before, keep your Sube as it works in Bariloche as well. If not, you can buy one at almost any kiosk.
Where to eat: I don’t have many recommendations here as we had breakfast and dinner included at the hostel and from what we tried nothing amazed me. However, if you want some pasta dishes, we tried Alfredo’s Pasta, or for a cheese fondue there is a place, I forgot the name, just opposite La Anonima supermarket (good for grocery shopping).
That’s it for Patagonia. We spent about two weeks there, had great experiences and witnessed nature at is its best. Next stop: The cultural capital of Chile: Valparaiso. Stai tuned!