San Carlos de Bariloche, which comes from the indigenous word 'Vuriloche' meaning "people from behind the mountain", lies on the edge of Lago Nahuel Huapi, a vast, blue lake which is popular with sea-kayakers. Bariloche is the gateway to the Argentinian lake district.
Things to do in Bariloche
For those looking for some adventure in the winter months, we'd recommend Bariloche's ski resort of Cerro Catedral, 7 miles from town. For some white water rafting, try the Rio Manso which has two sections; Manso Inferior and Manso de la Frontera. Manso Inferior is grade 2-3 and needs about 8 hours to raft. Manso de la Frontera is grade 3-4 and could take a few days to raft. Bariloche's luxury spas and hotels in the hills surrounding the town make the perfect base for day hikes into the Nahuel Huapi National Park (15 miles away in the north-eastern corner of the lake) and for longer mountain biking expeditions.
Bariloche's glut of chocolate shops and its sandy beaches attract hoards of Argentinians in the summer months looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. The 'Circuito Chico' offers a leisurely trek and bus ride to spectacular viewpoints just outside Bariloche and, although quite touristy, the circuit is worth doing, in particular taking the ski lift up to the Cerro Campanario viewpoint for spectacular vistas of lakes Trebol and Moreno.
Find our more about what to do in Bariloche.
Whether you want to stay in the middle of the town, or if you want to get out to a lake-side lodges or working estancia, there are plenty of options for you in Bariloche and the surrounding Lake District. Take a look at our list of recommended accommodation in the Lake District.
Photos of Bariloche
Map of Bariloche
Trips that visit Bariloche
The Infamous Route 40: Bariloche – El Chaltén
The epic Ruta 40 runs alongside the Andes for over 5000km and this road trip takes in the highlights. Between Bariloche and El Chaltén you'll pass through stunning scenery and remote settlements, stopping at Queulat National Park, Coyhaique, the Cueva…
- 7 Days
South America - Wild Patagonia
An epic, in-depth group tour of Patagonia that includes trips to Huerquehue National Park, the Queulat glacier, a working estancia in Argentina, trekking in Torres del Paine, a king penguin colony in Tierra del Fuego, El Chaltén and sections of…
- 27 Days