San Carlos de Bariloche

Designed as the great gateway to the region of the Andean lakes, San Carlos de Bariloche lies on the south shore of the largest lake in the area, Nahuel Huapi Lake, heart of the Nahuel Huapi National Park – the first Argentine National Park. Founded in 1902, it was not long until Bariloche became the main tourist center in Andean Patagonia and in the whole country. Its lakes, mounts and mountains and its first inhabitants and chocolate producers have granted the city the name of “Argentine Switzerland.” However, there is a nearby treasure that is not present on its Swiss counterpart: The legendary Bosque de Arrayanes (Myrtle Forest) in Neuquén’s Quetrihué Peninsula inside Los Arrayanes National Park, the only place in the world where this species grow in the forest, for the joy of all.

Travel to San Carlos de Bariloche

Excursions to San Carlos de Bariloche

Llao Llao Peninsula & Campanario Mount through Bustillo Ave

Breakfast at the hotel. We set off towards the Llao Llao Hotel, discovering one of the most classic routes of San Carlos de Bariloche. We start in the center of the city to the west along Bustillo Ave. winding along the Nahuel Huapi Lake most of the time. Near km 8 is Playa Bonita (Pretty Beach) which is the precise place from where to see Huemul Island. Going on along that avenue, at km 17, we stop to know the Campanario Mount, we climb by chairlift which take us to the summit at 1050 meters (optional).

We can try very good pastrymaking and drink hot chocolate (optional). Once at the summit, we will appreciate the probably best sight of all the zone of Bariloche. We continue so as to reach Llao Llao at km 25, leaving behind the San Pedro peninsula. The San Eduardo church and the Puerto Pañuelo (harbour) are located in the zone of the hotel and it is from there that the navigation to the Arrayanes Forest (myrtle forest) and Puerto Blest sets off. From this place you can see the Lopez and Capilla Mounts. We go towards the golf area and the bridge that links the Moreno Lake to the Nahuel Huapi Lake at Lopez Bay. There is another privileged place from where to enjoy the Llao Llao peninsula and the lakes around it. We cross the bridge over Moreno Lake and go along the edge of El Trébol Lake. Further on we start our return to Bariloche city where our trip ends.

Note: This program can be done early in the morning or after midday. The ascent to Campanario Mount is not included, having to be purchased upon arrival.



Valle Encantado, Villa Traful & Villa La Angostura

We leave San Carlos de Bariloche city crossing the Ñirihuau and Limay rivers, towards Rincón Chico. During the trip we go along the Limay river up to Rincón Grande where we can see the amphitheatre whose silhouette is similar to the one of the Roman circuses. We later arrive at Valle Encantado with its rocks drawing different figures such as El Dedo de Dios (God´s Finger), Los Siameses or El Centinela (the guard). Our next destination is Confluencia, where the Traful and Limay rivers meet. Before crossing over the Traful river bridge, we take a dirt road which winds between valleys and Coihue forests, edging Traful Lake up to Villa Traful.

After enjoying this beautiful Patagonian spot we go on towards Puerto Arrayán and El Portezuelo, where there is a junction with the Siete Lagos (7 lakes) route. After going through Quintupuray and going along the coast of the Correntoso Lake, we get into Ruca Malen. Going back to Bariloche, the trip takes us to the Espejo Lake, finally arriving at Villa La Angostura. We know Puerto Manzano, going by the Huemul peninsula. Then, we are only missing the trip from Villa La Angostura to Bariloche.



Visit to Victoria Island & Arrayanes Forest

We go to Pañuelo harbour to embark towards the island. We set off to navigate almost half an hour some 10km up to Puerto Anchorena (Anchorena harbour) on Victoria Island. We will trek around the island visiting

the ancient coniferous nursery. The Cerro Bella Vista can be climbed to the top by chairlift. A small path covered with autochthonous Coihues and Cypresses is crossed. Then we return from the mount enjoying impressive natural lookout points. We continue our tour embarking again to arrive at Puerto Quetrihué at the Quetrihué peninsula, to discover the legendary Arrayanes Forest ( myrtle forest) in the Valdivian jungle, inside Los Arrayanes National Park.

It is a natural reserve of almost 2.000 hectares located in a Patagonic Andean forest. The climate is cold and damp due to the influence of the lakes and there are also Western winds. We can find Coihues, Ñires, Cypresses, Radales and Notros apart from the southern Arrayanes. There is a bush called Rosa Mosqueta which has been brought by the man and it is not autochthonous but can be easily found in the area. The Arrayan is a unique tree, whose bark is cold, smooth and cinnamon-coloured. Its flowers are similar to the lemon or orange blossoms, white-coloured and violet fruit. This forest is an intangible surface and natural monument.



Valdivian Jungle: Puerto Blest, Frías Lake & Los Cántaros Waterfall

We embark at Puerto Pañuelo (Pañuelo harbour) towards Brazo Blest, where we will arrive at the Blest harbour. We go past the Centinela islet, famous for being the place where Perito Moreno has been buried. All this region is somehow similar to the channels of Tierra del Fuego and to the fjords in Norway, it overflows with vegetation due to the damp climate and frequent rains. There is an additional possibility to reach Frías Lake by bus. Then we go to Puerto Alegre in a northernly direction of the Frías Lake, to embark up to Puerto Frías. The Frías Lake has an oval shape, there are rocky zones which protrude from the East and West coasts generating the classic image of the fjords.

Continuous rains due to the damp winds coming from the Pacific characterize all the region. The rain average is around 3.700mm per year especially in Winter, being January the only dry month. This lake feeds on thaw water coming from the Tronador Mount and on the intense rains of the Valdivian jungle. When returning to Puerto Blest (it is on the Nahuel Huapi Lake just at the mouth of the Frías river) we go by Los Cántaros waterfall. We must climb through a native wooden track surrounding the waterfall reaching some 600 meters high, where beautiful small waterfalls can be seen. We return to the ship to go back to our destination.



El Bolsón & Lago Puelo

We leave Bariloche to set off to El Bolsón, taking the road in the southeast of Río Negro province which is part of the Parallel 42 Andean Region, together with the northeast of Chubut province. It is an ecological zone par excellence, with a perfect microclimate for fine fruit growing such as raspberries, morello cherries, blackberries and strawberries, apart from hop plants. We take the road to the south, the lakes Gutiérrez, Mascardi and Guillermo can be seen while getting near La Veranada and Pampa del Toro.

The Ñirihuau and Áspero mountains can be seen on the left of the route. We go past the Cañadón de la Mosca and cross the small town called Villegas. Once crossing the Fuyel river and crossing the bridge on the Quemquemtreu river, we finally arrive in El Bolsón with its natural borders: the Puelo Lake, the Piltriquitrón Mount, formidable rock near the Tallado Forest and the Río Azul valley. Already in the town, we will visit the Regional Craft Fair, provided that it is open, where pieces of pottery, wooden and leather creations are displayed thus gathering the manufacturers and craftsmen of the zone. It is considered one of the biggest in South America.

We can visit a farm dedicated to the manufacture of homemade jams and the Lago Puelo National Park covered with legendary forests of myrtle and pataguas together with lianas, creepers, ferns and the singing of its birds. We can walk by the interpretative path Bosque de Las Sombras. The Puelo Lake has a characteristic turquoise water, where the green of its forests and the white of the eternal snow of its neighbouring mounts reflect. If one travels to El Bolsón, one can´t help tasting the high quality beer home brewed in this zone, with its different tastes, from the traditional lager beer, to the stout one or specialty beer (fruity or flavour of hops or honey). Another exquisiteness is cheese (sheep or cow cheese).



Seven Lakes Road

Just at the town of San Martín de los Andes is where the famous Seven Lakes Route begins and it ends in the town of Bariloche. The piers on the Nahuel Huapi lake stand out, and the most important points are the small town and the Manzano Bay. Then the Espejo Grande lake up to the branch off to Chile by the Antonio Samoré crossing and turning to the left to get to Villa la Angostura. Then we go into the zone of the Espejo Chico and the Ruca Malen lakes. The road takes us to the Pichi Traful lake and then we go around the edge of the Correntoso lake. We leave the asphalted road and once on the gravel road, rougher and more natural, we get into a zone of Coihues forests, the Escondido lake is on our right with its fantastic emerald colour. We go through the Vullingñanco Waterfall with its important fall of over 20. To honour the lakes, we delight seeing the fourth and fifth lake: to the east the Villarino lake and to the west the Falkner Lake.

The second lake we see is the Machónico, then the Hermoso Lake where we abandon the Lanín National Park to continue along the Nahuel Huapi National Park. As we go on, we arrive at the forked Arroyo Partido, which divides its water in branches into the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean. The Chapelco Mountain range with its 2.200 meters high and the crystalline lakes of sweet water are always with us during the journey. We stop at the Pil-Pil lookout point to enjoy an overwhelming sight of the Lácar Lake. The landscape is composed of cypress, lengas, raulíes and oaks legendary forests. We set off around the edge of the Lácar Lake during almost 4km up to Paihuén. We continue to San Martin de los Andes to end the journey.

Note: Depending on the flight back end on day 7 this program to take us the flight from San Carlos de Bariloche. If instead the flight leaves from San Martin de los Andes, we return to this beautiful mountain village.



Mount Tronador

We start the day travelling along the Pampa de Huenuleu arriving at Gutiérrez Lake. Later we go along the East bank of the Mascardi Lake until the track splits in two, having to turn right into the dirt path which leads us to the Cerro Tronador (Tronador Mount). The bridge over the Manso River is crossed and we go along the West bank of the Mascardi Lake arriving at Pampa Linda. We go through the Vuriloches valley and after crossing a forest, we find the Ventisquero Negro. The trip ends at the foot of the mount. The tongue of the glacier can be reached by trekking. The Ventisquero Negro is a black glacier originated at the summit of Cerro Tronador. Here is where the Manso River has its source and flows down into the Pacific Ocean. The Cerro Tronador has three important peaks. The International peak with 3.555 meters, the Chilean peak with 3.430 meters and the Argentine peak with 3,400 meters, climbers have reached the top of the three of them in Summer.

Limited by narrow and winding roads Schedule: Due to the characteristic of the roads leading to the Black Glacier and Los Alerces waterfall as it is narrow paths, with important cliffs, you can not move all day. There are times income: The Cascada Los Alerces from 8:00 AM to 10:15 PM. It should be down between 11:15 am and 13:00 PM. The Tronador and Lake Steffen is entered later from 10:30 AM to 14:00 PM. It should start from 16:00 PM to 18:00 PM.