For hikers and outdoor-enthusiasts, Bariloche in Argentina‘s Patagonia region is the perfect destination. With some of the most unique landscapes and picturesque mountains in the country, you’ll never want to leave. If you’re on a tight schedule, however, here is the itinerary I recommend:
Hostel: Stay at Periko’s Youth Hostel in the central part of town. The hostel has a very rustic yet clean feel, and many backpackers return again and again to Bariloche simply based on the homey, family feel of the accommodation. It is less than five minutes from the bus ticket office, supermarket, shopping street, bus stop, nightlife, restaurants and water.
7:30 am: Wake up early and enjoy a complimentary breakfast at the hostel, which includes hot beverages, breads, spreads, and cereal.
8:30 am: Catch the #20 bus to Cerro Campanario. This hike, which takes about two hours round trip, will allow you a 360 degree view of the landscape. You’ll see mountains, lakes, forest, and city from 3,442 feet high. Tip: Don’t ask the monorail ticket seller for directions to the trailhead. They tend to try to trick tourists and send them to the wrong place. Simply walk behind the big sign that says “Cerro Campanario,” which is where the bus will drop you off, and the trailhead will be right there. At the top, you’ll be able to have a picnic or purchase something to eat and drink.
Noon: Get back on the #20 bus to the last stop. From here, you’ll be able to trek to the beautiful Llao Llao Municipal Park. A protected area of native forest with lush flora and diverse fauna makes for beautiful exploration. Additionally, lakes and wetlands add to the unique landscape of the park.
4:00 pm: Head back to the central area where the hostel is. Go down by the water and wander around the shops and markets.. It is a very peaceful yet bustling area, and there are often concerts, exhibitions and fairs going on. Moreover, Mitre Street is home to some of the city’s best chocolate shops, many of which offer free samples.
Alternative Suggestion: Bariloche also features a Chocolate Museum, which is open daily until 7:00 pm. The area is well-known for its gourmet chocolate, so this is a great cultural option. Here you’ll be able to tour the oldest chocolate factory in the city, as well as learn about the treat through exhibitions and tastings.
7:00 pm: Shower and get ready for the night at the hostel. Because of it’s homey feeling, and because backpacking is so social, I would recommend cooking dinner at the hostel. Head to the nearby supermarket, pickup some supplies, and grab a bottle of wine from their expansive selection.
10:00 pm: Start your night at one of the local bars, such as Menush, a charming little restaurant and bar, or Antares, which has a delicious beer selection. Both bars on Avenida Elflein. Ask the hostel to give you two-for-one beer tickets here to save you some money. Around 2:00 am., move the party to one of Bariloche’s lively nightclubs, which you can find along Juan Manual de Rosas.