San Carlos de Bariloche is a city in the province of Río Negro, Argentina, situated on the foothills of the Andes, surrounded by lakes (Nahuel Huapi, Gutiérrez Lake, Moreno Lake and Mascardi Lake) and mountains (Tronador, Cerro Catedral, Cerro López). It is famous for skiing but also great for sight-seeing, water sports, trekking and climbing. Another claim to fame is its Swiss-like atmosphere and its chocolate boutiques and breweries. Look for the St Bernard dogs on display for tourists.
San Carlos de Bariloche International Airport (IATA: BRC)
Lade flies from El Calafate. A ticket cost around Ar$800 (Apr/10)
Aerolineas Argentinas flies from Buenos Aires. A ticket costs around Ar$2145 / us$545 (Nov/10)
LAN Argentina flies from Buenos Aires. A round-trip ticket costs around Ar$2045 / us$524 (Nov 10)
Note: All restrictions to air travel (due to the 2011 eruption of the Chilean Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano chain) were lifted early in 2012. As of April 2012, the Bariloche Airport is back in normal operations (see current flight status at Flightstats).
To go by car to Bariloche from Buenos Aires takes about 22 hours. One of the best alternatives is to go to Neuquen on the first day (a distance of about 1200 km) and then to continue the second day driving about 450 kilometers.
There is more than one route to get to Bariloche by car from Buenos Aires:
Short route: Take “Ruta Nacional Nº 5”, then take “Ruta Provincial Nº 1” nearby Lonquimay. Then, take “Ruta Provincial Nº 18” nearby “Macachin”. Take “Ruta Nacional Nº 35” south for 22 km, and then turn right and follow “Ruta Nacional Nº 152” through General Acha and until the “Casa de Piedra” where the route name changes to “ruta provincial Nº 6”. You must follow this until the intersection with “Ruta Nacional Nº 22”, where you must turn right again through Cipolletti – Neuquen. These big cities are connected by a bridge with an Ar $0.65 toll. Follow through the "million" traffic lights until you exit the city. Approximately 32 km later, stop in Arroyito and sleep deeply. Continue driving South using “Ruta Nacional Nº 237”, which will lead you to Bariloche.
Long route: take “Ruta Nacional Nº 3” South. Rest in Azul for 15 minutes, follow South until Bahia Blanca, rest for some time. Follow South; take “Ruta Nacional Nº 22”, set the air conditioner on and turn on your CD player; don’t travel too slowly, or you might fall asleep! Rest in Choele Choel. Drive through lots of tiny cities and through Cipolletti – Neuquen, big cities which are connected by a bridge with an A$R0.65 toll. Follow through the million traffic lights until you exit the city. Approximately 32 km later, stop in Arroyito and sleep deeply. Continue driving South using “Ruta Nacional Nº 237”, which will lead you to Bariloche.
If you decide to travel by bus you can choose between different companies, such as "Via Bariloche", "El Crucero del Norte", "Andesmar", etc. The first 2 companies offer different services, where the main variable is comfort and price. You can take "supercama", which has wide and large seats. "Cama" has wide seats. "Semi-cama" has the normal distribution of 4 seats per row. "Supercama" and "cama" take as long as 19 hours (summer); "semi-cama" makes several stops and takes as long as 22 hours (summer). There are also direct buses to and from Chile (6 to 8 hours ride).
Different routes to get to Bariloche by Bus from Buenos Aires are:
Non Stop: “Ruta Nacional Nº 5” – “Ruta Provincial Nº 1” (la Pampa) – “Ruta Provincial Nº 18” (la Pampa) – “Ruta Nacional Nº 35” – “Ruta Nacional Nº 152” – “Ruta Provincial Nº 6” (Río Negro) - “Ruta Nacional Nº 22” – NEUQUEN – “Ruta Nacional Nº 22” - “Ruta Nacional Nº 237”
Stopping: “Ruta Nacional Nº 3” - “Ruta Nacional Nº 22” – NEUQUEN - “Ruta Nacional Nº 22” - “Ruta Nacional Nº 237”
You can arrive or depart Bariloche by taking a series of ferries that wind through several lakes and connect by short bus rides from the Pacific at Puerto Montt, Chile. It's a one day trip unless you opt to stay overnight at Hotel Peulla near the pass.
Excellent public bus service. From downtown Bariloche to Llao Llao is Ar$6
Museum of Patagonia - On the main plaza near the Tourist Info center. "Stuffed" native wildlife, pictures, and a great section covering the indigenous pre-Hispanic inhabitants of the region.
There are many trekkings in Bariloche. You can get more information here.
Hiking with Local Mountain Guide - Guided bilingual hikes with mountain guide Maxi Schoffel in Nahuel Huapi National Park. Trek Bariloche  provides a comprehensive guide to the trekking routes in the National Park.
Cerro Catedral - It has the biggest ski centre in South America, with a skiable area of 2 km² (0.77 sq mi), over 100 km (62 miles) of ski runs, and a lift capacity of 22,200 skiers per hour. It is located 12 miles from Bariloche. If you enjoy hiking, there is trail to the Frey refugio which takes about 6.5 hours (4 up, 2.5 down). Look for the trailhead in the far corner of the parking lot.
Cerro Campanario: beautiful view of the lakes and mountains around - hike it (30 min, departs near the bottom of the lift) or take the ski-lift ($40 pesos: USD$10). Get in with bus #20, 21, 10 from the center and get off at km 17,8. After the Campanario you can go on with the Circuito Chico during the same day.
Circuito Chico - This beautiful 60 km route can be biked or hiked. You can also do it by bus during summer (line 10). If you hike it, take bus 20 towards Llao Llao till "El Muelle".
Cerro Otto - Viewpoint over the area of Bariloche. Transport there includes in the price of the cable car which cost 70 peso both ways (bus+cable car) or less one way while the other way you can hike or take a mountain bike(9 KM from the city, about 2.5 hours when hiking down). The rotating restaurant at the top has some impressive vistas of the region (average meal costs about $25 pesos) and there are some nice hiking trails behind the restaurant.
Cerro Frey is considered by many as the best 1-3 days trekking in Bariloche. When it's cold enough you can skate in the lake near the refuge. When there's not too much snow you can climb the granit "agujas" (needles) near the refuge which have ways for all levels, or head to Lago Jakob. There are two ways to get in and out: the main one is from Villa Cathedral (only one bus every 1h30), another (a bit longer) one starts from Los Cohiues and goes along the Gutierrez lake (bus #50).
Cerro López - Take the #10 bus to get there and back. In late spring/summer/early autumn there's a trekking trail to the mountain shelter (not as easy as Otto's). It takes about 3 hours to get there and can be quite tiring, but the views from the shelter are impressive. Be sure to bring along water and some fruit to keep your energy. Colonia Suiza, a swiss-like borough, is nearby.
Cerro Tronador, visit the black glacier (ventisquero negro), see the Cerro Tronador and a waterfall over an overhanging cliff named Saltillo de las Nalcas, near the village of Pampa Linda. The busride takes about two hours, and costs Ar$ 90 return or Ar$ 45 one-way (Transitando, 20 de Febrero 300, Bariloche). There is an additional entrance fee to the national park of Ar$ 50 (foreigners). With this bus, you have to hike the last 7 km to the glacier, which is a beautiful experience as there is a hiking trail and the road shows amazing landscape. Some tourist buses take you right to the sights. Near the lookout there is confiteria which sells overpriced food although location is remote and the place astonishing.
Los Siete Lagos (the seven lakes) - all-day tour by bus to see the seven picturesque lakes between Bariloche and San Martin de Los Andes, with lunch at SMdLA, followed by a return trip through the arid Pampas where you can see much of the local fauna along the way.
If you're interested in going in the lakes and islands:
Turisur Mitre 219 - Bariloche, - Boat excursions from Bariloche (Puerto Panuelo) to Bosque Arrayanes (about AR$160 - December 2010) & Puerto Blest, they also do the trip across to Chile (Cruce de Lagos) (about US$ 230).
El Bosque de Arrayanes - A forest of rare, orange colored trees that only grow on a local island (and one in Japan). There are several cruise boats; the newest (luxurious) ship is called the "Cau Cau". Take the circuit bus out of Bariloche and catch a boat (near the Hotel Llao Llao) and have lunch, hike or bike, and enjoy the afternoon in the forest.
Cruce de Lagos- All day cruise of Lake Nahuel Huapi and the National Park. Numerous stops allow you to wander in Andean rain forest, eat at the Hotel Puerto Blest and enjoy the stunning scenery from the turquoise waters of the lake. Buy the pass for a one hour cruise on Lago Frias which brings you near the snow covered volcano, Tronador. Lago Frias is milky jade green in color and the ride includes a short stop at the Chilean frontier. US$230 per person (December 2010) - also known as Cruce Andino.
Other activities include:
Paragliding - Ernesto Gutierrez, 02944-462234 / 02944-15413037 (email@example.com) offers 30 minute tandem flights for Ar$250 and an additional Ar$20 to Ar$30 transportation cost, depending on the location (Cerro Otto or Cerro Cathedral).
Rafting - Several agents offers rafting on the grade I Rio Limay or the grade III/IV Rio Manso. There are several outfitters that organize full day tours with lunch included.
Bariloche School, . Study Spanish in Bariloche-
La Montaña Spanish School, . Spanish courses and more in Bariloche
Spanish in Bariloche (Spanish School). J.J. Paso 140 (town center), ☎ 153 18230, . from 9am to 6pm. Spanish Immersion Programs for all levels. Family-stays. After-school Cultural activities. Tailor-made Spanish programs for examinations and families.
El Boliche de Alberto has, according to some, the best meat in Argentina. There are two restaurants in town, and one located about 8 kilometers out of town. Ask a taxi driver to take you there. Be aware that if you arrive after 8pm, you may have to wait in line for 30 mins or more, especially if you are a party of 6 or more. Please note that El boliche de Alberto has a meat version of the restaurant which specialises in meats such as beef, chicken or pork etc. and there is a pasta version which serves a variety of different pastas.
Parrilla El Refugio del montañes...de Julian,  is at San Martin 590 (also called "El Refugio Del Montañes". family-owned restaurant atmosphere (especially compared to the tourist-trap feel of El Boliche de Alberto) adds to the experience. The meat is very good, you don't have to wait 2 hrs to enjoy it, and the location is conveniently on one of the main avenues in Bariloche. However serving sizes are quite small and pricey (Ar$200 for a modest 2 person dinner with desert and no wine)
Taberna Breogan Celta (also on San Martin, one of the main avenues) is this local restaurant featuring the local smoked wild game. Especially recommended is the meat-n-cheese plate featuring venison, wild boar, salmon, and two kinds of cheese.
Casita Suiza is one of the best regional restaurants in Bariloche. You also can ask Swiss specialties like fondues, raclettes and pierrades.
Cassis Restaurant, 02944-476167, Peñón de Arelauquen, Ruta 82, Lago Gutiérrez.
Friends Bartolome Mitre. Special, great salads and sandwhiches - especially good pasta. Making friends at friends!
Santos Resto Espana 268 (just a few blocks west of the Centro Civico). Excellent atmosphere, food and service. Fine food and dining in a casual, chic atmosphere.
Sesamo. This downtown restaurant serves amazing Middle Eastern food. The best ethnic food in town.
Tarquino, 24 de Septiembre y Saavedra, ☎ 2944 434774, . noon-3PM, 8PM-midnight. Frequented by locals and travellers. The building is entirely built of Patagonian Cypress and stone. The menu pursues the idea simple but delicious, choosing top quality local products and combining creativity with refined traditions. Try great Argentinian steak: beef, pork and Patagonian lamb, trout and salmon. Neat service.AR$ 80.
Morfy's. Small sandwich shop that serves delicious food in massive portions. Offers many types of sandwiches and just about any type of topping for them that you can think of for low prices. The owner is very friendly and speaks Spanish, Hebrew, and a little English. Located behind the Museum of Patagonia.
Choppin Tapas y Fondue, on the circuit in Llao Llao, 1 mile away from the famous Hotel Llao Llao (by the Shell gas station). Eclectic, semi-hippy, great music, with an incredible view of the hotel, golf course, and mountains in the backdrop. Excellent homebrew beer on tap.
Antares Brewery, , Ada M. Elflein 47. Nice variety of food and great beer. The Barley Wine is especially potent. Two-for-one pints during happy hour, every day 6-8pm.
The Map Room, Urquiza 248, +54 (02944) 456-856, . The Map Room is no longer there - It is now a bar.
Wilkenny, San Martin 435. Irish-themed bar popular with tourists. There are better choices.
South Bar, Juramento. Popular local bar.
Malabar, Juramento. Popular local bar.
Teens from all over Argentina arrive on a school trip to Bariloche to celebrate their last year of High school with their classmates. That is why Bariloche features a lot of sophisticated dance clubs.
Bypass. Offers a very elegant environment with lots of laser effects and nice music.  (In Spanish)
Cerebro. One of the oldest dance clubs in Bariloche. It is quite nice and it offers laser effects but not as colorful as other dance clubs.  (In Spanish)
Grisu. This is a must visit place. It has wood-like walls and it is designed in such a way that it is easy to get lost if you don't know your way around. It has a very quite place with a huge window showing the Nahuel Huapi lake. There are no laser effects but the bartenders are experts and it is worth watching them doing all sorts of tricks.  (In Spanish)
Rocket. Four floors dance club full of light, colors and sounds. Good laser show and nice atmosphere.  (In Spanish)
Genux. Futurist looking disco. Open since 1993.  (In Spanish)
Bariloches budget accommodation quickly gets fully booked, so make your reservations in advance, particularly during high season.
La Justina, Quaglia 726, ☎ +542944524064, . Just a Few blocks from the City Center. Big, spacious rooms, cozy common spaces for relaxing,watching TV or DVDs, listening to music or playing games. Free internet and breakfast, a well stocked kitchen, and very friendly owners. They can help you with any tourist info you need, and rent bikes. Minihostels.com members get 10% off.
Camping Hostel Los Coihues, Lihuel Calel 156, Villa Los Coihues, ☎ (0294) 4467481/15-4308879, . Well-price for the experience. Located in a quiet area, you can easily travel in and out of town on Bus 50 while enjoying the true natural beauty of Patagonia. The campsite is located on a huge, lush yard complete with trees, outside grills, a crystal clear Patagonian river available for kayaking, 24/7 HOT water, wifi, clean bathrooms with showers, and kitchen use. For the money, you are getting a lot and the location is an oasis. The hostel has almost as much character as the owning family, who also live on the property to ensure everything is running smoothly and that any touristic questions or concerns guests have can be addressed. There is a common room with Wifi, a large dining area and a HUGE kitchen complete with a grill large enough to cook a whole cow. Kayaks are also available for guests to use on the river passing through the yard or on the nearby Lake Guiterrez. The property and the owners take you in as family while you are here, ensuring a great experience in Bariloche.Hostel ARS 50, Camping ARS 30.
Costa Azul Apart, Av. Bustillo 4200, ☎ (02944) 442444, . Costa Azul Apart offers 21 cozy apartments that feature standard amenities like cable TV and a private toilet and bath. Some of its amenities include Wi-Fi access, car rental and tour assistance, and room service.Best rates on official website start at ARS 180.
Aurora Hostel, O'Connor Street (next to the cross with Rivadavia St). Nice, clean, it seems like home with a friendly family. Only 50 pesos for a bed in a small 4 beds dorm.$50.
Periko's, Morales 555, ☎ 2644-522326, . Named after the owner's dog.
Hostel 1004, Edificio Bariloche Centre 10th floor, ☎ 02944-432228 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Offers an amazing panoramic view. Excellent public areas, especially the kitchen. Free breakfast, wi-fi internet and has a computer for use but it is very busy and hard to get access to. Won't make reservations if you you are arriving after 2pm.Dorms from Ar$ 70.00.
Hostel El Gaucho, Belgrano 209, ☎ 02944 522464, . Near the civic center. Clean cozy hostel owned by an Argentine and German. $50AR.
Hostel 41 below, 94 Pasaje Juramento, (email@example.com), . Central quiet location, Kiwi owned and run, Lake view, comfortable chilled out living, Extensive music selection. Fun, young atmosphere. Many tour options to book right there for the same prices as in town. Book swap and wi-fi throughout. Homey feel.(-41.1351559,-71.310499)
Nomad Backpackers, Salta. When all the other ones are fully booked, this one might be worth a try.
Hotel Tirol Bariloche, Libertad 175, ☎ (02944) 426152, . checkin: 12:00 hs; checkout: 10:00 hs. The 3-star Hotel Tirol Bariloche is in the city´s heart, 100 meters from the main street and has spectacular views over Lake Nahuel Huapi. It has private parking inside the hotel and free WI-FI throughout the building.
Grand Hotel Bariloche, Mitre 408 (On the main street, half way down the commercial route of Mitre avenue, 100m. from the Nahuel Huapi lake.), ☎ (02944) 430622, . Grand Hotel Bariloche is a 9 storey hotel (3.000m2.). They offer 75 rooms organized in singles, doubles, triples and apartments.Room rates start at USD $37.
Aconcagua Hotel, 289, San Martín Avenue, San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina, ☎ (00-54-2944) 424718, . Aconcagua Hotel is located along San Martín Avenue in San Carlos de Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentina. It is near the Civic Center, Lake Nahuel Huapi, and casino. Aconcagua Hotel’s 32 comfortable rooms guarantee a restful stay. Each accommodation is equipped with a central heater, TV, Internet access, and toilet & bath with shower. Rates start at USD $53.
Hotel 7 de febrero - With an excellent location and a privileged view of Lake Nahuel Huapi and the cathedral, the Hotel 7 de febrero offers a comfortable stay and hospitality with the host. Carpeted rooms (Standard, Superior), private bathroom, cable TV and telephone. The hotel also offers 24 hour bar service, internet (WI FI), tourism advice and benefits in the car rental and excursion arrangements.. This site has reservation system with instant confirmation.
Lago Gutiérrez Lodge - Surrounded by lush vegetation, the building is a typical mountain construction with refined decorative details. Gutierrez Lake Lodge is a place that stays in the memory of all our guests. Rooms (Standard, Superior) wooden finely decorated provide the warm of a mountain refuge and one of the best natural views of Bariloche with the Gutierrez Lake and the Cerro Catedral y Cerro Lopez. Our rooms are equipped with the following services included in the rates: Continental breakfast and free access to private beach and Bar on the shores of Gutierrez Lake. . This site has reservation system with instant confirmation.
Grand Hotel Bariloche - A Warm hotel with 9 floors (3.000m2.), Which is located in the main street of San Carlos de Bariloche. In the commercial halfway Mitre Avenue and only 100m. Lake Nahuel Huapi. Breakfast (71 in total between singles, doubles, triples and apartments) are fully carpeted, private bath, cable TV, telephone, light and all outside overlooking the hills or the Nahuel Huapi Lake. . This site offers reservations system instant confirmation.
Hotel Cristal - Located on Mitre Street, the main commercial center of the Bariloche city. One block away from Lake Nahuel Huapi and three blocks from Civic Center. It has 50 modern rooms with excellent detail and comfort in category Suite Superior Standard Classic and completely refurbished with Jacuzzi, connected to the household, electronic safes and cable TV. It has restaurant, piano bar, business center and meeting room for 70 people, which makes it ideal for pleasure as for business. . This site has reservations system instant confirmation.
Hostería Viejo Molino - Careful attention to the host, is known for its quality of personalized service. It has only 20 rooms, all furnished in the best style. It also offers heated pool, lounges and games and homemade pastries. You can enjoy the bar and exquisite international cuisine, with menus designed by gourmets. . This site has reservation system with instant confirmation.
Hotel Carlos V Patagonia - One of the most prestigious three stars from the city, with more than 40 years of activity. The Hotel is located in the center of the city of Bariloche, two blocks from the Civic Center and business district of the city, and three blocks from Lake Nahuel Huapi. The Hotel has 43 rooms including singles, doubles, triples and family apartments. Comfortable and warm, the rooms are equipped with central heating, cable TV, divan beds and digital safe box. For convenience has a large lobby with a television, a bar which looks outside to enjoy a good coffee, free internet access and wi-fi. . This site offers reservations system instant confirmation.
Hotel Nahuel Huapi - The traditional Hotel Nahuel Huapi, with its privileged location in the heart of the City of San Carlos de Bariloche, easy access to major attractions and the village and is the starting point to enjoy a pleasant stay. All hotel accommodations now have services from the LCD TV 32 "satellite signal cotton sheets-class, unique decoration to paintings on the walls. The interior decoration is characterized by its modernity with unique handcrafted details.  This site has a booking system with instant confirmation.
Patagonia Hotel Bariloche - Located in the heart of the Nahuel Huapi National Park, a few blocks from the center of the city of San Carlos de Bariloche. A real balcony over the lake with 56 double rooms, triple rooms and apartments in 10 levels, where every window becomes a unique vantage point to contemplate the beauty of the Nahuel Huapi and its surrounding mountains and forests. . This site has reservation system with instant confirmation.
Rentals BarilocheRentals Bariloche - Luxury vacation rental apartments and houses in the best locations. From the heart of downtown to the prestigious Arelauquen Golf & Country Club; Lake and Mountain views to quiet forested streets. All these vacation homes are fully equipped including complementary WiFi access to ensure you get the most out of your time here in Bariloche.
Galileo Boutique Hotel, Av. Antartida Argentina, s/n, Base Cerro Catedral, San Carlos de Bariloche, C.P. 8400, Argentina, ☎ +54 (2944) 460-020, . Galileo Boutique Hotel is located along the base of Cerro Catedral in San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina. Major landmarks, such as the Nahuel Huapi Lake and the city’s Civic Center, are within proximate distance from the hotel. Feel as if you’re in the Swiss Alps when relaxing in Galileo Boutique Hotel’s luxurious Rooms, Suites, and Apartments, each adorned with quaint cypress wood frames and geometric roofs. They have great early bird discounts. In winter is right next to the slopes and in summer you can trek to Refugio Frey from the hotel´s parking lot.FROM USD 130.
Hotel Llao Llao- Beautiful alpine style hotel, built in 1939 (recently renovated), adds to the dramatic backdrop of the mountains. A classic resort: there's a golf course, boating, and much for the wealthy to see and do. Nightly rates were around USD$300 back in Dec, 2004, so the $8 peso coffee might be the way to go in order to enjoy the view, the ambiance, etc, without paying an arm/leg to stay there overnight. Excellent service, slightly OTT decor. About 25km from the city centre and about 35km from Cerro Catedral.
Design Suites Hotel, Av. Bustillo Km.2,5 8400 Bariloche Provincia de Rio Negro Argentina, . Modern hotel (not all suite as the name might imply), with all the benefits (Spacious rooms, Free Wifi, Stunning Panorama Views, clever design touches) and drawbacks (Awful restaurant, no room service, staff not trained to deliver 5* service) you expect from a Boutique Hotel. The suites themselves are not traditional suites, rather larger rooms with a couch and a balcony. Hotel 3km from the City Center.Best rates on official website start at US$130.
Because of the high tourist presence, petty crime is a reality but there tend to be a large amount of police in force and the smaller and relatively affluent nature of the city makes crime less likely than in Buenos Aires. Still, exercise caution and keep valuables within sight. Never hike alone on the trails which touch the city, particularly up to Piedras Blancas. There have been many reported robberies of tourists on these paths in recent years.
El Bolson - A small hippie town (founded in the 70's) in a mountainous valley about 120km/75mi south of Bariloche. There's a twice weekly outdoor flea market (get there in the morning, it closes down around 3pm). Lunch at "Las Brasas" parrilla is recommended. Transportation on the El Valle bus line  is $24 pesos/usd$8 one way from Bariloche and is worth it for the scenery alone!
Villa La Angostura - A small town about an hours drive from Bariloche, very picturesque, you can also hike a 12km trail to the famous Bosque Arrayanes.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!