Discover the alpine charm of Bariloche and the strikingly beautiful scenery of Argentina's Lake District on this 5-day adventure. Base yourself in the picturesque lakefront town of Bariloche, enjoying its artisanal chocolate shops and Swiss-style architecture. You'll venture to the region's lakes and mountains each day, exploring the shoreline forests on horseback and sailing to islands covered with native forests. Return to Bariloche each evening to dine on local specialties like wild boar and freshly caught lake trout — the perfect way to end a day out in the wilderness!

Highlights

    • Sightsee in the Swiss-inspired lakefront city of Bariloche
    • Explore the natural wonders of Argentina's Lake District
    • Go horseback riding in the beautiful countryside
    • Sail through Lake Nahuel Huapi to a pair of islands
    • Sample the region's famous artisanal chocolate and ice cream 
    • Hike through quiet forests full of native myrtle trees

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bariloche & Sightsee Bariloche
Day 2 Boat to Victoria Island & Myrtle Forest Bariloche
Day 3 Go Horseback Riding on the Waterfront Bariloche
Day 4 Tour the Scenic Circuito Grande Bariloche
Day 5 Depart Argentina - End of Trip  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Bariloche & Sightsee

The beautiful shore of Lago Nahuel Huapi
The beautiful shore of Lago Nahuel Huapi

Welcome to Argentina! Your adventure begins in San Carlos de Bariloche, located in the country's beautiful Lake District. Called "Bariloche" for short — the name, which means "jaguar island," comes from the Mapuche indigenous people who once inhabited the area — the city was founded in 1902 on the shores of Lago Nahuel Huapi. The lake is part of a national park known as Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi. In the coming days, you'll experience the region's majesty on nature hikes and excursions.

Upon arrival at Bariloche's airport, a driver will meet you and transfer you to your hotel. After settling in, you can get out and explore the Swiss-style city with its charming chalet-style buildings and alpine architecture. Stroll down Mitre Street to discover Bariloche's waterfront plazas, chocolate shops, upscale restaurants, and cozy cafés.

Outside town, you could also visit the five-star Hotel Llao Llao, considered one of the finest hotels in all of Argentina. The expansive hotel, sitting on a small peninsula overlooking the lake, is the embodiment of mountain luxury. Even if you're not staying here, you can stop in for a full afternoon tea service complete with decadent sweets and sparkling wine.

When dinnertime comes around, be sure to sample the local cuisine at a restaurant near your hotel. Try delicious regional dishes like wild boar, lake trout, and fondue, a culinary tradition first introduced by the city's Swiss settlers.

Day 2: Boat to Victoria Island & Myrtle Forest

Victoria Island
Victoria Island

In the morning, leave your hotel on a private transfer to Puerto Pañuelo. From here, you'll sail the clear waters of Lake Nahuel Huapi, surrounded by landscapes of snow-capped mountains and green forests. Your destination is Isla Victoria, a long thin island in the middle of the lake. Victoria Island is protected, but visitors are allowed to enter on guided tours to appreciate its unspoiled wilderness. Enjoy a nature hike through pine forests and the wildlife reserve. This area is home to native red deer, golden pheasants, and many other animals.

You'll then hop back on the boat and continue to the Quetrihué Peninsula, where you'll find the famous Myrtle Forest. Myrtle trees (also called arrayán trees) are a unique Andean species with smooth, cinnamon-colored bark. They're often covered with white flowers, which lends them an otherworldly quality. The myrtles on this peninsula are also unusual for their large size. 

As the sun begins to set over the mountains, you'll return to shore and transfer back to your hotel. Have dinner in town before getting some rest.

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Day 3: Go Horseback Riding on the Waterfront

Bariloche views
Looking out over the scenery near Bariloche

Get ready to explore this gorgeous region on horseback. You'll start the day with breakfast before transferring to a traditional estancia (ranch) where you'll learn some basic riding skills before climbing onto a horse and setting off on a trail ride. You'll travel along the lakeshore, enjoying views of the mountains, and pass through quiet forests as your guide points out a variety of trees and plants. Return to the ranch for an asado (barbecue) before heading back to town. 

Spend the evening enjoying Bariloche's picturesque downtown and dining in one of its many excellent restaurants.

Day 4: Tour the Scenic Circuito Grande

Take a ride up to the top of Cerro Campanario
Riding up to the top of Cerro Campanario

This morning, after breakfast, you'll ride a cable car to the top of Cerro Campanario. Located just outside town, the 3,444-foot (1,050-meter) mountain has a summit offering panoramic views of Lago Nahuel Huapi and the snow-covered mountains that surround it. There's also a restaurant and lounge at the top.

Continue to San Eduardo Chapel, a jewel of regional architecture. Other points of interest on your excursion include the sandy beaches of Villa Tacúl, the ancient Puente Romano (Roman Bridge), and the little-visited Hidden Lake. Throughout the trip, you'll be making your way through the Patagonian forest with towering trees flanking the pathways. You'll also stop at vantage points that offer panoramic views over the region's lakes.

Return to Bariloche for one last night before traveling onward tomorrow.

Day 5: Depart Argentina - End of Trip

Aerial view of Bariloche

Today the trip comes to an end. Head to the airport to make your way to your next destination. Safe travels!

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