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Cerro Campanario: A Must-Do in Bariloche

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Overlooking Patagonia's gorgeous Lake District, Cerro Campanario stands more than 1,000m above the town of Bariloche in the south of Argentina. Surrounded by lush forests, unspoiled lakes, majestic mountains and stunning vistas, Cerro Campanario is famous for its amazing mountaintop views. From the snow-capped Andes to Lake Nahuel Huapi, enjoy 360-degree panoramic views stretching for miles as you stand on top of the world.

Whether you choose to explore on foot or soar to the top on the chairlift, there's no better place to experience the views of northern Patagonia than Cerro Campanario.

At a Glance

Highlights

  • See breathtaking 360-degree panoramic views of Patagonia's lake district, including lake Nahuel Huapi and Perito Moreno, as well as Cerros Otto, Lopez, Bellavista, Catedral, Capilla, and the snow-capped Andes.
  • Take an easy, but steep hike to the top of the mountain or soar through tree tunnels as you access the peak via chairlift.
  • Enjoy the best view of Bariloche from the main viewing platform.

Lowlights

  • Its popularity means it can be rather crowded at times.
  • Cable cars are open, making for a cold and windy ride up in winter.

Quick Facts

Elevation: 1,039 m
Location: San Carlos de Bariloche (or simply, Bariloche), Rio Negro, located on the northern edge of Argentina's Patagonia region.
Permit: None. There is a fee to ride the chairlift, but the hike is free.
Best Season: Summer (December to March) is most pleasant, although visits during winter (June to August) have amazing views the of snow-covered scenery.

Cerro Campanario Hike

  • Duration: 30 – 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy. The route is well-defined and easy to follow albeit a bit steep at times. Overall, it is suitable for hikers of all ages.

Experience Patagonia and enjoy the views at your own pace as you make your way on foot by hiking Cerro Campanario. This short hike takes you from the base of the mountain to the top of the world in just 30 minutes, or slightly longer if you stop for photos along the way.

Well-marked and clearly defined, the Cerro Campanario hike leads visitors through woodland areas and offers stunning views of Lake Nahuel Huapi, the Llao Llao peninsula, and the surrounding peaks and valleys. It is a wonderful way to experience the mountain's natural terrain up close and should most definitely be at the top of anyone's bucket list when visiting Bariloche.

Once at the top, take a deep breath in, savouring the clean, crisp Patagonian air as you look out over one of the world's most stunning views. From one of the mountain's many platforms, enjoy 360-degree views of Patagonia's most famous landscapes, including El Trebol Lagoon, Cerros Otto and Catedral. Spend as little or as long as you like in the presence of one of Argentina's most amazing natural wonders.

Chairlift option

  • Prices: USD 12 for adults, USD 6* for minors. Children under the age of four ride for free.
  • Duration: 7 minutes

For visitors with small children, mobility issues, limited time, or those who simply don't feel like making the trek, taking the chair lift to the top of Cerro Campanario is a convenient and comfortable option.

Travel through tree tunnels and soar above lakes and forests as you sit back and relax while making your way to the top of the mountain. The open-air chairlift gives visitors unobstructed views of the valley as well as the well-labelled flora and fauna below. Throughout the seven-minute trip enjoy panoramic views of Patagonia's famous lake district, including Lake Nahuel Huapi, with the breathtaking snow-capped Andes in the background. 

Although the chairlift will set you back a few dollars, the price tag is well worth it.

Getting there

The town of Bariloche is located in Argentina's Patagonia region, nearly 1,400km south of Buenos Aires.

Fly from the capital to San Carlos de Bariloche Airport. Direct flights are available throughout the week and last just over two hours. Cerro Campanario is located 30km west of the airport. If you don't plan on renting a car, the easiest way to get from the airport to the base of the mountain is by taking a 30-minute taxi ride.

Cerro Campanario can also be easily accessed by bus from the centre of Bariloche. Take public transit buses numbers 20, 21, or 10. From the drop off point, it is a short walk to the base of the mountain and the beginning of your adventure.

Buses run frequently throughout the day. Service typically extends to midnight, which means you can enjoy the sunset from the top without being stranded.

Good to know

  • Cerro Campanario is open every day from 9:00 to 18:00. Your last chance to hop on the chairlift or make your ascent is 30 minutes before closing.
  • If you plan to hike down the mountain, you can opt to stay behind after closing to enjoy the views with fewer people.
  • Avoid the crowds and snag stunning, unobstructed pictures by visiting Cerro Campanario early in the morning or late in the day.
  • Even in the height of summer, it can be quite cold and windy at the top of the mountain. Prepare well by wearing multiple layers and anticipating all weather conditions (wind, rain, sunshine, etc.).
  • Snacks and beverages (including coffee, tea and smoothies) are available for purchase at the top of the mountain, but the café is expensive. Save money by bringing your own snacks and water.
  • You can also opt for a day tour or a multi-day tour that includes the Cerro Campanario hike in the itinerary.

Cerro Campanario undoubtedly avails one of the most beautiful vistas of Bariloche. From the snow-capped Andes to the shores of Lake Nahuel Huapi gaze out into the horizon as you enjoy 360-degree views of Patagonia from the viewing points. Whether you choose to hike to the top or relax on the chairlift as you soar through the air, no trip to Bariloche is complete without making a visit to the top of Cerro Campanario. 

*Note: Prices are as of April 2018.

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