Bariloche FAQs That You Need to Know

March 17th, 2010 Posted in culture, day to day, travel

Written by Shanie

Traveling to the far reaches of South America can be a bit intimidating. Put the word Patagonia with it and many are a bit baffled on what a traveler might expect. So, to give a sense of the area here are some frequently asked questions that might assist in traveling to this great last frontier…

When is fishing season?
The Limay River, one of the largest rivers in the area, drains into Nahuel Huapi. It is the best body of water for catching big fish. This eastern flowing river is notorious for large rainbows in November and December and large browns in March and April.

How can I check the airline status?
Go to to find out if your plane is on time.

Where can I change money?
There is a casa de cambio on Avenida Mitre, one block from the Centro Civico.

Where can I get the best steak?
El Boliche de Alberto is Bariloche’s “it” place for succulent steak. There are three locations; the restaurant at Bustillo kilometer 8 having the best reputation.

How far is the airport from the city center?
Approximately 15 minutes.

What is the usual ski season?
The ski season typically runs from mid-June to mid-October.

Where do the boat cruises leave from?
From Puerto Pañuelo, 25 km west of town, across from the Llao Llao Hotel.

Can you I drink the water?
Absolutely! It may be the best you ever tasted.

How many people live in San Carlos de Bariloche?
There are between 85,000 and 150,000 full time residents, depending on who you ask.

How far is El Bolson from here?
El Bolsón is about an hour and a half south. It is a gorgeous drive and well worth the trip if you have an extra day or two.

How far is it to the Chilean border?
The Chilean border is about two hours away by car, traveling through Villa La Angostura.

Where can I find a good trail map and information on the hiking trails?
Club Andino, on the corner of 20 de Febrero, number 30, kiddy-corner from the YPF gas station has the maps and information you are looking for.

Can I hike year-round?
Yes, the lower elevation trails are generally free of snow year round. The higher elevation trails are available from November to May.

How do I communicate with the world?
Look for a locutoria, many have both internet and telephone booths available.

What’s up with the siesta?
Argentines need to catch up on their sleep (with dinner starting around 10 p.m., it is safe to say the Argentines are night people). Stores in el centro are more apt to stay open during the day. Grocery stores and locutorias tend not to go on siesta. Normal siesta hours are from 12:30 to 4:30 (give or take a half hour).

Do I need a reservation for the refugios (mountain huts)?
No, but it is on a first come, first serve basis.

Is it worth renting a car?
Absolutely, many of the treasures of the area are not accessible by bus. Also with the freedom of a car you can come and go as you like.

Is there a monster en Lago Nahuel Huapi?
Yes, the Lochness monster’s distant relative, Nahuelito, lives in the lake, but he is very friendly.

What are they looking for at the traffic stops?
We aren’t sure, but we have found the less Spanish you speak the better.

What’s with all large groups in matching outfits?
It’s the latest thing, grab a few friends, start a team and pick your own colors. No seriously, Bariloche is extremely popular for graduating classes to come and celebrate their new found freedom. They come in huge groups and all wear the same rented outfits as a kind of rah-rah thing. The Brazilians do the same thing in the winter.

What’s with all the Saint Bernards and their owners?
They sell you the right to take a picture of their dog. Beware though. If you take a picture of their canine without paying for it, chaos may ensue.

Where should I go to get the best sandwich?
Morfy’s, side street next to civic center

  1. 6 Responses to “Bariloche FAQs That You Need to Know”

  2. By allie on Mar 18, 2010

    Can you tell me if a blackbeery works in Bariloche or what I need to bring to have cell and internet service for work?

  3. By Chris A. on Mar 18, 2010

    Great question from allie! I’m curious about the same thing. :)
    Shanie, great post! Some of it makes me laugh, good stuff!
    We are moving back to Argentina next year-ish, Patagonia region, and greatly appreciate all your posts; very, very informative. My hubs is from Buenos Aires, and we lived there as newlyweds, so I can totally relate to a lot of what you write! Haha, so funny!
    Maybe we will bump into each other one day there :D !
    Chris and Tony Amaya :)

  4. By Chris A. on Mar 18, 2010

    btw… we corresponded with you several years ago now I think, when we were first thinking about relocating to Patagonia, although as I recall it was mostly with Jamie. He was very helpful.
    I think I even mention you in our blog somewhere (very positively I might add), hope that’s okay… :)

  5. By Patagonia on Mar 18, 2010

    Hi Chris and Allie,

    Thanks for the kind words Chris, they are so very much appreciated, as well with the positive exposure on your blog. (:

    I’m looking into the blackberry question…Skype is our most efficient means of communication…buy I am not much of a cell phone or blackberry gal, so not the best person to claim to know the answer…as soon as I hear I will make an update.


  6. By John on Mar 26, 2010

    Hello All,

    To answer your question about a phone, I have found the I-Phone to be the best option. It is very expensive if you plan on using your roaming charges and if you use the roam for data transfer you will break the piggy bank. I put my I-phone on airplane mode so that the cell phone feature is turned off. My I-phone is set up to search out Wi-Fi whenever a signal is found. The great thing about Bariloche is you can find Wi-Fi everywhere. If a password is required many times you can just ask the restaurant you are eating at and they will give it to you. Once you store these passwords and Wi-Fi networks on your phone, whenever you go by these locations in the Downtown or while driving down Bustillo out towards the Llao Llao you will get a signal. Many times I will just pull into a parking lot that I know there is a signal and I will download emails, send emails and make Skype phone calls.

    This is all done for free! Just remember to turn your phone to Airplane mode or you will pay the price later.

    Good Luck

  7. By Patagonia on Mar 26, 2010

    Hi John,

    Thanks for the great info!


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