Getting to Bariloche from other places in Argentin
Agree with the Wandering Camel, host of activities in Bariloche even for not too athletic females LOL I was there in 2005, I'm energetic & tough, & quite beyond my 20s! but not really "athletic", even less so since I came home & relaxed!
All in all, it's a place for youthful spirits & it offers a great sense of adventure. It's very popular with young people, many young Argentinians there seemed to me to be from rather well-off families. Young foreigners were the usual backpackers seen across the world, on an adventure.
The difference in price you noted probably comes from the fact that flight prices are lower, within Argentina at least, for residents of Argentina. Prices are higher for non-residents. Your daughter may be able to buy at "resident" price -- I don't know her situation.
For a resident, Buenos Aires to Bariloche between 22 Oct. & 2 Nov. is ARS909 (or USD230.) I am absolutely sure that even that rate is way higher than a bus from Buenos Aires to Bariloche. I travelled through Argentina by bus & never came close to that price (though I travelled Mendoza to Buenos Aires in luxury semi-cama, then Bariloche to San Miguel de los Andes & on back to Buenos Aires, among many other long trips.)
A non-resident, for same flights & time, would pay ARS1,963 (or USD496.)
Many countries establish a lower pricing policy for their residents, to take into consideration their capacity to pay, based on their economic situation. In countries not at par with North American/European or other economic situation, pricing is often regulated to encourage resident participation in things such as flights, to name but one. This supports national airlines & other national business endeavours (who could otherwise be at risk during difficult economic periods in the country, or even generally.)
There are many good hostels in Bariloche. You may wish to check Hostel 41 Below, which gets excellent ratings. It's close to Lake Nahuel Huapi & looks fine & fun! Run by New Zealanders. Such places are very common in Patagonia, I loved them! Very safe too.
My hostel patrons in Mendoza had a list of good places to stay & things to do in Bariloche. In fact, Bariloche was *the* place most backpackers in Mendoza wanted to head for & the hostel patrons were kept busy providing best options.
You really don't need to worry about your daughter going to Bariloche but if you absolutely want a hostel or activity recommendation, let me know & I'll try to contact my hostel patrons, great people!
Internet or Travel Agent?
Searching fares and booking via the internet is common practice these days and there are some great deals to be had; however, there are no such deals available for domestic fares in Argentina, and given the level of disorganization and misinformation you are likely to encounter on your travels around the country, you may well decide to book through a travel agent - the chances are you'll need their services before you leave . We did - and were very glad of their contact and help when the point of departure was changed at short notice, and our flight from Barloche to Buenos Aires was cancelled without warning ... and we had a short connection to an onward flight.
I'd picked up on BwanaBrown's recommendation of Ripio Turismo on his Mendoza page. A quick email to Glenn came back with a sound endorsement, so I contacted them. Not only were they prompt in answering and extremely helpful, our travel agent here at home could not match their prices and advised us to go with them, which we did, using said local agent as a middleman, giving us the insurance of all our payments being made through our regular agent. He's happy - he's made a valuable contact in Argentina that he'll use again.
We were happy - all the arrangements they made for us were excellent - great guides, good hotels, punctual (and careful) driver, etc. Even when Aerolineas Argentinas cancelled our BarIloche - Buenos Aires flight, leaving us with a six hour wait at Bariloche airport when we were meant to have a 2 hour changeover (across town to the other airport because AA has changed the airport again!!!) to our flight on to Iguazu, it all worked out fine. Ripio kept in touch, made a provisional hotel booking for us in case we couldn't get another plane the same day and arranged for a car to take us wherever we needed to be - all unecessary in the end ... Aerolineas delayed an Iguazu flight and transferred us to it by bus.
Bariloche Airport's very nice ... I know it well!
Cruce de Lagos / Lakes crossing
El cruce de Lagos es un viaje espectacular entre Argentina y Chile que a nosotros nos vino muy bien pues seguíamos rumbo a Chile
El viaje se hace parte en barco , catamarán y parte en autobús o andando y pasas por lagos azules y verdes que están rodeados de montañas , volcanes y bosques de una belleza inolvidable.
El recorrido es : Bariloche -(Bus) - Puerto Pañuelo - (Barco ) - Puerto Bles - ( Bus o a pié ) - Puerto Alegre - ( Catamaran ) - Puerto Frías - ((Aduana Argentina) Bus ) - Peulla ((Aduana Chile) Barco ) - Petrohue - ( Bus ) - Puerto Varas/Puertomontt
Lo contratamos con la agencia Catedral , que es un poco más barata porque es operadora (160$)
Caro pero muy bonito
Thelakes crossing is an spectacular trip between Argentina and Chile , that was very convenient for us as we were continuing our way to Chile and you pass by green and blue lakes surrounded of mountains , volcanoes , and forests of an unforgettable beauty
The route is :
Bariloche -(Bus) - Puerto Pañuelo - (Boat ) - Puerto Bles - ( Bus o walk) - Puerto Alegre - ( Catamaran ) - Puerto Frías - ((Customs Argentina) Bus ) - Peulla ((Customs Chile) Boat ) - Petrohue - ( Bus ) - Puerto Varas/Puertomontt
We got the tickets with The agency Catedral , that is a bit cheaper because is the operator ( 160$ )
Expensive but very nice
It's not cheap
Bariloche, in Northern Patagonia - is a long way from anywhere. Buenos Aires is 1650 kilometres away, El Calafate - at the southern tip of Patagonia - is 1450 kilometres. You'll see a lot of Argentina if you have time to make the journey by road, but for those on a tighter schedule, flying's the only option.
Aerolineas Argentina (Austral) and Lan Argentina both fly to Bariloche from Buenos Aires - AA having more flights but at almost twice the price! Their policy of a two-tier fare system means non-Argentinians pay a huge premium on fares and - to add insult to injury - you'll pay more if you haven't flown into Argentina with AA as well. You really need to do your homework on these fares - or make sure your travel agent does, the difference is hundreds of dollars.
LAN's fares are much more reasonable, though they're still no great bargain. There are no budget fares, e-specials or anything else on domestic flights in Argentina.
We flew from El Calafate to Bariloche - no choice there with the airline, LAN doesn't fly that route yet. I don't know what the fare was, we paid an inclusive price for a round-trip that went BA - El Calafate - Bariloche - Iguazu - BA that, given the prices for the individual sectors, seemed very reasonable. All our flights were with AA.
Flying out of BA was rather fraught. There are big rebuilding works going on at Jorge Newbery (nominally the domestic airport) and things have been chaotic there for ages. A lot of domestic flights are routed through Ezeiza (the interrnational airport) - often at very short notice - so keep checking in the days before you leave your hotel.
- National/State Park
Lake crossing to Chile
The lake crossing trip from Bariloche to Puerto Varas in Chile has become one of the major tourist attractions of Bariloche. The trip, that usually takes two days, goes right through the Andes. Part of the trip is by boat, other parts are by bus.
The first part (by bus) is from Bariloche to Puerto Panuelo. Puerto Panuelo was very busy and I didn't find anybody speaking or just understanding English there, which is not very nice considering the chaotic situation. In the end I managed to get on the right boat with the help of an American woman who was fluent in Spanish. She was a great help for some Australian tourists as well.
The next part, from Pueto Panuelo to Puerto Blest, is by boat over the Nahuel Huapi lake. The trip takes about 1 hour of so and goes through beautiful nature. Puerto Blest is basically a small harbour with a big hotel / restaurant / snackbar. Many people stay there for the day and enjoy themselves in the beautiful national park. There are famous cascades, among other things.
The next part of the trip is by bus (just a few minutes), and then by boat over the a lake to Puerto Frias, which is the border between Argentina and Chile. The chaos at Puerto Frias was huge, with many people that had been waiting for a connection for four hours and more. They had become pretty angry, especially because nobody from the Lake Crossing company explained what had gone wrong and how they were going to solve the situation. Luckily, my immigration to Chile and the connection to Peulla (the first stop in Chile, see my separate page about that) went well.
One thing became very clear: they Lake Crossing company is a big chaos and you have to be prepared for that. If you reckon with possible delays, you will have a relaxing trip and enjoy the beautiful nature.
- National/State Park
Overnight Bus from Buenos Aires to Bariloche
We took the cochecama bus from Buenos Aires to Bariloche. The bus company we used is called Via Bariloche. It cost 160 Argentine pesos one way ($55 US dollars) per person and included a snack, dinner, breakfast, drinks (coca cola, sprite, wine, champagne, water). We left Buenos Aires at 2:35 pm and arrived in Bariloche the next morning at 10 am. I'm not sure how much it costs for roundtrip.
Honestly, I would rather fly there as it would be much quicker. But the bus is about 1/3 of the price of flying, since an Aerolineas Argentina roundtrip flight is around $300 USD and one way is $150 USD. You can also see a lot of great views of the countryside along the bus ride. As far as bus rides go, this one was really smooth, our seats reclined back pretty far, the food was good. They played 3 movies during the trip (2 were in Spanish, 1 was in English with Spanish subtitles). Once we arrived at the bus station in Bariloche, there were taxis lined up which we took.
To buy tickets we went in person the day of our trip to the Bus Terminal Retiro, ticket station number 124 and paid with credit card.
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
Flight between Bariloche and Buenos Aires
We took the bus from Buenos Aires to Bariloche. But this took too much time, so on the way back we flew Aerolineas Argentinas from Bariloche to Buenos Aires. It was about a 2 hour flight. You can make a reservation on their website and then call the U.S. phone number 305 261-0100 to give them your credit card number and purchase the flight. Their call center is open Monday-Sunday 4 am - 9 pm. The flight cost around $298 US dollars for a roundtrip flight and $149 US dollars for a one-way flight.
Fly Aerolineas Argentinas from Buenos Aires
This has to be the most conveniant way to arrive in Bariloche. We flew originally from Gatiwick via Madrid to Buenos Aires and flew out 5 hours after arriving, all with Aerolineas Argentinas.
It was the cheapest airfare we found at the time of booking at around £100 return it wasn't a cheap flight but it certainly wasn't that expensive either.
We flew on a an ancient 737 in both directions which was a little disconcerting but it seemed to hold together well in turbulence.
The wine on board was gorgeous and certainly worth asking for more.
Staff were helpful and friendly I would certainly fly Aerolineas again.
Bariloche airport was cetrtainly adequate.
Buenos Aires Jorges Newberry airprt is fine, turning up 30 minutes before take off didn't seem to bother them much. Can't comment much more than that as we spent very little time here
Hiring a car is a must to explore the area!
Before we even got to Bariloche we were advised that hiring a car was a good idea. We kept this thought with us but didn't book any. When we arrived and a clearer idea of what we all wanted to do and places to visit we all agreed a hire car was the way to go. Even though there were good bus links and a networkof small airfields that were available to us, it was just so much more flexible to use a hired car. It also gave us more freedom on the exact places we wanted to go.
We used a company called Correntoso found on Rolando 172 in the city centre. We were reccomended this company by our hostel hosts and were not disappointed. We had a 1.6l VW Golf Saloon for 9 days for 1200 pesos and unlimited km.
- Road Trip
Take the Boat to Chile
A great way to get from Bariloche to Puerto Varas/Puerto Montt (Chile), is to take the 12 hour boat/bus trip offered by Catedral Turismo. A very scenic trip that consists of three boat rides and four bus rides. Bus goes from the Catedral Turismo office in Bariloche and drops you at the boat dock at Puerto Panuelo. From there its boat-bus-boat-bus-boat-bus until you end up much tireder in Chile.
Boats are comfortable and the bus rides between lakes on mostly wet dirt roads very interesting.This area boasts incredible amounts of rain that could make your trip very uncomfortable. We had clear weather and enjoyed the trip. In early December in the early hours, it was cold. This trip cost $140 (!!) per person, so dress warmly and pray for NO rain.
You will go through Chilean customs at Peulla. Here we had a three hour layover. You can get lunch at the Hotel Peulla if you don't mind being robbed blind! This was the biggest ripoff we encountered in our travels. They offered 2 lunches for $15US (not pesos) and $12. We asked about the $12 lunch and were told to go next door. Here we found a buffet set up. For $12, we got a choice of dessert, salad and a choice of either chicken, salmon, pork in gravey or sausage (some of which were just hotdogs!). A drink was $4 extra. No waiters. You dropped your plate on a tray and headed to any table. Many people walked in the door, read the menu/prices and just turned around and left. This was the worst dining experience we had since eating a $5 hotdog at the airport back in Nevada. Think seriously about bringing food from Bariloche. Also bring a book, as this three hour wait is a real drag. Just hope it doesn't rain while you hang around.
When the last boat drops you off at Petroheul, do not forget to wait to pick up your luggage. We were told where our bus was but not told to wait for the luggage. We had been told at Catedral Turismo that our luggage would follow on the whole trip so "dont worry about it". Believe me. You need to worry about it when you get to Petrohuel.
Flying From Buenos Aires
We flew to Bariloche from Salta via Buenos Aires. Makes a rather short trip into a long one. Be sure to shop around the various airlines if you can. We found American Falcon to be much cheaper than two other Argentinian airlines that we checked with.
Something a bit strange happened when we got off the plane in Bariloche. Our baggage (backpacks anyway) was scanned again. I can see being checked going onto a plane, but not when you get off.
The taxi for two into the center of town cost 8 pesos from the airport.
Travel agency arrangements are the best option
The best way to go around in Bariloche is using the arranged vans/buses to and from the main turistic points.
If you prefer getting a taxi, take care. They usually run without meter and short distances can cost much money.
That is the reason to stay in the city centre: you will only need your feet!
- National/State Park
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Skiing and Boarding
How to arrive
From the Province of Buenos Aires:
RN 3, RP 51 (Buenos Aires), RN 22 y RN 237 (by Bah?a Blanca)
RN 5, RN 35, RN 152, RN 143, RP 20 (Province of La Pampa), RN 151, RN 22 y RN 237 (by Santa Rosa, Province of La Pampa)
From San Mart?n de los Andes and Jun?n de los Andes (Province of Neuqu?n):
RN 234, RN 40 y RN 237
From Bah?a Blanca (Province of Buenos Aires):
RN 22 y RN 237
From Carmen de Patagones (Province of Buenos Aires) and Viedma (Province of R?o Negro):
RN 250, RN 22 y RN 237
From the city of Buenos Aires and other points of the country by the following bus companies.
Chevallier, El Valle, La Estrella, La Uni?n del Sud S.R.L., TAC and V?a Bariloche.
From other points of the country by these bus companies:
Andesmar, Cruz del Sur, Don Otto, El Pampa, El R?pido, Ko-Ko, and Tirsa.
By Aerol?neas Argentinas (Argentine Airlines)-Austral, Lapa, Lade and Southern Winds.
Bus or plane?
You can go to San Carlos de Bariloche from Buenos Aires by bus or airplane; the bus odyssey takes about 24 hours...
Se puede ir desde Buenos Aires a San Carlos de Bariloche en bus o en avión; la odisea del bus lleva aproximadamente 24 horas...
HOW WE GOT THERE..(AND ALL ABOUT THE WAY TOO!)
We had 2 mitsubishi pick-ups with a trailer,with all the bagagges,and a place to sleep just in case(yes,we had the case..)
Because of the bagagge excess,the trip went very slow..and the rain didn't help a lot too!From Porto Alegre we went to Argentina thru Uruguaiana and Pasos De Los Libres,than was the first border inspection and it was a mess because the trailer was full of stuff,in a way that once you move something,the place can never be reorganized again!
Than we crossed the Parana River,near Buenos Aires,where we had a stop before Bariloche.
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