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.
Do in Bariloche, Argentina
Trekking Trek Bariloche  provides a comprehensive guide to the trekking routes in the Nahuel Huapi National Park.
Catedral Alta Patagonia  – It is 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 trail head 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 ($120 pesos). 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 $230 pesos both ways (bus+cable car) or less one way while the other way you can hike or take a mountain bike(9 KM from the city, about 2.5 hours when hiking down). The rotating restaurant at the top has some impressive vistas of the region and there are some nice hiking trails behind the restaurant.
Cerro Catedral/Refugio Frey is considered by many as the best 1-2 days trekking in Bariloche. When it’s cold enough you can skate in the lake near the refuge. When there’s not too much snow you can climb the granite “agujas” (needles) near the refuge which have ways for all levels, or head to Lago Jakob. There are two ways to get in and out: the main one is from Villa Catedral (only one bus every 1h30), another (a bit longer) one starts from Los Cohiues and goes along the Gutierrez lake (bus #50).
Cerro López – Take the #10 bus to get there and back. In late spring/summer/early autumn there’s a trekking trail to the mountain shelter (not as easy as Otto’s). It takes about 3 hours to get there and can be quite tiring, but the views from the shelter are impressive. Be sure to bring along water and some fruit to keep your energy. Colonia Suiza, a swiss-like borough, is nearby.
Cerro Tronador, visit the black glacier (ventisquero negro), see the Cerro Tronador and a waterfall over an overhanging cliff named Saltillo de las Nalcas, near the village of Pampa Linda. The journey takes about two hours, and costs Ar$ 400 return or Ar$ 200 one-way (Transitando lo Natural, 20 de Febrero 300, Bariloche). There is an additional entrance fee to the national park of Ar$ 120 (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. You can also rent a car or hitchhike.
Puerto Pañuelo, at the nearby town of Llao Llao functions as Bariloche’s port for boat tours.
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$580 – Sept 2015) & Puerto Blest, they also do the trip across to Chile (Cruce de Lagos) (about US$ 280).
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.