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Cerro Campanario, one of the many hills that dot the scenic landscape surrounding San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina, sits at an elevation of 1,049 meters (3445 ft.) The Campanario Hill, while not the tallest in the region, boasts a stunning 360-degree viewpoint offering vistas of deep, cobalt-blue lakes and stark, snow-capped mountaintops.
Bariloche, Argentina, nestled along the shoreline of Lago Nahuel Huapi in the northern region of Patagonia, is lush with nature. Completely surrounded by Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi, Bariloche is known for its mountains, lakes, forests…and trails. On our two-week trip to Bariloche, climbing to the top of Cerro Campanario (which means Belfry Hill) ranked as our number one thing to do…and we didn’t waste any time getting to it.
On our first day in Bariloche, we hopped on a bus for a 40-minute ride that dropped us at the entrance of the Cerro Campanario Chairlift. Rather than getting a ride to the summit, we opted for one of the best hikes in Bariloche to the Cerro Campanario peak.
Hiking Cerro Campanario Bariloche
Not a very difficult trek – at least when it comes to hiking in Argentina – the less-than-a-mile trail does require a little effort. The uphill climb has an elevation gain of about 280 meters. We made it to the summit in about 40 minutes, including frequent stops for sneak previews of the vistas that were sneaking out between the trees.
Top Tip: The trailhead for the Cerro Campanario summit hike is located to the right of the chairlift. Follow the path around to the right of the building to find the well-marked path that leads to the top.
Cerro Campanario Summit
At the top of Cerro Campanario, several platforms combine to offer a 360-degree view of the Rio Negro Province of Patagonia. The sensational viewpoint is proclaimed by many (including National Geographic) to be one of the best in the world.
From the top, visitors have sweeping views of scenic terrain. The panoramic viewpoint encompasses lakes – including Nahuel Huapi Lake, Perito Moreno Lake and the El Trebol lagoon – and mountains – like Cerro Otto, Lopez and Catedral. Guests can also clearly see Isla Victoria (Victoria Island) and the Llao Llao Peninsula.
In addition to the scenic outlook, visitors can visit the mountaintop café. The Confiteria, which offers cakes, coffee and other beverages, has indoor seating and floor-to-ceiling windows.
Cerro Campanario Chairlift
The Aerosilla – or chairlift – at Cerro Campanario allows visitors to bypass the hike and relax while taking in the views along the 640-meter ride to the summit. The ride only takes 7 minutes to get to the top. The Cerro Campanario chairlift price is 330 pesos per person, roundtrip. Visitors who only want to take the lift one-way and hike up or down don’t get a discount and will need to pay the full price.
Top Tip: There are often long lines, especially after the arrival of a tour bus.
Top Tips for Visiting
Although not one of the most difficult Bariloche hiking trails, we have a few tips that can make Cerro Campanario trekking a bit more enjoyable.
Go on a clear day
For the best views from the summit, you need clear skies! Check the weather forecast before you head out on your hike!
Start your day early to get a jump on the crowds. While the hiking trail will likely not be crowded, the summit can fill up with visitors. Get an early start – before 9:00am – and you could possibly have the viewing platform all to yourself.
Bring Hiking Poles
The short hike to the summit is not difficult, but the incline may be challenging. Hiking poles can help – especially on the way down.
Carry water with you
Like any trekking in Bariloche, make sure you have plenty of water! We recommend traveling with a collapsible water bottle that can be reuseable.
Wear the right shoes
For fairly easy Bariloche day hikes like Cerro Campanario, hiking boots are not necessary. However, good all-terrain shoes are! I like hiking trails like this one in my Columbia shoes and Kris prefers wearing his Merrell shoes.
Don’t forget sunscreen and a hat
Make sure to have Travel Insurance
Although it is unlikely you will get hurt while trekking Bariloche, it’s always better to be safe than sorry! Find out more about World Nomads travel insurance that can protect you in the case of injury.
How To Get To Cerro Campanario from Bariloche
Getting to Cerro Campanario from Bariloche is fairly easy – it’s just 10 miles from the city on the main Route 237. Just hop on Bus 20 from the city center and ride to the chairlift. The ride costs about 30 pesos.
Bariloche Tour Guide
Visitors who would rather experience the region with a Bariloche guide can join a Bariloche Sightseeing Tour. The half-day tour includes top sights in the region and the opportunity to visit the Cerro Campanario summit. Find out more here!
More Patagonia Hiking and Activities in Bariloche
Hiking and outdoor activities are abundant in Bariloche! Check out some of the other top attractions in the city for your visit.
Cerro Otto Bariloche
Closer to the city (only 3 miles away), Otto Hill has long been a city attraction. Visitors can ride the 2,100-meter-long cable car to the Cerro Otto summit that rises 1,405 meters above sea level. Find more information and reviews here.
Circuito Chico Bariloche
Circuito Chico is a 37-mile route through beautiful nature and is an ideal way to get acquainted with the area. The asphalt road makes it suitable for cars or bikes (but not walkers). Visitors with cars can explore at their own pace – or let a tour guide lead the way. Learn more here!
Bosque de Arrayanes on Isla Victoria Bariloche
Join an excursion to Victoria Island and the Arrayanes Forest. Spend your time walking through the forest on hiking trails or visit other highlights on the island. Get the details here!
Cerro Catedral Bariloche
Cerro Catedral is the popular Bariloche ski resort, but offers outdoor activities outside of the winter skiing months. As one of the most well-known Bariloche mountains, visitors spend time there year-round.
One of the most popular hikes around Bariloche, the Refugio Frey trek is accessed via the Catedral ski resort. After riding a chairlift to Frey Ridge, the hike commences and passes by the Toncek Lagoon and through the Lengas forest. Find out more!
Cerro Llao Llao
Looking for other activities? Read our guide on the Top 10 Things To Do in Bariloche, Argentina!
We want to know: Have you visited Cerro Campanario in Bariloche, Argentina? Did you hike or ride the chairlift? Give us your best tips and advice in the comments below!
Want more travel planning tips? Read all of our tips for Argentina! Then, head over to our Travel Planning page for more information and tips on traveling – and for country-specific information, take a look at our Travel Guides page!
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