When we first arrived in Bariloche, I was blown away. I wasn’t sure what to expect but the entire area was beautiful. From the lake and mountains in the background to the little chocolate shops on the street. After grabbing a beer and enjoying dinner, we did the only thing we knew how to do: get to a viewpoint. The best viewpoint in town that’s easily accessible is Cerro Campanario.
There are many ways to reach the top of this hill, and I’m ready to give you everything you need to know before visiting!
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What is Cerro Campanario?
Cerro Campaanario (or Campanario Hill) is a peak that offers 360 views across all of Bariloche. The top of this hill can be reached either by hiking or by taking a chair lift.
I’m sure you already know which option we chose to do but honestly, the chair lift didn’t look too bad!
Where is Cerro Campanario?
If you’re one to walk everywhere, it’ll take a little less than four hours to reach it.
How to Get to Cerro Campanario
Getting here is rather straightforward, and that’s one of the things I love about Bariloche. We’re not the ones to rent cars normally, so a good public transport system is always nice to have.
Using the Bus System in Bariloche
In a lot of the major cities in Argentina, like Buenos Aires and Bariloche, they use something called a SUBE card. This is for public transportation.
You can’t simply get on the bus and pay the driver. We had to go to a store, purchase a SUBE card, and add money to it.
In order to purchase a SUBE card, go to a Kiosco or anywhere where you see a sticker on the window.
The rides are very cheap and affordable. Once you get on the bus, scan the pass and look for your stop. Look out for either bus number 10 or 20. Ask for Cerro Campanario.
Getting a rental car in Bariloche is one of the best ways to get around. It will give you access to more hikes and decrease the wait times for the bus.
There were a couple of instances where we had to either take a taxi or an Uber in Bariloche. Uber works perfectly fine, but it’s technically illegal, so don’t be weirded out if they ask you to sit up front.
Things to Know Before Hiking Cerro Campanario
Getting to the top of Cerro Campanario is straightforward for most, but there are still some details that are worth noting. If you have any other questions, leave a comment!
Things to Bring
Depending on what time of year you visit, you’ll want to bring layers of clothes. We visited in late November/early December. It was warm in the sun but extremely chilly in the shade and at night. Here are some other things I suggest bringing as well.
Chair Lift Cost
Taking the chair lift to the top of Cerro Campanario is what most people do, and I don’t blame them! It’s a beautiful view throughout. With the current inflation in Argentina, prices will vary.
The most recent pricing I can find (February 2024) was $7k pesos for adults and $4k pesos for children.
When you reach the top, they’ll take a photo of you; if you want, you can purchase it.
Is the Hike to Cerro Campanario Difficult?
The hike to Campanario Hill is short but steep. With that being said, I don’t think it’s too difficult. You can take as many breaks as you want, and you’ll still arrive at the top in decent time.
We saw many different fitness levels during our time hiking to the top.
Hiking Details for Cerro Campanario
- Distance: This hike is a 1.4-mile out-and-back hike.
- Duration: On average, it will take people 1 hour to go up and a little bit longer to go back down.
- Difficulty: I’d rank this hike as moderate because of the increased elevation gain throughout but also with it being short.
- Incline: The elevation for this hike is around 711 feet or 217 meters.
- Hiking Guide: A guide is not needed for this hike and is easily accessible by the public
Best Places to Stay in Bariloche
- Portales de la Patagonia Apartments: Looking for a place that feels like home? This apartment complex has everything you need to make your trip to Bariloche great.
- Charming Luxury Lodge & Private Spa: If you want to make your trip to Argentina special, there’s no better place than this charming luxury spa!
- Cinerama Hostel: If you need a cheap but nice hostel in Bariloche, I highly recommend Cinerama. It’s right in the city center and comes with free breakfast!
My Experience Hiking Cerro Campanario
Getting to and from Campanario Hill was more amazing than I ever thought it’d be. Even the ride there was an adventure of its own.
If you take the bus, be sure to sit on the right side by the window for the best views.
Taking the Bus Near Mitre Street
After getting our SUBE card from a Kiosco, we headed around the corner to the main bus stop on San Martin Street.
The bus that takes you to the trailhead is either 10 or 20. There are a lot of these buses, so don’t feel like you’ve missed it if you see one.
The pure kindness of the locals here was amazing to see. Multiple times, someone came on the bus, and others offered to pay for them. It isn’t a lot, but it’s a nice gesture to see while traveling the world full-time.
It can get crowded, so be ready to stand up a lot if necessary.
Hiking Up with Views
The hike itself to the top was a steady incline through the forest surrounding the mountain. There weren’t a ton of opportunities for views, but it was short, so that wasn’t much of an issue.
There were moments when the mountains would peak through the trees, and I knew the top was going to be good.
Enjoying a Beer at the Top
Once we reached the top of Campanario Hill, we first took a lot of pictures. I never wanted to stop. It was so beautiful up there. The weather was perfect.
There’s a small restaurant/bar at the top where you can enjoy some food and look at the views. So we couldn’t help ourselves and grabbed a beer.
It was so good that I forgot to take a picture of it. We ended up going outside to the front and sitting on the bench. The sun felt good, and people kept getting yelled at for flying their drones. It was great!
Final Thoughts About Hiking Cerro Campanario
It might be a touristy thing to do in Bariloche, but I couldn’t recommend it more. It’s the perfect entry hike to the region. It’s short, slightly challenging, and offers some of the best views in the area. And if you don’t like to hike, there’s a scenic chair lift! There’s really no reason not to visit Cerro Campanario.