Because of Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi, Bariloche is the base for outdoor activities ranging from fishing, hiking, and climbing to mountain biking, horseback riding, white-water rafting and kayaking, and skiing.
Mid-November–mid-April, the entire region is a fishing enthusiast’s paradise for its lakes (where trolling is the rule) and streams (for fly-fishing). The Club de Caza y Pesca (Costanera 12 de Octubre and Onelli, tel. 02944/42-1515, www.apcnh.com) is a good information source. For rental gear, try Baruzzi Fly Shop (Urquiza 250, tel. 02944/42-4922) or Martín Pescador (Rolando 257, tel. 02944/42-2275, martinpescador [at] bariloche [dot] com [dot] ar).
Non-Argentines can purchase licenses at the APN’s Intendencia on the Centro Cívico for US$20 per day, US$66 per week, or US$92 per season; there are additional charges for trolling permits.
The APN can provide hiking and climbing information, but the best source is the Club Andino Bariloche (20 de Febrero 30, tel. 02944/42-2266, www.clubandino.org), which also organizes excursions and sells trail maps.
Bariloche’s roads, both paved and gravel, and many wide trails make cycling an attractive option. Mountain-bike rental, with gloves and helmet, costs about US$15 per day.
Dirty Bikes (Eduardo O’Connor 681, tel. 02944/42-5616, www.dirtybikes.com.ar) rents bikes and also offers half-day to multiday excursions that include other activities as well. Bariloche Bike’s (Moreno 520, tel. 02944/42-4657) also rents bikes and gear. Bike Cordillera (Avenida Bustillo Km 18.6, tel. 02944/53-4828, www.cordillerabike.com) starts its tours beyond the busiest, narrowest sector of the Circuito Chico. Bike Way (Moreno 237, tel. 02944/45-6571, www.bikeway.com.ar) has similar offerings and longer trips.
Local horseback-riding trips can last from two hours (about US$15) to a full day (US$35–50 with lunch), with multiday excursions also possible. The main operators are Cabalgatas Carol Jones (Modesta Victoria 5600, tel. 02944/42-6508, www.caroljones.com.ar) and Estancia Fortín Chacabuco (tel. 02944/15-55-4148, www.estanciaspatagonicas.com).
For rafting and kayaking, the Río Limay is a half-day Class II float through agreeable scenery east of Bariloche. The more challenging Río Manso, midway between Bariloche and El Bolsón to the south, is a full-day, mostly Class III descent (around US$70 pp) with some taxing Class IV rapids on multiday trips.
River operators include Aguas Blancas (Morales 564, tel. 02944/43-2799, www.aguasblancas.com.ar), Extremo Sur (Morales 765, tel. 02944/42-7301, www.extremosur.com), and Huala Turismo Aventura (San Martín 66, tel. 02944/52-2438, www.patagoniarafting.com).
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Argentina, 3rd edition