Bariloche ’s single most popular excursion leads west on Avenida Bustillo to Península Llao Llao and returns via the hamlet of Colonia Suiza, at the foot of Cerro López. En route, it passes or touches several points of interest; public buses will pick up and drop off passengers almost anywhere, and it’s also popular with cyclists.
For exceptional panoramas of Nahuel Huapi  and surroundings, take the Aerosilla Campanario (Avenida Bustillo Km 17.5, tel. 02944/42-7274, US$7 pp) to the 1,050-meter summit of Cerro Campanario. The chairlift operates 9 a.m.–5:30 p.m. daily, as does the restaurant-confitería at the summit.
The bus-boat “Cruce de Lagos” to Chile starts at Puerto Pañuelo, but excursions to Isla Victoria and Parque Nacional Los Arrayanes  (across the lake) also leave from here. The outstanding cultural landmark is the Hotel Llao Llao (Avenida Bustillo Km 25, tel. 02944/44-8530, www.llaollao.com ), a Bustillo creation open to nonguests for guided tours (free of charge, except for parking).
Almost immediately west of Puerto Pañuelo, a level footpath from the parking area leads southwest to an arrayán forest in Parque Municipal Llao Llao; the trail rejoins the paved road at Lago Escondido. The road itself passes a trailhead for Cerro Llao Llao, a short but stiff climb that offers fine panoramas of Nahuel Huapi and the Andean crest.
On the descent, the trail joins a gravel road that rejoins the paved road from Puerto Pañuelo, which leads south before looping northeast toward Bariloche; a gravel alternative heads east to Colonia Suiza, known for its Sunday crafts fair (in summer also on Wednesday). There is also a regular Sunday curanto (a mixture of beef, lamb, pork, chicken, sausage, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and other vegetables, baked on heated earth-covered stones) and a spectacular assortment of sweets and desserts.
On any day, try the regional menu at Fundo Colonia Suizo (tel. 02944/15-63-7539, www.fundocoloniasuiza.com.ar ), which is open noon–7:30 p.m. daily. The individual tabla of smoked venison, pork, trout, salami, and cheese (US$9) is an unusual practice—most restaurants have a two-person minimum—and one that’s very welcome.
From Colonia Suiza, a zigzag dirt road suitable for mountain bikes climbs toward the Club Andino’s Refugio López, 1,620 meters above sea level; near the junction of the paved and gravel roads, a steep footpath climbs 2.5 hours to the refugio, open mid-December–mid-April.
For most of the way, the route is obvious, but where it seems to disappear into a grove of lengas it actually climbs steeply to the left, brushing the dirt road, before continuing toward the refugio. In fact, it’s much simpler if a little longer to walk the upper sections along the private 4WD road (in any event, the last kilometer or so is on the road itself).
From Refugio López, a good place to take a break and a beer, the route climbs to Cerro Turista, a strenuous scramble over rugged volcanic terrain. With an early start, it’s possible to reach the 2,076-meter summit of Cerro López.
Many Bariloche agencies offer the Circuito Chico as a half-day tour (about US$10 pp), but it’s also possible (and cheaper) on public transportation: For most of the day, from the corner of San Martín and Pagano in Bariloche, Ómnibus 3 de Mayo’s (tel. 02944/42-5648) No. 20 bus goes every 20 minutes to Llao Llao and Puerto Pañuelo, which is also the final destination of some of its seven Nos. 10 and 11 buses via Colonia Suiza on the Circuito Chico route through Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi, but through the night it’s only every hour or so.