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A Complete Guide for Doing Circuito Chico in Bariloche

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Circuito Chico in Bariloche is the top area to explore in this Patagonian paradise. But how do you get around, and what are all of the things to do around Circuito Chico?

When researching ourselves, we were extremely overwhelmed, and truly didn't know what to expect! That's why we spent a full day exploring all that Circuito Chico has to offer, and gathering all the info for you.

In this complete guide we'll cover the top things to do in Circuito Chico, Bariloche, with a mix of hikes, eating. drinking, shopping and more! Let's dive right into this stunning area of San Carlos de Bariloche in Patagonia.

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Where is Circuito Chico in Bariloche?

Circuito Chico is located about 20 km west of the city center of San Carlos de Bariloche. It takes around a half hour to get to this area, and can vary a bit depending on how much traffic there is leaving the city.

Where is Circuito Chico in Bariloche

Circuito Chico is the yellow circular route highlighted on the map.

How Do You Do the Circuito Chico in Bariloche?

Circuito Chico in Bariloche is one road that has various activities right off the side of it. It can actually be explored in a number of ways! Here are the different ways to do the Circuito Chico in Bariloche.

Driving Circuito Chico in Bariloche

Whenever exploring new areas, especially with a lot of nature, we always opt to rent a car. This is a great way to do Circuito Chico because it allows for a ton of flexibility.

The road is well paved, and any car can easily navigate along it. Also, all of the different points of interest have free parking lots, making it affordable and stress-free. Renting a car is great as well in case the weather starts to act up.

driving Circuito Chico in Bariloche

Renting a car is an easy way to explore Circuito Chico in Bariloche.

Rent a Car in Bariloche:

Cycling Circuito Chico in Bariloche

The most popular way to do Circuito Chico is actually by bike! Being that everything is just a few minutes from each other, and that the roads are well-paved, it doesn't require an intense level of cycling, and can be done by virtually anyone.

Driving Circuito Chico in Bariloche

The roads are paved making cycling a great way to experience Circuito Chico.

Walking Circuito Chico in Bariloche

One of the things that we noticed in Circuito Chico is that a few of the trails are one-way, meaning that if you walk you actually could be saving time in certain areas!

For example, Sendero de los Arrayanes starts at one part of the circuit. and ends at another. If you drive, you'll have to walk the trail and then walk right back. But if you walk, you only have to complete the trail one way.

Check below for the route that we did for Sendero de los Arrayanes:

Sendero Los Arrayanes in Bariloche

The walking trail starts and finishes along the highway.

After doing the trail we realized that it had ended right back on the highway. However, our car was at the start. We met a couple who wanted to walk along the highway back, but the reality is that taking the trail was much shorter than going along the highway.

This doesn't necessarily apply for all of the trails, but there are a couple of different areas where this happens.

Is There a Bus to Circuito Chico in Bariloche?

Walking the entire trail of Circuito Chico in Bariloche would certainly take a lot of time. There aren't a ton of bus stops around Circuito Chico, but you can take a bus to Llao Llao, and then walk the other parts, or hitch hike along the way.

Where Does Circuito Chico Start/End?

Circuito Chico starts and finishes in the same location, which is at the circle of Avenida Exequiel Bustillo and Route 77. If you'd like to find this on Google Maps, you can simply plug in Circuito Chico Adventure, which is a bike rental service at the entrance of Circuito Chico in Bariloche.

You can start either way whether you decide to do the loop clockwise or counter clockwise. We decided to start going counter clockwise, as the restaurants and breweries we wanted to hit we chose to do in the afternoon. To start counter clockwise, you'll want to fork to the right when you get to the circle.

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Things to Do in Circuito Chico, Bariloche

So now that you know how to do Circuito Chico in Bariloche, let's check out what there is actually to do and see in the area!

Don't have time to read the whole article and want to save it for later? Just pin it!

Circuito Chico in Bariloche Pin
Circuito Chico in Bariloche Pin
Circuito Chico in Bariloche Pin

Parroquia San Eduardo

This was our first stop along Circuito Chico in Bariloche. Parroquia San Eduardo is an adorable wooden church just off the side of the road. Park in the back and take the entrance from the front, or if you're biking or walking you can simply walk up the steps right in front of the church.

Parroquia San Eduardo, Circuito Chico in Bariloche
Parroquia San Eduardo, Circuito Chico in Bariloche

Not only can you peek inside, but there are a few local vendors selling handmade crafts and chocolate on site, and there are also beautiful views from the side of the church that you can see below.

SYM Circuito Chico in Bariloche

Sendero de los Arrayanes

This is one of the most popular trails along Circuito Chico, and we actually saw an elementary school trip visiting here (which goes to show how simple the trail is).

There are actually two ways that you can access this trail as it starts off the side of the road in one area, and finishes in another. We drove and parked at the start, which is just a few minutes driving from Parroquia San Eduardo. The whole trail claims to be an hour each way. Most people did it in 40 minutes each way, and we did it with a bit of a faster pace in just 30 minutes each way.

Sendero los Arrayanes, Circuito Chico in Bariloche
Sendero los Arrayanes, Circuito Chico in Bariloche
Sendero los Arrayanes, Circuito Chico in Bariloche
Sendero los Arrayanes, Circuito Chico in Bariloche

You can see a few different highlights along Sendero los Arrayanes.

Arrayanes Tree Circuit

After 10 minutes you'll come across a large wooden bench carved from one of the Arrayanes trees, and a small circuit of wooden planks that circles through more of the beautiful Arrayanes (it only takes a minute to walk the circuit).

Bosque de los Arrayanes, Circuito Chico

Mirador Lago Moreno

The trail will continue along the side of Moreno Lake (Lago Moreno), and after another 15 minutes you'll reach the Mirador (aka viewpoint). Here you'll find a couple of benches with a table, and some stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains.

Sendero los Arrayanes, Circuito Chico in Bariloche

The view of the lake is the best part of the circuit.

Lago Moreno Picnic Area

Right after the viewpoint, just a minute later you'll find a picnic area. This is another pretty viewpoint of the lake, and an area to relax and enjoy the views. Keep in mind you cannot build a fire here!

After this, the trail continues for another 5 minutes. However, we suggest just turning around, as it just finishes right at the other end of the highway. If you're only interested in the viewpoint, you can simply go to the end of the trail, park on the side of the road, and then walk the five minutes to the viewpoint.

If you'd like to see both the trees and viewpoint, but would like to save the 15 minute walk there are back from Los Arrayanes, you can just walk to the tree trail and back, and then drive to the end of the trail for the viewpoint. We personally liked the walk, but can understand why some people would prefer to just drive to the two ends to see these highlights.

Los Arrayanes National Park

Not to be confused with the trail, this is actually a full national park full of Arrayanes trees! While it's not along Circuito Chico itself, the excursion that visits there departs from Circuito Chico. This is actually a full day boat tour, which stops in two different places for you to explore. We'll be sharing a full article soon about the tour to Los Arrayanes National Park, so stay tuned!

Los Arrayanes National Park in Bariloche
Los Arrayanes National Park in Bariloche
Los Arrayanes National Park in Bariloche

Los Arrayanes National Park is a great day trip from Bariloche.

Cerro Llao Llao

In our opinion this is definitely one of the best things to do in Bariloche! Cerro Llao Llao is a trail that boats stunning views of the lake and mountains around it, and is one of the most underrated spots in the area.

The trail claims to be an hour and 20 minutes each way, but like every other trail, we found it to be much shorter (this happened quite often with the trails in Bariloche).

Cerro Llao Llao, Circuito Chico in Bariloche

Cerro Llao Llao has one of the best views along Circuito Chico in Bariloche.

After the first 20 minutes you'll reach a fork, where you can go right to Playa Tacul, or go left to Cerro Llao Llao.

Mirador Lago Nahuel Huapi

Now the trail will start to incline more, and after another 15-20 minutes of walking you'll find the views starting to open up. There are some large grey rocks, where you can take a see and enjoy the view. When we got to this point we actually found a girl who told us that the top was just another 3 minute walk, but that she preferred that view.

Cerro Llao Llao, Circuito Chico in Bariloche

Cerro Llao Llao Viewpoint

After a couple minutes of walking we found a colorfully painted cabin with a telephone pole (we think this is what she meant). However, we continued along the trail and in another 5 minutes or so we reached Cerro Llao Llao, which you can see in the photos below. We went for sunrise, but we actually realized that it may have been a better choice to do this particular trail during sunset (it seems the sun rose in the opposite direction).

You'll know you reached the end when you see a sign that tells you that the trail has finished. Go to the right, and this is the view that you'll see:

Cerro Llao Llao, Circuito Chico in Bariloche
Cerro Llao Llao, Circuito Chico in Bariloche

The hike back down took us about 30-35 minutes with a fast pace, and would probably take most people 40-45 minutes. All in all, expect to spend close to 2 hours between stops, pictures, and soaking up the views from the two different locations.

Cerro Llao Llao, Circuito Chico in Bariloche

Puente Romano

If you're limited on time, then this is certainly not a "must". However, we visited here, combining it with Muelle Lago Escondido, which only added 15 minutes to our walk.

First you'll want to park in the lot for "Senderos Puente Romano 7 Lago Escondido". When you reach the fork, you'll just turn to your right.

Puente Romano, Circuito Chico in Bariloche
Puente Romano, Circuito Chico in Bariloche
Puente Romano, Circuito Chico in Bariloche

Puente Romano isn't a huge highlight, but just a short detour.

Mirador Tacul

You can also continue the trail after the bridge, and go to Mirador Tacul, which we didn't realize until after we already got back. (This would probably tack on another 15-20 minutes going there and back).

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Muelle Lago Escondido

In order to visit here, you'll also want to park at the same lot as that for Puente Romano. While you'll fork to the right for Puente Romano, if you take the fork to the left you'll arrive at Muelle Lago Escondido in a little under 10 minutes (it took us 7).

It's a simple pier, but it has beautiful views of lake Escondido, and the grand mountain as its backdrop.

Pier in Circuito Chico, Bariloche

Mirador Bahia Lopez/ Bahia de los Troncos

This can also be accessed by the same trail at Puente Romano and Muelle Lago Escondido, or can be driven to straight from the highway. 

Mirador Bahia Lopez/ Bahia de los Troncos is just another 10 minutes further down the trail from Muelle Lago Escondido, and when you arrive to the sign below, you'll turn right to find the small loop which will lead you to these next areas.

The small loop leads to two different beaches along the lake. While camping is not allowed, ironically we found a bunch of tents make out of branches from the surrounding trees. The beaches are right next to each other, and it won't make any difference if you decide to take the path to the left or to the right (they end up connecting).

Circuito Chico in Bariloche
Circuito Chico in Bariloche
Circuito Chico in Bariloche

Sendero Brazo Tristeza

This was our final hike of the day doing the Circuito Chico in Bariloche, and it was so beautiful! The parking lot is located right next to the hotel, and you can access the trail from either the beach, or from right next to the playground. 

Fall colors of Brazo Tristeza, Circuito Chico in Bariloche

As we visited in the fall, we were able to really appreciate the fall colors here. After just 20 minutes of walking you'll be able to reach the gorgeous turquoise waters that lie around the rocky landscape. We were told that the path goes further, but when we took the trail to the left it started to look quite dangerous, and the sun was starting to set. So we flew our drone to capture the beautiful area from above.

We suggest double-checking with a local, so that you can safely explore the area. From what we experienced though, it was a short trail with rewarding views, and it was on the easier side.

Brazo Tristeza, Circuito Chico in Bariloche

This view took just 20 minutes to get to.

Cerveceria Patagonia

One of the country's most popular beers comes from this very brewery! What started as a small project, has blown up and become one of the most successful beer companies in the country. Not only is it a must to try their beer, but the entire brewery is an experience in itself. 

You'll find an outdoor gallery of features from local photographers, a large picnic-style area, and local food and specialty craft beers served. Cervecería Patagonia was one of our favorite places to visit, and made for the perfect end of our adventures through Circuito Chico.

Patagonia brewery, Bariloche
Patagonia brewery, Bariloche
Patagonia brewery, Bariloche
Patagonia brewery, Bariloche

Bariloche has the original Patagonia brewery.

Restaurante Punto Panoramico

If you're looking for another great place to eat and have a drink, then don't miss out on Restaurante Punto Panoramico. They have delicious locally-sourced dishes, a cozy fireplace, and some gorgeous views of the Circuito Chico in Bariloche.

Punto Panoramico, Circuito Chico in Bariloche
Punto Panoramico, Circuito Chico in Bariloche
Punto Panoramico, Circuito Chico in Bariloche
Punto Panoramico, Circuito Chico in Bariloche

One of the most fun things to do in Paraty is to visit a Cachacaria.

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Llao Llao Hotel & Resort

This has to be the most iconic hotel in Bariloche, and for a good reason! This resort is one of the most gorgeous hotels we have ever seen. From its beautiful restaurant, to the boutique shops, and vast gardens, you could easily spend a full day at Llao Llao Hotel & Resort.

Llao Llao Hotel & Resort, Circuito Chico in Bariloche

This place is pricey, but certainly worth the splurge if your budget can take it. If not, you could also request to simply dine with them, which will allow you to experience the location, and have a great meal with views of the stunning property.

Llao Llao Hotel & Resort, Circuito Chico in Bariloche
Llao Llao Hotel & Resort, Circuito Chico in Bariloche
Llao Llao Hotel & Resort, Circuito Chico in Bariloche
Llao Llao Hotel & Resort, Circuito Chico in Bariloche

Llao Llao Hotel & Resort is one of the most famous hotels in Bariloche.

Hotel Amancay

We stopped by this hotel because we were looking for a breakfast spot. With a giant room of tall windows, the views of the lake from here were simply stunning. There is a large outdoor balcony from the dining room where you can also enjoy the views from above the lake, making it a true hidden gem.

Hotel Amancy, Circuito Chico in Bariloche

We went in and tried their medialunas, which were so tasty! We later found out that you do in fact have to be staying there, even though Google recognizes it as a regular restaurant. 

We highly recommend staying a night at Hotel Amancay, so that you can experience this stunning location, and their delicious medialunas.

Bonus: Colonia Suiza

While this isn't located technically along Circuito Chico in Bariloche, it is just a couple of minutes off the main circuit.

Colonia Suiza is a swiss-inspired area that has a few different local markets, restaurants, and chocolate shops. The adorable kiosks are surrounded by colorfully painted and log cabin style buildings, quirky artwork, and stunning nature.

Colonia Suiza is great for shopping for local souvenirs, grabbing a bite to eat at one of the many food truck-style kiosks, or having a hot cup of hot chocolate in Abuela Goye.

Colonia Suiza in Bariloche

Note: Many shops and eateries are only open on Sundays and Wednesdays, so try to visit one of those days!

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How Long Does Circuito Chico Take?

Depending on how much you want to do, and how you do Circuito Chico, will depend on how long it takes. If you plan on doing several hikes, you'll probably spend a full day covering all there is to do. We started at 7:30 am (an hour before sunrise), and finished at 8:00 pm (a half hour after sunset).

In that amount of time we did 4 trails, a few viewpoints, and stopped for breakfast, lunch, and had a beer at the Patagonia Brewery. We're not going to lie, it was an exhausting day, and we walked over 20 km. For those that want to explore at a slower pace, we suggest spending one day stopping at fewer places, or dedicating two days to exploring Circuito Chico in Bariloche.

If you only have one day, you can certainly hit a ton of spots! To drive the entire circuit straight it only takes a little over a half hour. Every few minutes there is something to see or experience, but you can easily stop and enjoy the viewpoints in just a few hours if you're not into hiking a ton.

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How to Prepare For Circuito Chico in Bariloche

Circuito Chico in Bariloche is full of adventure! You'll want to be prepared for various weather conditions, as well as different activity levels. Here are some of the things we suggest bringing with you:

  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Hiking boots or sneakers
  • Layers/light jacket (it can quickly get cold, especially at the top of the hikes)
  • Umbrella or poncho (in case it starts to rain)
  • Power Bank (we use Anker power banks, as they are long lasting and sturdy)
  • Towel or small blanket (so you can relax on one of the beaches or viewpoints)
  • Snacks for the hikes
  • Small backpack (take a look at our favorite backpacks for travelers!)
  • Reusable Water Bottle (we use this water bottle from Cafago because it holds the temperature)
  • Drone for different perspectives (We use the Mavic Mini Pro 3 because it's super light and doesn't sacrifice quality)
  • Bathing suit (if you dare to dip in the ice cold waters!)

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Tips For Doing Circuito Chico in Bariloche

  • Don't forget snacks and plenty of water
  • Start early to escape the crowds and get great lighting
  • Spend a night along the Circuito Chico so you can fully experience it.
  • Give yourself flexibility with your schedule as weather plays a large factor enjoying the area.
  • Prepare for all types of weather by bringing several layers.
  • Fully charge your phone and camera, as you'll be taking a lot of photos and videos!
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So are you ready to experience the Circuito Chico in Bariloche? We definitely think this is one of the best things to do in Bariloche, and is a great way to experience the gorgeous landscapes of the area. Stay tuned for our full guide for Bariloche coming up! You can get the latest updates by subscribing to our newsletter (plus you'll get exclusive discounts on our shop!).

Want to discover more gorgeous places in Patagonia and the rest of Argentina? Check out the other Argentinian travel guides that we have to offer, and let us know if you'd like us to share any other area!

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