Hiking at Parque Llao Llao – Bariloche, Argentina

We fell in love with Bariloche the second we stepped foot in this lakeside city. While we really enjoyed exploring the city itself, it was the surrounding mountains, pristine lakes and beaches, and amazing forests that had us truly in awe.

If you enjoy hiking, we definitely recommend heading just outside Bariloche to explore Parque Llao Llao and experience the stunning landscape in the area. There are several trails and sights in the park, but this post will focus on the beautiful loop we hiked.

Panoramic views from Cerro Llao Llao
Panoramic views from Cerro Llao Llao

Getting to Parque Llao Llao

Llao Llao sits about 40 minutes northwest of Bariloche. If you have your own rental car, it is easy to drive and find parking around the lodge, port, and trailhead.

The park is also easily accessed by public bus. Take bus 20 which will drop you off just near Puerto Pañuelo. Once at the port, continue walking down Circuito Chico (77) past the Arrayanes trailhead until you reach the trailhead for Cerro Llao Llao. Check here for bus routes and rough schedules and see the map below with more details.

Note that if you choose to ride the bus, you will need a SUBE card preloaded with money. How much you need on the card depends on your destination. There are various kioskos around Bariloche to purchase one and load it. There are also now supposedly ways to manage your SUBE card balance through an app. Learn more about using the card here.

When we visited Argentina, both the card and the trip to Llao Llao cost only several USD. We purchased our SUBE card in Buenos Aires, so make sure you keep yours if you plan to travel to other spots that use this transport system in Argentina! We loaded one card for the both of us.

Map of bus routes, hiking trails, viewpoints, etc.
Map of bus routes, hiking trails, viewpoints, etc.

Exploring Llao Llao

Hike Overview:

Hike Type: Easy loop

Distance: 6-7 miles (9.7-11.3 kilometers) total – depending on the miradors you visit and exploring you do around them.

Duration: 3-4 hours – plus more if you decide to swim, picnic, etc.

Regulations: Respect private property boundaries. Pets are not permitted. Area is for day use only.

Matt at the Cerro Llao Llao viewpoint

Our Hike Through the Park:

We began our adventure to the park fairly early, and the area around the Llao Llao Resort and Puerto Pañuelo was quiet. Upon reaching the trailhead, we entered the peaceful woods on a maintained dirt path. We were excited to see all the beauty this park has to offer!

Cerro Llao Llao

The first stop on our adventure was Cerro Llao Llao. This peak is the tallest in the park, so the views from the top are amazing!

We strolled through the woods, eventually reaching a turnoff on the left marking the path up Cerro Llao Llao. The trail had been fairly flat until this point. Here, it narrowed and became a bit rockier as we made our way up the hillside. While we climbed, we were able to see glimpses of the surrounding peaks and lakes below. The morning mist over the water had just begun to dissipate.

Far below the forest treetops
Far below the forest treetops

After hiking up about 20 minutes from the base of the hill, we reached the top. The views of Lago Nahuel Huapi and the surrounding mountains were stunning! And best of all, we had the spot to ourselves on that early morning in May.

We admired the view for a while before heading back down the hill the way we came. From here, you can return to the trailhead or continue on.

Views of rugged peaks can be seen all around Parque Llao Llao
Views of rugged peaks can be seen all around

Villa Tacul & Puente Romano

We continued towards Villa Tacul. The path through the woods soon met a road that we followed a short ways before turning off towards Mirador Tacul. The trails were fairly well marked, we had downloaded Google Maps, and we carried the map (featured above) to help along the way.

This path brings you down to the water. In May, it was a bit chilly, but we imagine this inlet would be a lovely spot to take a dip on a warm summer day.

Fog lifting from the surface of the lake
Fog lifting from the surface of the lake

From Villa Tacul, we followed the trail back inland towards Puente Romano. This is an old bridge built back in the 1930s. Moss has grown on the old stone and the structure is surrounded by dense, lush vegetation.

Walking over Puente Romano
Walking over Puente Romano

Lago Escondido & Lago Moreno

From Puente Romano, the trail leads through the woods along the road until you come to Lago Escondido. This lake is much smaller than the many other bodies of water in the area, but the view from the little dock was beautiful nonetheless.

Looking out over Lago Escondido
Looking out over Lago Escondido

Hikers can continue along the road from Lago Escondido to Bahia de los Troncos and Bahia López. However, we headed out to the road and followed it back towards Mirador del Moreno. The trail leaves the road again, skirting along the shores of Lago Moreno. The lake is absolutely beautiful with blue water, mountain vistas, and many little rock outcroppings to hang out on. We stopped to enjoy our packed lunch and relax along the water.

Lago Moreno
Lago Moreno

Bosque de Arrayanes

The last stop on our loop was the Bosque de Arrayanes. This small detour off the main trail took us on a wooden boardwalk through a small forest of Arrayan trees. The trees looked like something out of a fairytale with their unique shapes and orange bark.

After the short walk through Bosque de Arrayanes, we made our way back to Circuito Chico and followed the road back to the port area to catch the bus back to Bariloche.

Unique trees along the Arrayanes trail
Unique trees along the Arrayanes trail

What to Bring to Hike at Parque Llao Llao

SUBE Card: Make sure you have your preloaded SUBE card if you plan to ride the bus.

Water: To stay hydrated while you hike.

Sturdy Shoes: Wear shoes that are comfortable and that can handle some rocky sections of trail and potential muddy spots.

Mini First Aid Kit: Another just-in-case item we always like to bring on hikes.

Camera: You’ll definitely want to snap some photos of the beautiful landscape!

Food: We brought a packed lunch (sandwiches and snacks) to enjoy by the lake. If you don’t bring a full lunch, bring a few snacks if desired.

Swimsuit & Towel: If you’re there in the summer, you may want to take a dip.

Layers: Even in the summer, it can be chilly, especially with those notorious Patagonia winds. In the winter, heavier jackets may be necessary. A beanie and gloves are good to pack in the winter as well.

Sun Protection: Most of the trail is well shaded, but bring sunglasses, a hat, and/or sunscreen if you plan to spend time on the shores of the lakes.

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