El Bolsón: o que fazer na vila hippie perto de Bariloche

El Bolsón: what to do in the hippie village near Bariloche

South America

If one day everything goes wrong and I have to become a hippie, it is in El Bolsón that I will live. I made this decision at the time when I sat in a wall of the main square of the city, holding a glass of craft beer in one hand and a portion of French fries in another, my lunch bought at the fair set up there.

To convince you of the same, I put together this smart guide with everything I do in El Bolsón and because so many people leave everything to live there. But you do not need to open a brewery or sell art made with what nature gives, just spend a day in this small hippie village near Bariloche to fall in love with it.

Then stop winding and come with me to find out what to do in El Bolsón!

How to get from Bariloche to El Bolsón Argentina

By bus: Buses to El Bolsón leave from the bus station of Bariloche several times a day and the journey there is amazing. The trip lasts two hours and costs about R$ 50.

With tourism agencies: several companies take a full-day guided tour to El Bolsón, with regular departures from Bariloche. The tours usually start around 8am and go until the end of the afternoon. In general, they also include the village of “Lago Puelo” and the “Lake Puelo” National Park.

In this link here you can hire a guided day tour from Bariloche, in advance and without stress, for only US$ 47.

See also:
What to do in Bariloche: tips of attractions
Where to stay in Bariloche, hotel tips

Things to Do in El Bolsón: The Top Attractions

  • Trails in the mountains
  • mountain bike
  • rafting
  • rides rides with sl
  • Skiing on Cerro Perito Moreno (in winter only)
  • Guided tour in the breweries
  • Visit the Feirinha of El Bolsón

Located 120 kilometers from Bariloche, El Bolsón is a friendly little town surrounded by two mountain ranges that in the 1970s began to attract people from hippie humans.

They gave the site a little more charm and colorful and created the attractions necessary for El Bolsón to enter the backpacking route of Argentina without being contaminated by the tourist frenzy of the nearby Bariloche. This is a place to contemplate nature, eat good food and forget that there is time and a world out there.

Vista da vila de El Bolsón, na Patagônia Argentina

Organic feirinha of El Bolsón square

Over time, the city has also developed a vocation for the production of organic food. In the fair of the square, it is possible to buy good organic and vegetarian food, jam, honey, chestnuts, cakes, cheeses, breads, typical delicacies and the sweets that help to make the city famous, all made with products that come directly from the farms of the region, with special emphasis on the cherries and red fruits.

Not to mention the hops. It is estimated that three quarters of the hops produced in Argentina leave El Bolsón. This explains the other interesting vocation of the city: the production of craft beers there is very strong and considered one of the best in the country, to the point that you come across a brewery every few meters. Beer producers also set up their stalls at the fair, which ends up becoming a meeting place for residents and travelers passing by.

Trails in the mountains on the outskirts of the village

The surrounding nature is another factor that attracts tourists and more tourists to the region. The place is full of trails, for weekend hikers and even professional adventurers. If you plan to know this facet of the city, I suggest you go in the summer and schedule to sleep there at least one night.

This is because the bus route to and from Bariloche takes about two hours, which greatly shortens the time available to travel the beautiful paths traced amidst incredible Andean landscapes. In winter it is also possible to make the trails, but some can close because of the snow.

When you arrive, look for the Tourist Service Center. It is close (mean that inside) the square and the staff is super attentive. There you get a map of the region, as well as information about trails and activities, level of difficulty of each of them and security, as well as contacts of tourist guides and hotels.

Hiking is not the only option for those who want to venture: climbing, horseback riding, paragliding, skiing, rafting, mountain biking, spa and lake walks are other options of the menu.

Trilha de montanha em El Bolsón, Argentina

Trekking to El Cajón de Azul

The Cajón del Azul is a gorge formed by the Blue River, which runs between rock walls and dense forests. The name “Cajón del Azul” comes from the impressive turquoise color of the river waters, which contrasts beautifully with the green of the surrounding forest.

The trail starts about 15 km from the center of El Bolsón. You can get to the departure point by car, taxi or even local bus.

The trail is considered to be of moderate difficulty and takes about 2 to 3 hours to complete, depending on your pace. The path is well signposted, but it is always good to take a map or GPS.

Visit to Lake Puelo

Located in the Lake Puelo National Park, this glacial lake is one of the most visited tourist spots in the El Bolsón region. Its crystalline waters vary in shades of blue and green depending on light and angle, and are surrounded by lush mountains and forests.

Lake Puelo is about 17 km from El Bolsón. You can get there by car, taxi or bus. There are also options for organized excursions.

Skiing on Cerro Perito Moreno

Don’t confuse with the famous glacier of the same name; this is a ski center in El Bolsón that offers a more intimate experience compared to other busiest resorts in Patagonia.

Cerro Perito Moreno is a ski and snowboarding centre located about 25 km from El Bolsón. With a maximum altitude of about 2,200 meters, this is a perfect destination for those looking for a quieter and less commercial ski experience.

You can reach Cerro Perito Moreno by car or taxi. During the ski season, there are also transport services that depart from El Bolsón. The centre offers a variety of slopes that cater to all levels, from beginners to advanced skiers. There are areas for freeride and snowboarding.

Guided tour of the breweries of El Bolsón

Anyone who wants to can take a guided tour at one of the breweries or visit them on their own. Some of them only perform the tour for groups and with prior scheduling, but if you knock on the door and ask to enter, there are great chances to let you taste the beers while listening to a brief explanation about the flavors and forms of local production, even if the tours are not available at that time (that's what I did).

Take the opportunity to take home some bottles of your favorites. Some of them also have a bar inside the factories, an alternative if you can’t – or don’t enjoy – visits. One of the most famous and visited by tourists is the El Bolsón Cerveceria.

Itinerary of 1, 5 and 7 days in El Bolsón

Fazendas orgânicas em El Bolsón, Patagônia Argentina

Now see a suggestion of itinerary for a trip back to El Bolsón, from Bariloche, or for those who decide to spend more time there!

Roadmap hit-back (1 day)

  • Morning: Start the day with breakfast at some local coffee. Try some Argentine specialties like medialunas or alfajores. Then head to the city center to visit the famous El Bolsón Handicraft Market.
  • Midday: Take a quick snack or a light lunch and head to the Cajón del Azul trail. This is one of the most popular and takes about 2 hours to reach the destination. It is a walk of moderate difficulty, so be prepared.
  • Afternoon: Arrival at the Cajón del Azul. Take it to take pictures, maybe take a dip if the weather allows, and enjoy nature. Start your way back around 4 p.m. to ensure you return before dark.
  • Night: If you are not going to sleep in the city, take the bus to Bariloche on the return of the trail, around 6 p.m. Otherwise, take a break in your pre-dinner accommodation. The city has several options ranging from Argentine cuisine to vegetarian and vegan options. And, if you still have energy, consider visiting one of the craft breweries to close the night.

Basic Itinerary (3-4 days)

  • Day 1: Arrival and recognition of the city. Visit the center and the craft market.
  • Day 2: Take a shorter trail, like the one that leads to the Cajón del Azul.
  • Day 3: Explore the surroundings, perhaps a visit to Lake Puelo.
  • Day 4 : Take the day off from the trails to visit the breweries and slack at the local brands.

Extended Roadmap (5-7 days)

  • Day 5: Dedicate a day for activities like rafting or fishing if you enjoy.
  • Day 6: Take a longer trail or visit other natural attractions.
  • Day 7: Book to rest in a spa.

Travel insurance to Argentina

Hiring travel insurance is essential, even if it is for countries as close as Argentina. As close as it is to home, it is best to travel protected so as not to suffer from the unforeseen.

The good news is that it is possible to take good travel insurance spending about 10 reais a day. For this, we recommend using a search engine such as the Promo Insurance, which compares the main insurance companies and ensures that you find the best cost-benefit, according to your needs.

In addition, blog readers are entitled to an exclusive discount coupon: 360MERIDIANOS05. See some of the offers below and choose your own:

Where to stay in El Bolsón: accommodation and hotel rates

Most of the hotels and inns of El Bolsón are located in the center, near the main square. Some are a little further apart, amidst the mountains and with beautiful views of the village surroundings.

The city offers options that cater to all tastes and budgets. If you are a luxury lover, there are hotels with all modern amenities, from spas to gourmet restaurants.

For budget travelers or those looking for a more communal vibe, local hostels are a popular choice and often organize activities and excursions. But if you want something closer to nature, there is no shortage of camping and eco-lodges options.

And for those seeking a middle ground, cozy inns and rental homes offer a home away from home. The important thing is to choose a place that aligns with your planned activities and, of course, with your values—especially if you, like me, are looking for more sustainable options.

  • Posada del Buscador: cozy place with beautiful views of the mountains. Daily rates from $50.
  • Hostel La Casita Naranja: colorful and cool hostel, with excellent review among guests. Daily rates from $ 21 to the dormitory.
  • Maktub Hosteria: Modern and renovated Pousada with good location and good prices. Daily rates from $48.
  • Sanctuary Patagonia: Seasonal apartment style container, with parking, kitchen and terrace with mountain views. Daily from $60.
  • Buena Vida Social Club: Mountain Pousada with panoramic views of the mountain range. It has a sla to be with fireplace and wooden decoration. Daily from $100.

Find the best hotels in El Bolsón

What is the best time to visit El Bolsón

El Bolsón can be visited at any time of the year, but the type of activity you will do there very much depending on the weather. See below which one is best for you.

Summer (December to March)

  • Weather : Warmer and warmer, with temperatures that can reach 30oC.
  • Activities : Great for trekking, camping and other outdoor activities.
  • Advantages : Long days to explore the region.
  • Festivals: Summer is the time of several local festivals, including music and art festivals.

Winter (June to September)

  • Climate : Cold, with the possibility of snow.
  • Activities: Winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding are the stars of the season.
  • Advantages : Few fewer tourists, which makes the experience more intimate.

Spring (September to December) and Autumn (March to June)

  • Climate: Moderate, but it can be unpredictable.
  • Activities : Good for trekking and for enjoying the local flora.
  • Advantages: Fewer tourists and generally lower prices than in high season.

How many days to stay in El Bolsón

Most people go back and forth on the same day, making El Bolsón a great tour hit lap for those in Bariloche.

However, if you like hiking or want to ski in the area, consider spending more time there. This is a destination outside the obvious and little explored in Patagonia. See suggestions for scripts up there.

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