Excursions and activities (see activities)

Activities (See the rides)

  1. Visit to the Craft Fair
  2. Horseback Riding
  3. Rafting
  4. Trekking
  5. Paragliding
  6. Cessna Flight
  7. Museum of Birds

Visit to the Craft Fair « Back

The Craft Fair of El Bolsón is one of the main attractions of the town. With more than 50 categories of products, it has a famous reputation for creativity and quality.

Horseback Riding« Back

This is an activity “par excellence” through which the rural character and scenery can be appreciated. There are tourist operators that offer trips of varying difficulty and length. Some of them are: Cabeza del Indio, Mirador del Río Azul, Bosque Tallado, Cascada Escondida, Jardín Botánico, Cerro Amigo and Camino de Los Nogales.

Rafting on the Río Azul and Río Manso « Back

You can hire these services which include food and appropriate equipment at any of the travel agencies in the city.

Trekking to the mountain huts « Back

The various mountain huts to which you can climb to are: Cajón del Azul, Hielo Azul, Motoco, Piltriquitrón, Cerro Lindo, etc. Only the Cajón del Azul and Cerro Piltriquitrón can be considered day trips; other walks require an overnight stay in the hut.

Paragliding « Back

This is one of the best places in the country for paragliding, with tandem flights with an instructor available.

Cessna Flights « Back

From the airport situated in the heart of the town, you can take plane rides, operated by experienced pilots. From the air you can see Cerro Tronador and the snow-capped mountains that separate us from Chile.

Museum of Birds « Back

Visit to the local ornithological museum, and view its recently published book about birds of the patagonian mountains which has been well-received.




Hiking (see activities)

  1. Camino de Los Nogales and Cascada Nahuelpan
  2. Cerro Amigo (low mountain)
  3. Mallín Ahogado Circuit
  4. Cerro Perito Moreno (mountain)
  5. Reserva Forestal Loma del Medio
  6. Cerro Piltriquitrón and Bosque Tallado
  7. National Park Lago Puelo
  8. El Hoyo (town)
  9. National Park Los Alerces
  10. El Maitén and La Trochita (old train)
  11. Río Manso
  12. Cerro Tronador and Cascada Los Alerces (mountain and cascade)

Camino de Los Nogales and Cascada Nahuelpan « Back

This is a 10 km route that takes in the fields of plantations of soft fruit, organic vegetables and hop, dairy products and trout farms. From here you can see the Nahuelpan Waterfall on the slope of the hill Huemules where there are two scenic waterfalls that emerge from the rocks. One can be seen almost completely, while the other is hidden in the cracks. Both of these cascades join in a fast-running stream providing irrigation to all the fields that are in its course. At the base of the waterfall there is a wooden cross and a virgin. From there you can see the mountains: Hielo Azul, Dedo Gordo, Perito Moreno with its ski slopes and Loma del Medio. Returning south, you can see like a great painting, Cerro Tres Picos rising from the base of Lago Puelo.

Cerro Amigo « Back

Also known as Cerro de la Cruz, after the cross constructed on its summit, that can be seen from the town.
It is located 2 km east from the centre of town at the foothills of the Piltriquitrón. This site is one of the natural reserves in the town, so established to protect the cypress forest that covers the hillside. It also preserves other species such as radal, laura, ñire and maitén, shrubs such as michay, maqui, broom and black hawthorn, climbing plants like mutisias, flowers like amancay, lichen, barba del monte, mosses and fungi.
Because of its location on the slopes of Cerro Piltriquitrón it does not receive direct sunlight until evening, which produces a lesser degree of evaporation of rainwater. This gives the hills a feature of moisture that influences biodiversity.
You can reach:
“Mirador Sur”, from there you can see Lago Puelo and its mountain ranges.
“Mirador de la Cruz”, where you can have a panoramic view of the town and Cerro Lindo, Cañadón del Río Raquel and Hielo Azul.
“Mirador Norte” where you can see the area of farms and Camino de Los Nogales, and the access to Rinconada Nahuelpan, Mallín Ahogado, Cerro Perito Moreno and the back of the impressive Cerro Piltriquitrón.

Mallín Ahogado Circuit « Back

On Mallín Ahogado Circuit at km 6.5 you turn left to the road to the Botanical Gardens and Cascada Escondida.
Here you can learn about the different species of the Andean Patagonian forest.
There is a path descending to the base of the waterfall which falls from about 30 mts and is hidden among the forest of Loma del Medio. It is formed by the Arroyo del Medio before flowing into the River Quemquemtreu.
At km 8.7 is the Cascada Mallín Ahogado featuring a 20 mts. high fall. This is created by the Arroyo del Medio and is surrounded by native vegetation; at the bottom of the cascade there is a beautiful deep pool.
From there you can reach the Belenus Theme Forest where you can find fairies, elves and other mysterious creatures that inhabit the native forest. All the sculptures shown form the collection “The Spirit of the Forest” and are original pieces, designed and made by sculptor Ernesto Bertedor with Mariana Ortiz.
At km 13 in the Chacra Iaten k’Aike meaning “where stones live” in the language of the tehuelche, is the Museo de Piedras Patagonicas, consisting of a major private stone collection. This covers all geological profiles of the different areas of Patagonia and has an outdoor area where you can tour the theme park of Patagonian geology and view the exhibits presented on tree trunks and roots in a beautiful setting.

Cerro Perito Moreno « Back

At km 10 you turn left to the road to the winter sport center “Cerro Perito Moreno” located 25 kms from the centre of town.
The base of the mountain is 950 mts above sea level and the summit of the mountain is 2,216 mts high.
It has a T-Bar ski lift (1 km long), two smaller lifts and a ski lodge. The chair lift is under construction.
You can practise conventional activities such as skiing and hiking, snowboarding and hiking with snowshoes.
The Club Andino Piltriquitrón, operates all the activities at the resort, including the ski school during the winter holidays. www.capiltriquitron.com.ar
Lacking the infrastructure of a large winter resort, Cerro Perito Moreno is, however, an ideal place for families.

Reserva Forestal Loma del Medio « Back

Located west of the town, at a distance of 5 kms from the centre, you can visit Mirador del Río Azul. The exceptional views allow you to appreciate the valley of the Río Azul with its crystalline winding waters that flow into Lago Puelo with Cerro Tres Picos in the background, the snowy range to the west and Loma del Medio to the east.
1 km further on the road to the Mirador you reach the Cabeza del Indio.This is a rocky formation to which the carving action of the glaciers have given a human form.To fully appreciate this feature you need to walk about 300 mts from the car park.
On your way back, you come to the junction that leads down to the coast of Río Azul. There is a campsite where you can enjoy nature.

Cerro Piltriquitrón and Bosque Tallado (Mountain and Carved Forest) « Back

This mountain identifies El Bolsón. The “Piltri” as it is commonly called is thought to provide energy and peace.
Visiting El Bolsón and not going to the “Piltri” is like arriving at the lake and not putting your feet in it.
13 kms from the centre of El Bolsón a winding gravel road, takes you to a platform on the mountain, aproximately 1,000 mts high, which is the end of the road for vehicles. On foot it takes about 4 hours from the town.
The site provides a beautiful view of the valley of El Bolsón and is the launch pad for paragliding flights. It is considered one of the best places in the country to practise this sport wich you can experience with a registered instructor in tandem flight. From the car park, the path leads you to the Carved Forest located at 1,400 mts above sea level, a walk wich takes approximately 45 minutes. There are a set of 40 works created by a group of local and national artists on dry fallen trunks of lengas (beech) in the woods. Another 20 minutes walk from the forest takes you to the hut, 1,500 mts high, where you can enjoy refreshments. It is the only refuge in the area that overlooks El Bolsón and the whole valley. You will be able to see Cerro Tronador in the National Park Nahuel Huapi and the volcano Osorno in Chile depending on the weather conditions.
From the mountain hut you can hike to the summit (2 ½ hours) or the top edge Huemul (1 ½ hours).

Lago Puelo National Park « Back

It is only 20 kms from El Bolsón and the National Park is the smallest in the Patagonian Andes. It occupies about 23.700 hectares and is located at 200 mts above sea level. Due to this altitude it has the warmest waters of the area and temperatures reach 35ºC in summer. It is characterized by the presence of ancient alerce trees (or lahuanes), a wide variety of bird species that live there, and for a particular botanical diversity (avellanos, olivillos, ulmos and coihues among others).
At the northern end is the recreation area where, during the summer season, there is an information booth, a cafeteria and restaurant with toilets, and an area for barbecues for everyday use. There are two campsites, with and without amenities and in the resort “La Playita” there is a vehicular camping.
This is an ideal place for nautical activities, sport fishing, bird watching, flora and fauna, hiking, horseback riding or just enjoy the water and beaches.

Mode of access: From the Tourist Information Ofice in El Bolsón take San Martín avenue to the south. When you cross the parallel you are in Chubut province .Continue along the paved route No. 16, cross two roundabouts towards the village of Lago Puelo 18 kms from El Bolsón. 3 kilometers further on you arrive to the National Park.
Once in the park, the road leads directly to the pier, where there is a boat ramp, the Prefectura Naval Argentina office and a bus stop for the buses to and from El Bolsón.

From the pier there two excursions on the lake
-The trip to El Turbio crosses the lake from N to S up to one of the oldest settlements in the area. It is a beautiful valley with beaches, streams and forests that are located on the southern end of the lake. The most striking is the impressive Río Turbio, main tributary of Puelo Lake, which is named after the strange colour of the water given by the clay sediments of the glaciers and extremely cold water. In the background there are two mountains named Cerro Tres Picos (2,500 mts) and Cerro Plataforma due to their characteristic forms. From El Turbio there are paths that lead to the mountains.

The other boat tour (or walk) is towards Los Hitos in the West end of the Park on the border with Chile .There you can hike to the international border along one of the paths used by the first colonists who came from Chile. This was before the day of an official border. Here the lake is narrow and crosses the border as a fast flowing river, that becomes the Lago Inferior on the Chilean side.
From Los Hitos you can continue your trip on foot to places and small villages in Chile (Segundo Corral, Llanada Grande, Río Puelo, Cochamó). These are walks that last several days and must be reported at the Gendarmería before undertaking.
A local travel agency offers an excursion “crossing the Andes by boat” across the rapids, along the international boundary and Inferior Lake.

Along the road leading to the park, 1 km from the pier to the east, there is a road to La Playita. This is the most visited recreation area. With its fine sand, warm water and gentle slope, it is considered the best resort in the region. A climb to the Mirador will take in most of the sights of the park, the lake and its mountains.
You can explore the coastal vegetation by climbing on the rocks or just to enjoy the water and beaches.

The “Bosque de las Sombras” (Forest of the Shadows) is located between the pier and La Playita. It´s a path within a dense forest of pitras, also called pataguas, and you will find signs indicating local species of plants. This type of forest, known as pitranto or pitral, only grows in swampy ground and moderate temperatures, few frosts and heavy rains (up to 1,500 mms per year) and a snowfall of less than 5 cms. During May it is visited by flocks of araucan pigeons that spend winter and spring feeding on the fruits of pitras.

Río Azul delta lies to the west of the pier. It is another ideal place for walks, sunbathing, water sports and fly fishing.

Path “Pitranto Grande”
A delightful walk in wich to enjoy the charms of the the forest. The path begins near the road to the Intendencia (Park Administration office) and ends in La Playita. It can be taken in the opposite direction.
Poplar trees, willows, myrtles, pitras, hip, murra and many more species combined with birds, streams and the sounds of the forest are part of the road that leads to the Pitranto Grande. You cover 1,000 mts between one end and the other and the surface of the path feels like a very soft mattress.

The Old Settlers Path
This can be reached in two ways. One is from the Intendencia (Park Administration Office) and the other along the path that leads to Pitranto Grande. If you choose the second option, you must take the road to La Playita, park your car and walk about 100 mts as far as the fork of the path to Pitranto Grande. Here you will see signs, a small meadow and large poplars. Turn left, cross the fence and the path will take you into the woods across a marshy area. Old treetrunks are used as bridges to cross the river. Then you get to a forest of maple trees and soon you can clearly see the remains of an ancient settlement with gardens and fruit trees. Following the path through native forest you reach an area where a botanical garden of native plants will be built. Later after crossing another marshy area the path joins Pitranto Grande.

El Hoyo « Back

It is a small town 15 kms from El Bolsón, known for its fertile fields.
You can visit:
La Catarata (cascade) the path is 3 kms far from downtown. Walk up 30 minutes through the forest arriving at the top of this fall (90mts) called Corbata Blanca (White tie).
You can appreciate the views of the farms and fields in El Hoyo.
Desemboque: this beach is 12 kms from the town. Here, the river Epuyen flows into Lago Puelo. There is a quiet sandy beach, a forest of pitras and arrayanes and a camping area with fireplaces for barbecues.
Puerto Patriada: a beautiful beach on Lago Epuyen 12 kms away from El Hoyo.

National Park Los Alerces « Back

The northern entrance to the park is 97 kms from El Bolsón (57 kms asphalt and 42 km gravel but it is now being paved)
It is a full day excursion, covering the 100 kms of road through the park from end to end, that can be done in your own car or through a Travel Agency.
You can go on numerous walks and rides along paths and streams in the selva valdiviana (cold rain forest).
It is one of the most beautiful National Parks in the country. The road goes along Lago Rivadavia, LagoVerde, Río Arrayanes and Lago Futalaufquen, and on its southern coast you arrive to Villa Futalaufquen. A few kms further is the southern access to the park.
From Villa Futalaufquen there are 50 kms to Trevelin and Esquel City. You can return to El Bolsón on the paved Route 40, driving through Esquel.

El Maitén and La trochita « Back

From El Maitén, a small town in the Patagonian steppe behind Cerro Piltriquitron, you could take a train trip in the Old Patagonian Express with its original steam engine. It goes to Bruno Thomae, which is an intermediate stopping place 55 kms from the town, and back, on a trip taking 2 hours. The train stops on the bridge over Chubut river where passengers can descend to take pictures of typical Patagonian landscape.
El Maitén is an original railway town whose beginnings are closely linked to the arrival of the train. You can appreciate the houses built with ties and workshops where they still make handmade pieces that are no longer built industrially.
In the Old Patagonian Express Station of La Trochita you will find a complete museum about the life of the railwaymen, examples of machinery and clothing. Additionally the central workshops of the locomotives can also be toured.

Río Manso « Back

The access to Río Manso is at 52 kms north from El Bolsón on route 40.
The gravel road follows this river for about 40 kms towards the border with Chile, penetrating deeper and deeper into the mountains through an area of natural beauty.
Rafting excursions can be taken here.

Tronador and Cascada Los Alerces « Back

 74 kms north from El Bolsón on the road to Bariloche is the access to Cerro Tronador and Cascada Los Alerces.
This is a full-day excursion.