Cerro Llao Llao Mirador
Cerro Llao Llao is the highest point in Bariloche's Parque Municipal Llao Llao. It's really more of a hill than a mountain, but it offers magnificent views of Cerro Lopez, Cerro Capilla, Lago Moreno, Lago Nahuel Huapi, and Brazo Tristeza. The view is similar to Cerro Campanario
, perhaps not quite as impressive, but the experience is far less commercial and much more peaceful. If you're looking for a proper mountain experience, check out one of the many alpine peaks and/or refugios in nearby Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi. However, if you're interested in a nice easy scenic day hike that passes through enchanted forests, visits gorgeous lakes and beaches, and provides impressive distant mountain vistas, then Parque Municipal Llao Llao is an excellent choice. If you just want to visit Cerro Llao Llao itself, the hike should take no longer than a couple hours round-trip. However, as long as you're there, you might as well visit some of the nearby attractions and make a (half) day out of it. Nearby recommended sites include Lago Escondido, Bosque de Arrayanes, Playa Moreno, and Playa Tacul. Most or all of these sites can be combined in a 3-4 hour, 10-15 km loop hike from Puerto Pañuelo. Alternatively, start by visiting Bahía Lopez and/or Mirador Brazo Tristeza and walk to Puerto Pañuelo, visiting a few places along the way. For those interested in visiting Cerro Campanario and/or Colonia Suiza, those destinations can easily be paired with a trip to Llao Llao to round out the day.
From Bariloche, there is frequent bus service to Llao Llao. During peak hours, Colectivo 20
has departures every twenty minutes or so from the center of town that will bring you to Hotel Llao Llao and Puerto Pañuelo in about 45 minutes. If you want to start from Bahía Lopez, there is limited bus service there on the Colonia Suiza Colectivo
Viewpoint along Trail
From Puerto Pañuelo, follow Avenida Bustillos for ~2km to the Cerro Llao Llao trailhead. The trail climbs gently to the signed turnoff for Cerro Llao Llao, then climbs steeply to the lookout near the summit. From Puerto Pañuelo, the hike takes about an hour one-way. A few minutes below the summit, you will see a radio tower. Follow the trail to your right and keep going. Near the top, there is a sign telling you not to go any further. The true summit is a few minutes past this sign on an unmaintained trail. However, it does not offer very good views. The best views are to be found from the bluffs off to your right near the end of the official trail. Cerro Lopez, Cerro Capilla, Lago Moreno, Lago Nahuel Huapi, and Brazo Tristeza all feature prominently.
Bosque de Arrayanes
A variety of additional hiking opportunities are available within the park. The recommended loop hike has you descend from Cerro Llao Llao back to the last trail junction, then continue on the trail to Villa Tacul where you will find some nice beaches on the shores of Lago Nahuel Huapi. From here, a trail continues towards the Puente Romano and the serene Lago Escondido. On the way back, follow the trail to the parking lot near Lago Escondido, walk along the highway for five minutes, and return via the Arrayanes Trail which visits the Mirado Lago Moreno, Playa Lago Moreno, and Bosque de Arrayanes en route. I suppose this entire loop hike would take about 3 hours, but at least for me, the vibe is more that of a mellow picnic excursion than a serious hike.
Another recommended option is to combine some portion of this loop with a trip to Bahía Lopez. Located just a couple kilometers up the road from the Lago Escondido trail head, Bahía Lopez has a beautiful beach on the shores of Lago Nahuel Huapi, as well as a short 15-20 minute one way hiking trail to the impressive Mirador Brazo Tristeza. Combine the previously described loop hike with a visit to Bahía Lopez and Mirador Brazo Tristeza and you've filled most of your day. Alternatively, take the bus to Bahía Lopez and hike to Puerto Pañuelo, visiting some combination of Mirador Brazo Tristeza, Lago Escondido, Mirador Moreno, Playa Moreno, Playa Tacul, Cerro Llao Llao, and Bosque de Arrayanes.
When to Climb
Parque Municipal Llao Llao is open 365 days a year. Cerro Llao Llao can be climbed year-round. Expect snow during the winter.
Camping is strictly prohibited within Parque Municipal Llao Llao. There are several developed campgrounds in the Bariloche area, including La Selva Negra (Bustillos Km 3), Los Coihues (Villa Los Coihues), Camping Goye (Colonia Suiza), and Camping SER (Colonia Suiza). There are also countless options for hostels, hotels, and cabins in and around Bariloche.