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San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina

Bike the Circuito Chico

16.8 Miles Total - 0 ft gain - Loop Trail

Originally added by Leah Slaten

If you're looking for the best opportunity to experience Bariloche's Switzerland vibes, look no further than this bike ride. Be sure to save yourself time to jump in the water, and don't forget to try some craft beer!

Bariloche is a beautiful town loaded with European architecture, chocolate, and beer. But no trip to Bariloche would be complete without some time cycling through the mountains and around the lakes. 

The Circuito Chico bike ride begins at km 18.3 of the main road in Bariloche. You can take the bus from downtown, which leaves regularly throughout the day. There is a bike rental shop right at the start of the loop. Alternatively, you could rent a bike in town and bike to the loop if you want to extend the ride. This would bring the total distance to about 60 km. This is what I chose, but honestly I would not recommend it because the road conditions are not great, with lots of traffic, minimal (and unpaved) shoulders, and heavy emissions from cars.

The Circuito Chico is a road that runs through the Llao Llao National Park. There are some rolling hills along the way. You could probably finish the ride in under two hours, but the side trips are what make the trip most memorable. Be sure to stop by the beach in Villa Campanario (~1.5 km down an unpaved road), climb (or take the cable car) to the top of Cerro Campanario for panoramic views, and stop at the Patagonia Brewery for a pint and more views. If the beer doesn't do you in, take a side trip to the Colonia Suiza (~3 km down a dirt road) to sample curanto, a local specialty (stew cooked in a hole in the ground). 

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