trekking in bariloche, patagonia This page was last updated on: 23 August, 2015

The section of the trek between Refugio Jakob & Refugio Laguna Negra is NOT well marked; it is steep/exposed and very rocky in places. It can be especially dangerous in poor visability and should not be attempted. The National Park Office officially says that you must sign a 'Deslinde de responsabilidaded' - 'waiver of liability' at the park office before you go as well as the National Park Trek Registration. When arriving at Refugio Jakob there is a register to sign so they have a record of who is doing the trek. There may be snow on this section of the route until February.

During the 2014/2015 season, Refugio Jakob have a presentation each morning at 9am to explain and show photos of the route. They only offer the presentation at 9am so if you want to leave earlier in the morning or are passing through later in the day then your option for this information is not there!

Before heading into the mountains check up-to-date trail info, & register your trek intentions with the National Park office in Bariloche, Pampa Linda or online.

Refugio Jakob to Refugio Laguna Negra

A tough trek with some of the most rewarding views in the National Park. It should only be undertaken by experienced trekkers. This is the most difficult part of the Nahuel Huapi traverse and should only be undertaken in good weather. The trail is NOT well marked; it is steep/exposed and very rocky in places, requiring the use of hands (scrambling) over some sections of rock. It can be especially dangerous in poor visability and should not be attempted.


Should be attempted Refugio Jakob to Laguna Negra - not the other way around. You will need a map and know how to read it as the route is so poorly marked you will need to know which mountain/pass you should be heading for... The route starts from the Jakob Refuge in the direction of the refuge toilets then bearing off to the left throught the various camping spots and past the makeshift helicopter landing site. The route continues up through the trees and out over rocky outcrops. This first section of route is marked with blue/white paint and red red paint dots. After about 15-20 minutes the trail turns to the right and starts ascending the bare rocky ridge to the base of Pico Refugio. At this point the trail is only maked by intermittent red dots painted on rocks and small cairns. The most technical part of the route is the ascent up to the col on Pico Refugio and involves a small amount of exposure and some scrambling with many sections over loose rock that can be dangerous if dislodged on anyone below.

Once on the col on Pico Refugio the trail traverses to the col on the N.E spur of Cerro Inocentes over bare rock and scree. Once at the col the trail drops down over very loose scree between Cerro Inocentes and Lago Navidad then ascends again to the pass on the N ridge of Cerro Inocents. Once on the ridge, continue north up to the summit and plateau of Cerro Navidad. After admiring the spectacular 360 deg views the route continue North before first dropping down the loose scree slope to the start of the Navidad valley, then over larger boulders and steeper sections where the Navidad valley narrows before opening out into green pastures after about 2.5 - 3 hours of descent. Finally joining the main trail to Refugio Laguna Negra. Either take the trail on the left up the zig-zags to Refugio laguna Negra or turn right to arrive in Colonia Suiza after a little more than 2 hours. Note: Due to the nature of the terrain there are no camping spots/options on the route between Refugio Jakob and Laguna Negra, so make sure you have enough time to complete the entire route before heading out.

Water: Fill up before leaving the Jakob hut as there is no water on the majority of the trail. The first water source will be the stream descending the Navidad Valley.

Is the stream water safe to drink? As with any mountain region where lots of people trek, there will be pollution of water sources. The refuges provide safe drinking water; whilst out on the trails I would recommend treating water from streams found in the more popular areas and taking other water sources on a case by case basis depending on the stream source.

Camping / Mountain Huts

Free camping at Refugio Jakob (AR$15 contribution asked towards toilet facilities upkeep) & Refugio Laguna Negra. Refugio Jakob & Laguna Negra prices.


The best option that I personally use is to take the local bus to KM 12,5 on Bustillio then take a remis to the trail head. 'Remises Bustillo' (0294) 4463003. A Remis is just like a taxi, but it has to be reserved by phone or at their office.

If finishing your trek at 'Tambo' it's about 6kms along a gravel road to the nearest bus! If you have a cell phone you can call 'Remises Bustillo' (see above). SECURITY NOTE: There have been a number of robberies over the last few years of people walking along this gravel road from the trail head back to the main road.

As of April 2015 there is no direct service from the Bariloche center to Colonia Suiza. Take bus number 20 from the center and get off at the roundabout at KM18. From here take bus no.10 to Colonia Suiza. It leaves the roudabout at about 20 minutes past every hour. Return the same way. The bus stop for Colonia Suiza is outside of Cerveceria Berlina (Berlina Brewery), the bus doesn't actually go into the center of Colonia Suiza. NOTE: You will need a rechargable bus pass or prepaid bus ticket to take this service. Ask at the Tourist Info or Mountain Info centres for up to date bus prices, and where to purchase tickets.

Photo Gallery

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Refugio Jakob to refugio Italia - Laguna Negra (yellow trail 7) jakob-negra-trek

The information contained on this website is no substitute for a qualified Mountain Guide and the site author accepts no responsibility for inaccurate or outdated information (nor omission of information), nor any accident or injury sustained while carrying out the treks described here. This website has no affiliation with any of the refuges or businesses mentioned within it and does not receive commission or operate in any way for commercial gain.

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