trekking in bariloche, patagonia This page was last updated on: 03 October, 2015

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 Lopez

Refugio Lopez is the closest to the road of all refugios so is the shortest trek. Once at the refugio you can climb the nearby peak of Pico Turista for amazing 360 deg views. - NOTE this involves some simple scrambling over the rocks.


From the snack bar at Arroyo Lopez follow the well marked trail as it zig zags up the hill. After about an hour you reach a 4x4 track. Follow this until you cross a small stream and continue following the well marked trail until you reach the Refugio. From the refugio there is a well marked trail that ascends over steep rocky ground (use of hands needed) to Pico Turista a small summit with 360 deg views. Ask at the refugio about the trail before heading up.

Water: One possible small stream shortly before arriving at the refuge Lopez (subject to the season). If continuing on up to the summit there is a small lake/stream about half way up.

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 Lopez. Refugio Lopez prices


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. It leaves the roudabout at about 20 minutes past every hour. From here take bus no.10 to Colonia Suiza but get off at Arroyo Lopez where the bus leaves the tarmac road and turns onto the gravel road. NOTE: Check the bus route as the service may have changed and only certain services may go via the Arroyo Lopez route. Return the same way. 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.

If arriving by car, park by the snack bar at Arroyo Lopez. NOTE: There have been a number of break-in of cars parked at Arroyo Lopez, most likely to happen when the shop is closed (and nobody is around) or if you return late after a long trek.

Unfortunately security is becoming more of an issue each year. Never leave anything in view in your car not even a jacket on the back seat, and never leave your equipment or any valuables in the car if you can help it....this also includes downtown Bariloche where break-ins have even been taking place in the busy main street.

Photo Gallery

(click images to enlarge)

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Refugio Frey (black trail 5) frey-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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