Why Visit Cerro Otto?

Cerro Otto yields AMAZING views of the Bariloche and the surrounding lakes and mountains. This is one of the best places for views of greater Bariloche, and one of the best things to do in Bariloche with kids. You certainly won’t regret carving out time in your Bariloche itinerary for the Cerro Otto experience! The best thing about Cerro Otto is all ages and abilities can experience the beautiful views, at any time of year! Whether you want a grueling hike or to simply walk around the top, there are options for everyone! 

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Hiking Cerro Otto in Bariloche

Hiking Cerro Otto

If you plan to hike Cerro Otto, you have three options. You can do a combination of these and another transportation method, which we talk about in the “How to Get to Cerro Otto” section. We hiked under the cable car and then took the Acceso Cerro Otto road back to Bariloche.

Option 1: Hiking Under the Cable Car

First, you can hike up under the cable car, which takes an hour and is fairly intense. The first 20 minutes you’re essentially hiking through backyards, but after this, you’ll be stunned every time you turn around. The ground is loose so there may be some scrambling involved. You’ll likely need frequent breaks as it is steep and tiring! This takes around an hour. The trailhead is just to the right of the police station. We do not recommend hiking down this way as it can be extremely steep at some points.

Entrance to the trail for Cerro Otto Bariloche
Entrance to the Trail

Option 2: Hiking the Unmarked Trail(s)

Second, you can hike through heavier, covered forest. This trail isn’t marked well, and is more like 10 different trails that join and separate again without any true order. This isn’t official and you may be trespassing. This also takes around an hour, or more if you get lost. This trail starts at the parking lot next to this bus station.

This trail leads up to the Refugio Berghof, if you manage to stay on the right path! Unless you’re fine with potentially trespassing and getting lost, we don’t recommend this route!

Option 3: Walking Acceso Cerro Otto

Finally, you can just follow Acceso Cerro Otto road from Bariloche. The cars drive fairly slow on this road so it’s safe, and you’ll enjoy amazing views of Lake Nahuel Huapi for most of this walk. This takes around 2.5 hours and is very easy -it’s just along a road!

We recommend stopping in Refugio Berghof to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate, coffee, or a snack with spectacular views! This is the easiest Refugio to get to, and it has some rich history you can read about on the Club Andino Website.

Refugio Berghof Cerro Otto Trail
Refugio Berghof

Our Recommendations for Enjoying Cerro Otto

There are a million different combinations of transportation to and from Cerro Otto, so it all depends on your travel style and physical ability. We recommend taking the cable car up, and then following the Acceso Cerro Otto road back to Bariloche and stopping at Refugio Berghof on the way. If you’re on a budget, we recommend hiking up under the cable car, and then walking back to Bariloche via the Acceso Cerro Otto road. If you don’t want to hike or walk, scroll down to see the other transportation options!

The cable car costs $17 for adults, and $9 for seniors and kids under 12. If you hike up, you will still have to pay 2/3 of the cable car price for entry to the building on top that has a restaurant and gift shop in it, so if you plan on going inside, we recommend just taking the cable car up!

Important: Check if the cable car is open before going on their website.

How to Hike to Cerro Otto Bariloche

Bonus Hike: La Piedra Habsburgo

Once you get up to the rotating cafeteria, there is another short hike to Piedra Habsburgo over Lake Gutiérrez. This was closed when we went, although we saw a bunch of people hiking and the workers didn’t really seem to care. We definitely recommend doing this trail (if it’s open), especially if you don’t plan on doing the Mirador Lago Gutiérrez hike!

Activities at Cerro Otto

There are a bunch of activities at the top of Cerro Otto worth doing. The rotating cafeteria provides you 360-degree views without you having to leave your seat! There is also an art gallery and gift shop located here.

Outside the cafeteria, you have a rock climbing wall, hanging bridges, a labyrinth, ziplining, and various observation decks and viewpoints. In the winter, you can sled down, snowshoe and go on guided treks!

The restaurant and activities at Cerro Otto are open daily from 10 am to 4:30 pm.

Activities at Cerro Otto

How to Get to Cerro Otto

How to Get to Cerro Otto by Bus

There is a free, private bus that will bring you either directly to the top or to the cable car parking lot, depending on what you want to do. This bus leaves from the corner of Mitre & Villegas in Bariloche, and you can also buy your cable car tickets there.

If the private bus isn’t leaving at good times for you, you can also take the 50, 51, or 55 public buses right to the cable car parking lot. Make sure to wave down the bus so it stops, and press the button on the railings near the rear door to alert the driver to stop at the next stop.

To use the public buses in Bariloche, you need a SUBE card. To do this you can find one to buy and recharge using this map. Worst case scenario, you can pay someone to use their SUBE card, but this is not a guaranteed option.

How to Get to Cerro Otto by Car

If you’re driving, you can go to the cable car parking lot and take it up, or you can drive all the way up to the highest point.

Rent your car here or with Booking.com if you’re in the Genius loyalty program for cars less than $40/day!

Ubers are also a great option for getting around Bariloche, costing around 40 cents per minute. Taxis are slightly more expensive than Ubers.

Is Cerro Otto worth it Bariloche: Yes

Where to Stay in Bariloche

We recommend staying downtown to be near the main attractions and the public bus stops. However, the Llao Llao Resort is legendary, and a great place to splurge for a day or two!

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Keep Exploring Bariloche…

Our Favorite Travel Resources

Accommodations: We use Booking.com for hotels and HostelWorld for hostels. We also use VRBO or TrustedHousesitters for longer stays.

Flights: We recommend using Skyscanner to find the cheapest and best flights.

Ground Transport: We use 12Go and Omio for buses and private transfers, and rentalcars.com and Discover Cars for rental cars.

Activities: GetYourGuide and Viator are the best websites for booking organized tours.

International Medical Insurance: We highly recommend SafetyWing for Digital Nomads and HeyMondo for those not traveling full-time, or who frequently engage in higher-risk adventure activities.

eSIM: We recommend Airalo or Holafly for getting data internationally.

Check out our Travel Resources Page for more of our favorite travel-related products and services!

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