Llao llao peninsula hikes

The remaining trails on my stay in Bariloche were a lot less comfy than my tour of Isla Victoria.

To get to the llao llao peninsular I had to take a 45-min bus ride (yes a regular public bus not a tour one) to outskirts of the landmark llao llao hotel. From there I’d have quite a hike ahead of me including Cerro llao llao, from which i planned to take in the panaromic view of the lakes below.

Local bus to llao llao

Local buses in Bariloche don’t take cash so I’d need to get a sube stored value card. Its a contact-less card very similar to the eZ-link cards so commonly used on Singapore’s metros and buses.

subte card

Communication trouble

Bus drivers in Bariloche probabaly don’t have a major need to know English hence communicating the destination and asking for a signal on when to get off was a bit tricky. I was using Nokia HERE offline maps but the map for this part of Bariloche was a bit sketchy and this bus-stop was unmarked so that the probabality of missing my stop (or getting off too early) was quite moderate. Needless to say I spend the 40 minute bus ride anxiously checking my HERE map, tourist map & the surrounding landmarks.

Start of the trail

The bus dropped me off at the fork of a road. The left-most road led up to the world famous Hotel Llao Llao, the right-most led to the ferry jetty and the road ahead led me into the llao llao forest.

Llao Llao Hotel

Apparently the area got its name from a tree fruit popular with birds of the region.

local llao llao fruit

It was a 15 minute walk among a mostly deserted road with the occasional car and log cabin. The floor was buried under autumn leaves and the wind was cold and dry.

photo of side of road

I entered the park and checked with the park warden on the advisable route. It turned out that post was in fact the exit so I proceeded another 10 minutes up the road to the trail entrance.

I’m not sure if this was due to the autumn cold but Patagonian forests are very quiet in comparison to tropical forests of south east asia. Apart from the rustle of the trees in the wind, bees buzzing and occasional bird chirp it was dead quiet.

photos of the forest trail

photos of the forest trail

Hike up Cerro llao llao

uneven path

Bees and rubble

In comparison to some of the trails i’ve been on in South East Asia (and further on in my South America trip), this was a well to moderately maintained route with some uneven terrain but not enough to be considered truly precarious. As I was solo on this trek it fit my needs perfectly.

The final climb upto the peak of Llao Llao involved some dense thorn bushes and some bees (or possibly wasps) that didn’t make it too pleasant for my ascent. I personally dislike insects, and those that can sting make me especially uncomfortable. So I ended up accelerating my ascent in certain areas to try to avoid the bee zones (of which there were quite a few towards the peak). I was surprised that the bees wouldn’t be dying off in the colder months of Autumn but I suppose it would be far worse in Summer.

summit of llao illao

Resuming the trail

The trail heading down from the peak was as thorny as the ascent. After about 30 minutes I reached the original walking trail and resumed my walkabout the peninsula.

I was following the red-trail marked on the map. But as the signs weren’t always well placed I missed a few of the viewing points along the lake.

trail post

The walk continued for about 3 hours. During which i passed alot of lake vistas.

small jetty

The final part of the trail went through an Arrayanes Forest (trees native to patagonia).

native trees

Hotel view from the banks of the lake

There were less people on the walking trails (compared to the cerro llao llao hike), but the largest group i encountered was a group of school kids. Probably a school excursion of some sorts.

In the distance I could make out the famous Hotel llao llao.

Hotel llao llao

Catching the bus back

I finally reached the exit of the trail and as the sun was setting hurridly made my way to the ‘bus stop’. It was assumed the bus would pickup passengers from the opposite side of the road from where i was dropped off, but I wasn’t certain of this for sure.

And given the rather low frequency of buses here I didn’t want to consider a long hike back to Bariloche in the pitch black of night.

At the bus stop I met a French traveller who confirmed it was the expected bus stop.

Additional Travel options

On the long bus ride back to town I had a chat with the french traveller on the various routes and points of interest in the region. I had an extra day remaining in Bariloche before I had to rendezvous with my friend in Buenos Aires to proceed with the rest of the trip. I assumed that the major sights of Bariloche had been covered, but she suggested a hike up Cerro Campaniro for better panoramic view of the area.

She was on a 6 months unpaid break from work and was journeying through South America from Ushuaia (Argentina) in the far South (as close to Antarctica as you can get) to Lima (Peru) in the North. Her route closely resembled mine in some ways except for duration. She was on a tighter budget had to take long-distance buses for most of her trip.Whereas I with my 1 month paid sabbatical resembled more of a whirlwind tour through the region. My average stop would be for 2 days and would involve alot of flights. She apparently had a deal with her Bank on being charged a flat fee for ATM withdrawals. So she could draw cash on demand.

Needless to say she was staying mostly at hostels and backpacker hotels and had to take more precautions that I would have to. She described some of the security issues she’d encountered so far and that daylight muggings were not impossible in as seemingly orderly city as Buenos Aires.


The llao llao peninsular hike was a great way to explore the wilderness while still having trails to follow. That said some trails could have been better marked and you need to be wary of thick thorn bushes on the trail. However don’t rush it, if you plan to hike in this area I’d suggest spending a good part of the day as the crowds are minimal and its a well maintained park for the most part.