There are two main ways of getting from Buenos Aires to Bariloche – by plane or by bus. Which one you choose will come down to personal preference, the amount of time you have, and possibly cost.
We’re gonna give you the lowdown on both options to enable you to decide which one is best for you. There’s info on prices, what to expect from both alternatives, plus how to get around once you reach Bariloche.
You’ll also find a tonne of helpful advice that will help you make the most of your time in this stunning town. Let’s do this.
Flights from Buenos Aires to Bariloche
Flying is hands down the quickest way to get from Buenos Aires to Bariloche. Even when you account for the fact that you have to turn up early at the airport beforehand.
So if you’re looking to get to Bariloche in the shortest time possible with no drama, go by plane.
There are various airlines that fly this route, the main ones being LATAM, Norwegian, Aerolineas Argentinas, andes, and Flybondi. It’s best to check all of them for the dates you intend to go.
Buenos Aires Airports
Also bear in mind that contrary to what you’ll read elsewhere, there are three airports you can fly from. This can make a significant difference to both cost and time depending on where in BsAs you’re staying.
EZE is the largest international airport and probably the most difficult and costly to get to. AEP is in the Palermo neighbourhood making it convenient from most locations in the city. EAP is a military airbase that’s used exclusively by Argentina’s first budget airline Flybondi. It’s closer than EZE but not as convenient as AEP.
Uber is not strictly “legal” in Buenos Aires having seen the usual backlash from the traditional taxi firms. But it’s still widely used and probably the easiest and cheapest method of getting to any of the airports.
Price of Flights from Buenos Aires to Bariloche
The price of your flights will depend on numerous factors from the time of year to the airline you go with. Depending on how much luggage you plan on taking you may also have to pay extra for baggage allowance.
Our go to flight booking site is kiwi.com, and that’s no different for this route. It’s the only one that we’ve come across which provides results featuring all of the airlines that fly the route. The others we tried only listed a couple of the airlines making it difficult to make a price comparison.
There is quite a range and we’ve seen flights costing anywhere from around £30GBP ($40USD) to 5 times that.
How to get From Bariloche Airport to Bariloche Town
The airport is less than 15km (10 miles) away from the town and relatively easy to get to and from.
Taxis are plentiful and reasonably priced in Bariloche and are the most convenient way to get downtown from the airport. The cabs operating in Bariloche are white and blue and easy to spot. The journey will take about 20 minutes and cost in the region of $400ARS (£8GBP, $10USD).
If you’re up for taking public transport then you can catch the 72 bus. It goes from the airport to the centre of town and you can jump on in the airport car park. The 72 runs daily from 6.40am to 10.40am, costs around 40 pesos, and takes 30-40 minutes. However, you can’t pay in cash.
The buses in Bariloche require passengers to use Sube cards, the same ones used in Buenos Aires. If you don’t already have one of these, you should pick one up in BsAs before your flight.
While you can buy them in Bariloche, there’s nowhere to purchase or recharge one at the airport. Once you arrive in Bariloche there are a number of shops that offer the service. If you plan to use buses to get around, check out this interactive map for more details.
Bus from Buenos Aires to Bariloche
Let me start off by saying, taking the bus from Buenos Aires to Bariloche is not for the faint hearted. The country of Argentina is absolutely vast meaning lots of the bus journeys are extremely long. This is certainly true of the bus from Buenos Aires to Bariloche.
The distance between Retiro bus station in Buenos Aires to Bariloche bus terminal is well over 1,500km. For any of you old-schoolers like me who aren’t working in metric, that’s roughly 1,000 miles. Pretty far.
Time-wise you’re looking at over 24 hours on the bus from Buenos to Bariloche. So I’ll repeat, it’s not for the faint hearted.
However, there are plenty of legit reasons to go for the bus over the flight.
Firstly you may not be a massive fan of flying. Which, strangely enough for someone who travels for a living, is my situation.
Secondly, some of the scenery you see on the bus journey is simply breathtaking.
Thirdly, the long bus journeys in Argentina aren’t actually as hellish as they sound. The buses are modern, really comfortable, and have seats that recline way back.
Lastly, the buses are usually cheaper than taking a flight, particularly when you factor in adding luggage allowance. So if you’re traveling on a budget, this is the most wallet friendly option.
There are four companies that run buses from Buenos Aires to Bariloche and subtle but important differences in their services.
How to Choose Which Bus from Buenos Aires to Bariloche
The four companies running buses from Buenos to Bariloche are El Valle, Chevallier, Via Bariloche, and Crucero del Norte. They all run from Retiro bus station to Bariloche bus terminal.
To be able to choose the best one for you, it’s important to look closely at the specifics of what they’re offering.
The seat options will determine how large your seat is, how much leg space you have, and how far it reclines. These are the three choices you’ll have to select from on the bus from Buenos Aires to Bariloche:
“Semi cama” or “Dorado”: Seats are arranged 4 in a row with the aisle down the middle. There are arm, leg, and footrests and your seat will recline to an angle of 40 degrees.
“Cama ejecutivo” or “Cama”: These have 3 seats in a row, 2 next to each other with the third separated by the aisle. Because of this the seats are larger giving you more room. This also makes them ideal if you’re a single traveller and don’t want to sit next to anyone. As with Semi-cama there are arm, leg, and footrests, but your seat will recline to an angle of 55 degrees.
“Cama suite” or “Lie-flat”: Full cama suite have seats that recline a minimum of 85 degrees with many virtually laying flat.
With all classifications you’ll get food and drinks provided. However, the frequency, quality, and size differs from company to company so take plenty of snacks and water to last.
Some buses have entertainment (a movie), some have a minibar, and many have wifi, though none of these are a requirement by law. You might also get a blanket and pillow provided.
Note that you’ll have to print your tickets off before arriving at the bus station.
Top Tips for the Bus Journey from Buenos Aires to Bariloche
The bus journey is an adventure, and if you look at it like that you’re far more likely to enjoy it. But the last thing you want is for it to turn into an ordeal, so to avoid that happening it’s best to properly prepare.
Here are our top tips to get ready for your bus from Buenos Aires to Bariloche:
Bring warm clothes. On the buses in Argentina the aircon is usually on full blast at a chilly temperature as standard.
We always pack a base layer each. Merino wool is the best material because it dries super quick, is odour-resistant and seriously durable.
Never leave important stuff on the bus when you get off mid trip. There are numerous stops along the way, some to pick people up, others where you can get off to stretch or go to the shop.
For safety you will also have to get off the bus while it refuels. Never leave anything on the bus that you’d be upset if it went missing. Valuables, cash, passports etc.
Don’t forget earplugs. From the on-board entertainment to other passengers chatting loudly, earplugs can be a lifesaver on a long bus journey. Or at least help you to get a proper sleep.
These reusable silicon ones are the best.
Bring headphones. Often you’ll have to plug in to watch the on-board entertainment, but you’ll probably also want to listen to or watch something as you go. These noise cancelling ones are great.
Prepare with some entertainment. Even if your bus has wifi, get some stuff downloaded before you set off. Playlists on Spotify, series’ on Netflix, podcasts, books on your ipad, whatever. 24 hours is a long time with nothing to keep you occupied.
Take a battery charger. Most buses in Argentina have USB ports these days, and some have plug outlets. However, frequently they are broken or extremely slow to charge your devices. Take a battery pack to keep your gadgets juiced up.
We have this Anker power bank, it’s super.
Take your toothbrush onboard or at least some mouthwash. Hopefully no explanation needed.
If you’re travelling with a big backpack or suitcase, these go underneath the bus and you won’t have access to them during the journey. You’ll get a ticket when it’s loaded on and will have to show that when you get off to reclaim your bag. So keep it somewhere safe.
How to Get From Bariloche Bus Terminal to the Centre of Bariloche
Once you arrive at Bariloche bus station you have two main options for getting to your accommodation – taxi or bus.
As mentioned in the flight section, taxis are plentiful and reasonably priced and a convenient way to get downtown. There’s a taxi rank outside the bus station and the journey will take about 10 minutes. It should cost around $130ARS (£2.50GBP, $3USD).
Your other option is to catch a local bus which takes about 15 minutes. The lines that run from Bariloche bus terminal to the centre of town are 20, 21, or 22. There’s a bus shelter just outside the terminal where you catch them from and it costs around $30ARS (£0.60GBP, $0.75USD).
You will also need Sube cards to get on these buses. If you have one from Buenos Aires you can use that. Alternatively there’s a Sube booth at Bariloche bus terminal where you can pick one up.
Where to stay in Bariloche
Regardless of your budget, it’s possible to find awesome accommodation to suit your needs in Bariloche. However, because it’s such a popular spot year round, the best places do get booked up quickly.
Here’s our pick of the best Bariloche hotels and hostels:
Affordable Luxury: Hotel Eco Max
This newly renovated modern Bariloche hotel is an absolute gem of a find. It’s got views for days and some seriously stylish decor. There’s plenty of choice of different rooms for singles, couples and families.
There’s on site restaurant that serves a cracking continental or buffet style breakfast. It has a central location meaning everything is close by. There’s WiFi throughout plus a 24 hour front desk.
Mid-Range: Selina Bariloche
This Bariloche hotel is seriously great value and so many extras such as a swimming pool, gym with you studio and sun terrace. There’s plenty of choice of different rooms, with private or shared bathrooms.
There’s also a spacious restaurant and a great bar that has evening entertainment on the regular too. It’s one of the Booking.com’s best sellers for Bariloche accommodation and easy to see why.
Cheep & Cheerful: Hospedaje Penthouse 1004
If you are looking for a hostel in Bariloche this simply has to be your first choice. The views from the rooms and roof top terrace over Nahuel Huapi Lake are unbelievable. And the breakfast is a proper treat.
There’s both dorms and private rooms depending on your preference. And plenty of chill out spaces too. They have heating, lockers, WiFi and free luggage storage for if you’re away hiking overnight somewhere.
World Class Hotel: Llao Llao Resort
It would be remiss of us not to include this stunner of a place when writing about the best accommodation in Bariloche. Because it quite simply is the best. But the price tag reflects it.
Hot tubs with insane views are standard at this place. It has everything. And then some. So if you’re looking for some serious luxury or after a special treat for someone – this is absolutely your place.
Travel Insurance for Bariloche
Bariloche is known as Argentina’s capital of adventure with plenty of opportunities to take part in exciting activities. Whether you’re coming to hike, ski, sail, zipline, or go horse riding, you need to make sure you’re insured.
Our go to travel insurance provider is World Nomads. They have a no bullshit approach to policy & are perfect for adventurous travellers like us.
Plus you can buy a policy even if you’ve already set off on your travels.
Get a no obligation quote here:
If you are planning on doing some hiking while in Bariloche you may find these posts helpful:
- Half Day Hike To Cerro Campanario
- Complete Guide To Hiking Refugio Frey
- Overnight hike to Refugio Otto Meiling
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Travel lover, professional writer and football (soccer) obsessive, James loves nothing more than getting outside and exploring little known corners of the globe. He’s also very partial to a drop of Guinness.