El Bolson is situated about 130kms (70 miles) south of San Carlos de Bariloche and is largely overlooked as a trekking area but has many great options and is a lot quieter than Bariloche. There are a total of 13 refuges offering a wide variety of trekking routes for all abilities. The refuges are mainly within the tree line/forested mountains but there are limited options for treks to access the mountain tops and knock off some summits!
The Tourist Info Office / Mountain Info Office should be your first port of call in El Bolson. You should register your trek intentions there. They offers free information & advice about all treks in the area, guidance on what refuges are open, the best trails. It is NOT possible to make reservations for the refuges (as they have no phone connections). Availability is based on a first come basis, some will fill up faster than others, this is one reason why it is important to register at the tourist into office they will be able to advise which refugios are likely to be full and which are not.
Tourist Info Office / Mountin Info Office on the corner of the main plaza (Av. San Martin & Roca). The staff/volunteers from the old C.A.P Mountain info centre have been transferred to the tourist info office. Telephone: (0294) 4492604
Opening Hours (summer): Monday - Friday: 8am - 8pm, Saturday & Sunday: 9am - 8pm
The trekking season in El Bolson is November - March. The high season of January and February will be busiest, especially at weekends. Due to its low elevations some of the refuges stay open all year.
Camping is possible at the refuges and a fee is payable. This includes the use of the toilet facilities.
Due to a recent incident, the tourist information office recommends you trek in at least a group of three.
Aoneker 1:50,000 El Bolson
(covers the following refuges: Co.Lindo, Hielo Azul, Natacion, Atillio & El Reramal)
Aoneker 1:120,000 Comarca Andina del Paralelo 42°
(covers all the refuges in the El Bolson region)
These maps can be purchased in El Bolson & Bariloche for about AR$80 - AR$100
Check out the overview map of the trekking trails.
From Bariloche in the North there are about 10 daily bus services. The journey time is about 2 hours 15 mins and cost around AR$ 95 (Sept. 2017). Timetables and booking info can be found here: Via Bariloche. In a car the trip can be comleted in about 90 minutes.
From Esquel in the South it is about 2 hours by bus: Via Bariloche
There is a public bus service from the Center to Wharton. It runs twice a day 3 times a week in the low season and on a daily basis during the school holidays. The service leaves from the main Plaza. For timetable enquire at the tourist info center.
The quickest option is by taxi/remis. There is a remis office opposite CAP:
'720 Remis' Tel: (02944) 720 120.
Bolson Experience 4x4 offers an 8am transfer service from the center of El Bolson to Warthon and Confluencia. Call Fernando on (02944) 498 307 or Cell: (02944) 15 70 71 33 (Note: he only speaks Spanish). In the winter he offers daily services to The Perito Moreno ski resort and Pitriquitron.
Check the (see below) before you trek
If you are looking for a Mountain Guide try here: Asociación Argentina de Guías de Montaña (AAGM)
This is the weather forecast for the Perito Moreno ski resort. The El Bolson treks described on this site are all within the same mountain region so this forecast give a good indication of the weather for the treks.