(Image: Looking down to Refugio Hielo Azul)
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 - Sunday: 8am - 8pm (times subject to change).
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.
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)
It may be possible to purchase these maps in El Bolson, but if you are travellling through Bariloche, then buy them there: Maps in Bariloche.
Check out the overview map of the trekking trails.
From Bariloche in the North there are about regular daily bus services. The journey time is about 2 hours 15 mins.. 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's about 2 hours by bus: Via Bariloche
Enquire at the Tourist Info Centre.
The quickest option is by taxi/remis. There is a remis office opposite at Av San Martin 2029: '720 Remis' Tel: (0294) 4720 120.
The information contained within this site 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 on the site. This website has no affiliation with any of the refuges nor business mentioned within it and does not receive commission not operate in any way for commercial gain.