This day hike outside Bariloche is perfect for those who like gaining elevation quickly and are not afraid of a steady 2 hour up-hill trek. The day begins at “Refugio Jacob” trailhead, also called “El Tambo” here the trail begins to slowly climb the Southeast ridge of Bella Vista Mount. The climb starts on a old grown “Coihue” tree forest with a dense undergrowth which offers plenty of flowers and bird watching opportunities.
The ascend reaches a couple of beautiful view points where you will do water breaks and rest. Wild orchids can by found on this rocky outcrops. Gaining more elevation you enter the deciduous “Lenga” tree forest, here it is common to see some Magellanic Giant Woodpeckers. Soon after the trees turn into shrubs.
The views of Lago Moreno begin to capture our eyes. You continue climbing the mountain and gain the alpine terrain where you can appreciate the immensity of the Andes and the complex lake systems characteristic of this region. At the summit ridge, you find a comfortable area where to have lunch enjoying a delicious sandwiches with some traditional Mate tea. From this point, people who want to continue the climb to the summit of Bella Vista Mount will climb for one more hour.
The summit offers a 360 degrees view of the mountain ranges and valleys around Bariloche, appreciating the changes of environment of the Andes; from the rainforest at the West to the steppe toward the East with it’s reddish brown tones. After resting and taking summit pictures you will begin the descend following the same route down. Once at the base of the mountain, the best way to end the day is to head towards “Berlina” a close by microbrew for a well deserve Patagonian beer.
Level of Challenge: Medium
Recommended Season: Spring – Summer – Autumn
Considerations: During the Spring, expect to find snow at the upper part of the mountain. Good hiking boots and gaiters recommended.
Duration of the activity: 6-8 hours
Length of the Trek: 7,6 kms
Starting Altitude: 860 msnsm
Max Altitude Climbed: 1770 msnsm
Elevation gained: 750mts till the skyline (at 1610 msnsm) and 890 mts if you make the summit (at 1770 msnsm)
Bilingual Certified Mountain Guide (we add an Assistant Guide during Spring season for groups larger than 7 hikers)
Box Lunch + water + tea + snacks
First Aid Kit + VHF Radio + GPS