We are ready, carrying a bottle of water, a small backpack, we check our shoelaces and start hiking to Mount Bella Vista at Bariloche. It isn’t a renowned name in Bariloche such as the Tronador, Cerro Negro, Catedral, Cerro Lopez, and Cerro Otto, but it can be seen from all those well-known peaks and many parts of town, especially Avenida Bustillos.
The climb is fairly easy, and quite popular, with a well-kept trail leading to the summit. The views are spectacular. In addition to the peaks above mentioned, you can see Cerro Navidad, Cerro Campanario, Cerro Ventana, and Cerro Ñireco, as well as Lago Nahuel Huapi, Lago Moreno, Isla Victoria, and Península Llao Llao.
This day´s hike is perfect for those who like gaining elevation quickly and are not afraid of a steady 2 hour uphill trek. Beginning at “Refugio Jacob” trailhead, also called “El Tambo” a slowly climb to the Southeast ridge of Bella Vista Mount. The climb starts in an old “Coihues” grove with a dense undergrowth which offers plenty of flowers and bird watching opportunities. The landscape is amazing and we were enthralled by the colours and the work of nature during the Hike.
A couple of beautiful viewpoints are waiting for us up the road where, like us, you will take water breaks and rest for a few minutes. We keep hiking gaining more elevation, a few minutes later we enter the deciduous “Lenga” tree forest, where it is common to see some Magellanic Giant Woodpeckers.
It is impossible not to be amazed at the views of Lago Moreno that catches our eyes while continuing climbing the mountain and gaining the alpine terrain and appreciating the immensity of the Andes and the complex lake systems characteristic of this region.
At the summit ridge, we found a comfortable area where we had lunch enjoying some 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 its reddish brown hues. After resting and taking pictures at the summit you will begin the descent following the same route downwards.
Once at the base of the mountain, we decided that the best way to end the day is to head towards “Berlina” a craft brewery for a well Patagonian beer sharing our impressions about this amazing hike which gave us one of the most beautiful views of the region.
Level of Challenge: Medium
Recommended Season: Spring – Summer – Autumn
Considerations: During the Spring, the top of the mountains are still covered in snow.. 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 reach 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