NORTH PATAGONIA SINGLETRACK
A unique journey through the land of volcanoes, with the best mountain biking trails of this magical region
The region of the North Patagonian Andes provides superb mountain biking opportunities. This voyage will take you through the magical landscapes of the Andean mountains in Argentina, to the volcanoes and rainforests beyond the Andes Range in Chile. Our tour begins in the city of Bariloche and ends in Pucon, the adventure capitals of the Argentine and Chilean North Patagonia. We recommend adding a few days to your vacations to get to know these beautiful cities and their surroundings even more, or use them as base for further travel within Patagonia, Argentina or Chile. We have chosen great circuits for mountain biking, always looking for variety in terrains and landscapes – the best singletrack trails, plenty of downhill, and delightful cross-country rides. In most cases, we use little-known trails, far from the traditional tourist circuit. Every night, you will enjoy charming Patagonian inns and lodges. You will also take pleasure in the region’s great culinary offer, always abundant, healthy and delicious, accompanied by the great wines of our countries.
World-class mountain biking in enchanting landscapes, the greatest destinations of Northern Patagonia, and the personalized service of Dirty Bikes – what are you waiting for?
The highlights (why choose this tour):
- Experience the great singletrack of Bariloche, riding through forests and over high mountain ridges, always with incredible views on the very edge of the Andes Range
- Cross Lake Nahuel Huapi on a wonderful catamaran trip, after which you will pedal the famous singletrack of the Arrayanes Peninsula, followed by great trail riding around Villa La Angostura, a delightful pioneer town in the heart of Nahuel Huapi National Park.
- From San Martin de los Andes, a chic mountain town in the heart of the Argentine Andes, you will feel the emotions of mountain biking while riding over spectacular forest and mountain trails en route to Lago Escondido (Hidden Lake), well inside Lanin Volcano National Park.
- Feel the experience of crossing the Andes Mountains: the Hua-Hum Pass offers an ideal setting for cross-country mountain biking, through incredible landscapes. The day’s journey ends with a boat ride over the remote Pirihueico Lake, in the heart of the Chilean Andes.
- Relax at the Coñaripe Thermal Baths – set deep in the Chilean Valdivian Rainforest, Coñaripe is famous for the properties of its waters, as well as its cozy baths and spa.
- Cross the Transvolcanic Trail: going up and above the pass between the Villarica and Quetrupillan volcanoes, we´ll actually get to touch a glacier under the cone of the Villarica, where few tourists go. Fabulous views and an unforgettable descent, in the heart of the Andes volcano chain.
- From the famous city of Pucon, adventure capital of Southern Chile, you will conquer Villarica Volcano, with an awesome descent over beds of lava and thick forests; and have loads of fun while river rafting or trekking, with the awesome Villarica in the background.
10 days, 9 nights
to be announced
Tour begins in: Bariloche, Argentina
Tour ends in: Pucón, Chile
Flight-in city: Bariloche, Argentina
Flight-out city: Temuco, Chile*
*airfare is not included in trip cost
Please ask us about prices for private groups.
Spaces are reserved in order of arrival. To reserve your place, please complete the contact form; if you'd like to speak with us, please send the contact form, and we will gladly telephone you.
DAY TO DAY ITINERARY
This afternoon we will receive the group with a welcome cocktail, followed by a detailed presentation of the trip, as well as a mini-clinic on mountain biking. We will fit bikes and have a brief test ride, making sure everything is in perfect order. In the evening, we will host a traditional Argentine dinner at the famous Parrilla de Alberto – an authentic asado (grilled steak) accompanied by great Argentine wine.
You will spend two nights at the Hosteria Santa Rita – set on the shores of the Lake Nahuel Huapi, the views from every room are enchanting. A small, family-run inn, the Santa Rita offers a comfortable, homely feel. And the location is perfect, set just outside central Bariloche, below the foothills of Mount Otto.
Hotel (2 nights)
Hosteria Santa Rita
Great location, just outside central Bariloche, with incredible lakeside views, and great nearby dining options.
Today’s activity (optional)
Short ride around town with our guides.
The trails of Cerro Otto and Cerro Catedral
You’ll quickly see why Cerro Otto (Otto Mountain) is the favorite spot for local mountain bikers. After a short ride in our van to the nearby Otto, we’ll ride the van to the top, getting on a trail that takes us to magnificent views of the Andes Range. You can descend back to the base through awesome single-track trails over the south side of the mountain, or over the same dirt road we rode up on. After spending our morning in Otto, we’ll drive to Cerro Catedral, South America’s biggest ski resort. The views from atop the ridges of Catedral are world-class, and cannot be left out of this itinerary. We will use the lifts to take us atop, where you will have different options for lunch.
The mountain biking continues. From Villa Catedral, we’ll get on a fantastic trail crossing the hills below the mountain, down towards Lake Gutierrez – its deep blue waters contrast with the dry mountains of the steppe on the opposite shore, creating wonderful views. The circuit is varied and lots of fun, from fast singletrack descents, with plenty of smooth curves; to tight, windy sectors, with rocks and roots to negotiate. Upon reaching the lake, we’ll stop to rest at the lovely Hosteria El Retorno, where we can have tea while taking in this beautiful natural setting. For those wanting more biking, we can join Lake Gutierrez with the Virgin of the Snows shrine, crossing little-know trails and paths in the outskirts of Bariloche.
Dinner is on your own tonight – Bariloche offers an immense variety of restaurants, as well as great entertainment options. Catch a tango show, visit a pub or a live music show, or just stroll its lively streets.
In Cerro Otto: approx. 12 km. The descent over the dirt road is not technical and very pleasant; the descent on singletrack is technical, with some steep stretches (where you can choose to walk down).
Elevation gain: we’ll drive from 840 ms (2750 ft) to 1405 ms (4608 ft).
In Cerro Catedral: approx. 20 km (12 miles) of technical trail, some sectors with roots or rocks, medium to high technical difficulty. Dirt trails to Virgen de las Nieves.
Elevation gain: the base of Catedral is at 1050 ms (3444 ft), and we can go as far up as 1850 ms (6068 ft) on the lifts.
Crossing Lake Nahuel Huapi to the Arrayanes Peninsula and Villa La Angostura
Today we begin our trip out of Bariloche. After a short shuttle to Port Pañuelo, set under the lovely Llao Llao hotel, we’ll board a large, comfortable catamaran boat, crossing the majestic Lake Nahuel Huapi, with the Andes Range always nearby, sailing past islands filled with native forest. The catamaran sets in at the southern tip of the Peninsula de Arrayanes, which holds a one-of-a-kind myrtle wood forest, and offers an awesome singletrack ride, crossing the entire stretch of the peninsula. Once out of the forest, we will have lunch in a lovely volcanic beach, within a picture-perfect forest setting. We’ll have different options for more singletrack riding in the afternoon.
Villa La Angostura is a lovely Patagonian town on the northern shore of the Lake Nahuel Huapi. Choose from among its cozy restaurants and cafés for dining, stroll its quiet streets, or relax at the homely El Establo. Dinner on your own.
Hostería El Establo
Set in the heart of Villa La Angostura, on a quiet street behind the main thoroughfare, El Establo has the characteristic mountain charm of the region, and offers its renowned service. The lounge is very homely, with a huge fireplace, inviting you to spend the evening relaxing among new friends.
Trail over the Peninsula, 13 kms (8 miles), of mostly long, winding singletrack ,with a very technical stretch at the very end (where you can opt to walk).
The great trails of Angostura and the famous Seven Lakes Route
The surroundings of Villa La Angostura also offer great mountain biking trails. We’ll begin the day riding a few city blocks out of the hotel, quickly getting into a forest just behind town. A local guide will lead us through very fluid trails, sometimes very tight, sometimes wide, but always very fun. We will eventually reach the base of Cerro Belvedere, and stop at the beach of Lake Correntoso, a lovely place to rest. Our riding ends when we cycle over the so-called Old Road to Chile, which begins after crossing and old wooden bridge, taking us first over an old dirt road, and eventually into a very fun, windy trail, slowly being engulfed by native forest, near the shores of the crystal-clear waters of Lake Correntoso. At the end of the trail, we’ll ride down to the beaches of Lago Espejo (Mirror Lake), another beautiful spot where we’ll have a picnic lunch.
On our van, we’ll ride over the famous Seven Lakes Route. The dirt road takes us over the northern sector of the Nahuel Huapi National Park, and into the Lanin National Park. We’ll see all the splendor of the parks’ forests, lakes and mountains. Upon arrival into San Martín, our new base, you’ll have the option of riding down a paved road, 20 kms (12 miles) of wonderful downhill into Lake Lacar. Set on the shores of the Lake Lacar, San Martin is a stunning mountain town, very elegant and chic, maintaining the characteristic stone and wood architecture of the region. A great setting for our next two nights. Dinner is on your own tonight – you’ll find great dining opportunities in San Martin.
Hotel (2 nights)
Hostería La Raclette
Great location, at the feet of Chapelco Mountain, on a quiet street just blocks from Lake Lacar and the main boulevard. Ample rooms, a homely fireplace lounge, swimming pool, and a pretty garden area, this inn provides a wonderful base for our nights here.
Aprox 15 kms (9 miles), depending on how much we ride on the trails behind Angostura, of low to medium technical difficulty, with some light climbs. The Old road to Chile is approx 7 kms (5 miles), of windy trails, of low to medium technical difficulty.
Cross-country ride to Lago Escondido
The trail to Lago Escondido (Hidden Lake) offers a phenomenal mountain biking opportunity, with smooth turns, fast descents, streams to cross over, all within a fascinating natural setting. After a short trip on our van, over the edge of Lake Lacar, we will take the road into Quila Quina, a small village on the shores of the Lake. Right at the trailhead, we’ll enter a Mapuche indian community, where we will have the chance to see and meet its people, who live in small farms maintaining a traditional lifestyle. You will have countless opportunities to stop, rest and gaze at the natural surroundings, deep within the Lanin National Park. Once we arrive at Lago Escondido, with its beaches of volcanic sand, set within remote mountains and native forests, you will feel the beauty of the Patagonian Andes like in no other place. The return to Quila Quina is exceptionally fun!
After a picnic lunch together at Quila Quina, on a quiet beach, we’ll shuttle back to San Martín (approx. 30 min.), where you’ll spend a lovely night. Dinner is on your own tonight.
To Lago Escondido: 33 kms (20 miles), over dirt and gravel trails, with some sandy stretches, lots of light climbs, of low to medium technical difficulty. Very fast trail descent into Quila Quina (option of riding down on dirt road).
Elevations: the trail begins at 880 ms (2866 ft), up to 1100 ms (2296 ft), at the Lake, then down to 680 ms (2230 ft) at Quila Quina.
The crossing of the Andes over the Hua-Hum Pass
The day you have been waiting for! Crossing the Andes is an experience of a lifetime, and an unparalleled sensation will abound you. We have chosen this mountain pass not only as a great mountain biking backroad, but also for its beautiful natural setting. We begin pedaling at our hotel in San Martin de los Andes, quickly entering the dirt road to Chile, where we will take on a very tough, but short, climb. The view from above towards San Martin is superb. Here we begin a cross-country ride through magical forests, under countless mountains, deep within the Lanin Volcano National Park. Soon after entering Chile, we are awaited by a special excursion – we will get on a ship that crosses Lake Pirihueico, a remote and lovely lake, set deep within green towering mountains in the Chilean Andes. In the afternoon, we will arrive in Port Fuy, a small town over the Lake’s shore, and continue our journey in our van, getting deeper into the lush rainforests of this region of Chile. We will explore the Huilo-Huilo Reserve, and hike to the impressive Huilo-Huilo Falls, under the shadows of the Choshuenco Volcano. We will arrive early at Conaripe Thermal Baths and Hotel, where we are awaited by its pools fed by natural hot springs – the ideal place to relax and recuperate energies. Also a great setting for our group dinner, celebrating our day’s accomplishments.
Hotel Termas de Coñaripe
You will live an unforgettable night at Termas, enjoying its comfortable rooms, and above all its thermal baths, covered and open-air pools, massages and spa, as well as the delicious food.
58 km (35 miles) over dirt and gravel road, mostly downhill or flat, low technical difficulty. No significant elevation gains (the pass is at 659 ms / 2160 ft).
Conaripe Thermal Baths, rafting and rest in Pucon
This morning, you can wake up early for another soak in the thermal baths. Or, why not sleep in a bit? After an abundant breakfast, we´ll leave Conaripe in our vehicle, crossing wonderfully green forests, eventually coming under the Villarica Volcano´s shadows. After time for free lunch in Pucon, you can choose from various activities for you rest day: the famous Trancura River rafting – plenty of adrenaline and superb views of the Villarica; a wonderful canopy tour in nearby forests; or even a tour of the exclusive thermal baths surrounding Pucon.
In the afternoon, you will want to get to know the lively town of Pucon. On the edge of Lake Villarica, this small city has become the adventure capital of the Chilean Lakes Region. Pucon is a great base for our last days of adventure together. Dinner is on your own tonight – you will have three nights in Pucon to try the great regional cuisine, including the famouse Chilean salmon.
Hotel (3 nights)
A family-run inn, we’ll feel plenty of the famous Chilean hospitality here. Very homely and cozy, ample rooms, and a great location in central Pucon, always under the shadow of the great Villarica Volcano.
The Transvolcanic Trail
Today´s ride takes us to a sector of the Villarica National Park that few tourists venture into. In our vehicle, we will take a dirt road up to the pass between the Villarica and Quetrupillan Volcanoes, approaching the edge of the park. Here, we´ll begin pedaling uphill, over a dirt road that eventually becomes an off-road track. Once over 1000 ms (3300 ft), we enter an extraordinary forest of monkey-puzzle trees and southern beech. We will leave our bikes for a while, commencing a hike to the the Pichillancahue Glacier. The path eventually takes us over the tree line, crossing high-mountain prairies, ravines and beds of volcanic rock, with incredible views of the volcanoes and the Andes Range all around us. We´ll have a quiet picnic outdoors, in a beautiful forest. The descent on our mountain bikes is fantastic, and seems to last forever! Dinner is on your own in Pucon tonight.
7 kms (8 miles) of steep ascent over dirt and gravel road and trail, and a 25 km (15 miles) descent of medium technical difficulty. The hike is approx. 3 hrs long.
Elevation: We’ll begin cycling at 860 ms (2820 ft), reaching 1280 ms (4198 ft) at the top of the pass. The hike takes us to 1800 ms (5900 ft).
Undoubtedly, today’s program is the best way to close the trip! Our van will take us to the Volcano’s ski base, right under the cone of the Villarica, with majestic views of the region. Our local mountain bike guides, very experienced downhill riders, will give us a detailed talk on descent technique. From here, we get on extraordinary singletrack trails, on a fascinating descent. There are plenty of long, windy stretches, crossing over amazing lava beds and thick forests. Each one is free to ride down at their own pace, with the support from our guides, who will always be nearby. After a ride down a dirt backroad through farms and forests, we’ll reach Lake Villarica where we’ll have a picnic lunch together. Another day that you will surely remember for years to come!
Tonight we will have a farewell group dinner in Pucon, celebrating this fantastic journey together.
Approx. 8 kms (5 miles) of descent over trails and singletrack, of medium to very high technical difficulty (which can be skipped by walking).
Elevation: we’ll drive to 1150 ms (3772 ft), riding down to 250 ms (820 ft) at the Lake.
End of journey and adiós in Pucon
After breakfast, we will shuttle you to the airport at Temuco (approx. 2 hours over paved highway). If you prefer to stay in Chile longer, or return to Argentina, we will gladly help you with your travel plans.
Approx. 260 kms (160 miles) of mountain biking, with options for more miles.
We begin at 800 m (2640 ft), in Bariloche, reaching a maximum altitude of 1800 m (5900 ft), and minimum of 200 mts (660 ft). On the day of the Transvolcanic Route, we’ll experience an altitude change of over 800 m (2640 ft) – this altitude difference rarely presents problems with our guests.
Difficulty level of activities
This tour is designed for all levels of experience. The cycling is entirely over trails and dirt or gravel roads. All stretches with significant technical difficulty can be skipped at will. The support of our vehicle, and the possibility of traveling at your own pace, make this trip accessible to riders with little mountain biking experience – you can skip the stretches that do not interest you. Our guides will also offer additional cycling options, on most days, for those that are interested, as well as some optional hikes. You can also opt for more challenging technical stretches on most days.
This tour can be both easygoing and challenging – you decide how you want to approach it.
If you like mountain biking, but are looking for a shorter vacation, ask us about our Bariloche Mountain Bike – a special week of mtb in our spectacular city and its surroundings. If you want to
cross the Andes, but with more cross-country type biking, ask us about our Andes Cross Tour.
Read what past guests say about their
North Patagonia Singletrack experience...
Great trip, great company
“Everything handled with a smile, looking forward to visiting this region again. I learned a lot, thanks for tirelessly handling questions with patience and humor.”
Good job on a great trip, trails and hotels.
“Very informative on a country that needs more attention from US travelers. Thanks for showing us the more beautiful and less-traveled areas of Patagonia. You are lucky to be living in this amazing region.”