Rising 11,660 feet (3,554 meters), Cerro Tronador is Bariloche’s highest mountain. It sits on the border between Argentina and Chile, nestled between two national parks. The mountain’s name comes from the Spanish word for thunder, a reference to the rumbling icefalls from the area’s seven glaciers, which are audible from a safe distance.
Cerro Tronador’s main attraction is the Black Snowdrift (Ventisquero Negro) glacier, which is the source of the Manso River, a popular white-water rafting destination. You can hike up to the glacier at Refugio Otto Meiling, where you can also spend the night; keep going from here on foot or by bike until the road ends at Devil’s Throat (Garganta del Diablo) waterfall. In either case, you’ll want to be careful not to get too close to the waterfall’s edge.
Full-day tours to Cerro Tronador typically include round-trip transport from Bariloche and a stop in the town of Pampa Linda.
Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- A day trip to Cerro Tronador is a must-do for outdoor enthusiasts visiting Bariloche.
- If visiting independently, note that the drive can take two hours or more, and the road has entry and exit times.
- Wear comfortable hiking shoes suitable for walking on uneven ground, warm clothing, and other gear appropriate for the mountain.
Cerro Tronador is about 140 miles (225 kilometers) from downtown Bariloche. An unpaved stretch of Route 40 out of Bariloche offers one-way access to the mountain in the morning (10:0am to 2pm) and back in the afternoon (4pm to 6pm); either way, it’s slow going. You must drive or take a tour to the mountain, as there is no public transportation.When to Get There
The mountain can be visited year-round, although weather conditions may restrict access to the area. Ask at the tourist information office in Bariloche or check national park reports before heading out—and remember that the access road has entry and exit times.
Nahuel Huapi National Park
Cerro Tronador towers over Nahuel Huapi National Park, which spans the Argentine provinces of Río Negro and Neuquén. Nahuel Huapi is the oldest national park in Argentina and the largest in the Patagonian Andes. Glacial lakes, rivers, waterfalls, and snow-capped peaks make it a standout attraction among the many day-trip and hiking options in Bariloche.