A Day Trip to Cerro Llao Llao and the Hotel Resort

May 20, 2013 at 10:00 am

Day Trip to Cerro Llao Llao, Bariloche // intrepidmonkeys.com

No one else on the track, the crisp morning dew kissing the long grass as we headed towards Cerro Llao Llao. One of the first walks we did in Bariloche as a family, and definitely an impressive one!

Cerro Llao Llao is 300m high and forms part of a great little walk for the family. Making the most of the Trek Bariloche website, we chose this walk because of the option to link up with the Bosquecito de Arrayanes trail if we had time at the end. The loop took us longer than the 2-3hrs stated on Trek Bariloche, not because of the instructions, but because we got a bit lost and had to stop a couple of times to engage in a battle of the wills as to who had the best sense of direction 😉 Turned out Alec was right, after our second wrong turn, and we made it back to Llao Llao along the road (instead of the Bosquecito de Arrayanes trail) with hungry bellies.

This was one of the first times we realised our baby eats banana skins. After we’d exhausted all options to entertain Ollie in the backpack, and Alec’s hat was no longer cutting it, we gave Ollie a banana hoping that would entertain him until we got back to a decent location to stop and give him lunch. Thinking we were onto a winner after a sustained period of silence, I looked over to see Ollie munching on the banana, skin and all!

Amazing Views from Cerro Llao Llao

The climb to the top of Cerro Llao Llao is fairly steep, but not as steep as Cerro Campanario. From approximately halfway up you start to see some spectacular views of the sheltered bays of Lago Nahuel Haupi in front of the mountainous backdrop.

At the top there is a rugged outcrop that makes for a perfect viewing platform.

Although it does not provide 360deg views like Cerro Campanario the views are just as spectacular if not more beautiful because you get to peek into so many secluded little bays. The actual walk to the top of Cerro Llao Llao from the base only took us approximately 25 mins. Had we returned via the route we had come from we would have been back at Llao Llao Hotel, where we got off the No. #20 bus that we’d caught from town, in about 2hrs round trip.

Llao Llao Hotel & Spa Resort Definitely Worth a Visit

World famous Llao Llao Hotel & Spa Resort has had an interesting past. According to V!va Travel Guides – Argentina,

The hotel was rebuilt two years after first opening its door due to a fire that gutted the place only one year after being built.

In 1978 the resort was closed down for 15 years during the reign of the military junta. Windows were boarded up and it grew a reputation as being haunted.

In 1993 the hotel was reopened and is what it is known as today.

There’s another story in the history of hotel that may or may not be true, and that you will most likely not find in a history book. It involves a volcano eruption, airport closure due to persistant ash and little assistance from the government, subsequent decline in the hotel’s main clientele due to no-one being able to fly into Bariloche to the point of receivership, and an opportunistic presidential family. Following the acquisition of the hotel – so the story goes – the airport was cleaned up, reopened and business at the hotel soon returned to pre-volcano levels. Happy days for the buyers.

The grounds are amazing and definitely worth a look if you go to Circuito Chico. From the hotel you can see Mt Tronador, one of my favourite mountains in the region, that is not visible from anywhere else in Bariloche besides hiking to one of the surrounding peaks.

Fine Dinning (in Hiking Gear) at Llao Llao Hotel & Spa Resort

Hungry and starting to fade, we got back to the entrance of Llao Llao Hotel and faced a dilema. Do we risk another 20mins+ (a long time when it comes to a baby with a hungry tummy – yes, I’ll admit, sometimes I’m that baby) to walk down to the ferry terminal to see if there is any food there, or do we rock up to the Llao Llao Hotel & Spa Resort a little disheveled in our hiking gear?

We opted for the ferry terminal out of fear of disturbing patrons of the swanky hotel with our tired and hungry baby. Wrong decision. Turned out the terminal was purely a sausage machine for boarding herds of tourists onto the numerous boats. Oh well, we thought, they can only turn us away at the hotel. So off we traipsed up the perfectly manicured driveway, past the pristine golf course, to Llao Llao Hotel & Spa Resort.

Dining at this hotel is an experience in itself. We went for the ‘cheap option’ of sandwiches in the bar lounge rather than the US$60 per head salad buffet. The staff were fantastic. So hospitable and great with Ollie. We didn’t even get a sideways look as we walked in with Ollie in the backpack, banana (and banana skin) smeared all over his face and the top of the baby carrier. Or perhaps I didn’t notice as I tried to make a bee line for anything that looked like the prospect of food!

At a cost of around US$500 per night there is no way we would be staying a night, but if you can afford it or at least to dine at Llao Llao Hotel & Spa Resort it is a great experience.

Day Trip to Cerro Llao Llao, Bariloche  //  intrepidmonkeys.com

Day Trip to Cerro Llao Llao, Bariloche  //  intrepidmonkeys.com

Day Trip to Cerro Llao Llao, Bariloche // intrepidmonkeys.com

Day Trip to Cerro Llao Llao, Bariloche  //  intrepidmonkeys.com

Day Trip to Cerro Llao Llao, Bariloche  //  intrepidmonkeys.com

Day Trip to Cerro Llao Llao, Bariloche  //  intrepidmonkeys.com

Day Trip to Cerro Llao Llao, Bariloche  //  intrepidmonkeys.com

Llao Llao Hotel & Spa Resort, Bariloche  //  intrepidmonkeys.com

Llao Llao Hotel & Spa Resort, Bariloche  //  intrepidmonkeys.com

Day Trip to Cerro Llao Llao, Bariloche  //  intrepidmonkeys.com

Llao Llao Hotel & Spa Resort, Bariloche  //  intrepidmonkeys.com

Llao Llao Hotel & Spa Resort, Bariloche  //  intrepidmonkeys.com

Have you been to Llao Llao before, or on a particularly beautiful scenic walk with your kids? We’d love to hear from you, so leave a comment below.

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