The city is located 129 kilometers (80 miles) from Bariloche, heading south on National Route 40. The first few kilometers follow the shores of lakes Gutiérrez, Mascardi and Guillelmo, until you cross the Villegas river bridge. This breathtaking section of the road goes through extensive conifer plantations.
About halfway along the route you'll find El Foyel, a small town of the El Manso community. They sell coffee and food at the kiosks along the roadside. There are also cabins and inns where you can stay.
A few more kilometers along the road you'll find the mapuche-descendant Guaitecas community. They offer a great variety of handicrafts during the weekends. Just before reaching the town you’ll find the Carved Woods, an atypical art installation that uses the remains of a burnt forest to bring works of art by local artists to life.
One of the town's most popular attractions is the craft fair at Pagano square in downtown El Bolsón. You can watch craftsmen work on their crafts, including metal, pottery and wooden pieces, knitted products, stained glass, knives, jewelry and much much more.
There are two tours that leave from El Bolsón. One is the Lago Puelo National Park, which is located 16 kilometers (10 miles) from El Bolsón and between the provinces of Río Negro and Chubut. The other option is to go to El Maitén to ride La Trochita, an ancient steam train which attracts lots of tourists from all over the world. The train runs across 45 kilometers (28 miles) of railroad tracks. Check the train's opening days and times before traveling.
If you have your own car you should go to the Azul river viewpoint, the Mallín Ahogado valley and the Cerrito Amigo viewpoint You could also visit the Patagonic bird species exhibition, the rock museum and some of the nearby waterfalls.
We recommend you to take snow chains for your vehicle because there can be heavy snow or ice on the road.