Experience Patagonia's natural beauty aboard the Tren Patagonico.

Written by Peter Lauffer
January 22, 2022

The "Tren Patagonico" is a passenger rail service that connects the northern Patagonian Atlantic coast with San Carlos de Bariloche in the Argentinean Andes. The train takes 18 hours to complete the 826-km journey from east to west across the province of Río Negro. 

Expreso Patagonico

Tren Patagónico S.A., which is owned by the province of Rio Negro, holds the service concession for this railroad. The company carries out passenger and cargo train services on the Ferrocarril General Roca line of the Argentine railway network, between Carmen de Patagones and San Carlos de Bariloche. The company also operates the Rio Negro section of La Trochita. The Tren Patagonico service was previously conducted by Ferrocarriles Argentinos.

Train at Bariloche Station

Tren Patagonico provides ongoing weekly passenger service from San Carlos de Bariloche to Viedma. The train departs from Viedma at the Atlantic Ocean on Fridays, arrives in Bariloche on Saturday, then departs from Bariloche on Sunday and reaches Viedma on Monday. 

This service is vital for the towns in the south of Rio Negro, being nearly the only means of contact with other parts of the country, since the National Route 23 is not entirely paved.

Tren Patagonico Viedma - San Carlos de Bariloche

Traveling on the Tren Patagonico is an unforgettable experience, as it crosses the vast Patagonian steppe situated between the ocean and the Andean mountain range.

The train has the following classes of seats: 

  • Primera: In Primera, you travel in a large carriage with comfortable, spacious, soft seats. The Primera carriage has central heating.
  • Pullman: In the Pullman carriage, you enjoy the continuous assistance of the onboard staff, along with heating and air conditioning.
  • Camarote: In the Camarote carriage, you have upper and lower beth. There are luggage racks, a small convertible table, and furniture in which to store clothes (so that they won’t wrinkle).
Tren Patagonico Pulman Class

The carriages are in good shape by South American standards. Still, keep in mind that they don’t compare to the quality of European overnight trains. 

The train has an adjacent dining car that serves freshly prepared meals for dinner and breakfast.  

Train Bariloche - Ing. Jacobacchi

Bariloche and Ingeniero Jacobacchi runs a local train several times a week in both directions. Unfortunately, the train leaves from Bariloche very early in the morning and returns to Bariloche late at night, so these local trains were not scheduled to run with an enjoyment of the beautiful landscape in mind. 

Tourist destinations along the train journey

Ingeniero Jacobacci

"La Trochita," a narrow gauge train, departs from the railway station in Ing. Jacobacci and travels to Ojos de Agua. This steam train usually runs on Saturdays. The journey takes about two hours across the Patagonian steppe and carries passengers to the charming site of Ojos de Agua. The train excursion does not include food, so passengers will need to purchase a lunch at Ojos de Agua before the train departs for Ing. Jacobacci or else bring their own bagged or boxed lunch.

La Trochita from Ing. Jacobacchi

It is crucial to reserve your ticket and confirm your seat before you travel. I also strongly recommend that you book beforehand a hotel in Ing. Jacobacchi, as this small village is in the middle of nowhere, and accommodations are booked up quickly. 


Bariloche is the main tourist city of Argentine Patagonia, which receives thousands of people throughout the year. Thanks to its surroundings of mountains, rivers, and lakes, the outdoor activities and walks in summer are endless.

Cerro Otto Bariloche, Argentina

Cerro Otto

This mountain has a main road and numerous trails for mountain biking and short-distance hiking. It is possible to access the top of the mountain via a road for vehicles or by way of a cable car that departs from the base. During the winter in the upper areas of the mountain there are trails for Nordic skiing and others for Andean skiing.

The cable car valley station is located just 5 kilometers from the city center of Bariloche. Forty-two panoramic gondolas with a capacity of four passengers each carry visitors to the top of the mountain over a distance of 2,100 meters, for an experience not to be missed. 

Cerro Catedral, Bariloche

Cathedral Hill

The most recognized mountain in Bariloche attracts many local and international tourists in winter for its famous ski center. Cathedral Hill is the largest ski resort in the southern hemisphere and is open year round.  

From the top, you’ll enjoy fantastic views of Gutiérrez Lakes, Nahuel Huapi and the Andes, Mount Tronador, and various other nearby mountains. 

The most beautiful way to cross the Andes

The journey begins with a drive from Bariloche to Puerto Pañuelo, after which you will navigate the hills towards the heart of the mountain range, at last reaching Puerto Blest. Then, to reach Puerto Alegre you continue by bus for three kilometers along a road bordering the Frías River. From Puerto Alegre, you board a boat and travel across the beautiful green waters of Lake Frías for about 20 minutes to arrive at Puerto Frías.

Journey Barilchoe - Puerto Varas

Upon your arrival you pass through Argentinean immigration. Next, you take a bus that crosses the mountain range through verdant vegetation in the middle of the Valdivian jungle, until you eventually reach the Chilean village of Peulla. After completing the Chilean immigration and customs procedures, you pause for lunch. Your trip continues along the "Todos Los Santos" Lake to Petrohué. From there you continue by bus to the city of Puerto Varas, where you can stay overnight. From Puerto Varas, you can travel to the airport in Puerto Montt (about 30 km), which has various daily flights to Santiago de Chile. The adventurous will also not want to miss the four-day ferry cruise from Puerto Montt to Puerto Natales through the Chilean fjords and an extremely remote, exotic region of Patagonia. 

Mapa Bariloche - Puerto Varas

Get inspired by some photos of this amazing trip:
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