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Bariloche is not only the city centre itself but also the 25 kilometres that lie along Bustillo Avenue between the city and the Llao Llao Hotel and Puerto Panuelo port to the west, including the two sightseeing villages of Cerro Catedral and Colonia Suiza, which you reach through a road branching from Bustillo Avenue. The cablecar up to Cerro Otto (1400 metres) and the double chairlift up to Cerro Campanario (lower and to the west of Cerro Otto) are two more sightseeing spots.
To move around this tourist circuit there are several public buses that cover different routes, but which take you to all these places. The buses belong to the 3 de Mayo public transport company, and it also covers the bus terminal and the shopping centre Patagonia. The cheapest option to move around is to take the buses (20, 21, 10, for example).
Tourists who do not speak fluent Spanish are offered by hotels a pre-paid paper ticket that covers any distance and costs $6 (approximately U$S 1.5). You might think this is very cheap and convenient, but when you board you will see visitors and backpackers carrying an electronic card from which the fare is deducted, so you wonder what the difference is.
The electronic card can be bought at the 3 de Mayo ticket office, on Moreno street between Bechstedt and Palacios, for $14 (approximately U$S 3, which are non refundable) and after that initial investment, you indicate to the driver upon embarking what your destination is and place the card on the electronic reader. There are three fares according to distance, the cheapest being $2.25 and the most expensive one $4.45. As you can see, even the farthest destination (Panuelo port, at the end of Avenida Bustillo, 25 km from Bariloche centre) is cheaper than the $6 paper ticket that hotel receptions offer. What is more, if there are two of you, you only need one card and you inform the bus driver that you want two rides to wherever you are going. You will see that the electronic reader indicates "2 tickets $2.25", for example, and $4.50 will be deducted from your card. The electronic card is your best choice if you are planning to use the bus at least twice a day for two people or more than two days or if you will be using the bus for short rides.
The snag is that there are still not many places where you can top the card, but you can get a list of them and find the one nearest to your lodgings. Itinerant employees carrying a portable device to top cards can sometimes be found getting on buses.
The buses are a cheap way to travel, but you shouldn't expect frequent service. Although there are no strict schedules, buses run the Bustillo avenue route approximately every 20 minutes. Get ready for a long wait, expecially after 9 p.m., when you have finished dinner downtown and want to return to your lodgings.
There is also a bus which gets to the airport.
As of April 2016, the public buses now use the SUBE card from the Buenos Aires transport system. However, one cannot recharge the SUBE card at the airport, so make sure you have at least 12 pesos credit for each person on the card before you leave Buenos Aires if arriving by air.Also note that the 72 bus from the airport only runs once an hour (10 minutes after the hour at time of writing).
Alternatively, you may take a taxi. If you are travelling on U.S. dollars or euros, the exchange rate will make them a suitable choice. From the bus terminal to Km 1 on Bustillo Avenue costs $30 (about U$S 7). You pay what the metre marks.
There is a better choice for longer trips: private chauffeured cars, which are called "remis". Your hotel can call one and the advantage is that you know exactly how much you will be paying before departing. There are several shops on the streets in the centre with the word REMIS and you can go in and enquire about the pre-arranged fixed price to wherever you are going and then choose the best option, although the differences between fares quoted does not seem to be too great. For $72 (U$S 16) you can get from Bustillo Avenue Km 1 to the airport, which is about 15 kilometres away.