Best places for Skiing in Argentina
Argentina is very popular among ski and snowboard lovers. The ski season goes from June to October (depending on the destination), which means that it runs opposite to the high season (tourism in general) in Argentina. Most of the places for skiing in Argentina are in Patagonia, which makes it ideal for complementing it with a trekking tour or scenic excursions. Furthermore, it’s special for a family trip or a romantic honeymoon.
1). Skiing in Patagonia
As we mentioned above, most of the resorts and places for skiing in Argentina are located in Patagonia. Let’s check some of the most remarkable places to go:
Cerro Catedral (Bariloche)
Bariloche is in the heart of the lake district in Patagonia. It’s a city surrounded by mountains, lakes, rivers, and forests. This region is very similar to the Alps and counts with different ski resorts. The most iconical is the Catedral Hill (Cerro Catedral). It counts with more than 70 tracks distributed across 2000 acres of snow slopes. The elevation difference is 1150 meters. There are tracks for all kinds of levels and difficulties. The infrastructure is very complete (with 36 ski lifts, restaurants, hotels, etc..) and it’s only 19 km from the city. Bariloche has an airport with flights to and from different parts of Argentina. This means that one can stay either in the city or even at the base of the hill. The views from the top –and surroundings- are just breathtaking!
Chapelco (San Martin de los Andes)
Likewise, this ski resort is in the Lake District, and together with Catedral and Cerro Castor, are the three most important ski resorts of Patagonia. Chapelco is pretty close to San Martin de los Andes (province of Neuquén, 200 km northern from Bariloche). Many people combine both destinations on one same trip, since the road that joins both destinations is the legendary “Camino de los 7 Lagos” (seven lakes road). The ski resort has an elevation difference of 750 meters and it counts with a very good infrastructure. San Martin de los Andes has aswell its own airport, with flights to and from Buenos Aires.
Cerro Bayo (Villa la Angostura)
This resort is near Villa La Angostura (Neuquén), between Bariloche (86 km) and San Martin de los Andes (120 km). Cerro Bayo is smaller than Chapelco and Catedral, but it counts with ski lifts, tracks for different levels, and amazing views. Furthermore, Villa La Angostura is one of the most beautiful villages in whole Patagonia. It’s crossed by the Correntoso River –the shortest in the world- which separates the two lakes that surround the village.
Caviahue & Batea Mahuida (Neuquén)
Further north – still the Lakes District- in the province of Neuquen, it’s Caviahue and Batea Mahuida resorts. They are not as famous as the other ones but quite chosen by locals and other visitors, since the rates are usually lower. Caviahue (near the village of the same name) has tracks for different levels and an infrastructure which is more complete than Batea Mahuida. Batea Mahuida is located in Villa Pehuenia, it’s ideal for beginners, and it’s run by the Mapuches! (native people).
La Hoya (Esquel)
La Hoya is located in the province of Chubut, near the city of Esquel. This is in the southern limit of the Patagonian Lake District, about 290 km from Bariloche. It counts with an elevation of 645 mts. , tracks with different difficulties, and 10 ski lifts. Many Argentineans choose this resort as an alternative to Catedral or Chapelco. One of the advantages of visiting this area is that you can include in your visit an excursion to the National Park Los Alerces (UNESCO site). Esquel has also an airport that receives flights from Buenos Aires.
A little bit north of Esquel –halfway to Bariloche- there is another ski resort called “Laderas – Perito Moreno”. It’s right next to the village “El Bolsón”, and one of the newest in Patagonia.
Backcountry Ski in El Chaltén & Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz is actually popular for trekking and glaciers, not so much for skiing. Far from the lake district, this Patagonian province still offers chances for skiing. The only ski resort with infrastructure (lifts and so on) is in Rio Turbio, 240 km south of El Calafate. However, it’s a small center and the views are not as magical as in other areas.
El Calafate has some places for skiing (off-piste), which can be a good idea after you have visited the Glacier Perito Moreno. On the other hand, El Chaltén (220 km northern from El Calafate), has great opportunities for winter activities and skiing off the beaten tracks. El Chaltén is the capital for trekking in Argentina, and is located at the foot of the Fitz Roy and Torre Mounts. This area has beautiful mountains, forests, rivers, lakes, lagoons…and during winter is not crowded. Therefore, you can enjoy the views in solitude, while descending through snowy slopes triggering your adrenaline!
Backcountry skiing in El Chaltén is a great opportunity for you to enjoy. You can hire multiple day tours where you combine trekking with skiing (for experienced travellers), or explore the slopes of Cerro Crestón (hill Crestón). This hill is the most popular among the locals, and counts with a shelter to spend the night in case you want to add some spice to your trip.
Cerro Castor (Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego)
Welcome to the southernmost ski resort in the world, and one of the most remarkable places for skiing in Argentina. Cerro Castor is in the province of Tierra del Fuego (Southern Patagonia), and only 26 km from Ushuaia. Athletes for Winter Sports from all over the world come here every season, not only because of the inverted season (south hemisphere) but also because of the quality of the snow.
Cerro Castor has an elevation difference of 862 meters, 8 ski lifts, and tracks for different levels. Its proximity with Ushuaia makes it possible to combine with other activities such as a visit to the National Park Tierra del Fuego, or a navigation on the Beagle Channel. Ushuaia counts with very good infrastructure, to satisfy a wide spectrum of travel styles and preferences.
2). Skiing in Mendoza
Skiing in Argentina is not only about Patagonia. There is another province that is quite popular, and home to one of the most important ski resorts in Argentina: Las Leñas. Mendoza province, the land of the best Malbec in the world, and where is located the highest mount in the Americas (Aconcagua), is proud to receive visitors all over the year – not only for skiing.
As mentioned above, the most important ski resort in Mendoza is “Las Leñas”. It’s in the southern part of the province, counts with a very good infrastructure (hotels, restaurants, 13 ski lifts, etc), and has an elevation difference of 1230 meters. It’s one of the most frequented places to ski in Argentina.
Far from Las Leñas, and on the opposite side of Mendoza, there are three other small ski resorts: Penitentes, Vallecitos, and Los Puquios. They are on the way to Aconcagua, following the road of the “high mountain circuit”. This is the National Route 7, which also leads to the most important international crossing to Chile.
Custom tours in Argentina and Chile
Beyond BA LATAM is a local travel company that offers tailor-made trips in Argentina and Chile for the discerning traveler. If you’re planning a trip for skiing in Argentina -or with other purposes-, don’t hesitate to contact us, it will be a pleasure to help you plan your next adventure!