Las Leñas Mendoza, a ski resort in Argentina. (photo via Inprotur – Visit Argentina)
The breathtaking landscapes of Argentina’s Patagonia turn into a snowy wonderland during the southern hemisphere winter, making the region’s world-class ski resorts a big attraction for winter sports enthusiasts. Expert skiers like Argentina’s great terrain and dry powder, but all resorts cater to skiers of all levels with lessons for beginners and family-friendly activities for the little ones.
Start out by exploring San Carlos de Bariloche set on the banks of Lake Nahuel Huapi. The main gateway to Patagonia’s lake district, Bariloche is famous for its distinct Alpine-influenced architecture, great restaurants, exciting nightlife, artisanal breweries and chocolate shops.
Just 12 miles outside Bariloche, Catedral Alta Patagonia is one of Argentina’s best-known ski resorts and known to be the largest ski center in the southern hemisphere. It is a two-time World Ski Awards winner for Best Ski Resort in Argentina. The resort provides spectacular views across Nahuel Huapi National Park and across the Andes into Chile’s Lake District.
From beginners to expert freestylers, every type of skier will find a range of trails and off-piste options here. Catedral also offers great tree skiing as well as extensive backcountry terrain including huts for overnight trips.
Located an hour and a half drive from the international airport of San Carlos de Bariloche, Laderas-Cerro Perito Moreno is one of the newer additions to the wide roster of winter sports resorts in Argentina’s Patagonia and offers extraordinary views of the area’s whimsical lakes.
The slopes of Mount Perito Moreno are covered with lenga beech trees – native to the southern Andean range – and ñires (Antarctic beech trees) offering great tree-skiing.
About 140 miles north of Bariloche, Chapelco is a five-time World Ski Awards winner for Best Ski Resort in Argentina. With 2,360 feet of vertical drop, Chapelco begins above tree line and ends in dense, old-growth forest, offering some great tree skiing.
Chapelco’s terrain accommodates all types of skiers but is known to be one of the best in Argentina for intermediate skiers. In addition to skiing, visitors to Chapelco can also practice snowboarding and snowmobiling or go sledding with Siberian huskies. Chapelco is also known to have one of the best ski schools in South America.
Cerro Bayo in Argentina. (photo via Inprotur – Visit Argentina)
For those looking to get away from the crowds, Cerro Bayo is a boutique, family-friendly resort located near the resort town of Villa La Angostura. Cerro Bayo boasts some of the best tree runs in South America through virgin forest. Its 3.7-mile intermediate trail offers panoramic views over majestic Lake Nahuel Huapi.
In addition to its 31 trails with four levels of difficulty, it offers snow parks for freestyle skiers and snowboarders as well as snow tubing and snowshoeing.
Las Leñas is one of Argentina’s best-known ski resorts, famous for its wild terrain and backcountry as well as the opportunities for extreme and off-piste skiing. Sitting at over 11,200 feet altitude in a purpose-built village, it boasts five hotels, an apartment complex, and a hostel as well as a great variety of restaurants and a big party scene. It is the only ski resort in South America to offer night skiing.
Adventurous travelers looking to explore more off-the-beaten-path locales also have the option of ski resorts further afield like Caviahue, Cerro Castor or La Hoya.
For additional information on Argentina, please visit argentina.travel.