The last of the skiing opportunities are disappearing from the slopes in Canada, the USA and Europe as summer arrives. There’s only one solution; follow the snow south! since the founding of the Argentinian Ski Federation in 1941 things have been, in true Latin American style, developing slowly but steadily. A world away from its counterparts in the Northern Hemisphere, your ski trip can include experiences from partying in the midst of the Argentinian winter getaway of Bariloche to horseback rides and hikes into the middle of nowhere to conquer faraway slopes.
Getting there Travelling to any of the main resorts can be achieved through fairly simple connections, with a 2 to 3 hour flight from Buenos Aires followed by ground transportation to your chosen resort. Depending on your level and the kind of trip you want, Argentina presents the following options.
Popular ski resorts in Argentina Catedral Bariloche is in the heart of the Argentinian Lake district, the biggest mountain in Argentina. The ski resort is outside the popular mountain town of Bariloche, which Argentinians flock to during national holidays. Famous for its huge steaks, red wine and hot chocolate, it’s easy to get distracted from skiing. In general the resort has an intermediate focus, with incredible views to enjoy over the lakes as you ski.
Las Lenas is known for its back-country skiing, with expert skiers coming from all over the world to throw themselves down the challenging terrain, including gullies, chutes and cliffs. Just outside Mendoza, famous for its wine, transport connections are easy and before long you will find yourself exploring the limits of the 230 hectares of ski-able terrain. Heliskiing is also a popular option here.
Chapelco, outside the alpine town of San Martin de Los Andes, has something for everyone. Alpine skiers, ski tourers and snowboarders will all find something to suit in the range of snow-parks, groomed runs, powder bowls and tree skiing. Smaller but just as popular as its bigger neighbour Mount Catedral, Chapelco is well worth a visit.
Smaller ski resorts in Argentina Mount Castor in Ushuaia is the southernmost resort in the world, a place where you can ski down to sea level on dry, fine powder. Great for nordic skiing, Mount Castor enjoys a longer season than anywhere else.
Las Penitentes is the neighbouring resort to the bigger Las Lenas, a sizable resort with 300 hectares of skiable terrain with a mixture of beginner, intermediate and advanced runs. Watched over by Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Americas, visitors will be impressed by the surrounding scenery.
Mount Bayo, the pride of Villa La Angostura, is an impressive resort set in a beautiful natural landscape. Surrounded by forests and with a majestic view of Lake Nahuel Huapi, it is very close to the mountain village and it offers skiers 200 hectares of terrain. Visitors will have the strange but wonderful experience of winding their way through the network of bizzare monkey puzzle trees, seen to be believed!
La Hoya, 13 kilometres outside Esquel, is another resort blessed with stunning landscape, a selection of forests, waterfalls and lakes. The aspect of the resort also shelters it from the sun, which gives the resort the benefit of reliable, excellent quality powder snow.
Batea Mahuida resort provides an interesting mix of winter sports and culture, home to the Puel Mapuche community. Since the local volcano became extinct and formed a lagoon in its crater, the Mapuches have resided in the region, and visitors can enjoy their cuisine and get to know their customs. Nordic skiing is popular here.
Caviahue is located at the base of the Copahue volcano, which provides a couple of unique advantages. The first is the 8km descent from the volcano’s summit through back-country powder, and the second is the range of natural thermal baths in the resort full of water rich in volcanic minerals. With a stunning landscape to match, Caviahue is fine example of Argentinian rustic charm.
If you decide to head to the bright lights of Bariloche, the challenging slopes of Las Lenas or the secluded retreat of Caviahue, Argentina can provide the endless ski season that you are searching for. As with any ski resort worldwide, you’ll get the best out of your trip if you have a local guide or arrange a tour with an experienced operator to open up access to those hidden treasures tucked away in the mountains. Make sure that if you do choose to go with someone they have a solid reputation and take no chances; safety on your ski trip should always be a priority. That said, don’t hesitate to explore this snowy corner of the world a little further off the beaten track than your regular ski trip; you won’t regret a ski vacation in Argentina!
Gary Sargent is the Managing Director of the tour companies Escaped to Peru and Escaped to Latin America and has lived in South America for over 10 years. Gary is passionate about life here, the people, customs and places. To learn more or to book your next personalized adventure please visit http://www.escapedtolatinamerica.com
Article Source: Skiing In Argentina – Summer Snow Vacations in Latin America