Argentina Patagonia

Argentines are known for their passion and vibrant style and should come as no surprise with it being the home of the Tango. This passion and lively energy is very evident at all the ski resorts in Argentina. Latin beats playing and lots of patios for enjoying the fabulous wine and après ski. The resorts have an energy and vibrancy that is enticing and contagious. It makes for a great ski experience.

There is, as well, a distinct European influence in the setup of Argentine ski resorts that contributes to the Latin energy. A ski resort will have various independently owned “refugios” located around the mountain offering great home cooked hearty lunches of soups, goulashes and such with wine and patios to enjoy it all from atop the mountain.

Argentina is a large country, the second largest in South America behind Brazil and probably surprising to many the 8th largest in the world only smaller than Russia, Canada, USA, China, Australia and India. At 2.77 million square kms and a population of only 40.6 million, there is a lot of open space and that is what you must cover to go skiing in Argentina.

Buenos Aires, the capital and airport hub for international flights, is located on the far eastern side of the county near the Atlantic and all the ski resorts are spread along the impenetrable Andes on its far western border with Chile. To reach Las Leñas Ski Resort, the most northern resort, you travel due west from Buenos Aires 1200 kms. 1600 kms south is Bariloche with four ski resorts in the immediate area. And the most southern of all ski resorts in the world, Cerro Castor near Tierra del Fuego is south 3200 kms. There are 3 other smaller resorts spread between Bariloche and Las Leñas.

With the vast size of Argentina the skiing can be broken into two options for a ski holiday. You can go to Las Leñas for a week or two or you can travel to the Bariloche area in the 7 Lakes District of Patagonia where you have 4 ski resorts all within a 3 hour radius of Bariloche.

Being 16 hours driving from Buenos Aires and 10 hours from the closest other ski resort, Portillo in Chile, Las Leñas is a small, self-contained and rather isolated village specifically built around skiing. This isolation requires a minimum week stay by the resorts various hotels. Your only exposure off the snow to Argentina is the village with a few restaurants and nights clubs. The night life though can be a great Argentine adventure that takes you well into the morning.

Las Leñas will reward you for your travel with the best steep and deep skiing on offer in Argentina and all of South America. This is the place for expert skiers to challenge themselves. Las Leñas receives the famous dry Andean snow and the most of any resort in South America. A price comes with this as with its elevation, when it storms, lifts shut down for sometimes days having to be dug out leaving you with no other options on or off the snow other than an intermediate area that does not inspire.

Patagonia’s Seven Lake District centered by the bustling city of Bariloche offers four ski resorts: Catedral, Cerro Bayo, Chapelco and La Hoya. This area provides you with skiing variety and the ability to see more than just a ski area. In fact the Seven Lakes area is described often as the most scenic skiing in South America with two of the resorts situated next to the 100km long lake Lago Nahuel Huapi and surrounded by white capped mountains. It is stunning and a highlight.

Each ski area has a vibrant ski town next to it that offers a great variety of restaurants, shopping and night life. You can savour famous Argentine beef to wild boar and trout, take in a tango show in Bariloche and dance the night away in the towns of San Martin, Esquel, and Villa La Angostura, mixing with the locals.

Over a two week period you can visit the four areas for a wide scope of skiing and exposure to the world famous Patagonia area. An option to fully experience this area and maximise your holiday time without the work and hassle of self-travel is to join a guided tour. This removes the language barrier, the winter road driving, and allows you to relax and immerse yourself in the experience with all the details looked after for you.

Skiing in Argentina is an adventure in itself discovering the vibrant people, the culture, the food and wine, and the flare Argentines bring to all they do. Add the great skiing in the Andes and it’s a ski holiday well worth the travel unlike any ski experience that can be had in North America or Europe.