Argentina isn’t just about the magical tango dance. Argentina is the world's eighth largest country. Away from the bustling metropolis of Buenos Aires
, and the dry arid heat of the expansive deserts in the north, Argentina has extremely cold and wet conditions in the south in the wild remote areas in Patagonia. Argentina also possesses some of the world's tallest mountains and the majestic Andes provide the perfect backdrop for various Argentina ski resorts.
Skiing in Argentina
Argentina has about 14 ski resorts dotted along the Andes with three major ski regions: the ski resorts near Mendoza; the Lakes District and Patagonia ski areas in the south; and Ushuaia way down south.
Mendoza Argentina Ski Resorts
is renowned for its steep terrain and adrenalin pumping double-black diamond chutes. Whilst it has something for everyone, it has become a mecca for extreme skiing and snowboarding. Las Leñas has easy backcountry access as well as cat skiing and heli skiing tours.
The Las Leñas lifted terrain reaches altitudes of nearly 3,340 metres (11,253ft) with a base elevation of 2,240m (7,394ft) making this the highest ski field in Argentina. The annual snowfall at Las Leñas
is around 6 metres (250 inches) and the powder is renowned for being pretty good. Las Lenas is trendy and the nightlife is vibrant, so if partying is your thing you can dance the night away (and half the next day as well!).
ski resort sits on the international highway between Santiago in Chile and Mendoza, 183km west of Mendoza and only 25km from the Chile border. Penitentes is a mid-sized ski resort that’s good to visit for a day or two of skiing or snowboarding if driving between Las Lenas and Portillo
And 4.5km down the road is Los Puquios
, a small cheap ski area that is ideal for families and beginners.
Ski Patagonia – The Lake District
Argentine Patagonia includes the provinces of Neuquén, Río Negro, Chubut and Santa Cruz, and part of Tierra del Fuego.
The Lake District is in the north of Patagonia with Bariloche
being a common gateway to the ski resorts in this area.
Starting in the north of Patagonia is Caviahue
(Centro de Ski Cerro Caviahue) which sits near Copahue and takes skiers up to the peak of Volcan Copahue at 2,953 metres. Copahue is 978 km (608 miles) south of Mendoza and 554km (344 miles) north of Bariloche. The little beginners' hill of Batea Mahuida is near Villa Pehuenia.
is located near the town of San Martin de los Andes
, a 262km (163 miles) drive north of Bariloche. Cerro Chapelco is a modern ski resort with some good lifts and tree skiing.
is an upscale boutique ski resort near Villa La Angostura
which is one hour north (70km – 43mi) of Bariloche.
is the local Bariloche ski resort
, only 20km (12 miles) from Bariloche. Cerro Catedral (aka Catedral Alta Patagonia
) is a large, modern and bustling ski resort.
At the other end of the spectrum is the wee little Perito Moreno
ski area near El Bolson, a hippie town 121km (75 miles) south of Bariloche.
South of the Lake District is La Hoya ski
resort, a step back in time where lift tickets are cheap. La Hoya is located near the town of Esquel which is 282km (175 miles) south of Bariloche.
In Patagonia the climate is much cooler than near Mendoza and the ski resorts are at lower altitudes. With the exception of Caviahue, the top elevations of the ski resorts are only about 2,000 metres (6,500 feet). This is a great place to start your Argentinean ski holiday if you have any concerns about altitude sickness
Ushuaia Argentina Skiing and Snowboarding
And way down south at parallel 54 degrees is Cerro Castor
. This southern ski resort is located near Ushuaia in the Tierra del Fuego. The base of the ski resort sits at only 195 metres above sea level.
Heli Skiing ArgentinaArgentina heli skiing
is quite rare. Powder South offer week long heli ski packages from a luxurious lodge in the wine region of Mendoza.
Argentina heli skiing is also available at the "end of the world" in Ushuaia.
Cat skiing and cat boarding is available from Las Lenas.
And Canadian style snowcat skiing is available at the Baguales Mountain Reserve
south of Bariloche.
When is the Argentina Ski Season?
The ski season begins in mid-June and runs to October. However the best skiing conditions in Argentina are generally mid July to early September.
A great way to explore the Argentina ski resorts is to go on a multi-resort tour or camp, and some itineraries also incorporate snowcat skiing. You don't need to be an expert or advanced rider as there are many intermediate trips available, and some tours incorporate instruction or coaching.
See the Argentina ski tours
pages for more information. For tour dates and an indication of availability, check out the South America ski tours schedule
Argentina Ski & Snowboard Tours