La Hoya, Esquel Argentina
La Hoya Ski Resort in Argentina may be poco, but when it comes to history it is big. In the 1930s, a few decades after Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid made their mark on the region, skiers made the pilgrimage to La Hoya to make the most of the matchless splendour of “the valley”. Part of the charm of La Hoya is that it still feels like a step back in time.
La Hoya Ski and Snowboard Terrain
The largely treeless ski area is small with only 60 hectares (148 acres) of terrain and 24 trails that have a total length of 22km, the longest single run being 5.1km. La Hoya serves up runs for all abilities with a split of 10% beginner (green), 30% intermediate (blue), 40% advanced (red), and 20% expert (black). La Hoya also has a small terrain park.
The top lift provides access to a large cirque and by traversing, lots of off-piste terrain is opened up. Off-piste aficionados will enjoy the steep chutes, bowls, and the cornices that provide some great hucking fun.
As per its namesake, the ski area sits in a wide circular basin and all runs converge into a narrow area. So no matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to lose the kids or your wife!
La Hoya Snow
La Hoya is well recognised for its snow. The basin catches an average of 8.9 metres of dry Andean powder per season. The slopes are south facing so the quality of the snow is well retained, and the orientation of the basin contributes to a long ski season from June through to early October.
Where is La Hoya?
La Hoya is located 14km from the town of Esquel. Esquel is the gateway to the gorgeous Los Alerces National Park and is situated in the Chubut Province in Argentine Patagonia. Esquel is 282km (175 miles) south of Bariloche
, and 1,955km southwest of Buenos Aires
Esquel has a regional airport with flights originating from the Jorge Newbery Airport in Buenos Aires. Or if you’re combining La Hoya with a visit to other Argentina ski resorts
such as Cerro Catedral
, use the Bariloche airport as the gateway to the region.
Most visitors stay down in Esquel where there are 100 plus accommodation options that range from one star cabins to four star hotels.
La Hoya Accommodations Listings
Esquel is a simple Patagonian town and is very different to the cutesy resort towns further north in the Lakes District. This old mining town is somewhat unattractive in parts. Even the brand new buildings seem to look old, and the locals drive clapped out Fiat and Renault cars that come from the 70s. However this lack of sophistication is part of the appeal of the place. In Esquel you feel like you’ve found the real Argentina, not a town that’s been embellished and prettied up for the tourists.
Esquel has lots of restaurants where you can get your South American fix of meat and a red wine or six. For a relatively small town the nightlife in Esquel can be impressive, and after a late night of partying, don’t worry about being woken up at the crack of dawn because the sun rise in winter is delightfully late too!
La Hoya Ski Resort Facilities
Cerro La Hoya has gastronomy on offer. For those of you that don’t speak Latin American English, this basically means they have food to eat! In addition to restaurants, other facilities include ski and snowboard rental, ski and snowboard school, child care, and a shop.
Why Ski or Snowboard at La Hoya?
La Hoya is popular with families because of its laidback simplicity, the inexpensive lift tickets, and the shape of the terrain whereby all runs unite into the one base area.
If you don’t have rug rats you’ll still enjoy La Hoya, especially if you love challenging off-piste skiing or boarding. Best of all, La Hoya (pronounced La Orja) is largely unknown to international powderhounds, so the off-piste areas are delightfully devoid of traffic and freshies can last for days after a snow storm.
Powderhounds.com has provided La Hoya with the following “best skiing in South America
Ski Patagonia Guided Tours
- Best powder
- Off-piste skiing and boarding
- Low cost ski resort
La Hoya is great to visit as part of a guided tour of Patagonia. Powder Quest
offers a 10 day Patagonia Powder Tour for advanced skiers and snowboarders. The tour covers La Hoya, Cerro Catedral
and Cerro Bayo
, and the package includes guiding, lift tickets, accommodation, meals, and ground transport.
Alternatively Dream Ski Adventures
offer a 14 day tour for strong intermediate to expert riders, and the guides can provide tuition if desired. This Patagonia tour covers La Hoya, Cerro Catedral
, Cerro Bayo
Tours That May Include La Hoya