How To Get There
Location of Arpa Cat Ski Area
Ski Arpa cat skiing operates "in the shadow of Aconcagua", the Big Kahuna in the Andes Mountains. Arpa is 108km north of Santiago
(about a 2:15 hour drive), and 35km from the town of Los Andes (1:25 hours). If staying at Casa San Regis
, it's only a 50 minute trip up the mountain.
Ski Resorts Nearby
is about 1:25 hours east of the town of Los Andes.
Getting There - Self Drive
The access road to Arpa is very rugged so a heavy duty 4WD is required to get there. The last 13 kilometres are not paved and it's more of a rocky trail than a road. Ring Arpa in the morning to check road conditions and to check they are operating (Telephone: 56 2 244 2750
; Cell: 56 9 9 131 7044). If the snow line is low they may pick you up in the cat at the snow line and transport you up to the refugio ("day lodge").
The drive is very doable in a 4WD and the need for chains is somewhat debatable. The problem is that chains are not available in Los Andes (or anywhere else nearby), so chances are that you'll have to do without them. However if you want to play it really safe you'll need to hire or buy chains in Santiago. Try Xscape (next to KL Adventures) at the start of Camino de Farellones just after the turn-off to Tres Valles ski resorts from Av Las Condes. New chains might cost about $Ch65.000 to $Ch78.000 or $Ch8.000 per day to rent (convert here
). Otherwise if you are coming from Tres Valles (Farellones, El Colorado
, Valle Nevado
and La Parva
) you could try and negotiate with the men on the side of the road regarding hiring or buying chains.
Take care on the road up. Aside from the obvious hazards you may also come across goats, horses, or friendly waving locals on the road.
Getting There - Transport Providers
Otherwise save yourself the hassle and get a lift. There are lots of Arpa cat skiing packages or tours that includes transport.
A great option is with Upscape Travel
. They run a professional operation. Our lovely driver Rito didn't operate on Chilean time. He picked us up on time and against South American culture he also drove very safely!