We spent the entire winter of 2023 in Patagonia and I have to say, it converted me, a previous winter hater, into a snow bunny.
I’m now writing this guide in the midst of a Buenos Aires heat wave, wishing for the snow and dreaming of a hopeful winter Argentina ski holiday.
After failing at skiing multiple times I gave up and took a weekend of private snowboard lessons in Bariloche and absolutely loved it.
But while an unwelcome bout of pneumonia soured my snowboarding plans, I did still visit every ski resort I could as a pedestrian while my husband actually enjoyed the slopes.
This post is a comprehensive guide to the best Argentina ski resorts to make your Argentina ski holiday happen this year, including private ski resorts and backcountry skiing.
With the seasons “swapped” in the southern hemisphere, Argentina ski season starts in June in the deep south and in July further north, so if you’re excited to “ski in the summertime”, let’s get to planning.
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The Best Argentina Ski Resorts
Cerro Catedral in Bariloche is the end all be all of Argentina skiing. It is one of the largest South American ski resorts and is in one of the biggest cities inn Patagonia with many activities beyond skiing.
Ask locals where they love to ski in Argentina and you’ll typically hear Cerro Castor in Ushuaia and Chapelco in San Martin de los Andes.
I fell in love with the boutique Cerro Bayo in the quaint village Villa La Angostura.
Adventure lovers will feel right at home cat skiing in Baguales.
Let’s dive into it, here are the best ski resorts in Argentina.
Las Leñas, Mendoza
Las Leñas is the only Argentina ski resort on this list not in Patagonia but is actually one of the top places to ski in South America.
The closest city is Malargüe at 80 kilometers, so you’ll likely be basing yourself right here in Las Leñas, check their many world class hotels or cabins and apartments.
Las Leñas At A Glance:
- The valley offers a long ski season from June through September (inclusive).
- Only South America resort to offer night skiing (on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays weather permitting).
- 30 runs over 7,500 hectares of total ski area
- 3430 meters/11,253 feet above sea level at summit
- Best for steep skiing with 1200 meters vertical drop
- Map of the resort and tracks
Cerro Catedral, Bariloche
Argentina’s largest and most important ski resort is without a doubt Cerro Catedral in Bariloche.
It has the most ski runs and a large resort that would allow you to never even set foot in Bariloche proper if you didn’t want to.
Literally everyone goes to Bariloche in winter from avid international skiers to local families on holiday. It is even THE destination for high school senior graduation trips and you will inevitably see large groups of students in matching rental outerwear, these egresados are iconic in the Bariloche ski landscape.
Because of this, I recommend going in mid-season or low-season if you can. This will give you a lot more time ON the slopes rather than in line for the lifts.
Advanced skiers can take advantage of excellent backcountry skiing in Bariloche with guided hut to hut excursions. When on a snow shoe hike to Refugio Frey I saw a group of these skiers (at age 70+) come through and I (being more novice than should be possible) was jaw dropping impressed by them.
If your main purpose of this trip is to ski or snowboard, then I highly recommend basing yourself IN Villa Cerro Catedral. Traffic in and out each day can be dense so staying here saves you quite a bit of time (and money on taxis).
Check Bariloche on booking.com and open the map to find a hotel or apartment in Villa Catedral. Anything here will be walkable to the slopes.
Cerro Catedral At A Glance:
- Catedral has 29 ski lifts and 60 runs down the mountain
- The village itself has two shopping centers, hotels, rental shops, restaurants and bars. Après ski is fantastic with local breweries and chocolate shops serving the region’s best hot chocolates.
- Click here for a map of the runs and the resort
- 7834 feet above sea level at summit
- Crowds in peak weeks can be a hindrance, consider alternative resorts for peak July season.
Chapelco, San Martin de los Andes
When my husband quizzed locals in the region of where they preferred to ski, Chapelco was nearly always their answer due to the variety of the slopes and great weather.
It’s one of the few Argentina ski resorts on this list I have yet to visit but as a city to use as a base, San Martin de los Andes is very hard to beat.
Bariloche has grown into a big city and with it comes the negatives of any big city. San Martin de los Andes has the benefits of a city yet retains the feeling of a smaller village.
It’s beautiful and abounds with dining, accommodation and shopping options. Lying at the northern edge of the scenic 7 lakes route, there is plenty to see in the region for both skiers non-skiers alike.
Chapelco At A Glance:
- 28 runs over 1500 hectares of skiable area
- The majority of the runs pass through old growth lenga forests which offer protection from the infamous Patagonia wind
- This is the only ski resort in Argentina run entirely on renewable energy
- Chapelco is inclusive and the leader in adaptive skiing, offering classes to people of all abilities, read more here.
- Great all around resort for avid skiers and families alike, visit official resort page.
Cerro Bayo, Villa La Angostura
We spent an entire month of winter in Villa La Angostura and I fell hard for Cerro Bayo.
Due to illness and doctor’s orders I wasn’t able to snowboard but I did spend a lot of time up here for après ski with my husband who couldn’t stop raving about Cerro Bayo.
They accurately market themselves as a boutique ski experience and after a month of navigating massive Cerro Catedral, I have to say I preferred the quaint yet stylish Cerry Bayo.
There was only one bar open at the base (compared to the small city of Catedral) and it was enough. It had a cozy log cabin, non-commercial feel.
The highlight, for me, was taking a day with a pedestrian pass to head to the summit and the lunch party I did not expect to find.
Music blared over the speaker while a full bar was set up in the snow. A professional asador cooked stews in a disc and grilled chorizos in the open air. That experience alone would be worth the flight if I’m allowed to exaggerate.
Beyond the dining and apres ski options (sorry, you can tell where I spent my time), logistics plays heavily in your favor here as well.
The turn off to Cerro Bayo is just 6 kilometers from downtown and from here a short 10 minute drive up the weaving road to the mountain. No other resort we visited was this close to town (Chapelco is a close second).
This lets you stay anywhere in Villa La Angostura and be only a short drive to the mountain. Las Balsas is the best luxury resort but budget accommodation exists as well. To be as close as possible, stay at ONA Apart hotel.
Cerro Bayo At A Glance:
- 11 ski lifts with 14 km of runs over 126 hectares of skiable area
- 4 routes for off-piste skiing
- Like Chapelco, Bayo offers adaptive skiing for all abilities, click here for options
- Click here for map of Cerro Bayo
- Views of Lago Nahuel Haupi from the summit are incredible
- As a smaller boutique resort it may not offer the variety a seasoned skier may be wanting but for a beginner or intermediate (or family or group of friends) Cerro Bayo has a lot to offer. For a seasoned skier you could easily add on a couple of days here to your time at Catedral, Villa La Angostura is only an hour north of Bariloche.
Cerro Castor, Ushuaia
Let’s jump to the end of the world for a minute, Cerro Castor in Ushuaia is many a local’s favorite Argentina ski resort.
Being so far south, Ushuaia in winter is a true snow paradise and has the longest and most trustworthy ski season in Argentina. You can see sled dogs, go snowshoeing, ride snowmobiles, snowboard and ski.
Cerro Castor At A Glance:
- The summit is at 3467 feet above sea level.
- Cerro Castor has 28 runs and 10 ski lifts
- Click here for a map of the resort
Backcountry Skiing in Argentina at Baguales
For people looking for a once in a lifetime adventure book a backcountry Argentina ski holiday at Baguales Mountain Reserve.
Just one hour from Bariloche on Ruta 40.
On 25,000 acres of skiable land they offer cross country skiing and cat skiing for a true backcountry experience.
Other Argentina Ski Resorts
The above are the best Argentina ski resorts but there are more to choose from if you’ll be traveling across Patagonia.
If you want to get away from the crowds or ski on a budget, they might be a great alternative as well.
- Cerro Perito Moreno, El Bolson – Perito Moreno is outside of El Bolson and it is a trek to get there if you stay in town. If you go purely to ski, try to find a place to stay nearby in Mallin Alto or prepare for a longer drive. As a resort, it felt a bit vintage and frozen in time but had epic views.
- La Hoya, Esquel – Esquel is a few hours south of El Bolson and its ski resort is a short drive from downtown.
- Lago Hermoso – This is a new boutique ski resort just to the south of San Martin de los Andes, an easy add on to your time at Chapelco.
- Caviahue, Neuquen – Close-ish to the city of Neuquen and further from the other resorts on this list this is a bit off the beaten path, at least for international tourism. Caviahue has a respectable 13 lifts and 22 runs
Skiing Argentina: What to Expect
Argentina ski resorts abound in Patagonia from huge Cerro Catedral in Bariloche to boutique resorts and rugged backcountry skiing.
Snow enthusiasts from the north will be thrilled to be able to ski year round by heading south in July for the southern hemisphere’s winter.
Best Time to Ski Argentina
Argentina ski season begins in July and ends at the end of September but can vary.
July is the busiest month. The best time to ski Argentina is August, the crowds dissipate but you still have a lot of winter and snow left.
September is also a great time to go for great prices and low crowds but depending on the year it might be an early spring.
With the climate changing things can be unpredictable.
Winter arrived a bit late in 2023 and the season unexpectedly extended into mid-October.
Lift Ticket Prices for Skiing Argentina
How much does it cost to ski in Argentina?
This depends on the currency fluctuations and also heavily on which Argentina ski resort you choose.
In 2023 Cerro Catedral, Argentina’s biggest ski resort in Bariloche, cost the equivalent of around $55 US.
Heading just an hour or two in either direction to Cerro Bayo or Cerro Perito Moreno could cost as low as half of that.
Prices haven’t been released yet for the 2024 season and with the current rate of inflation, I imagine prices won’t be released until much closer to the season.
With the spread between the official and blue dollars diminishing (what is that? read here), I’d expect the price in dollars for skiing Argentina in 2024 to be more expensive than the past few years.
Ski and Snowboard Rentals in Argentina
All of the ski resorts in Argentina have equipment rentals available on site.
Cerro Catedral, for example, has multiple options.
Depending on where you go and how you can get around with the gear you rent, it can sometimes be more affordable to rent in town.
In Villa La Angostura renting in town at Bayo Abajo for half the price of the same gear on the mountain.
That said, sometimes it can be easier to rent at the resort so you have a place to store your gear. At Cerro Catedral, we rented from Aurelio.
It was convenient to leave the gear there each night and they also let us park our car in their lot during the day.
Argentina Ski Holiday
I hope this article has helped you plan out your Argentina ski trip.
Winter here is the perfect antidote to a July heat wave.
To help your planning here are more guides to the region:
- Things to do in Bariloche: A Complete Travel Guide
- The 7 Lakes Route
- Things to do in San Martin de los Andes
- Things to do in Ushuaia, A Guide to the End of the World
- Things to do in Villa La Angostura, Argentina
Argentina Travel Resources
- TRAVEL INSURANCE | It is always a good idea to travel insured. It protects you in so many cases, like lost luggage and trip cancellations, medical emergencies and evacuations. It’s very affordable with the potential to save you thousands in the case of an emergency. I recommend SafetyWing.
- PHONE PLAN | These days, traveling with data is essential. Especially in Argentina where everything is managed on Instagram and WhatsApp. I recommend this E-SIM card. It’s hassle-free and affordable, for more read how to get an Argentina sim card.
- ACCOMMODATION IN ARGENTINA | booking.com is the most common hotel site used in Argentina and it’s where you’ll find the most options.
- RENTAL CARS | I love to travel Argentina via road trip, check out RentalCars.com for the best rates for rental cars here.
- BUS TICKETS | I like Busbud for long distance bus routes and tickets.
- VPN | If you’ll be using a public WiFi connection and want to secure your data, I highly recommend using a VPN, I personally use and have had a good experience with ExpressVPN. I also use it to access Hulu and American Netflix from Argentina.
- FLIGHTS | Always check Google Flights and Skyscanner for flights to and within Argentina. Aerolineas Argentina is the local airline with the most routes. FlyBondi and Jetsmart are two budget airlines with dirt-cheap prices (but expect to pay for every add-on like luggage).
- NEED HELP PLANNING? | I offer one-on-one travel consultations to help you plan your trip to Argentina. Pick my brain to get a local’s insight. Click here for more information.