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Argentina Holidays: Top Ski Resorts

February 22, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 224

Summer in the Northern Hemisphere does not mean the end of the ski season. The peaks of the Argentine Andes offer excellent skiing opportunities from July to October. First-class ski resorts include Cerro Catedral, Cerro Chapelco, and Las Leñas.

Cerro Catedral is 12 miles (19 kilometers) from the center of San Carlos de Bariloche and within the boundaries of Nahuel Huapí National Park in Patagonia. The ski center here, known as Antonio Lynch, is one of the largest in South America, with a ski-able area of 600 acres; it has over 75 miles (120 kilometers) of ski runs spread over 50 tracks and a lift capacity of 22,000 skiers per hour. Cerro Catedral also has a Terrain Park with jumps, rails, boxes, barrels, and stairways. The slopes of Cerro Catedral were initially covered with forest, and were cleared with assistance from the national army. The first ski lift was installed in 1965. The highest track is at 2100 meters above sea level, and descends 1070 meters. The town of Bariloche has a complete infrastructure that offers first-class accommodations and dining.

Cerro Chapelco is the Neuquén Province 12 miles (19 kilometers) from San Martin de los Andes and is located at 1,980 meters above sea level with a drop of 730 meters. This resort's tracks were designed in 1946 and gained notoriety in 1970. Today it offers a ski-able area of 140 hectares and 22 tracks of varying difficulty, opportunities for alpine, extreme, and cross country skiing, as well as a Snowboard Park. The longest track is 5.3 kilometers. The complex is equipped with artificial snow machines, and 12 ski lifts with a capacity to carry 18,000 skiers per hour.

Las Leñas, in the foothills of the Mendoza Province, has been gaining increasing recognition as a ski and snowboard center since its construction in the 1980s. Its slopes range from easy to extreme, go up to an altitude of 3,430 meters with a vertical drop 1,200 meters. There are 13 lifts and 27 runs, the longest of which is 4 miles (7 kilometers) and can be made longer with run alternatives. The Terrain Park offers jumps, and rails. Because of its distance from large cities, Las Leñas is usually less crowded that Cathedral or Chapelco. The ski resort has a hotel with 300 beds. The closest city with an airport is San Rafael, and Mendoza is also within easy driving distance.

Other ski resorts in Argentina include Caviahue, cerros Bayo and Castor, La Hoya, and Vallecitos. It is fairly easy to jump over to Chile from the Argentine side of the Andes. Ski resorts in Chile include Portillo, Antuco, El Colorado, Valle Nevado, and Chillán.

This article about Argentina's national parks was written by a travel expert at Argentina For Less who specializes in helping you organize a best value Patagonia vacation packages as part of your fully customizable Argentina holiday.

Source: EzineArticles
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