Chile ski road trip
Wagner Custome Skis

Where is Caviahue Ski Resort?

Centro de Ski Cerro Caviahue is located on the flanks of Volcan Copahue, and 2.8km west of the town of Caviahue which sits on the shores of Lake Caviahue. Caviahue is located in the Neuquén province of Argentina and about 360km from the city of Neuquén, and 1,500km southwest of Buenos Aires.

The little town of Copahue, which is renowned for its thermal hot springs, is 17km northwest of Caviahue, although the road is not open to cars during winter.

Other Ski Resorts Nearby

Caviahue is situated out in the middle of nowhere so it’s not really near any other ski resorts.

Chapelco (near San Martin) is 411km (255 miles) to the south if you call that “nearby” (ha!) whilst Cerro Catedral (in Bariloche) is 562km (349 miles) to the south. Las Lenas is 690km (429 miles) to the north.

Corralco in Chile is probably the closest ski resort as the crow flies.

Flying

Lan and Aerolineas Argentinas offer daily flights to Neuquen. From there you could charter a private transfer or there are various buses daily with Cono Sur from Neuquen to Caviahue. Your best bet is to get a rental car at the airport (although car rentals are rather expensive in Argentina).

Of course if you’re up for an adventurous road trip of Argentina you could fly into Buenos Aires, Mendoza or Bariloche and drive from there.

Driving to the Town of Caviahue

The drive to Caviahue from various places in Argentina is generally rather boring because it’s mostly desert. Zzzzzzzzz…. Most roads are paved although be aware that if you’re coming from the north along R40 that long sections may be unpaved.

The drive into the Caviahue valley becomes aesthetically interesting and it can be challenging if it’s been snowing heavily. The road has steep pitches in places and negligible safety rails. Thankfully at least the road is sealed, has well planned camber, and there are an abundance of poles so you can figure out where the edge of the road is in low visibility.

The use of tyre chains is recommended when there is snow on the road, but it’s not that easy to find chain rental outlets. There is a little shop outside of Las Lajas that rents chains although the opening hours are unpredictable.

There is a petrol station in the town of Caviahue (cash only) and its operational hours are equally erratic.

Driving Between Town and the Caviahue Ski Resort

One of the tour agencies runs an occasional bus between town and the Caviahue ski resort, so the most reliable way to get to and from the ski resort is to drive yourself. The road is initially paved and then part way up it becomes unpaved, but it’s a very easy drive because it’s neither particularly steep nor windy. The car park at Caviahue Ski Resort is also unpaved and it can become very muddy, so don’t wear your finest Bogner gear.

Getting Around Caviahue

The road up to the ski resort and the road along the shores of Lake Caviahue have a slightly higher concentration of accommodations, restaurants and shops, but there isn’t an obvious main street of Caviahue.

It’s possible to walk around town (only some of the roads are paved so wear sensible footwear) but considering everything is rather spread out, it can be handy to have a car.
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