Cerro Chapelco Ski Resort


Cerro Chapelco Ski Resort

Readers Ratings

Cerro Chapelco

Cerro Chapelco3.5/54
Cerro Chapelco3.5 out of 5 based on 4 reviews
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit

Chapelco Ski Resort Argentina

Cerro Chapelco near San Martín de los Andes is a striking destination for a ski vacation. The dramatic views of Volcan Lanin and the turquoise Lake Lácar make a spectacular backdrop. Chapelco is a modern ski resort with great facilities, including lots of amenities that make it an attractive spot for families. Cerro Chapelco Ski Resort is ideal for families and/or intermediates for a week-long ski vacation, whilst advanced riders will probably want to experience Chapelco for a couple of days as part of a Patagonia ski tour (see multi-day tours that include Chapelco).

Pros and Cons of Chapelco Ski Resort

  • Cerro Chapelco has terrain that caters to a range of ability levels. The Powderhounds have provided Chapelco with the “best skiing in South America” award for the overall terrain.
  • The ski resort is particularly great for intermediates and the beginner terrain is good too.
  • Cerro Chapelco Argentina offers excellent sidecountry for those with avy savvy.
  • It is a great family resort.
  • The infrastructure is well developed and largely modern. The lifts are good by South American standards.
  • The delightful ski town of San Martin is nearby which is modern yet relaxed. It has some similarities to other Patagonian towns such as Bariloche, except that it’s much classier.
  • The views of Lake Lácar and Lanin volcano are lovely. Being in the Lakes District of Patagonia, there are plenty of scenic attractions nearby too.
  • It can get really busy and the parking lot can be mayhem, yet for those chasing powder, it’s not heavily trafficked.
  • The ski resort is a bit disorganised, but this is Argentina after all.
Pro or Con Depending On Your Perspective
  • Chapelco gets lots of snow (350 inches/8.9 metres per season on average), more than Cerro Bayo and Cerro Catedral, but the snow quality is often not as good in-bounds because the slopes are mostly north facing.
  • There is no lodging on-mountain so you’ll need to travel to the ski resort each day.

Cerro Chapelco Ski and Snowboard Terrain

Cerro Chapelco is decent sized with 1,600 hectares of terrain, 28 trails, and 720 metres of vertical drop, which is more than enough to get the thighs pumping. The modern lift infrastructure (by South American standards) includes a gondola, a detachable quad chair lift, and 3 fixed grip quads, so you’ll be able to score enough vertical each day.

Chapelco has piste trails for beginners, intermediates, advanced riders and experts, with a split of 25, 25, 30 and 20 percent respectively. For the little kiddies there are really mellow slopes serviced by magic carpets. Chapelco also attempts to cater to freestylers with a small terrain park.

The ski resort sits partially below the tree line within an old growth forest that hasn’t been marred by deforestation, offering mellow tree skiing that can be a bit of fun with the right snow conditions. Amongst the old forest eerie moss (Devil’s Beard) drapes from the Lenga trees, a sure sign that there is not a hint of air pollution. The colour of the hairy trees makes a beautiful yet ethereal contrast against the snowy landscape.

The upper parts of the ski resort are treeless, which is more typical of skiing in South America. These alpine areas offer off-piste riding amongst large bowls, gullies and rocky outcroppings, so there are some good nooks and crannies to explore. Steep and gnarly terrain can be found in the sidecountry where there are chutes and bowls.

Where is Cerro Chapelco Argentina?

Cerro Chapelco Ski Resort is located 20km (12 miles) from the town of San Martin de los Andes in Argentina, a 20 minute trip by car or shuttle bus. Chapelco is located in northwest Argentina Patagonia in the southwest corner of the province of Neuquén in the Lakes District. It is situated at the start of Los 7 Lagos Ruta, a stretch of road that boasts gorgeous scenery.

San Martin de los Andes is 1,565km (973 miles) southwest of Buenos Aires and a 3 hour drive north of San Carlos de Bariloche, depending on the route taken. Bariloche is a common gateway airport particularly if you’re sampling a few of the Lakes District ski resorts, with flights originating from Buenos Aires. There is also an airport in San Martin that receives flights from Buenos Aires.

San Martín de Los Andes

Most visitors to Chapelco stay in San Martín de los Andes where lodging includes luxury hotels, more basic hotels and inns, cabins and hostels.

San Martin is embedded as part “of the Andes” and sits on the coast of Lake Lácar between high peaks. With a population of about 25,000, the town is large enough to offer plenty for tourists, yet small enough to retain its alpine charm which is enhanced by the low rise Swiss-style timber architecture. The town has an abundance of arts and craft shops, ski shops, restaurants, and chocolate shops.

San Martin de Los Andes Accommodations Listings

Chapelco Ski Resort Facilities and Activities

Chapelco is a well established ski resort with lots of facilities and services. In addition to a ski and snowboard school, the resort offers equipment rentals, lots of restaurants, and child care. Other activities include snowshoeing, snowmobiling and dog sledding.
Tours That May Include Chapelco

Safari (Road Trip) Tours

Argentina Patagonia Ski Resorts Tour
8 Days | 7 Nights | 3 Resorts
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
This 8-day tour takes in 3 of Argentina, Patagonia’s best ski resorts. You will access terrain mostly via lifts with the opportunity for some backcountry ski/snowboard touring. Join a group on a fixed-date tour or create your own custom tour for your own private group.
Price p/p Price is per person twin-share inc taxes.
base/invoice currency is USD
Displayed prices might vary slightly to actual due to exchange rate fluctuations.
USD 3,600
View Details
Bariloche Backcountry Snow Adventure
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Days Skiing | Max 8 Guests
Ability: Advanced to Expert
A lift assisted and touring adventure to the best ski areas in Patagonia for advanced to expert skiers & snowboarders. 2 nights at Baguales backcountry touring & Cerro Catedral (Bariloche), Cerro Bayo with quality twin share lodging in sublime Argentinian towns throughout the trip.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in USD inc taxes.
Guaranteed departures; you book, you travel!
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 4,299
View Details
Argentina All Mountain
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Days Skiing
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Advanced
Designed for advanced-intermediate & above skiers & riders looking to advance their ability but are not interested in hiking for turns. Take in the best ski areas in Patagonia; Cerro Catedral (Bariloche), Cerro Bayo & Chapelco. Cozy hotels, magnificent views & feast on superb Patagonian cuisine & wines!
Price p/p Price is per person
Base/invoice currency is USD
Displayed price may vary slightly to actual due to exchange rate fluctuations.
USD 4,199
View Details
See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Cerro Chapelco here