Getting to Cerro Chapelco

Getting to Cerro Chapelco

Chamonix Hosted & Guided Ski & Snowboard Tours

Where is Chapelco?

Cerro Chapelco is 20km (12 miles) southeast of San Martín de los Andes. Chapelco is located in the southwest corner of the Neuquén Province in the Lakes District of Patagonia, Argentina.

Driving distances and times for San Martin de los Andes:
  • 1,565km (973 miles) southwest of Buenos Aires
  • 108km (67 miles) north of Villa la Angostura via RN 40 (Los 7 Lagos Road) – 1:50 hours  
  • 262km (163 miles) north of Bariloche via RN234 – 3:30 hours
  • 192km (119 miles) north of Bariloche via RN40 (7 Lakes Road) – 3:15 hours

Getting to San Martin de los Andes

The Chapelco Airport (CPC – Carlos Campos) is located in close proximity to San Martin de los Andes. The airport receives direct flights daily from Buenos Aires. Sometimes the winter weather can wreak havoc with the reliability of flights, so Bariloche is the alternative gateway airport. See the San Martin de los Andes travel page for more information on getting to San Martin.

Getting Between San Martin de los Andes & Chapelco

The drive between San Martin and Chapelco takes about 20 minutes.

Driving to Chapelco

From San Martín it’s a 15 km drive south along Ruta 40 (the Seven Lakes Road between Villa la Angostura and San Martin de los Andes), then a left hand turn onto RN19, the 5km unpaved access road to Chapelco.

The drive up is reasonably easy because the road is well graded and the gradient is pretty mellow. Generally snow chains aren’t required, even for 2WD vehicles, except on really snowy days. Some of the big name car rental companies can provide snow chains when you rent a car, but you can’t just rent snow chains in San Martin de los Andes.

The car park at Chapelco has 800 free spaces, although it fills quickly so you have to get there early, or park along the access road (and if you’ve seen how some people drive on the snowy or icy road, you don’t want to park there). On snowy days, egress from the parking lot can be chaos.


There are lots of inexpensive minibus shuttles that head between San Martin accommodations and Chapelco at set times. Some hotels have their own shuttles, or your lodging can make a reservation for you with one of the shuttle companies.

A cheap way to get to Chapelco is with a Ko-ko bus that departs from the San Martin bus terminal opposite the lake. The service only operates on the weekends and there are only a couple of departures each day.


If you don’t have a car (or it’s a really snowy day and you don’t have chains), the easiest way to get to Chapelco is to catch a taxi or remise. Sure lots of the taxis don’t have roof racks and you may nervously wonder whether your skis or snowboard might fall out of the open boot, but it’s a quick way to get up the mountain on-demand!


If you’re on a guided multi-day tour that incorporates Cerro Chapelco, all your transport between town and the ski resort is taken care of.

Other Ski Resorts Nearby

Not sure if you’d call it a “ski resort”, but Las Pendientes is located right next door to Chapelco. This tiny little ski area has a couple of lifts, 2 trails and 152 metres of vertical drop. To access Las Pendientes, continue on RN19 past the Chapelco car park for another 5 minutes.

Cerro Catedral is located near Bariloche. Catedral is huge and the most developed ski resort in South America.

Cerro Bayo is not too far from Chapelco, located near the town of Villa la Angostura.