La Hoya Ski Resort

La Hoya Ski Resort

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La Hoya

La Hoya4/52
La Hoya4 out of 5 based on 2 reviews
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La Hoya Esquel Argentina

La Hoya Ski Resort in Argentina may be poco, but when it comes to history it is big. In the 1930s, a few decades after Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid made their mark on the region, skiers made the pilgrimage to La Hoya to make the most of the matchless splendour of “the valley”. Part of the charm of La Hoya (pronounced La Orja) is that it still feels like a step back in time.

Pros & Cons of La Hoya Ski Resort

  • La Hoya often has great quality snow. The desert dry powder and south facing slopes keep it in good condition.
  • The ski area offers challenging off-piste riding plus backcountry hiking.
  • La Hoya is largely unknown to international powder hounds, so the off-piste areas are delightfully devoid of traffic and freshies can last for days after a snowstorm.
  • Lift tickets are not expensive and lodging in Esquel doesn’t cost much.
  • Much of the off-piste is accessed via traversing, so snowboarders may not love La Hoya as much as skiers.
  • It’s a small ski area so there is not much piste terrain variety.
  • The beginner area is small and often packed on weekends with families.
  • The lifts are mostly surface lifts or slow chairlifts (but this is very typical of South America).
Pro or Con Depending On Your Perspective
  • There is no/negligible on-mountain lodging so a daily commute from Esquel is required. The town of Esquel is delightfully Patagonian rustic and not touristy.
  • It takes a bit of effort to get there and there are no other ski resorts nearby to mix it up. This keeps the competition for freshies down.
  • The resort is not managed in an organised fashion. For example, getting your car out of the parking lot may be a schmozzle, they might groom a slope during the day because they forgot to do it the night before, or a lift may be closed because someone hasn’t got around to opening it. Yet it has some laidback simplicity which is refreshing.

La Hoya Ski and Snowboard Terrain

The largely treeless ski area is small, with only 60 hectares (148 acres) of piste terrain and 28 trails. The vertical is 645 metres (1,430-2,075m) but it’s divided into sections and the piste are short. La Hoya has 9 lifts, which includes a quad chair lift, 3 double chairs, and surface lifts.

The top lift provides access to a large cirque and by traversing, lots of off-piste terrain is opened up. Off-piste aficionados will enjoy the steep chutes, bowls, and the cornices that provide some great hucking fun.

As per its namesake (the hole), the ski area sits in a wide circular basin and all runs converge into a narrow area, so no matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to lose the kids or your wife!

See La Hoya skiing page for more on the terrain.

La Hoya Snow

La Hoya is well recognised for its snow. The basin catches an average of 4 metres of dry Andean powder per season. The slopes are south facing so the quality of the snow is well retained, and the orientation of the basin contributes to a long ski season from June through to early October. Of course, like other South American ski resorts, the quality and quantity of the snow can be very inconsistent.

Where is La Hoya Argentina?

La Hoya is located 14km from the town of Esquel. Esquel is the gateway to the gorgeous Los Alerces National Park and is situated in the Chubut Province in Argentine Patagonia. Esquel is 282km (175 miles) south of Bariloche, and 1,955km southwest of Buenos Aires Argentina.

Esquel has a regional airport with flights originating from the Jorge Newbery Airport in Buenos Aires. See La Hoya travel page for more information on getting there.


Most visitors stay down in the town of Esquel where there are 100 plus lodging options that range from one star cabins to four star hotels.

Esquel Accommodations Listings

Esquel Argentina

Esquel is a simple Patagonian town and is very different to the cutesy resort towns further north in the Lakes District. This old mining town is somewhat unattractive in parts. Even the brand new buildings seem to look old, and the locals drive clapped out Fiat and Renault cars from the 70s. However this lack of sophistication is part of the appeal of the place. In Esquel you feel like you’ve found the real Argentina, not a town that’s been embellished and prettied up for the tourists.

Esquel has lots of restaurants where you can get your South American fix of meat and a red wine or six. For a relatively small town the nightlife in Esquel can be impressive, and after a late night of partying, don’t worry about being woken up at the crack of dawn because the sun rise in winter is delightfully late too!

Esquel has various ski and snowboard shops, but they tend to focus on equipment rentals rather than retail. Along a similar vein, Esquel has several outdoor shops, where it’s possible to buy a new jacket or other apparel such as inner wear. Your options will be very limited if you’re after hardwear such as skis, a snowboard, poles, or backcountry equipment.

As tourism is somewhat understated in Esquel, there aren’t many shops in Esquel that will get tourists particularly excited. There are various shops selling basic Esquel souvenirs and regional handicrafts, and Esquel has some daggy clothing boutiques, but that’s about it. Chocoholics won’t be disappointed though! Esquel has various chocolaterias where you can sample and purchase a whole range of yummy chocolates.

Most of the shops and businesses in Esquel close for siesta from about 1:30-4:30pm. Our theory is that the workers are not sleeping but are up at La Hoya skiing or snowboarding!

La Hoya Ski Resort Facilities

Cerro La Hoya has modernised its facilities somewhat, and there are different options for dining, including a cafeteria with huge floor to ceiling windows to show off the views of the mountain. In addition to restaurants, other facilities include ski and snowboard rental, ski and snowboard school, child care, and a shop.
Tours That May Include La Hoya
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