Cerro Chapelco

Cerro Chapelco looms high above Lago Lacar against the stunning backdrop of Volcan Lanin outside of the Argentinian town of San Martín de los Andes within the Lakes District of Patagonia. Just 12 miles from town, advanced and expert skiers will find an abundance of inbounds terrain to get the adrenaline pumping and gloriously gladed tree-skiing down low–an offering you won’t find at many South American ski resorts. Far less popular than nearby Cerro Catedral, the chutes, bowls and steeps in the surrounding sidecountry of Chapelco is yours for the skiing.


Skiable Acres:




Vertical Drop:

2,395 feet

Distance To Airport:

12 miles




How To Get There

Once you fly into Buenos Aires, hop on a two-hour connecting flight to San Carlos de Bariloche–the Chapelco Airport is closer to San Martín de los Andes, but winter weather can cause flight issues. From Bariloche, San Martín de los Andes is a three-hour drive and Cerro Chapelco is just 20 minutes from there.


Where To Stay

If you’re looking to stay at the resort, Las Pendientes is Chapelco’s only ski-in/ski-out accommodation. For something a little more budget friendly, Paihuén Lodge is halfway between town and the resort. If you find yourself traveling in a larger group the La Bora Cabins in town are two and three-bedroom cabins that sleep up to eight people.

Travel Tips From The Pros:

Learn some Spanish: You can get by mostly with English in the well-traveled areas, but in many of the off-the-beaten-track places where the pow is plentiful and the crowds are minimal, you won’t be able to get by on English alone.

— Cody Townsend

Where To Ski

If you consider yourself an advanced or expert skier, make your way to Chapelco’s back bowls for wide open bowl runs, tight and steep chutes and scream-inducing airs but be prepared, each lap requires a half-hour hike-out. For park rats, the Chapelco SnowPark–home of the Roxy and Quicksilver Snow Jams–will fulfill all of your steezy dreams with boxes, rails and kickers to hit with tunes playing throughout the day. You can’t call your ski trip complete without a run or two down Chapelco’s most famous run, Pioneros. Note: If you plan on skiing off-piste, be sure to have the proper safety equipment, knowledge and a partner.

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Where To Eat

For on-mountain fuel, make a pitstop at Pradera del Puma. If the burgers, pastas and pizzas aren’t enough to reenergize you, the views of the Southern Andes certainly will. In town, you’ll want to make a stop, or two, at El Almacén de Flores for breakfast and/or lunch. Serving pastries, salads and sandwiches in a modern-chic space, this café is a local favorite for good reason.



The nightlife in San Martín de los Andes keeps the buzz of the day’s activities going long after the sun goes down. For some post-slopes suds, the Breakaway Brewery is the perfect place to reminisce on your best turns over a local Patagonian beer. If you’re looking to turn dinner into a night out, the Torino Bistro converts the dining area into a dance floor to burn off all that steak and wine. Stay up for the sunrise at any of the clubs in town, which don’t usually get going until 2 a.m.