San Martín de los Andes Recreation

Thanks to Lanín’s proximity, San Martín de los Andes is a mecca for everything from hiking and climbing to mountain biking, white-water rafting, trout fishing, and skiing.

Overlooking San Martín, at a maximum elevation of 1,980 meters, Cerro Chapelco ski resort draws enthusiastic winter crowds to 28 different runs, whose longest combination is about 5.3 kilometers. The diversity of conditions means it’s suitable for both experienced skiers and novices. Several winter sports events take place annually, including the snowboard world cup, snow polo tournaments, and many ski championships.

Lift-ticket prices depend on timing; the season runs mid-June-mid-October but is subdivided into low, mid-, and peak season. Chapelco Aventura (Mariano Moreno 859, tel. 02972/427845) is the resort office in San Martín; for current rates, check the website. Rental equipment is available on-site but also in town at Bumps (Villegas 465, tel. 02972/428491) and La Colina (San Martín 532, tel. 02972/427414).

Downhill skiing near San Martin de los Andes, Argentina.

Backcountry skiing in Cerro Chapelco. Photo © Eric Rodolfo Schroeder/123rf.

HG Rodados (Av. San Martín 1061, tel. 02972/427345) rents mountain bikes, which are ideal for secondary roads around Lago Lácar and the park.

Argentine rivers generally have lower flows and fewer rapids than their Chilean counterparts, but the Class II-IV Río Aluminé flows through spectacular scenery a couple hours north of San Martín. Rafting is best with the spring runoff in November and December. Contact Siete Lagos Turismo (Villegas 313, tel. 02972/427877) or Lanín Turismo (Av. San Martín 437, local 3, tel. 02972/425808).

Closer to San Martín, the Class II Río Hua Hum provides a gentler experience. Contact El Claro Viajes & Turismo (Coronel Díaz 751, tel. 02972/428876) or Net Sur (Teniente Coronel Pérez 1124, tel. 02972/427929).

For hiking and climbing, contact Rumbo Patagonia (tel. 0294/15-4634070).

For fishing gear and advice, visit the Jorge Cardillo Fly Shop (Villegas 1061, tel. 02972/428372).

Excerpted from the Fourth Edition of Moon Patagonia.

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