Only 13 kilometers north of Esquel , La Hoya is a modest ski area that gets fine powder thanks to its location on the Andes’ drier eastern side, which compensates for its relatively small size. It’s substantially cheaper than Bariloche , and the infrastructure is improving, but limited capacity can mean long lift lines.
Ranging 1,200–2,500 meters above sea level, La Hoya has 25 runs totaling about 22 kilometers on 60 hectares. Its modern lifts include the 1,100-meter Telesilla del Bosque, which also carries hikers to high-country trailheads in summer (US$2.50), and the 1,018-meter Telesilla del Cañadón. In season it also has a ski school; the Fiesta Nacional del Esquí (National Ski Festival) takes place the second week of September.
Equipment can be rented on-site or in Esquel at La Bolsa del Ski (Rivadavia and 25 de Mayo, tel. 02945/45-2379, www.bolsadeski.com.ar ). For other details, contact concessionaire Frontera Sur (Avenida Ameghino and Avenida Fontana, tel. 02945/45-3018, www.cerrolahoya.com ).