Located in Argentina's northern Patagonia region, Bariloche is a small city that serves as the gateway to the country’s renowned ski area, Cerro Catedral. Cerro Catedral is named for the Gothic cathedral-looking granite spirals that sit atop the mountain. As a South American heavy-hitter and the largest lift-accessed ski area in that part of the world, Cerro Catedral will meet, and exceed, every modern ski resort standard. The resort recently underwent a several million dollar facelift, on both chairlifts and infrastructure. Cerro Catedral is distinguished as one of the only South American ski resorts with a true base village. The base village provides about 5,000 beds that are namely ski in, ski out, or slopeside hotels. Plus, it offers a respectable variety of restaurants, shops and bars to suite any après-ski interests.
The city of Bariloche can accommodate 20,000 guests with ranging from budget lodges five-star hotels. Located just eight miles from Cerro Catedral, Bariloche’s proximity, and its own airport, is part of what makes it a convenient and hassle-free South American ski vacation. Plus, it provides vacations with the opportunity to ski and to explore the city, and even Lake Nahuel Huapi, all in one day. No other Argentinean ski area can match Bariloche in nightlife, dining, cinemas, theater, or its eight discos and a casino.
Bariloche is an attractive small city with a little more than 100,000 people. The Swiss influences are apparent in its chalet-style buildings and chocolate shops. The city offers contrasting—and stunning—views of the gorgeous Lake Nahuel Huapi and the Andes. Bariloche serves as the epicenter to several other Argentina ski resorts, including Cerro Bayo, Cerro Chapelco and Perito Moreno ski area.
Skiers who crave powder fields and spectacular scenery, must ski from atop Cerro Catedral ski resort’s dramatic Piedra del Condor, or Stone of the Condor, peak. Here there are wide-open snow fields and long gullies, all above the timberline, making it a prime locale for the best snow conditions. Bariloche skiing offers terrain for all levels of ability, but experts and adventure-seekers will be pleased to know that half of Cerro Catedral’s 3,000 acres is off-piste/backcountry terrain, accessed from the new La Laguna chairlift. Renowned for tree-skiing and aforementioned backcountry chutes and bowls, Cerro Catedral is best suited to intermediate and expert skiers and snowboarders, but offers beginner skiers plenty of options. Freestyle skiers and snowboarders will be happy with the terrain park offerings on a Bariloche ski vacation, too.