Head South from June to August

June 18, 2008 by  
Filed under features

Nestled in the foothills of the mighty Andes Mountains, about 200 km west of the city of Mendoza in Argentina‘s Mendoza province, the picturesque Penitentes Ski Resort offers some interesting terrain for snow skiing enthusiasts to explore. The ski area is seldom crowded and the scenery is spectacular, boasting some of the highest Andean peaks. The most notable of these high peaks is the Aconcagua which, at a height of 22,841 feet, is the tallest in South America.

Twenty-eight ski runs covering a length of more than 15 miles are set in 740 acres of wide open snow skiing terrain, with barely a tree or scrub bush in sight. Long gullies, rolling bowls, open powder fields and little rocky chutes add points of interest to the slopes, providing something to suit skiers at all levels of ability. Seven chairlifts, with the capability of transporting 5,700 skiers an hour, ensure that skiers get to spend less time in queues and more time on the slopes. Two snow cats and five snow cannons keep the ski runs in superb condition and several of these ski runs have been approved by the FIS (International Ski Federation) and FASA (Argentine Federation of Ski and Andinism).

Penitentes Ski Resort has a tourist-oriented infrastructure, with hotels, apartments, guesthouses and hostels to suit all budgets. Facilities at the family-friendly resort include a ski school with thirty instructors, a kindergarten with babysitting and childcare options, a shopping center and a snow garden aimed at entertainment for the kids. Après ski activities can be enjoyed in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere at the resort’s many pubs, discos and restaurants.

On the days that snow skiing enthusiasts want a change of scenery from the slopes, the city of Mendoza and the surrounding areas have a number of places of interest to visit. It is said that wine is the life-blood of Mendoza, and certainly the vast stretches of vineyards, which produce about a billion liters of wine each year, characterize the region.

The ski season at the Penitentes Ski Resort is from mid-June through to late August. The stunning scenery, friendly people and generally relaxed atmosphere of Argentina’s Penitentes Ski Resort makes it a worthwhile snow skiing destination.