When its summer in the United States, ski and snowboard lovers are moving to South America in search of good snow and some great experience of skiing and snowboarding. Among all, Las Lenas and Cerro Catedral in San Carlos de Bariloche are the two names that are popular among snow sports enthusiasts. But to know which one is better, first you need to know about both the spots in details.
Las Lenas is located in the western part of the Mendoza Province and is famous for its good climate, powder snow and great opportunities for off-piste skiing. Here skiing season starts from middle of June till mid October. The ski center in Las Lenas was opened in 1983 along with a hotel of 300 beds. It also includes snowboard and ski school for people of different age groups as well as childcare facilities. You will also find a small shopping center with ski-related shops, bank, a supermarket, souvenir shops and chocolate shops. Las Lenas can be reached by bus, car or airplane.
On the other hand, Cerro Catedral is situated some 19 kilometers from the city of San Carlos de Bariloche inside the Nahuel Huapí National Park. This is one of the biggest ski centers of South America with more than 100 kilometers of ski runs. It is perhaps the most popular among ski lovers because of perfect skiing along with excellent views of the Nahuel Huapi Lake. With plenty of hostels and hotels located at the foot of the mountain, Bariloche became the most popular tourist destination in Argentina with lot of skiing, trekking, water sports and climbing.
Cerro Catedral offer plenty of opportunities for all kind of skiing like freestyle, off-piste and even snowboarding, for which there are many rails and bumps where snowboarders can show off their abilities. Cathedral offers an advanced snow-making system that produces real snow flakes covering a ski surface of about 10 hectares.
Bariloche has an edge over Las Lenas
If you are targeting only skiing and snowboarding, then Las Lenas is perfect for you. But Bariloche has an added advantage of other activities that tourists can undertake apart from snowboarding and skiing. Moreover, if you are looking forward to experience some real Argentine culture, then Bariloche is the place to look out for. Las Lenas may disappoint you if you want to see Argentine culture.
Again, Las Lenas is a much smaller town when compared to Bariloche and has high-priced lodging facilities with only skiing opportunities. But, Cerro Catedral being near the town of Bariloche is equipped with all kinds of up-to-date facilities right from medical facilities to currency exchange facilities to budget accommodation.
If you are not snowboarding or skiing in the slopes of Cerro Catedral, then you can take the city bus to reach Bariloche, where you can indulge in lots of other activities. You can easily go for excursions to the chocolate museum or hike around Circuito Chio. Fly-fishing, ATV tours, day trips to resorts like Cerro Bayo or to towns like El Bolson or horse back riding – variety is available here. But when the snow is in its best, you will probably spend more and more time on the slopes of Cerro Catedral.
If you want to enjoy the snow, then Bariloche and Las Lenas are almost same in terms of fun-filled snow activities like snowboarding and skiing. But for a more complete vacation, Bariloche has no other competition.