Los Penitentes Travel Guide

Penitentes © www.penitentes.com

Literally translated to 'the penitents', this ski resort's name is derived from the curious forms the ice on the mountain sides make, reminiscent of 'penitents' praying on their knees, thought to be formed by the strong winds of the Andes. Located around 110 miles (180km) from Mendoza, Los Penitentes boasts 300 hectares (741 acres) of skiing with 28 pistes, incorporating every type of run from beginner and intermediate to advanced and expert runs, many of which are used for various competitions. The resort may be smaller than many of its Argentinean counterparts, but it features ski schools, kindergarten, a shopping centre, a variety of restaurants, a snow garden where parents can leave their kids for the day, and a disco to heat things up on those cold winter nights. The ski season at Los Penitentes lasts from mid-June to August.

There isn't the largest variety of shopping in Los Penitentes and travellers looking to splurge will do better in the nearby city of Mendoza. There are, however, a few small shops selling souvenirs, sporting goods and the likes and the local shopping centre is a good place to indulge in some retail therapy.

Los Penitentes offers plenty of eateries for foodies of all persuasions to enjoy and the best place to start is at the base of the resort where Lomas Blancas and Ayelen offer great international cuisine at even better value for money, while La Barraca, located in the mountain, is the place to rest your legs, have a steaming cup of hot chocolate and enjoy the house specialties. En el Límite is located at 8,202 feet (2,500 m) and is a popular place for skiers to stop and take a much-needed break.

There is not much of nightlife in Los Penitentes but a few hotels offer occasional shows and disco nights, while a few pubs and bars are dotted around the resort. Young travellers looking for a night out of partying and drinking best head to one of Argentina's other ski resorts.

Skiing and snowboarding are the order of the day at Los Penitentes while the Snow and Sled Park is great for those wanting to try their hand at tricks and rails and the tubing park provides another option for skiers.

Los Penitentes is fairly quiet. Travellers looking for wild nightlife should look to other ski resorts in Argentina for a more lively holiday.