Argentina // Mendoza and El Cuyo //

Las Leñas and around

To Argentines, LAS LEÑAS means chic: this is where the Porteño jet set come to show off their winter fashions, to get photographed for society magazines and to have a good time. Skiing and snowboarding are only part of the fun – as in all exclusive winter resorts, the après-ski is just as important as the snow conditions. More seriously, many ski champions from the northern hemisphere head down here during the June to October season, when there’s not a lot of snow in the US or Europe; the Argentine, Brazilian and South American skiing championships are all held here in August, while other events include snow-polo matches, snow-rugby, snow-volleyball and fashion shows. But even though Las Leñas is a playground for the rich and famous, it’s possible to visit without breaking the bank; you could stay in the least expensive accommodation, or overnight elsewhere nearby, such as in Los Molles or Malargüe. Las Leñas is also trying to branch out into summertime adventure travel, such as mountain biking, rafting and horseriding, making the most of its splendid upland setting and pleasant daytime temperatures. Note that the resort is completely closed down, however, from March to May and October to the end of December.

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