Argentina Snow Adventure Off Piste


Overview

Overview

Powder turns in Bariloche Backcountry

Powder turns in Bariloche Backcountry

Guided Off-Piste skiing and snowboarding adventure for advanced and experts in Patagonia Argentina around the charming mountain villages of Villa La Angostura and Bariloche, plus our new destination, Baguales Catskiing!

Skiing and traveling deep in the Andes of Patagonia, Argentina is like no other experience. Aside from great skiing, Patagonia offers terrific exposure to the local culture and lifestyle of these unique mountain communities.

The Argentina Snow Adventure tour quickly takes you from your daily grind into a literal dream world of fun out of bounds and off-piste skiing at ski resorts situated on beautiful, glacier cut lakes, surrounded by national parks and mystical snow peaks. With the new day of cat skiing this is sure to be our top selling adventure for 2014.

Trip Highlights

  • 8 day-guided out of bounds snow tour in Patagonia, Argentina
  • 8 guests maximum. Always 2 certified PowderQuest guides on every trip
  • All trip logistics are handled once you arrive to Bariloche.
  • Mystical Patagonia culture and landscapes
  • Ski and snowboard the best Argentina ski resorts and off-piste terrain
  • Explore Baguales Mountain Reserve, South America’s newest cat ski operation
  • Visit National Park Nahuel Huapi and the 7 Lakes
  • Fantastic dinners and red wine in our favorite Patagonian restaurants
  • Great nightlife from quiet cafes to energetic bars, nightclubs, and discotheques.

Client Feedback

Very good trip.  Does what it says on the itinerary.  Good powder, great weather and great guides.  Will definitely be recommending to friends. — Brice Pairse, Argentina Snow Adventure trip guest

Quick Tour Itinerary

Starts & Ends: San Carlos De Bariloche, Argentina (airport code BRC)

Day 1: Arrive to Bariloche airport no later than 4:30 PM to meet up with the group and guides at 5:00 PM, and take a beautiful drive around the famous Nahuel Huapi Lake to the town of Villa Angostura, home to Cerro Bayo ski area. Check into our hotel and have a quick trip introduction in front of the fireplace accompanied by delicious wine and appetizers. Welcome dinner in one of our favorite locally owned and run restaurants in Villa Angostura.

Day 2: Everyday starts with breakfast to fuel up for the day ahead. We will head up early to Cerro Bayo to get things started. Following the on-snow avalanche awareness safety review, the day will be spent exploring on and off piste focusing on finding the best snow in a widest variety of terrain the conditions allow. Check out the locally produced crafts and items in town this evening followed by dinner.

Day 3: Breakfast, than another day exploring Cerro Bayo’s terrain. In the afternoon we will travel to our new cat skiing destination, Baguales. We will spend an overnight in the cozy backcountry lodge accompanied with dinner and of course Argentinian Red wine.

Day 4: Breakfast in the lodge, before a full day of cat skiing in the jaw dropping backcountry landscape of Baguales. After an unforgettable day of skiing we head up to the town of Bariloche, Argentina’s premier mountain town for the remainder of our adventure.

Day 5-6: Breakfast at our lodging, then a short drive up the mountains to ski Catedral Alta Patagonia and it’s amazing off piste and backcountry terrain with your experienced guides. The day culminates with dinner on the lively town of Bariloche.

Day 7: Breakfast together, than as most people are departing today guests have the morning to do as they please, we provide a group transfer around 11:00 AM to Bariloche Airport to meet your flight out to Buenos Aires, or if you like extend your stay for more skiing or snowboarding in Patagonia. Please schedule your return flight to Buenos Aires anytime after 12:00.

Booking Your Trip

A 30% deposit is required at time of reservation. We accept Master Card, Visa, American Express, PayPal, bank wires. Checks are accepted from USA bank accounts. Final payments are due 60 days before trip departure. Note: Single travelers as well as small groups of 2-8 guests are welcome! We do everything in our power to run all advertised trips, however we require a minimum of 5 guests to sign up in order to operate.

BOOK THIS TRIP ASK US A QUESTION


Date and Price

Date and Price

2014

  • August 10-16
  • August 17-23

$3,995 usd

Price per person, based on double occupancy.  Single travelers will be placed with a roommate or you may request a single room upgrade for $795. Please note that single rooms are not available during our stay at Baguales.

Booking Your Trip

A 30% deposit is required at time of reservation. We accept Master Card, Visa, American Express, PayPal, bank wires. Checks are accepted from USA bank accounts. Final payments are due 60 days before trip departure. Note: Single travelers as well as small groups of 2-8 guests are welcome! We do everything in our power to run all advertised trips, however we require a minimum of 5 guests to sign up in order to operate.

BOOK THIS TRIP ASK US A QUESTION


What's Included

What's Included

Trip Includes

  • Maximum 8 guests
  • Always 2 certified bilingual guides
  • Ski lift tickets
  • Snowcat skiing *when on itinerary
  • Avalanche safety introduction
  • Off-Piste and backcountry guiding
  • Some local flights *See trip itinerary
  • Comfortable lodging, private bath
  • Delicious breakfasts and dinners
  • Red wine, mineral water at dinner
  • Private transportation
  • Adventure trips, massage, spas, etc. replacing lift tickets on weather days

Not Included

  • Inbound and outbound flight. (our agents can assist you)
  • Required travel insurance
  • Lunches and snacks
  • Required equipment (see below)

Required Equipment

Rentals Available

  • Backpack (25-35 liter) with external harness straps for carrying skis or board
  • 457 Khz avalanche transceiver
  • Avalanche snow shovel
  • Avalanche probe
  • Collapsible trekking poles for snowboarders

Accommodations

Accommodations

PowderQuest has hand selected a mix of comfortable, small to medium size bed and breakfasts and inns in Patagonia, Argentina. Most are family run with cozy beds, private bathrooms, and include breakfast. All of our accommodations have free WIFI internet and relaxing social areas where you can get to know the group and enjoy a glass of Malbec wine before heading off to dinner at one of our favorite nearby Patagonian restaurants.

Patagonia Powder Accommodations
Patagonia Powder Accommodations
Patagonia Powder Accommodations
Patagonia Powder Accommodations

Suggested Add-Ons

Suggested Add-Ons

If you have some extra time before or after your guided trip with PowderQuest, come wander the colorful neighborhoods of Buenos Aires, sample the local wines, get in some more powder days, or venture off to one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world in the rainforest bordering Argentina and Brazil. Argentina has a lot to offer.

Below are some of our staff’s top picks.

Buenos AriesBeautiful Buenos Aires
Often ranked as one of the top destinations of all South America, Buenos Aires should not be missed. We offer a wide range of comfortable hotels, transfers, unique city tours, tango lessons, world-class shopping, and more. Add This to My Trip
More SnowMore Snow!
Why not spend some extra days in the mountains lapping up more powder! We’ll set up your lodging, transportation to the ski hill, lift tickets and more.
Add This to My Trip
Iguazu FallsIguazu Falls
With a height of close to 270 feet and close to 2 miles wide, Iguazu Falls on the border of Argentina and Brazil is truly breathtaking. Ranked as one of the World’s most spectacular waterfalls by Travel and Leisure.
Add This to My Trip
Classic VineyardsClassic Vineyards
Mendoza, Argentina produces outstanding wine, including the countries top Malbecs. Stroll the vineyards, sample the award winning wine, and take in the vistas of surrounding Andes Mountains.
Add This to My Trip

Gallery


Logistics

Logistics

Arriving and Departing- Airport Details

You need to fly into and out of Bariloche, Argentina (airport code BRC), via Buenos Aires. See this trips itinerary in the Overview tab for details on when to schedule your arrival and departure. We have travel agents we can recommend to help you with your flight reservations. Contact us for their info.

Flying into Buenos Aires (airport code EZE), you may be able to connect directly to Bariloche from EZE, however most flight connections requires you to switch to the national airport (AEP) on the other side of the city to meet connecting flights to Bariloche. This has a taxi or transfer cost, plus 30 minutes to up to 1.5 hours of transit across the city. Allow a total of 3-4 hours from the time your flight lands to the time you take off again to deal with customs, traffic, and checking in to your next flight at AEP.

If connection times are tight, we suggest you arrive a day early, spend the night, and continue to your final destination the following morning. We have many hotels and transportation services we can book for you. Plus Buenos Aires is an amazing city to explore.

Meeting The Guides

Your guides will meet you at the Bariloche airport the first day of the tour.  An official meeting time and place will be emailed to you a few weeks before the tour. On the last day of the tour, we include a group shuttle to the airport to catch your return to Buenos Aires.

Extending Your Stay

Extending your stay is a great way to get in a few more powder days, check out the urban culture of Buenos Aires, visit a classic vineyard, and more. See the Suggested Add-Ons Tab for suggestions.


Off Piste Focus Tours Suggested Packing List

  • Skis or snowboard (recently tuned!) We suggest an “all mountain” type ski with a minimum waist width of 85 mm
  • Extra binding screws and straps are a good idea for snowboarders
  • Boots (good idea to carry on plane if you can. Renting boots is not fun!)
  • 25-35 Liter backpack with suitable external harness straps to carry your skis or board. The Dakine Pro II is a great option
  • Hydration system or water bottle to fit in your backpack (we prefer water bottles)
  • Collapsible ski poles for snowboarders
  • Snowboard leash to attach your board to your leg, required at several ski areas here
  • Avalanche Transceiver, Shovel and Probe (Rentals available)
  • Helmet (we recommend Smith Helmets
  • Portable tool kit for loose binding parts and simple repairs
  • Small headlamp
  • Padded ski or board bag (Da Kine makes great travel bags with wheels for skis or snowboards, leaving enough room for the rest of your gear.)

1ST(BASE)LAYER

  • Polypropylene long underwear and wool blend socks

WARM LAYER

  • Fleece jacket or vest

OUTER LAYER

  • Warm stocking hat (Beanie or Toque)
  • Neck gaiter/ face mask
  • Wind/waterproof shell with hood (Goretex is recommended)
  • Snow pants (Goretex is recommended)
  • Ski gloves or mitts (Da Kine)
  • Thin windblocker type glove for hiking and touring
  • Sunglasses and ski goggles (Smith is our favorite)
  • Sun block (AT LEAST 35 SPF) and lip balm

Personal first aid kit to include at least the following:

  • ibuprofin or similar for headaches, aches, etc
  • Antacids
  • Moleskin and band-aids
  • Imodium
  • Light weight toilet articles
  • Prescription medicine
  • Personal items for women
  • Large plastic garbage bag for wet clothes
  • Ear plugs for light sleepers

AND OF COURSE…

  • Camera/GoPro
  • Airline tickets
  • Passport/visa
  • Credit card, ATM card, and credit card cancellation phone number
  • Starting cash in U.S. dollars
  • Small travel clock alarm for those early powder days!
  • Bathing suit for hot springs, spas and pools
  • Rain jacket, or use your snow jacket/shell
  • Portable music and headphones
  • Converter and Plug adapters
  • Energy Bars

Passports, Visas, Entry Fees

PowderQuest recommends bringing a rubber band to keep all your documents secure in your passport. It is also a good idea to bring a photocopy and have a backup of your passport to keep separate form the original.

Entering and Leaving Argentina

A passport, valid for the length of your stay is required for most countries.  USA, Canada and Australia passport holders entering Argentina are required to pay a fee before traveling and must show proof of payment on arrival. This is payable online via the Provincia Pagos website.

If you traveling with a passport from another country, it is a good idea to check online with the Argentine Embassy for updated requirements.


Required Travel Insurance

Personal travel insurance that includes emergency evacuation coverage is mandatory to travel with PowderQuest. Click for details and to book online


What to Expect When Traveling in South America and with PowderQuest

For most of us who are from North America or Europe, we are used to and expect that things run smoothly. We are not only on time but usually at least 5 minutes early. With the exception of trains, buses and most flights, Chilean and Argentine services are not known for their punctuality.

We provide the following information in good faith so you will have a clear picture of what to expect before you arrive.

Mountain Safety

Ski Patrol in South America is not up to international standards. This goes not only for hasty assistance on an injury, but also snow safety. One of the reasons PowderQuest works with certified guides recognized by international guide associations.  See our Safety Document for more details.

Groomed runs are not what you find in Aspen or Vail, and mountain hazards and boundaries are not marked as vigorously as you find at home.

Off Mountain Safety

As our guest, your safety is a priority to PowderQuest both on and off the mountain.  Security in Chile and Argentina, even in the larger cities is quite safe.  Common sense should be used, especially in busy city areas where pick pocketing can occur.

Health

Chile and Argentina are two of the most modern countries in Latin America.  With quality foods, no yellow fever or malaria, and an abundance of well-stocked pharmacies (including personal items for women), the only discomforts travelers occasionally have, are upset stomachs and a temporary bowel disorder. This is common with travels anywhere in the world, and can be avoided by drinking bottled water, avoiding side salads, and uncooked foods.

With active tours including full days in the snow and sun, it is important to stay hydrated. Backpacks are great ways to carry your essentials, and are compatible with hydration systems. Da Kine makes great packs and work very well with insulated water systems. Keeping updated on vaccinations, especially tetanus, is always a good idea. There are no health requirements for entering Chile or Argentina.

Sunburn is always a concern in the mountains especially with the snow reflection and higher elevation. Sunglasses, goggles like Smith Optics, and quality sun block with SPF factor 35 and higher are a must in the Andes.

Frostbite can also be a factor in the Andes. Staying warmly dressed, well hydrated, and regulating body temperature by using layers and ventilation in the outer layers are good ways to prevent the skin from freezing.

Ski Resort Infrastructure

Overall expect later starts than you are used to at home. The 7:00 tram line up simply does not exist in the Andes. Most ski resorts open by 9:00 am but full mountain operations can be delayed until mid-morning for no apparent reason. When there is fresh snow or a current storm, these delays can be even longer. However, due to longer natural light, you can also ski later into the afternoon in South America. Some resorts do not stop running lifts until as late at 5:30 to 6:00 pm.

The ski resorts in the Andes vary from modern with millions of dollars in infrastructure to rustic areas with little more than a small cafeteria and a few tow-lifts. In many ways, we find this positive. This is not written to discourage you from visiting this beautiful part of the world, however, if you are accustomed to North American ski resort amenities, you will find the infrastructure of some resorts we visit more rustic, especially the speed and layout of the ski lifts. South America simply runs on a different pace.

The good news is, we find it all evens out. Some lifts may be slower, however 45 minute lift lines are virtually non-existent in the Andes. In addition, you do not have thousands of skiers fighting for those untracked powder runs. If you come down with an open mind you will find this part of the world fascinating and quite often comfortably relaxing!

Snowboarders should expect to encounter long traverses to access some of the better terrain at several ski resorts.

Weather

Weather forecasts are available and our guides are competent in understanding weather maps and local forecasts. However weather is not an exact science and the info available is not like in North America and Europe. Sometimes just like anywhere, forecasts are completely inaccurate.

Winters in Chile and Argentina can throw anything at us from warm and sunny “spring-like” days to bitter cold, blizzard like conditions at high elevations. Fog can be common at lower elevations, while bluebird skies welcome us once reaching the snow.

Rain is common at low elevations including many of the towns we will be visiting. The resorts generally receive deep snow from Pacific storms and can be accompanied with winds.  Preparation for all types of weather and ski conditions is recommended.

There may be days that there is so much wind or snow that lifts close down or simply never open. When the visibility is poor due to a storm or low clouds it is very difficult to see and for safety reasons we may choose not to go out.

Although we do not refund money for unused lift tickets, we do cover the expenses of alternate activities when it is not worth going riding.  We have many fun optional activities tucked up our sleeves for when these glitches in scheduling occur. Not a good day for riding in the mountains? How about a day of surfing in the Pacific Ocean, or a relaxing massage, or perhaps exploring Patagonia on horseback?

Road Conditions

Sometimes road conditions are poor due to rain, snow, mud etc. Heavy snow and high winds can quickly stack up snow on the roads we travel. Maintenance can be slow so there may be times when you find yourself delayed on leaving our hotel in the morning, stopping to put on chains, or outside pushing the transfer through a tricky spot on the route.   Some ski areas we visit have dirt roads. Dusty when it is dry and snowy and muddy after a storm.  4×4 is often needed on the roads to our cat skiing destinations.

Communications

Cell phone coverage and general internet access are surprisingly good.  Before your trip you will receive a list of phone numbers of our accommodations and guides where you may be reached in case of emergency.  We have done our best to secure accommodations on most tours in areas where there is internet access available but few locations it is either unavailable or slow at best. Take this in stride and revel in the luxury of being disconnected for awhile!

Language

Spanish is the official language of Chile and Argentina. Dialect between the two cultures is quite different. Chilean Spanish tends to be more difficult to understand as they cut their ‘s’, and slang is used in all age groups. Chileans have adopted many words from the English language, and are used in everyday conversation.

Argentine Spanish has greater influence from Spain, even a bit of Italian, and you can pick it out in the accent.

We hope you will want to get to know the locals of both countries. A few Spanish lessons and a phrase book will get you further than you think. Both cultures are patient and are very excited that you want to practice their language. Don’t be surprised if they want to practice their English with you.

Meals and Restaurants

A true highlight to the trip! All meals, with the exception of some lunches are included with your tour. Our guides selection of wine and mineral water is included with dinners on most tours.  This will generally consist of 2 glasses of wine and a bottle of water. Should you want to drink more, including beer and mixed drinks, this will be an additional cost.

In addition to the delicious food included with our stay at many of the resorts, PowderQuest guides have selected great restaurants serving everything from local favorites to international. Many guests say they have eaten the best meals of their lives with us!

The norm in South America is lunch around 2pm, a smaller tea and cakes snack around 6pm and then a late dinner. We will usually be having our dinners between 8pm-9pm as most restaurants don’t open before 8:00 pm.

Currency and Exchange Rates

The official currency of Chile and Argentina is the peso (Chilean peso and Argentine peso).  Both currency value on the dollar fluctuates. For daily updates, click here.

Use of a credit card and ATM’s are your best bet for good exchange rates during your stay.  In Argentina some U.S. dollar cash can go a long way if you are willing to exchange on the black market, easily found in most towns.  In addition many shops will accept dollars at a higher rate than the official exchange rate.

Although travelers checks are accepted in some areas, the exchange rate is poor, and can often send you running around town looking for places to accept them.

Time Zones

Time throughout the winter months in Chile is the same as EST (New York City). Argentina is one hour ahead.

Weights, Measures, and Voltage

The metric system is used in Chile and Argentina.  For power, 220 volts AC, 50 cycles. Be sure to buy a plug adapter & converter if you plan on bringing electronic equipment. Quality batteries are easy to find, but less expensive if you bring them from home.

Laundry

Laundry service is available in just about every town and resort we visit, and can generally be dropped off and picked up within the same day.

Additional Costs 

Extra cost will include the few meals not included with your trip, additional drinks and activities such as heli skiing or any other sports outside our described tour itinerary. You are responsible for any airline/airport taxes and charges due to excess, oversize or overweight baggage, including on flights that are included with the cost of the tour.

On the days we cannot get on the mountain (Rain, wind, poor visibility, etc.), PowderQuest will arrange trips such as whitewater rafting, hot springs, snowshoe trips etc, at no extra cost to our guest.

Tipping

PowderQuest covers the gratuities at dinners. 5-10% is a normal gratuity in bars restaurants and pubs.  Tipping your hotel staff, driver and ski guides is encouraged if they have provided you with excellent service. Your guides will be able to help suggest amounts to leave for your driver and hotel staff.  For the guides, 5-10% of the cost of your tour is the industry norm.

Closing Note

We encourage you to embrace your trip to South America with all it has to offer, and if that means that things are not right on schedule, let that be part of the adventure!  For more info have a look at our Frequently Asked Questions page.



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