Outdoor Sports in Argentina
Find out about hiking, walking, cycling, mountain biking, skiing, rock climbing and mountaineering in Argentina...
Hiking and Walking
Hiking is popular in Argentina due to its scenic landscapes, particularly in Patagonia and the Andes. There are many well-marked hiking trails to choose from.
Patagonia is the main hiking and trekking destination in Argentina. El Chaltén is a small hiking village 220 Km from the city of El Calafate, often referred to as the hiking capital of Argentina. Located in the Los Glaciares National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Center, it offers a wealth of walks among glaciers, lakes and mountains.
The El Pilar lodging house, 15 Km from El Chaltén is the base for exploring the region's main highlights including Monte Fitz Roy and Monte Torre.
El Calafate is also a good walking base from which to explore the Perito Moreno Glacier and the Walichu Caves and their Paleolithic drawings.
The Andes is Argentina's other great walking destination, both for short walks and long multi-day treks, as well as ascending mountains or volcanoes.
The Andean Lake District offers particularly good walking. Bariloche, in the foothills of the Andes is a popular resort all year round and is a good hiking base for hiking up the Cerro Ventana and Cerro Lopez.
The Iguazú Falls on the border with Brazil has a number of scenic walks. The falls are beautiful with half the river falling into the Garganta del Diablo, or Devil's Throat, a narrow 82m high chasm. The border between Brazil and Argentina runs through the Devil's Throat.
A number of trekking and guiding companies operate in Patagonia and the Andes. They have guided walks for all levels of fitness.
- To find out more about hiking in Argentina from the Argentina Travel Guide: Click here
Cycling and Mountain Biking
Mountain biking is a rapidly growing sport in Argentina and there are trails throughout the country, including across the Andes. Road cycling is also popular and there are clubs throughout Argentina.
Many cities, including Buenos Aires, have mountain biking trails and circuits, which make for easy biking tours. Guided tours are also available.
San Carlos de Bariloche has many circuits including the difficult ascent and descent of Cathedral Mountain. Some of the downhill routes have lift access.
The area around Salta is a land of ravines, deserts and mountain passes, all of which can be explored by mountain bike. The city itself can also be explored by bike and the San Bernardo Mountain which has scenic views is a haven for mountain biking enthusiasts.
The beautiful landscapes of Mendoza, Patagonia and Iguazú are good places to explore or tour on a bike.
Rock Climbing and Mountaineering
Argentina is a world famous destination for serious mountaineering, particularly in Patagonia. The most renowned peaks - Cerro Torre, Torres des Paine, Fitz Roy and Escudo - attract the world's top alpinists. Routes are long, which coupled with the region's notoriously bad weather, make climbing a serious undertaking.
In the Mendoza area there is some climbing at Arenales near Tunuyan and at Potrerillos. Mount Aconcagua, also in Mendoza Province, borders Chile in the Southern Andes and is the highest mountain in the western hemisphere.
In northern Patagonia there are several good climbing areas near Bariloche. Valle Encantado is a beautiful area about an hour from Bariloche with accessible climbs close to a river.
In the Esquel area, Piedra Parada offers short and long climbing routes. Many of the routes are short, but there are also some pillars with routes up to 300m long. Tuzgle, which is close to Puesto Sey is an area of volcanic boulders offering climbing as well as bouldering.
Stonedance is a website dedicated to rock climbing in Latin America. Find information about popular areas including guides to the routes, how to get to them and nearby accommodation.
Further information on rock climbing is also available on Andes.org.
Argentina is a renowned skiing destination and the sport is very popular with both locals and visitors. Snowboarding has been gaining in popularity in recent years and boarders are also welcome at resorts.
All resorts are near the Andes in the west of the country and are reached by airplane from Buenos Aires. Some of the main resorts are:
- Cerro Catedral in Bariloche: The largest and most developed resort in South America, famous for its downhill skiing. There are slopes for all levels of skiers and 29 lifts
- Cerro Chapelco: A few hours drive from Bariloche is a resort for off-piste ski touring, forest skiing, and with steep chutes for experienced skiers. It has a good ski school and a qualified patrol team, making for safe skiing
- La Hoya: A small resort near Esquel in northern Patagonia. It has good on- and off-piste skiing, as well as lots of backcountry trails to explore
- Las Leñas in Mendoza: The other major downhill resort in the country. The resort caters for all skiers and it is a popular choice for heli-skiing and extreme skiing. This area is known for having very good powder snow in mid-winter
There is also a wealth of ski touring and mountaineering in the Andes, from day trips close to resorts, to remote expeditions. The Patagonia Ice Cap is popular with adventurous and experienced skiers, but there are also many peaks accessible to everyone.
- To find out more about skiing in Argentina from Welcome Argentina: Click here