The most recognized winter center of the province of Neuquén is also attractive in summer, offering a spectacular panoramic view across the Lácar Lake's valley, the mountain range, the Lanín Volcano and the town of San Martín de los Andes.
Duration: Half noon
Distance: 20 kms
Enabled: Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring
Description tour: Chapelco Mountain circuit
Chapelco mountain is located 19 kilometres from the town of San Martín de los Andes. Eventhough most of the activities are concentrated during the winter season, its easy access and proximity to the city, makes it a highly recommended tourist destination during the rest of the year as well.
The circuit starts taking the National Road Nº 234 (the Road of the Seven Lakes) where after 5 kilometres of fantastic views of the Lácar Lake, you will find on the right, the entrance to Catritre beach (a wide bay with sandy beaches, a camping area, a restaurant and a picnic area). One kilometre further, also on the right, you will reach the detour that leads to Quila Quina beach.
Going along the pavement of the National Road, after aproximetely 15 kilometres you will find the Pil Pil viewpoint on your right, the perfect excuse to stop and enjoy an amazing view of the Valley of the Pil Pil Stream, the lake and mountains. Just one more kilometre further on the left, you will find the Provincial Road Nº 19, which is not paved and that leads to the winter Ski Center.
A continuous ascent among thawing streams and a forest of Lenga trees allows visitors to appreciate all the magnificence of the Patagonian landscape. On the right and five kilometres further, the ski runs, the lifts and buildings of the Center can be seen.
The parking lot, located about 1200 metres above sea level, is an excellent natural balcony from which you can have an exceptional panoramic view, the Lácar Lake with the mountain range behind and the eternal snows of Lanín Volcano dominating the scene.
From there you can start a walk or take the cable vehicle up to the platform 1600, tour the surrounding area and enjoy the silence and beauty of the forest.
Chapelco is one of the most exclusive places in the country thanks to its modern Ski Center, with its runs that have different difficulty levels for beginners, intermediate skiers and experts. It also has a sufficient number of lifts that allow a quick access to the runs, shelters, restaurants and teahouses of the Center.
During summer the Center offers other options related to adventure tourism, in addition to a park for kids, in which children are introduced into ecology and environment matters.
When you return to the city, it is recommended (and compulsory in winter), to take down the road that among Ñire trees, yards and flocks of sheep, will lead to the spot Puente Balnco (White Bridge) which goes across lands of the Mapuche community.
Travel agencies offering the ride
San Martín 836 2A (Centric) (02972) 427550
San Martín 437 - Loc. 3 (Centric) (02972) 425808 | (02944) 15618875
Cnel. Díaz 751 (Centric) (02972) 428876
Villegas 698 Loc. 5 y 10 (Centric) (02972) 425140 | 429570
Office: Secretaría de Turismo - Av. San Martín y Juan Manuel de Rosas
Opening hours: 7:00hs a 14:00hs