Las Leñas Ski Resort
Argentina's premier ski area: go there for the best and most extensive off-piste terrain in the southern hemisphere.
The slopes offer 52km of groomed pistes, suitable for all levels. Beginners are provided for by the Venus lifts and runs, intermediates can find some excellent gentle runs just above the town centre but the main attraction is for experts. An old double chair opens up a lot of ski-anywhere, steep off-piste terrain - which you can only enter once you sign away the resort's responsibility for you. And it is best explored with a guide. There is good cat skiing too. Be warned though: gales and blizzards can shut the lifts for days. Late season is the best time to visit, and it's worthwhile considering combining the trip with Chilean resorts.
Las Leñas is a small, unpretentious, purpose-built resort with pyramid-style architecture beloved by the French in the 1960s. There are a couple of smart hotels, a few bars and a casino served by village bus. It's a remarkable place miles from civilisation, 400km from the nearest major airport at Mendoza and set in a vast mountain wilderness. In order to reach the resort most international visitors travel via the Buenos Aires before catching another flight to Mendoza or Malargue.
Resort website: www.laslenas.com