Hidden in the snow, 180 km from the city of Mendoza and just 5 of the Penitentes ski resort, a perlite has been growing over the past five years. The Puquios, the first snow park in the province, we are invited to ski with very affordable rates and adding other options such as ice skating outdoors, bike rides, snowshoeing, sledding and tubbing.
Photography by Alicia Nijdam
There are no chairs or LF huge promotion. Just three lifts that lead to different tracks and altitudes in the mountains, but offer a wide choice bounded to beginners and intermediate skiers. The protagonists here are families with children who come and go with inexperienced young skiers. Traditionally, about 4500 people passed through The Puquios each season. This year, after a sustained investment, its leaders expect about 25,000 visitors.
Nievelandia is a fence at the base property to children from 3 to 6 years takes their first steps in skiing. There are tables with blocks of snow, a small cabin heated with a kindergarten teacher and gaming table for drawing and puppets. In high season, the cost per child for 3 hours, is $ 125. The full-day, 180 and 140 pesos.
For the rest of the skiers are two class options: Cheer up, for children up to 11 years and inexperienced, one-hour group which have a maximum of ten students ($ 85 in high and 75 low) and Puquios Challenge to over 11 an hour and a half (150 and 120 pesos).
Photography by cecito
In addition to a track to tubbing, one for plastic sleds, and a small space for ice skating, this mini ski resort has three lifts. The first laptop is an ointment called Poma School. Passes through here every rookie who craves to give the fewest possible blows, being a track with a minimal slope. With a bit of security in the skis, the next step will be the ointment for beginners, with an ascent of 180 meters and a wide track where you start to feel the speed. Finally you can climb 520 meters up the mountains in the teleski (similar to the poma), from which emerge several trails and some interesting off-piste options. The longest is 1200 feet, and one of its tracks is certified by the Federation of Skiing and Mountaineering Argentina for competitions for children. The descents are mostly beginners, advanced intermediate with the latter, although not very long. In total, the ski area is three hectares.
This year he joined the pack a cabin with food service and expanded basic services, including the parking lot and the stock of ski equipment for rent. The tearoom also accompanies the pricing of the puquios. A lunch menu costs $ 60 and may comprise, for example, a soup, a dish of lentils and a soda. A family of four can opt for a pizza, burgers, pies or roasted and eaten by just over 100 pesos.
We believe this is the biggest snow park in Argentina and the best infrastructure. We have everything that has a ski center, but more limited, except housing. This is for expert skiers. It gives the kids come to learn, and meanwhile the parents also have some fun and skiing, “says Soler, and switch to a channel of cartoons in the plasma of the confectionery to note that there are two children on a table.
Before finishing the season is planned to install lights on the dance beginners, and will launch an evening walk, 18 to 21 (currently the time is until 17.30). The master plan of the enterprise would end with a lift and a lodge with food, child care, rent skis and snowboards, nursing and changing rooms. If the accompanying projected traffic will be able to be built in two years.
Once the skier wants a little more adrenaline, Route 7 offers two full ski resorts. Penitentes, 5 km to the east, is a classic with 300 hectares of skiable surface. To the west, 25 km on land and Chile, is Portillo, one of the most prestigious ski resorts in South America, with 12 lifts and 23 trails.
How to get there?
The Puquios are 180 km from the city of Mendoza, on National Route No. 7. Can be reached by car on paved road, or fly to Mendoza ($ 840 round trip per Airlines) and take a daily service of Uspallata Tourism (60) in two daily.
Photography by pandrcutts
The day pass costs $ 125 in high season and 100 in low, if all tracks are open. When the media are not all enabled by lack of snow, the price drops to 100 and 80. We rent ski equipment and clothing for those who require it (80 for skis, boots and poles).
Where to sleep?
The closest lodging is the Inn Puente del Inca, a 1 km, with rates around $ 500 per room based on quadruple during high season. A 6 km there is more capacity in Penitentes, as the Refugio Cruz de Caña, or complex with an inn Ayelén, a hotel and apartments (from $ 780 for four people). A 60 km is the nearest town, Uspallata, with even more variety of hotels and prices. You should ask as many accommodations on Route 7 offer vouchers 25% discount for daily walks in the puquios.