Visitor reviews for Las Leñas Ski Resort
September 06, 2017
Ariel Masciotta from Argentina
Nice ski resort.
All hotels are within the valley, so expect less than 10 minutes travel in a free bus even from the farthest hotel. Most hotels are within 100 meters from the pistes (Piscis, Virgo, Acuario, Geminis, even the hostel is within this distance). Aries hotel is nice for family, the outdoor pool is great, and is away from the centre of the valley which can get noisy after ski hours.
Ski-In/out in Aries depends on the snow. If there wasn't much snow in the last week, you won't be able to ski-in/out of that hotel. The piste that will take you to it will be closed and you'll have to take either the bus or the private transfers that the hotel provides all day with very good timing.
Expect long queues at the lifts sometimes even on mid season. Sometimes the highest part of the resort (Marte Lift, Apolo and Jupiter pistes), which has the longest pistes, are closed because of winds. When this happens, the whole resort goes crazy and most used blue pistes (Minerva) will have long queues. Even on Teleski.
The other side of the resort, with Vulcano pistes, will be extremely crowded because of the 2 person only lift.
On mid-low season, travel only if there was a recent snow. Otherwise, expect to see half mountain with dirt and small stones over the pistes.
Most of the pistes will be opened even on low snow, the guys working do a very well job but if it didn't snow for 2 weeks expect stones and bad quality of snow everywhere. Climate can get very warm.
Regrettably, the lifts are sometimes old, slow and small. So getting to the highest spot of the mountain to ski all the way down will take you 30 minutes on lift from the base (Venus lift very crowded because of 2 green pistes and is slow: has to be stopped every time someone falls, and 2 person only). From there you take Neptuno lift (2 person, usually doesn't have long queues). Then you take the Marte lift. This one is long and you'll be cold at the time you reach the top. Usually the highest spot is very windy and will be closed.
Expect to be robbed even for a hamburger, a crepe or a milanesa. Everything is extremely expensive. The cheapest place to buy food or snacks is the supermarket which will be nearly over 50% of normal prices.
On the pistes, places to eat are nice. You can have a soup, pizza or even nice meat. They are not so expensive compared to the base e.g: small soup ($50 ars), pizza ($220-250 ars), bottled water ($40-50 ars). small sodas ($50 ars). Expect to spend nearly $400-600 ARS per person, per meal if you eat out.
If you travel by airplane, you will lose 2 entire days. One arriving and one leaving. There are daily flights from Buenos Aires to San Rafael, Mendoza (closest airport with daily flights), but they arrive at 12PM. So expect to leave the airport at 12:30 or 1pm. Then you need to take a private transfer, Atuel Travel is one of the most known and reliable, though there are a lot. The route to Las Leñas is in very very poor state, so the mountain road will take you nearly 2-3hs from the airport and you'll arrive near 3/4pm. Most ski rentals will be closed and the store for the Ski Pass won't give you the cards if you arrive one day before. They will tell you to come back tomorrow, when there will be a huge line to take your ski passes. This will be faster if you book your stay with lifts because most of the times the passes will be for you at the hotels (it can fail which has happened to me and you will need to go to the store line to get them). Lines at the ski pass store can take even an hour of wait even on mid season.
Transportation by Bus from Buenos Aires takes nearly 17hs, from Friday 5pm to Saturday 9-10am. You'll get dinner and breakfast though. And you will be able to ski your first day, and the last one (buses leave Las Leñas Valley near 5pm so you can ski your last day).
Public transportation: the buses leave San Rafael nearly 2 hours before the flight arrives so expect to lose a ski day and have a night in San Rafael if you plan to travel this way. Search for Cata and Iselin to book ahead. They won't allow you to book ahead more than a month or so.
If you travel by car expect an extremely poor maintained road. This year (2017), in August, there were some machines working fixing the road but only 10% is nice. Probably this will be left that way for years until the next elections.
The official rental can be very crowded near the arrive and departure days.Snow Rental is another rental which is on the valley (50 meters from Minerva Cafe). You can book online and they will have everything ready for you. Since they are at a few blocks from the centre you can call them and they will come for you usually shortly in a van; they will take you to the rental then lift you back to your hotel.
People are very friendly in this rental; if I have to rent something this is my choice.
Most people are always in a hurry here in high/mid season because of how close this resort is from Buenos Aires. Expect people pushing, stepping on your skis and even cutting the lines very often e.g: 2 person chair, 4 person line, sometimes even 6 person lines. And people will continue to cut the line if you don't put your skis 90° from the line. This is not nice at all and can get frustrating. Not all the people are like this, there are a lot of nice people but expect someone to be like this at least a few times a day.
The hostel is very nice; it has a few 8 people rooms. They are pretty small, so expect to ask for permission. Lockers mostly have no keys, because they were either lost or not returned after a stay. This is a bad point if you are always afraid of your belongings. Though people are very nice and there shouldn't be any issues at the valley. I've never seen someone who was robbed, but you never know. The hostel is less than 100 meters from the base and lifts. Right now, in mid season/ almost low 2017 it's nearly $750 a night if you book on the Valley. It can be a bit more expensive if you book through a travel agency. There are rooms with private bathroom and shared bathroom; ask before you stay.
The bathrooms are always clean and are enough, at least on mid season. Water is not an issue; hot water all the day and tap water is drinkable with no issues.
The Cirrus apart is nice, but it can be very noisy at night. Especially if you are near the green parrot party days. Lots of young people partying (which is nice) but if you usually have a hard time sleeping you will hate it. People shouting until more than midnight. 5 people duplex are pretty nice: 1 twin bed a sofa-bed and 2 bunks, 2 bathrooms. Water wasn't an issue either in this apart. Staff are very nice and the restaurant (which you can order to the room) is not expensive and the food is good. The only 'downside' of Cirrus, is that you need to take a small bus to the base; you can always walk anyway. But the streets aren't nice for your ski boots. Lot's of loose stones and bad asphalt so your soles will cry if you walk. The bus is pretty quick; it's not the bus that goes all around the valley. It just goes up and down the road that goes to Cirrus Apart and will leave you at 40 meters of the pistes.
I skied in Chamonix, France, and the main difference I see, is that because of the slow and small lifts, you will end up most time on the lifts or the lines of lifts, instead of skiing. Ratio of lift/ski (Including lines) can be sometimes 3/1 if you ski at an average speed. Expect more lift time if you ski fast. There aren't long pistes which you can connect for a 20 minutes fun descent. In a day or 2 you might already skied the whole resort. Easy off-pistes are nice when the snow is good. Most of them are between at least 1 or 2 pistes, so they are pretty safe. No trees and nearly no pits or crevices.
If the snow isn't good, mountain crew will not allow you to go off-piste; they control some off-piste like if it is a piste, which is nice, because they know the mountain pretty well. So, if it's open and your skill is good, it will be (mostly) safe.
Harder off-pistes and back country skiing is said to be awesome, though you might want to hire a guide for this.
Las Leñas Ratings
Overall: 3.3. Based on 93 votes and 204 reviews. Vote
(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Las Leñas.
Public Transport: 3.1
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Las Leñas, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.
(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.
(1) No places to stay in/near Las Leñas, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 2.9
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 3.9
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Las Leñas.
Ski in/Ski out: 4.3
(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.
(1) There are no child care facilities at Las Leñas, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.
(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Las Leñas is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Las Leñas relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 4.2
(1) There are no snow groomers at Las Leñas, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Las Leñas are groomed daily.
(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Las Leñas is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 1.8
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Las Leñas, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.
Regional rating: 3.7
(1) Las Leñas usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.
Lift Staff: 3.6
(1) The staff at Las Leñas are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Las Leñas are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.
(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.
Ski Schools: 3.9
(1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.
Hire and Repairs: 3.8
(1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.
Variety of pistes: 3.9
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Las Leñas has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.
(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.
(1) No intermediate terrain at Las Leñas, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.
(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.
Snow Park: 3.0
(1) Not even a kicker at Las Leñas, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.
(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.
(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Las Leñas, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.
(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Las Leñas has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 3.2
(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.
(1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.
(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.
Other Sports: 2.4
(1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.
(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.
Winter Walks: 2.2
(1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.
Ski Pass Value: 2.4
(1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.
Value (National): 2.6
(1) Overall, Las Leñas is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.
Value (Global): 2.7
(1) Overall, Las Leñas is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.
June 07, 2017
Guillermo from Argentina
Por que sacaron las cámaras web? la naturaleza no se puede controlar, pero por favor dejen que la gente vea, ya sea loa que ya pagamos como así los que están por contratar. son el único centro que elimino las cámaras. Realmente es un paso atrás
June 27, 2015
Rod from Argentina
The location is perfect with all the resort being right there literally at meters from the lifts. Weather is fantastic with mostly sunny days and the mountain is great. However, what I do not like from Las Lenas, and this is in the resort's hands, is its infrastructure. The main problem is the lift system. Las Lenas is like a museum of lifts with very old ones always having to stop; they are slow and not very safe. The other issue is water. I understand water is a scarce resource everywhere and mainly in Mendoza. However, expect to have some surprises, in this sense, with no water for showers when you return from skiing or going to the toilet. It happened to me twice in two different years. The third one is hotel infrastructure. Despite a couple of new hotels the rest are from the 80's with little or no renovation.
The bottom line, if you enjoy nice weather and stay in retro hotels while not caring about the quality of the more relevant ski services (lifts), then go to Las Lenas. Otherwise, choose other resort in Argentina. Chapelco and Bariloche, even if they have similar lift issues, invested more and renovated them more. Cerro Castor, though too far and smaller, looks better in this sense.
August 20, 2014
Julian from Argentina
No hay nada de nieve, hace mucho calor y se derrite todo.
[note from the editor: maybe this reviewer would like to be an Eyeball Reporter so their 'live' report of the snow conditions can be seen on the pages for the ski area.]
August 20, 2013
Sebas from Argentina
Best backcountry skiing in Latin America.
October 20, 2012
Tpni from Argentina
Is this the Snow-Forecast.com reviews place ?
Yes [from the editor]
April 12, 2011
Robert from United States
Ski Las Leñas was challenging and had the edge we were looking for. I will definitely recommend it to all of my friends. This was the greatest ski experience I have ever had. It was worth every penny, it's the Freeride Paradise!
Thanks Mariano, Roby and guides of Las Leñas Holidays for all your help with our group! I´ll definitely recommend laslenasholidays.com for anyone visiting Las Leñas in the future.
August 27, 2010
Patrick G from United States
Great service at Las Lenas. Good folks working there. Plenty of places to eat. I stayed in Los Molles which is a small town with access to a hot spring, walking distance from my hotel, Hualum. The views are splendid, the mountain burly. The frontside pretty much for beginners and intermediates. The one and only Marte accesses some sick terrain which I rode about 3 good runs on. Poor coverage the second week of July, high winds, lots of backcountry access closed. A few days after a storm and any wind it's all crusted up and pretty much worthless. You either have to be ready for LONG hikes, use of a helicopter, snowcat, or have good coverage and access to the terrain under the lift at Marte. Yes, you can hike at Las Lenas. It´s a sick mountain. And they need to put at least a faster double chair on Marte. It´s faster to walk up than take the chair. Pow here is legendary from what I´ve heard. It´s a good distance from other major cities by bus. I would come back to this resort knowing that the lifts are horrible; hiking the only option for good pow skiing, and that few people are earning their turns. At least that is less than Bariloche. I would just recommend skiing Snowbird in Utah and forgetting Las Lenas because of lack of lifts worth taking.
July 21, 2010
Reggie Crist from United States
Las Lenas has the best lift accessed terrain in the world. There is no place I would rather ski during our summer months. It's the goods!
June 16, 2010
Jerry from United States
If you dream of breathtaking vistas, mind blowing powder days and bucket loads of fun stop what you are doing, drop everything and head to Las Lenas in Mendoza.
I had a wonderful trip last year and I would give my thanks to Las Lenas Holidays staff they were so professional. Thank you for all of your help and patience.
Summarizing, everything was perfect, we will be back this season for sure.