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post #6 of (permalink) Old 01-07-2013, 02:09 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
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The number of places that you can visit depends on your budget. You could choose to visit the resorts of Mendoza (Penitentes and Las Leñas) or the resorts of Patagonia (San Martin de los Andes, Bariloche, Villa La Angostura, Esquel).
I would go to visit Patagonia, has more resorts and the scenery is unmatched. Unfortunately, there are no rail links to access these destinations, but there are many bus companies and are much cheaper than flights. San Martin de los Andes, Bariloche and Esquel have airport, and there are frequent flights from Buenos Aires.
First you should define the path as you have several options. I leave you some ideas for your reference:

- Flight from Buenos Aires to Esquel
- Bus from Esquel to Bariloche
- Bus from Bariloche to San Martin de los Andes
- Flight from San Martin de los Andes to Buenos Aires


- Flight from Buenos Aires to San Martin de los Andes
- Bus from San Martin de los Andes to Bariloche
- Bus from Bariloche to Esquel
- Flight from Esquel to Buenos Aires

If you want to add Villa La Angostura, you can take a bus that takes 1 hour from Bariloche, and then again, so do not stay at Villa La Angostura. I think it's the best way to include this destination on the trip.
My recommendation to fly back to Buenos Aires is because from here you have direct flights to Santiago de Chile, if you want to visit the resorts in that country.

This is a website where you can find buses that would connect all destinations: Viajes a Neuquén - Empresa de transporte terrestre de pasajeros - KoKo

For reference I can tell you the duration of travel and approximate prices in January of buses, but in winter certainly will increase because it is high season.
An important clarification, here there are several types of quotations to the foreign currency, if you change your dollars at official Currency Exchange Office get fewer pesos argentinos than changing them in other places where it is sold to the parallel quote, or you can change them to some argentinian, will pay more because here we can’t get dollars in a "legal way".
The quotes today are these (although it will continue rising in favor of foreign currency):

Official Dollar exchange rate: $ 1 = $ 4.85
"Unofficial" Dollar: $ 1 = $ 6 approximately

The difference is very noticeable!

Well, we continue with the buses, here are the prices:

Bus San Martin de los Andes to Bariloche or Bariloche to San Martín de los Andes
Prices in pesos argentinos: from $92 to $115
Official dollar prices: from U$18.96 to U$23.71
"Unofficial" dollar prices: from U$15.33 to U$19.16
Driving time: 3 hours 45 minutes average

Bus Bariloche to Villa La Angostura or Villa La Angostura to Bariloche
Price in pesos argentinos: $36
Official dollar price: U$7.42
"Unofficial" dollar price: U$6
Driving time: 1 hour 10 minutes or less

Bus Bariloche to Esquel or Esquel to Bariloche
Prices in pesos argentinos: from $105 to $170
Official dollar prices: from U$21.64 to U$35.05
"Unofficial" dollar prices: from U$17.50 to U$28.33
Driving time: 5 hours average

On the night, the place is certainly Bariloche, is one of the centers of Argentina's party, there are many bars and discos, much tourism.
San Martín de los Andes is more familiar, but beautiful, the mountain and the city are marvelous. Villa La Angostura not have much night but is so close to Bariloche that everyone goes there. Esquel is a small town, I know people who live there and they told me there is not much night either.

Before talking about the resorts we will make clear which corresponds to each city:

San Martín de los Andes – Cerro Chapelco
Web: Chapelco Ski Resort | Temporada 2012

Bariloche – Cerro Catedral
Web: Catedral Alta Patagonia - Bariloche - Verano 2013

Villa La Angostura – Cerro Bayo

Esquel – La Hoya
Web: La Hoya - Sitio Web Oficial

Cerro Chapelco is a little more exclusive, that makes it a bit more expensive than other destinations in Patagonia. I have a bit of favoritism for this place because it was where I met the snow.

Cerro Catedral is the largest resort in Argentina, something negative to note is that there are too many people. Moreover, it has much forest and is very entertaining.

Cerro Bayo is a boutique resort, is small, but has one of the most breathtaking views I have observed. It has an excellent snowpark.

La Hoya is small, but is the cheaper and I can say that because of its location is the place that has the best snow you have in Patagonia. It is well organized and is very close to the city.

If you want to know even more specific data, numbers of trails or something else, you can ask, I'll help in any way possible. Maybe if you want to know more about Mendoza`s resorts.

PS 1: Cerro mins hill/mountain.
PS 2: Sorry about my english!

I hope this helps you…
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