After three intense years of upgrades and renovations, Catedral Alta Patagonia's ambitious $7.5 million modernization plan has boosted the resort to #1 as the most developed resort in South America. Catedral Alta Patagonia, located 19km from Argentina's resort town Bariloche, is the only ski center on the continent with a full-service base village offering a variety of lodging options, dozens of restaurants, plenty of shopping and hot nightlife. Part of the modernization plan included a new commercial plaza, snowmaking and a cafeteria in the beginner's area, and two new slopeside restaurants, Las Nubes and La Roca – for an unbelievable total of 21 restaurants and cafes on the mountain.
But the most exciting news is Catedral Alta Patagonia's addition of 15 new lifts. The drawback to this resort is its low elevation, meaning during certain periods of the season the base at 3,380 feet lacks total coverage or is sloppy mush. Catedral Alta has therefore turned its attention to skiing the resort's higher reaches between 5,000 and 7,200 feet, with new lifts such as the Triple Park at the resort's mammoth terrain park, the Amancay gondola for fast access to higher elevation beginner and intermediate terrain, the Combi Lynch to get nonskiers up to restaurants with views, and especially the Ro-Cat and Teleski Laguna surface lifts that give advanced/expert skiers and snowboarders easy access to awesome backcountry terrain. Unlike most South America ski resorts, Catedral offers extensive tree skiing.
Catedral Alta Patagonia is a European-style resort with a heavy dose of Swiss-style architecture. Given the resort's extensive size, you might consider joining their free Snow Tour or pay a little extra for the Gold Catedral service, which includes a meet-and-greet and entitles participants to lounge in their VIP salon while their staff organizes lift tickets, classes, guided tours and any other activity. Aerolineas Argentinas offers daily flights to Bariloche from Buenos Aires, and Lan Airlines has direct flights from Santiago, Chile, on Thursdays and Sundays. For general information and lodging options, check out their website at www.catedralaltapatagonia.com, or call +54 2944-409000.