Getting to Las Lenas

Getting to Las Lenas

Where is Las Lenas?

Las Leñas is located 77km (48 miles - 60 minutes) northwest of the town of Malargue (Mendoza Province), 419km southwest of Mendoza (260 miles - about 4.5 hours), and 1,179km (732 miles) west of Buenos Aires. Las Lenas is pretty much out in the middle of nowhere!

The little village of Los Molles is 19km from Las Lenas.

Travel to Las Lenas

It can be a right pain to get to Las Lenas, particularly if you’re not on the classic Saturday to Saturday ski week package, and some of the more convenient ways to get there can be costly.

Your Las Lenas hotel can assist with booking transfer options, or travel arrangements can be made as part of a Las Lenas ski package.

Most international visitors to Las Lenas will come via the Buenos Aires Ministro Pistarini International Airport aka Ezeiza (you can look at flight options here). From there if you plan to catch another flight to Mendoza or Malargue, the first thing to be aware of is that all domestic flights go from Jorge Newberry Aeroparque (AEP) which is located about 45 minutes to 1 hour from the international airport via taxi.

Flying to Malargue
The quickest way to travel to the Las Lenas ski resort is to fly to the Buenos Aires International Airport (flight times may necessitate staying overnight in Buenos Aires), transfer to the Buenos Aires domestic airport to get a charter flight to the Malargue Airport (LGS), and then get a transfer to the ski resort (about 45 min to 1 hour). This can be organised as part of a Las Lenas ski package that goes from a Saturday to a Saturday.

Charter flights only operate during July and August ie not during the fringes of the ski season.

Flying to Mendoza
There are regular flights into Mendoza (MDZ) from Buenos Aires or Santiago, and whilst Mendoza gets you a bit closer to Las Leñas, it’s still 419km (260 miles) away.

From the Mendoza bus station (ie not the airport) CATA International Bus Company runs direct buses to Las Lenas. The buses depart at the ungodly hour of 2:30am and arrive in Las Lenas just before 8am so you can you go skiing (if you’ve got enough energy after not sleeping well the night before!). Return trips leave Las Lenas at 5:30pm.

Alternatively during the day, Andes Mar has inexpensive buses from Mendoza to San Rafael (with a 3 hour “layover”) to Las Lenas.

Otherwise you can get a private transfer (about 4:30 hours) for about US$700 (ouch!!) between Mendoza and Las Lenas.

Bus from Buenos Aires to Las Lenas
The cheapest way to travel to Las Lenas from Buenos Aires is an overnight bus. It’s takes about 14-16 hours to get to Las Lenas, but these are no ordinary buses because the seats are nearly as comfortable as a nice bed. The bus departs every Friday and Sunday afternoon (arriving the next morning). These can be booked through Reservation Central at Las Lenas, Andesmar or CATA.

Driving to Las Lenas
It’s a long drive to Las Lenas, regardless of whether you rent a car in Mendoza (4:30 hour drive), Buenos Aires (13 hours) or Bariloche (12 hours)! And if you’re coming from Chile e.g. Santiago ski resorts or Portillo (6-7 hours), be aware that a cross-border permit is required to rent a car.

Renting a car in Argentina is generally very expensive, and you won’t need it once you’re at Las Lenas.

The drive up the valley to Las Lenas is reasonably simple because the road is not super steep or windy (except for a couple of switch backs). The road is paved but it has horrendous pot holes and it would almost be easier if it wasn’t “paved”. When the road is covered in snow, it’s very slow going!

It seems that carrying chains is compulsory but it’s not policed. It’s hard to get chains when you rent a car and it’s not super obvious where to rent chains from compared to other South American ski resorts ie there aren’t men standing on the side of the road waving at you! There are a couple of chain rental outlets in Malargue (south of the turn off to Las Lenas) and El Sosneado (just north of the turn off).

Day trippers can park at the entrance to the ski resort, whilst overnight guests can park a little further up the hill or near their hotel.

There is a petrol station at Las Lenas, although it’s very expensive.

If driving up from the south (e.g. from Bariloche or Caviahue), be aware that large parts of the Ruta 40 may not be paved even though it’s a “national highway” and that there are no petrol stations past Las Lagas.

Other Transport
Due to its remote location, Las Lenas isn’t typically included on many multi-resort tours. See the Las Lenas overview page for more information on tours.

Getting Around the Ski Resort

It’s easy enough to walk around most of the Las Lenas village. There is also some sort of shuttle service that runs around the resort and guest service vans that seem willing to assist damsels in distress.

Other Ski Resorts Nearby

There aren’t really any ski resorts close to Las Lenas: