After an eight-year closure, the Los Penitentes ski resort, nestling in the heart of the Andes mountains in the province of Mendoza, Argentina, has announced its long-awaited reopening on 20 June 2024. This historic decision was made possible by Decree 944 issued by the provincial government, granting a temporary operating licence to the local Mapsa Group SA, renowned for its expertise in adventure tourism. This authorisation marks the start of a new era for Los Penitentes, although it comes with a significant twist: the resort will operate without the use of traditional ski lifts.

The reopening of Los Penitentes is a crucial step in its evolution. However, the decision to dispense with traditional ski lifts underlines the environmental and economic challenges facing the resort. The gradual reduction in snow depth due to the effects of climate change, as well as the high costs of maintaining and operating the ski lifts, have prompted the local authorities and investors to rethink Los Penitentes’ business model.

From then on, the resort reinvented itself as a mountain adventure paradise, focusing on a more ecological and diversified approach to tourism. Under the energetic direction of Pablo García, Mariano Rodríguez and Roby Riedel, leading figures in the local tourism sector, Los Penitentes will offer a range of activities focused on exploring the wilderness and discovering the region’s stunning landscapes. From hiking and mountain biking to 4×4 excursions, visitors will be spoilt for choice for unforgettable experiences in the heart of the Argentine Andes.

The restaurant and accommodation facilities have been renovated and adapted to meet the needs of travellers, guaranteeing a comfortable and memorable stay in this mountain paradise.

Background to the reopening of Los Penitentes

Los Penitentes will be managed by Pablo García, Mariano Rodríguez and Roby Riedel, who are already active in other tourist facilities in the region. This experienced team brings invaluable expertise in the management of mountain tourism destinations, with a particular focus on environmental sustainability and innovation.

This ambitious initiative aims to transform Los Penitentes into a versatile and dynamic mountain resort, offering a wide range of recreational activities for all seasons.

By focusing on authentic and immersive experiences, the new management team aims to create a closer link between visitors and the region’s exceptional natural environment. Educational programmes and guided tours will also be offered, enabling visitors to discover the ecological and cultural wealth of the Argentine Andes.

Despite the challenges inherent in the transition to a lift-free operating model, the managers of Los Penitentes are determined to guarantee a quality visitor experience while preserving the environmental integrity of the region. Conservation and protection measures will be implemented to minimise the ecological impact of tourism activities and promote harmonious coexistence between man and nature.

Impact and potential of the reopening of Los Penitentes

The reopening of Los Penitentes, located 180 km from Mendoza and close to the Chilean border, marks a significant turning point for regional and national tourism. The Mendoza region, already renowned for its vineyards and picturesque landscapes, now has an added attraction with the reopening of Los Penitentes. The resort is accessible via the International Route Nº7, a major artery linking Argentina and Chile, making it an easily accessible destination for both national and international travellers.

Location of Argentina’s ski resorts

This news has been particularly welcomed by the local tourism sector, which sees it as an opportunity to boost the regional economy. The resort plays a crucial role in creating jobs and stimulating related commercial activities, such as accommodation, catering and retail.

On the environmental front, the transition to a lift-free operating model is in line with efforts to preserve biodiversity and conserve the fragile ecosystems of the Argentine Andes.

Finally, the reopening of Los Penitentes reinforces Argentina’s reputation as a top destination for winter sports and mountain activities.

 

The reactivation of Los Penitentes as a lift-free tourist destination is part of a wider strategy to diversify the range of mountain activities on offer in Argentina. Visitors will be able to enjoy a full range of outdoor experiences, consolidating the region’s position as a magnet for mountain sports and leisure enthusiasts.