Haven’t had enough of the winter scene this year? Well it’s the perfect time to head down to the Southern Hemisphere, where winter season is just starting. South America and Chile in particular, which houses part of the Andean range and its majestic peaks, are teeming with spectacular mountain landscapes ideal for a ski getaway. With more than 2,485 miles (4,000 kilometers) of mountain range, Chile offers countless opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and many more exciting snow activities.
The ski season lasts roughly from June to October and there is a plethora of fantastic resorts to choose from for your ski adventures. Only a few miles from Santiago, the cosmopolitan capital of Chile, are several excellent ski resorts, equipped with modern equipment and boasting incredible slopes and trails to suit amateurs and seasoned skiers alike.
The largest ski resort in the Southern Hemisphere, and beautifully located in the heart of the Andes, Valle Nevado is arguably one of the best winter resorts in the world. Situated at a dizzying height of over 9,840 feet (3,000 meters), the resort boasts an ideal climate for skiing, with fresh snow all throughout the season. Inspired by some of the best French resorts in the Alps, Valle Nevado features modern infrastructure, over 23,000 acres of skiable domain, and several hotels, restaurants, and ski schools.
True adventurers can also take advantage of the resort’s heli-port. An impressive Bell 407 helicopter transports skiers up to the most remote spots in the heart of the Andes. Here virgin powder and magnificent landscapes await the most audacious.
Another of Chile’s best ski resort is Portillo, also easily accessible from Santiago. Located in the Valparaiso region about 101 miles (164 kilometers) from the capital, the Portillo Ski Resort towers at over 9,186 feet (2,800 meters) right next to the awe-inspiring Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere. This is Chile’s oldest ski resort. It is probably also its most famous, and thousands of skiers from all over the world travel to Portillo to enjoy the scenery, the thrill of skiing down the slopes of the Andes, and the elegant atmosphere.
Boasting slopes of every difficulty level to suit novices, amateurs, and professionals alike, the beautiful Termas de Chillan Ski & Spa Resort is located about 50 miles (80 kilometers) from the city of Chillan south of Santiago. The ski center is situated at 5,000 feet (1,524 meters) and boasts pristine forest and beautiful landscapes all around.
The resort is ranked among the best in the country and is home to South America’s longest run, Las Tres Marias, which stretches over 8 miles (13 kilometers). It’s also a perfect place for those who like to complement their ski vacation with relaxation and pampering, as the site boasts natural hot springs and spas. The springs, featuring 9 pools open year round, are renowned for their therapeutic properties.
El Colorado Ski Resort, rightly named after the United States’ best ski region, is one of the most accessible skiing spots, only 31 miles (50 kilometers) from Santiago. With its singular corn-shape peak, El Colorado provides great opportunities to ski in the region around Santiago, and is also connected to the larger Valle Nevado Ski Resort in. It is located at over 8,850 feet (2,700) meters and boasts an ideal climate with fresh powder and sun throughout the ski season.
These are only a few of the ski resorts available in Chile, not to mention throughout South America, so don’t wait until the season is over, hop on your skis and start your adventurous Chile vacation.
For specific questions about skiing in Chile or in South America in general, please contact one of our expert travel advisors.
Peru for Less is a group of travel experts who live, work, eat, and breathe all things South America. Their inspiration stems from a deep appreciation for the beauty and diversity that make this continent so special.