From skiing on the slopes of a volcano to dropping down the legendary La Chimenea couloir, Chile’s Andes Mountains is the ultimate summer skiing escape for powderchasers. Here at SnowPak we’ve done the legwork and picked out five of Chile’s best ski resorts!
Due to COVID-19, safety measures were put in place by Chile which impacted the 20/21 ski season. These included border closures to foreign nationals and national lockdowns which delayed the opening of ski resorts until August 2020. El Colorado, La Parva and Corralco were the only resorts that were able to open to local residents, with increased sanitization protocols, mask-wearing and strict social distancing in place. Such restrictions are not anticipated to continue into the 21/22 winter season.
La Parva is a favorite in the Santiago area and Chile! The village is cozy and can make for a first-class getaway, though that means many of the accommodations can get pricey. Staying in La Parva’s small village has a certain air of elegance. It doesn’t have the vibrant nightlife of Farellones or the international flair of Valle Nevado, but all of its comfortable accommodations have ski-in/ski-out access. The convenience and laid-back atmosphere makes staying on the mountain an excellent choice for families who can afford it and whose children have a little experience on the snow.
Nevados de Chillan offers the unique experience of skiing on the slopes of Chillan Volcano! While you carve turns down the fall line, the mountain could very well be spouting steam! You can stay in one of the resort’s on-mountain hotels, which all have ski-in/ski-out access or stay at a range of accommodations in an authentic Chilean mountain town in Las Trancas. It’s just over 4 mi away, and offers more dining and nightlife options than at the resort. Either way, be sure to take advantage of the natural hot springs, thanks to the volcanic activity here!
With about 2,200 ac of skiable terrain, Valle Nevado is Chile’s largest resort. Thanks to the local geography and its higher elevation, the resort often has the best snow in the Tres Valles which is kept fresher longer than the neighboring resorts. The purpose-built base area is designed to welcome international visitors with plenty of multilingual staff members as well as activities to keep everyone entertained. There’s something suitable for a range of budgets, along with all the other features that make for a wonderful family-friendly destination. Just note, beginner terrain isn’t the easiest to get to.
Ski Portillo’s extreme steeps make it a heaven for advanced and expert skiers. There are a limited number of groomers and beginner slopes, but the good news is that crowds are rare here as Portillo restricts the number of single-day lift tickets it sells! At Portillo, there’s no ski village, just the iconic yellow hotel and the skiing – but the hotel has everything you could possibly want. You’ll find restaurants, bars, and a pool with one of the best views. There are about as many staff members as there are guests so you can expect an unparalleled level of service.
Located in Chile’s Tres Valles (three valleys), El Colorado is connected to nearby resorts La Parva and Valle Nevado. It’s also linked with the small slope at Farellones below (accessible on the same ticket). It’s the closest resort to Santiago, and enjoys a reputation as something of a “locals’ mountain”. This sees plenty of crowds about so ski there midweek to avoid the weekend warriors! Coupled with the relatively low prices and convenient lodging options, El Colorado also makes for an excellent choice for families with less experienced skiers and snowboarders.