Ski Region Travel and Tourism Information
About Ski Region – Chile
The ski resorts that surrounds Santiago are located just 60 kilometers from downtown, allowing you to enjoy the quality of the slopes, the abundant sun and the privileged altitude of the Andes Mountains.
La Parva, El Colorado and Valle Nevado are part of a complex that offers a complete line of facilities to ensure the enjoyment and relaxation of snow lovers. Skiers can count on the diversity of gentle runs, and the more advanced can challenge themselves conquering the most extreme descents the Andes has to offer.
Attractive, comfortable, well equipped suites and rooms, exercise areas, heated swimming pool, sauna, massage and beauty parlor are some of the facilities that you will encounter in this white paradise.
To experience and enjoy this resort, Valle Nevado offers slopes of contrasting characteristics, for the more daring, heli-ski and heli-surf are available, also adventures to the highest peaks on helicopter or trekking.
The gastronomic experience, will allow you to taste some of the finest flavors: French cuisine, Italian specialties, Alpine classics, and of course, the finest Chilean favorites with its wines.
As an important note, the ski stations, in this area, open from the second week of June until the second week of October.
One of the worlds best kept skiing secrets, this small Chilean resort in the central Andes lies just a few kilometers from the Argentine border, about 100 miles from Santiago. Settled in a valley next to Laguna del Inca, virtually in the shadow of Aconcagua, South Americas highest peak (22, 841 feet, 6950 meters), Portillo has hosted the World Ski championships, and many of the Worlds most prominent national and Olympic teams train here during the Northern summer, so you may find yourself rubbing elbows with world champions, Olympic medallists and up-and-coming hopefuls on the chairlift, in the weight room, or at meal times.
The base of the ski area is at 9450 feet (2880 meters), the highest point is 10860 feet (3310 m), the maximum vertical drop is an impressive 2500 feet (762 meters), and the longest run is 1.5 miles. In all, there are three quadruple chairs, one triple, one double, and five surface lifts. These twelve lifts service a total of 1235 acres of skiable terrain, with both natural and man-made snow, and adequate options for all levels of difficulty (approximately 10% of terrain is for beginners, 35% intermediate, 35% advanced intermediate, and 20% expert). The two lifts serving the expert runs are “Va e vient” surface lifts, and both are open subject to daily skiing conditions. There is also access to off-piste chutes and other backcountry skiing from these lifts. The quadruple lift passes above the “Transamericana” that links Santiago to Mendoza, and skiers returning to the base of this lift actually ski over a few of the tunnels. Resort staff takes excellent care of the slopes according to snow conditions, so visitors are guaranteed good skiing as long as adequate snow is available.
In addition to great skiing, the resort is renowned for its top-notch hospitality, and the multilingual and multinational staff offers first-class service. The main lodge was built in traditional European chalet style, and has all the amenities of a European resort: a grand dining room, a large reading area, weight room, sauna, massage, aerobics, swimming pool and hot tub, gymnasium, lounge/bar,
Daily rates include skiing, lodging, and four meals (breakfast, lunch, evening tea, and dinner). These rates vary considerably by month, but are still quite reasonable in high season, and practically a steal in low season. In addition, visitors are allowed to ski on both the day they arrive and the day they leave, so that a typical 7-day package will actually include eight days of skiing, lodging and meals. Visitors can choose from three different lodging options (Hotel Portillo – the main lodge, the “Inca Lodge” bunkhouse, or family accommodations) and two different dining options (full-service meals in the main dining hall or “self-service” in the cafeteria). The cost of equipment rental is not included in the daily package rates, but there is a well-stocked equipment rental shop that has both standard and performance equipment available for hire. The resort also offers excellent ski school programs for skiers at all levels of ability.
In addition to skiing, there is a weekly schedule of daytime activities and evening events such as movies, games, and other activities for those who need a break from the slopes. Evenings always have a full social program scheduled after dinner, including complementary cocktail hours on the day that groups arrive and depart, usually Sunday and/or Monday.
Although Portillo is easily accessible from either Mendoza or Santiago, ski packages only include transfer to and from Santiago, so visitors wishing to arrive from or depart to from Mendoza will need to arrange their own transfer. Although there is a considerable amount of traffic/transportation between Mendoza and Santiago, be advised that most of the tourist buses pass in the morning and early afternoon, so it is quite difficult to find transport to Mendoza at the end of the ski day.
A large portion of this text was written by Traveler – Writer Craig Milroy.