Ski Magazine has given readers a great lowdown on some of the best Chile ski resorts. Read on, or come see for yourself this summer…
Can you say “exclusive”? Portillo Chile is the unique boutique ski experience in The Andes, owned and operated by an American family for the last 50 years. Portillo lodging single hotel has 450 beds, and 480 staff.
“The skiing provides the backdrop to an experience that can include Austrian world cup ski racers, Brazilian heiresses and the occasional North American ski bum who has decided to splurge.” says Ski Magazine.
The exclusivity means you also have empty slopes, with your pick of mind-boggling terrain, and when the snow is not 100 percent the resort limits day tickets so only guests can ski. Luxury. Learn more
You don’t get much simpler than this: Cat-only skiing on a remote, rugged mountain. There is no accommodation and a small lodge where you can finish off the day with a cold cerveza and stunning sunset. Ski Magazine calls Arpa cat skiing “One of the best experiences in skiing on the planet.” and we definitely aren’t arguing. Huge vertical, broad terrain and a low-key atmosphere: it’s all about the skiing and snowboarding. The best rustic ski experience in Chile. Learn more
As part of the Tres Valles resort complex (along with La Parva and Valle Nevado), El Colorado ski area can be skied on its own or with a joint lift ticket. It’s popular with Chileans and one of the resorts with the most budget options for accommodation. “at either El Colorado’s base area, or shack up in Farellones, Chile’s original ski town.” Learn more
The Colorado skiing town and resort is constantly developing new features; last season they introduced night skiing in Farellones and a new run from the highest part of the mountain, La Copa.
Right now, La Parva has the biggest mountain town in ski Chile country with 7000 beds in privately owned apartment buildings and condominiums. Ski Magazine compares it to Aspen, but with a lot less partying.
La Parva is proud of their family atmosphere and say they have the best beginners’ piste, 70 ski school instructors, and teach kids to ski from the age of three.
For intermediate and advanced riders, La Parva offers great terrain, and no crowds. “Lift lines – even at the height of the Chilean July vacations – are non-existent.” Learn more
Termas de Chillán
Five hours south of Santiago is Nevados de Chillan, the ski area of the Termas de Chillan resort. Its location, nestled on the side of an active volcano, means that dotted around the ski area are crevasses hissing sulphur-tainted steam. Even better, you can ski to the edge of thermal pools to finish off your day.
Chillán is rare in Chile in that it offers some tree skiing, and the contours of the volcano offer a complete playground on a powder day.
The resort offers four and five star accommodation, but for those on a more realistic budget, there are plenty of great options for accommodation down the Valle Las Trancas, about 20 minutes away. Learn more
Valle Nevado Chile’s high altitude and southern orientation mean this is the resort with the longest season – from mid June to the third week of October. It’s big enough to offer something for all tastes and budgets, with accommodation and food ranging from basic to complete luxury.
Currently undergoing massive development, this resort is right up there with anything in North America, with 7000 acres of skiable terrain and high quality snow, and linked to the Tres Valles network.
Now that you are familiar with Chile’s best ski resorts, it’s time to dive deeper into how to make it happen. Options range from guided ski adventures to self guided family ski vacation bookings. It’s all here.