South America Skiing and Snowboarding
While it’s hot and the mosquitos are biting at home, it is full winter in the Southern Hemisphere. Welcome to ski South America. From June to October 2018, the world’s best snowboarding and skiing conditions await you in the Andes Mountains of Chile and Argentina during South America’s ski season.
South America ski resort destinations, detailed below, are outstanding to progress your skiing or snowboarding skills and offer gateways to endless off-piste exploring in mystical Patagonia and the chain of stunning snow covered volcanoes running the length of the mighty Andes range. Easily reachable destinations, with an overnight flight from home, also host excellent Latin America skiing and snowboarding vacation packages.
South America Backcountry
If ski resorts are not your cup of tea, cat-skiing, heli-skiing, and human powered backcountry ski touring and splitboarding excursions are great options getting you to some of the best backcountry skiing in South America, if not on Earth. South America’s backcountry is massive. Easy access from most ski areas in Chile and Argentina open up a world of adventure for skiers and riders with skins and a sense of adventure.
Change your perspective on summer vacation and come discover winter and the best skiing in South America with PowderQuest Tours.
- Guided adventures visiting the top ski areas and backcountry
- Custom built, non-guided ski vacation packages
- Browse the best South America ski resorts below
South America Ski Resorts
Ski Resorts in South America, home to our popular hotel packages and guided tours, operate from June to October. The resorts range from World class multi-million dollar infrastructures like Portillo and Valle Nevado in Chile, Las Lenas and Catedral Alta Patagonia in Argentina, to small off the radar getaways like Cerro Bayo, Pucon, and Corralco, with beautiful terrain, jaw dropping landscapes and zero crowds (except a two week period in mid-July as this is the local winter holiday for schools and businesses).
With 2 decades of travel experience on the continent, we have written extensive user guides along with travel tips and resort reviews for our favorite destinations in both Chile and Argentina. Dig deeper into exploring the beautiful Andes by clicking on the resort links below.
Over 25 Destinations to Explore
The most well known South America ski resort is Portillo in Chile, followed by Las Lenas, Valle Nevado, and the Bariloche based, Cerro Catedral Alta Patagonia. If you are short on time and prefer to stay in one ski area with all the amenities you need, we suggest an all inclusive vacation package at one of these four international destinations. Browse our ski resort reservation options
However there are many more ski centers well worth exploring. A guided ski tour vacation with bilingual, experienced, certified guides is a great way to ski several of the best South American ski resorts, experience the local culture and landscapes, leaving the detailed logistics to us. If backcountry skiing is on your radar, we have been running backcountry trips for two decades.See our multi-day guided adventures
Best Ski Resorts in South America
We are asked all the time, “What is the best ski resort in South America?” With close to 2 decades of travel to these destinations, We cannot 100% say where is the best place to ski in Latin America. Maybe it’s in our DNA as passionate travelers, skier and riders, but if you are going to make the journey, why only visit one venue on your holiday?
Las Lenas, Argentina has the steepest terrain, and energetic nightlife. Nevados de Chillan, Chile has fun out of bounds freeriding and hot springs with the terrain naturally carved by ancient lava flows. Portillo and Valle Nevado both located in Chile have great cozy ski-in ski-out hotels, dry powder snow and top notch cuisine while the ski resorts of Patagonia, Argentina can’t be missed for the mix of terrain, deep snowpack, culture, amazing food and night life.
The smaller destinations at the base of smoking Chilean volcanoes should not be overlooked as skiing the skirts of an active volcano is found in few places on the planet. At the end of the day you can soak in natural thermal hot springs under the canopy of an old growth forest. Truly unforgettable. Our hosted adventures take you there.
How to Get to South America
Getting to ski South America is easier than you think. There are numerous overnight flights to Santiago, Chile (airport code SCL) and Buenos Aires, Argentina (airport code EZE) from North America, Europe and Australia.
From The United States
American Airlines, United Airlines, and Delta Airlines all offer daily serviced, overnight flights from many major cities across the United States. Direct flights from the USA can be purchased from Miami, New York, Dallas, Atlanta, and Houston. Direct flights from Los Angeles can be found on occasion via LATAM, but the majority tend to have a red-eye connection in Lima, Peru.
Direct flights from Canada to Santiago and Buenos Aires can be found with Air Canada from Toronto. Flights from Calgary, Vancouver and other major cites generally route through Toronto or on occasion connect somewhere in the USA. Most Canadians prefer the direct Air Canada option as you get to skip out on the extra process of traveling through the USA.
Departures from Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane are offered on a daily basis.
Flights from European cities to Santiago and Buenos Aires are quite frequent, including many direct options from Madrid, Rome, London and Paris.
Arriving to Santiago
Santiago is similar to flying into Denver, Colorado as you can access great skiing within a 90 minute to two hour drive. In fact, you can be skiing Portillo, Valle Nevado, La Parva, and El Colorado ski areas by lunch time the day you arrive! El Arpa adventure based cat skiing is also nearby and should not be missed by advanced powder hounds looking for a true Andean remote experience.
The Chilean resorts further south can be reached quite easily via short, local flights or ground transportation, train, sleeper bus, private transfer, or rental car. See each resort page for details on how to arrive.
Arriving to Buenos Aires
Unlike Santiago in Chile, there are no ski resorts nearby Buenos Aires. Flying into Buenos Aires, Argentina requires an additional connecting national flight to access all of their popular ski destinations. This includes Las Lenas, Bariloche, and other Patagonian destinations. Some flights out of Buenos Aires require you to switch airports so be sure to allow time for these connections. Getting from airport to airport in the city is quite simple with options ranging from private transfers with English speaking drivers to pubic bus shuttles and of course the traditional taxi services.
The main airport hubs in Argentina are:
-Malargue (airport code LGS) to get to Las Lenas.
-Bariloche (airport code BRC), to access the resorts in the Patagonia Lake District (Cerro Catedral, Cerro Chapelco, Cerro Bayo and La Hoya)
-Ushuaia (airport code USH) to get to Cerro Castor, the southernmost ski area in the world.
More details to arrive to each ski area are on our resort pages in the “Getting There” tab.