Fun, fully hosted snowboard progression adventure in Chile for advanced-intermediate to advanced riders built to help take your riding to the next level while learning new freeride techniques high in the beautiful Chilean Andes.
This entertaining powder hunting trip allows you to experience the best resorts Chile has to offer, from shredding fresh lines and slashing the natural wind lips in Nevados de Chillan, to the endless free riding at La Parva, El Colorado, and Valle Nevado! Check out some of the Andes best zones in South America with your certified snowboard instructors/trip hosts while learning how to find the best snow based on terrain and current conditions.
- Pick up new snowboard tricks and skills in a fun, laid back environment
- 8 guests maximum
- Fully hosted by 2 bilingual, certified snowboard instructors-trip hosts. Meet our guides
- Outstanding culture and landscapes of Central Chile
- Ride the best Chilean resorts with a crew of like minded snowboarders
- Fantastic dinners and local red wines
- Great South American nightlife at local bars and nightclubs
The trip definitely gave me more confidence in my riding. I was pushed (in a supportive, encouraging way) to do things that I would never have done on my own. Some things I did successfully, others not. But, having those memories will help me push harder to improve this coming winter. I also learned a lot about the more technical parts of the sport. Most of my friends are skiers, so we don’t tend to discuss board mechanics, which means I’ve been riding ignorant for many years. Odd as it may sound, it was enlightening to discuss binding position and the purpose of a highback. I feel more comfortable calling myself a boarder now, as opposed to just someone who snowboards. – Annie Holzman, Snowboard Progression Chile trip guest
Starts and Ends: Santiago, Chile
Day 1: Fly into Santiago (airport code SCL), meet your guides and head up to the mountain town of Farellones – check into a family operated ski lodge where we will relax for 3 nights, enjoy the wood fired hot tub, sauna, legendary sunsets and delicious home cooked meals. After check in we will head up to El Colorado for a mellow afternoon of free riding the resort. We get your legs used to being back on the board while exploring the playful terrain high above Santiago.
Day 2-3: Continue to improve your snowboarding at one of the three local resorts in Farellones (El Colorado, La Parva, and Valle Nevado). Evenings based in Farellones where we enjoy the outdoor wood barrel hot tub, amazing food and wine, and if you are up for it, a night out in town.
Day 4: Enjoy a relaxing morning after a few days of riding hard with your guides, then travel to one of favorite zones in Chile, Nevados de Chillan. We will spend the day driving through Chilean wine country with a lunch stop at one of our favorite select restaurants. We arrive to our ski-in, ski-out hotel in the late afternoon. After dinner, we can enjoy the bar or natural volcanic hot spring pool merely steps away from the hotel.
Day 5-7: Breakfast buffet at the hotel, take a step out of the hotel and onto the resort where we will spend the day riding taking you to some of our favorite terrain with a focus on freeride techniques. The terrain here is amazing and might be the best snowboard zone in the Andes due to the natural volcanic rolling terrain, wind lips, trees and wide open bowls. At the end of the day we enjoy some apres and dinners at the hotel with more hot springs, bar, live music, and more.
Day 8: After breakfast and a relaxing morning at the hotel we begin our return to Santiago to catch your flight home that evening. Please schedule flights after 7:00 PM or consider staying the night in Santiago for additional sightseeing and culture.
Enjoy your vacation and concentrate on the riding and brilliant culture. We take care of the rest!
- Full time hosting including daily instruction and resort guiding
- Lift tickets
- Comfortable lodging, private bath
- All breakfasts and dinners, including wine
- Private transportation
- Adventure trips, massage, spas, etc. replacing lift tickets on weather days
You are responsible for your inbound and outbound international flights (our agents can assist you), required travel insurance and lunches.
Booking This Trip
$ per person, based on twin or double share occupancy, private bath.
Solo travelers will be paired with another guest in a twin share room, private bath, or if you prefer more privacy, we have a few single rooms available for a $ upgrade.
- A 30% deposit is required at time of reservation. Final payments are due 60 days before trip departure.
- If we have less than 5 guests sign up, the trip will have one guide.
- When booking your trip you agree to our Terms and Conditions detailing our cancellation policy.
- After receiving your deposit you will be directed to an online link to sign our Trip Release Waiver. View waiver
Or call 1-888-565-7158 or contact us via email to book with our office staff.
Arriving and Departing- Airport Details
You need to fly into and out of Santiago, Chile (airport code SCL). See this trips itinerary in the Overview tab for details on when to schedule your arrival and departure. We have travel agents we can recommend to help you with your flight reservations. Contact us for their info.
Meeting The Guides
Your guides will meet you at the Santiago airport around 9:00-10:00 AM the first day of the tour. An official meeting time and place will be emailed to you a few weeks before the tour. From there, we head directly up to the mountains.
Extending Your Stay
Extending your stay is a great way to get in a few more powder days, check out the urban culture of Santiago, visit a classic vineyard, the coast, Easter Island more. See the Extensions Tab for suggestions.
Snowboard Progression Packing List
An important note: Because of the trip itinerary and moving around to different ski areas and towns, we are unable to accommodate board rentals. Please arrive with your own snowboard, tuned and ready to go!
- Snowboard (recently tuned!)
- Extra binding screws and straps and wax are a good idea
- Boots (good idea to carry on plane if you can)
- 22-26 Liter backpack. The Dakine Heli Pro is a great option
- Hydration system or water bottle to fit in your backpack (we prefer stainless steel water bottles)
- Snowboard leash to attach your board to your leg, required at several ski areas here
- Helmet (we recommend Smith Helmets
- Portable tool kit for loose binding parts and simple repairs
- Padded board bag (Da Kine makes great travel bags with wheels, leaving enough room for the rest of your gear.)
- Polypropylene or Merino wool long underwear and wool blend socks
- Light/packable down jacket or vest
- Warm stocking hat (Beanie or Toque)
- Neck gaiter/ face mask
- Wind/waterproof shell with hood (Goretex is recommended)
- Wind/waterproof snow pants (Goretex is recommended)
- Gloves or mitts (Da Kine)
- Sunglasses and goggles (Smith is our favorite)
- Sun block (AT LEAST 35 SPF) and lip balm
Personal first aid kit to include at least the following:
- ibuprofin or similar for headaches, aches, etc
- Moleskin and band-aids
- Light weight toilet articles
- Prescription medicine
- Personal items for women
- Large plastic garbage bag for wet clothes
- Ear plugs for light sleepers
AND OF COURSE…
- Airline tickets
- Credit card, ATM card, and credit card cancellation phone number
- Starting cash in U.S. dollars
- Small travel clock alarm for those early powder days!
- Bathing suit for hot springs, spas and pools
- Rain jacket, or use your snow jacket/shell
- Portable music and headphones
- Converter and Plug adapters
- Energy Bars
Passports, Visas, Entry Fees
PowderQuest recommends bringing a rubber band or clip to keep all your documents secure in your passport. It is also a good idea to bring a photocopy of your passport to keep separate form the original. Also, keep an extra copy backed up that you can access if needed.
Entering and Leaving Chile
A passport, valid for at least 6 months is required for most countries. A few (not the USA, Canada, UK, or Australia) are also required to have a visa issued by the Chilean Consulate. It is important to check the on the latest visa requirements.
Tourist Cards, good for 90 days, are issued upon arrival and must be surrendered when leaving Chile. Do not throw this away! Keep it in your passport at all times.
Reciprocity Fees: The reciprocity tax to enter Chile no longer applies to USA or Canadian passport holders!
There is a one-time reciprocity tax for Australia ($117 usd) passport holders, upon arrival to Santiago airport. The fee is payable in U.S. Dollars or credit card and is good for the life of your passport. This fee is paid in a separate line, before the customs line, generally to the left as you come down the stairs once leaving your plane.
Required Travel Insurance
Personal travel insurance that includes emergency evacuation coverage is mandatory to travel with PowderQuest. Click for details and to book online
What to Expect When Traveling in South America and with PowderQuest
Meals and Restaurants
A true highlight to the trip! All meals, with the exception of some lunches are included with your tour. Our guides selection of wine and mineral water is included with dinners on most tours. This will generally consist of 2 glasses of wine and a bottle of water. Should you want to drink more, including beer and mixed drinks, this will be an additional cost.
In addition to the delicious food included with our stay at many of the resorts, PowderQuest guides have selected great restaurants serving everything from local favorites to international. Many guests say they have eaten the best meals of their lives with us!
The norm in South America is lunch around 2pm, a smaller tea and cakes snack around 6pm and then a late dinner. We will usually be having our dinners between 8pm-9pm as most restaurants don’t open before 8.
- Activities outside our described tour itinerary
- Any airline/airport taxes and charges due to excess, oversize or overweight baggage, including on flights that are included with the cost of the tour.
As our guest, your safety is a priority to PowderQuest both on and off the mountain. Security in Chile and Argentina, even in the larger cities is quite safe. Common sense should be used, especially in busy city areas where pick pocketing can occur.
Ski Resort Infrastructure
Overall expect later starts than you are used to at home. The 7:00 AM tram line up simply does not exist in the Andes. Most ski resorts open by 9:00 AM but full mountain operations can be delayed until mid-morning for no apparent reason. When there is fresh snow or a current storm, these delays can be even longer. However, due to longer natural light, you can also ski later into the afternoon in South America. Some resorts do not stop running lifts until as late at 5:30 pm.
Groomed runs are not what you find in Aspen or Vail, and mountain hazards and boundaries are not marked as vigorously as you find at home.
The ski resorts in the Andes vary from modern with millions of dollars in infrastructure to rustic areas with little more than a small cafeteria and a few tow-lifts. In many ways, we find this positive. This is not written to discourage you from visiting this beautiful part of the world, however, if you are accustomed to North American ski resort amenities, you will find the infrastructure of some resorts we visit more rustic, especially the speed and layout of the ski lifts. South America simply runs on a different pace.
The good news is, we find it all evens out. Some lifts may be slower, however 45 minute lift lines are virtually non-existent in the Andes. In addition, you do not have thousands of skiers fighting for those untracked powder runs. If you come down with an open mind you will find this part of the world fascinating and quite often comfortably relaxing!
Snowboarders should expect to encounter long traverses to access some of the better terrain at several ski resorts.
Weather forecasts are available and our guides are competent in understanding weather maps and local forecasts. However weather is not an exact science and the info available is not like in North America and Europe. Sometimes just like anywhere, forecasts are completely inaccurate.
Winters in Chile and Argentina can throw anything at us from warm and sunny “spring-like” days to bitter cold, blizzard like conditions. Fog can be common at lower elevations, while bluebird skies welcome us once reaching the snow.
Rain is common at low elevations including many of the towns we will be visiting. The resorts generally receive deep snow from Pacific storms and can be accompanied with winds. Preparation for all types of weather and ski conditions is recommended.
Cell phone coverage and general internet access are quite good. Before your trip you will receive a list of phone numbers of our accommodations and guides where you may be reached in case of emergency.
We have done our best to secure accommodations on most tours in areas where there is internet access available but few locations it is either unavailable or slow at best. Take this in stride and revel in the luxury of being disconnected for awhile!
Chile and Argentina are two of the most modern countries in Latin America. With quality foods and an abundance of well-stocked pharmacies (including personal items for women), the only discomforts travelers occasionally have, are upset stomachs and a temporary bowel disorder. This is common with travels anywhere in the world, and can be avoided by drinking bottled water.
With active tours including full days in the snow and sun, it is important to stay hydrated. Keeping updated on vaccinations, especially tetanus, is always a good idea. There are no health requirements for entering Chile or Argentina.
Sunburn is always a concern in the mountains especially with the snow reflection and higher elevation. Sunglasses, goggles like Smith Optics, and quality sun block with SPF factor 35 and higher are a must in the Andes.
Frostbite can also be a factor. Staying warmly dressed, well hydrated, and regulating body temperature by using layers and ventilation in the outer layers are good ways to prevent.
Currency and Exchange Rates
The official currency of Chile and Argentina is the peso (Chilean peso and Argentine peso). Both currency value on the dollar fluctuates. For daily updates, click here.
Use of a credit card and ATM’s are your best bet for good exchange rates during your stay. In Argentina many shops will accept dollars at a higher rate than the official exchange rate.
Time throughout the winter months in Chile is the same as EST (New York City). Argentina is one hour ahead.
Measures and Voltage
The metric system is used in Chile and Argentina. For power, 220 volts AC, 50 cycles. Be sure to buy a plug adapter & converter if you plan on bringing electronic equipment. Quality batteries are easy to find.
Laundry service is available in just about every town and resort we visit, and can generally be dropped off and picked up within the same day.
We encourage you to tip your guides if you feel you have received outstanding service. A typical gratuity varies between 3% to 7% of your tour price, per guide. For example. $4000 trip = $120-$280 per guide.
PowderQuest covers the gratuities at dinners. 5-10% is a normal gratuity in bars restaurants and pubs. Tipping your hotel staff and driver is encouraged if they have provided you with excellent service. Your guides will be able to help suggest amounts to leave for your driver and hotel staff.
For most of us who are from North America or Europe, we are used to and expect that things run smoothly. We are not only on time but usually at least 5 minutes early. With the exception of trains, buses and most flights, Chilean and Argentine services are not known for their punctuality.
We provide the above information so you will have a clear picture of what to expect before you arrive.
We encourage you to embrace your trip to South America with all it has to offer, and if that means that things are not right on schedule, let that be part of the adventure! For more info have a look at our Frequently Asked Questions page.
We now stay in the renovated, 4 star, ski-in, ski-out Alto Nevados Hotel. Cozy rooms with private bath, WIFI, gym, spa, & bar with nightly events. Aside from no longer having to tackle the daily 30 minute drive to the ski resort from Las Trancas, the highlight is the outdoor thermal pool, with warm mineral water from ancient volcanic springs.
Comfortable ski lodge with small but cozy rooms and private bath in the village of Farellones. There is a sauna, massage room, outdoor wood heated hot tub, outstanding breakfasts and dinners, WIFI internet, and 2 living areas to mingle with the guests. For those that like to hit the bars, the lodge is walking distance to the area’s best night life.
Extra time before or after your guided trip with PowderQuest? Come explore modern Santiago, sample the famous Chilean red wines, get in some additional powder days, or head to the Pacific coast offering a unique mix of iconic fishing villages, modern Vina del Mar and hip Valparaiso. How about Easter Island or the northern desert? Chile is more than great snow.
Our staff’s top picks
(photo credit Sernatur Chile) Ranked as New York Times top place to visit in 2011, Santiago should not be overlooked. We host a wide range of hotels, unique city tours, museums, world-class shopping, vineyards, top restaurants and more.
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Why not spend some extra days in the mountains lapping up more fresh snow! We’ll set up your hotel, transportation to the resort, lift tickets and more.
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Known for the giant stone Moai statues and Rapa Nui culture, the world’s most remote island, 2,300 miles off the Chilean coast has been named a UNIESCO World Heritage Site. The volcanic Polynesian island might be one of the most unique places you ever visit.
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Chile produces some of the world’s top wines, including the country’s staple Carmenere. Stroll the vineyards, sample the award winning wines, and take in the vistas of the surrounding Andes Mountains.
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Described as one of the most spectacular areas on the planet, the driest place on Earth, with no recorded rain fall, is a host to a realm of geysers, salt flats, volcanos, lagoons, lunar landscapes and the bohemian village, San Pedro de Atacama. Adventure trips and star gazing are the attraction. Budget to 5 star hotels.
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(photo credit Sernatur Chile) Valparaiso is described by the New York Times; “a destination that encompasses history, art, culture and a vibrant dining scene, all under a canopy of sunshine with a backdrop of postcard-worthy views.” Tack on Vina del Mar or surfing in Pichilemu for a multi day coast tour.
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