Best Ski Resorts In Chile

Best Ski Resorts In Chile

What do snow-capped mountain ranges, stargazing, and lush vineyards have in common?

If you guessed Chile, you are right.

But that’s not all.

When the Northern Hemisphere summer sets in, the South American country is a great alternative destination for skiers and snowboarders.

Newbies and pro athletes jet in from all over the world for the southern winter thrills on world-class ski resorts.

Chile is home to 17 ski resorts with over 350 kilometers of slopes served by 121 ski lifts. They have great terrain for all abilities, from gentle beginner runs to expert backcountry and off-piste trails.

If you don’t want to wait another six months to hit the slopes, we will show you the top ski resorts for off-season skiing and snowboarding in Chile. In addition, you will learn:

  • The best resorts with family-friendly facilities and activities to keep your whole family entertained
  • Where you can learn skiing or snowboarding under experienced instructors
  • Snow resorts with a vibrant and affordable après-ski scene

So get ready to explore ski resorts with silky snow trails, bluebird days, and spectacular views of the Andes. And while you’re at it, feel free to sample superbly distilled wine from the lush Chilean vineyards after a fun-filled day on the slopes.

Ski Portillo

Ski Portillo is the highest-ranked resort in Chile and South America.

It is the oldest ski field in northern Chile, offering a secluded and sentimental ski experience. In 2022, the ski resort celebrated its 73rd anniversary.

It is a top expert skier and snowboarder destination because of its extreme drops and advanced terrain. Beginners and intermediates are welcome, but only a few gentle slopes exist.

If you want to avoid crowds, this is the best place as it restricts the number of single-day lift tickets sold. Skiers get treated to scenic views of the Andes ranges and the iconic emerald surface of Laguna del Inca Lake.

How to get to the Ski Portillo Resort

Located in the beautiful Valparaíso region, the resort is about 160 kilometers from the Chilean capital, Santiago. The nearest city is Los Andes, and the resort touches the edge of Inca Lake.

Visitors arrive at the Santiago International Airport and either take a shuttle, or taxi or rent a car to the resort, which is a two-hour drive from the city.

Why Skiers and Snowboarders love Ski Portillo

The resort has an impressive 23 trails cutting across 35 runs, served by 14 lifts. The "va et vient" (back and forth) lifts are known as "The Slingshots" due to the sheer vertical distance they cover.

Visitors enjoy the relaxed ambiance of the resort and the spectacular views of the Andes ranges. They also love the après ski scene, including the Chilean red wines offered during wine week.

When ready to retire after a full day on the slopes, you can relax in the iconic yellow Hotel Portillo. It is a purpose-built hotel with excellent lodging and dining options. You may also find more affordable accommodation options at the resort.

Key highlights of the Ski Portillo Resort

  • A vibrant après-ski that includes hot baths and pools at the Hotel Portillo
  • Chile's best ski school, staffed by former Olympic medalists offering training in multiple languages
  • Family-friendly entertainment and activities including kids' races, a torchlight parade, yoga, and welcome cocktails
  • Great ski-in/ski-out accommodation for a fun-filled day on the slopes
  • Exclusive experience with fewer crowds
Ski Portillo

La Parva

This unique resort gives skiers and snowboarders a fantastic alpine experience.

It is the smallest of the Los Tres Valles de Los Andes (The three valleys of the Andes), which includes El Colorado and Valle Nevado. The resort offers scenic views of the mountain village and pristine snow-carpeted landscapes.

La Parva is a popular day ski resort for upscale residents who own condos in Santiago. It has trails ideal for all abilities, from beginners to expert skiers and snowboarders.

How to get to the La Parva Ski Resort

Nestled within the Barnechea mountain range, La Parva is located about 50 kilometers from Santiago. It takes 1.5 hours to get to the resort from the capital, although travel time depends on road conditions.

The following options exist for getting to the resort by road:

  • Public Shuttles – This is the cheapest way to get to the ski field. Though it takes longer, passengers get an unofficial tour of Santiago as the shuttles pick passengers from different locations in the city. You can book your travel slots online or at the airport on arrival.
  • Rent a car – For an exclusive 4 x 4 experience, you can rent a short-bed SUV from the airport or several outlets in Santiago. Renting a vehicle can be advantageous, especially if you intend to visit several places within the ski domain. However, note that the option is more expensive, and visitors must have an international driving license.

Victors arrive via the Santiago International Airport and either rent a car or take shuttles to the resort.

Why Skiers and Snowboarders love La Parva

La Parva has pristine trails that span over 106 kilometers. The trails feature advanced skiing and snowboarding slopes with excellent backcountry slopes. Along with the sister resorts in the Tres Valle, the resorts give thrill-seekers the greatest variety in South America.

The La Parva resort is famous for hosting snow events like the PowderQuest Women’s Freeride Camp and the Eye of the Condor. In addition, its downhill courses are Federation of International Skiing (FIS)-approved and often attract international teams from France and the USA for training. For this reason, it is not uncommon to rub shoulders with the who’s who of snowboarding and skiing.

Key highlights of the La Parva Ski Resort

  • Night skiing events
  • Cozy (though sometimes expensive) accommodation and dining
  • Excellent ski-in/ski-out facilities

La Parva

El Colorado/Farellones

Also part of the Tres Valles, El Colorado is an excellent choice for families and beginners.

The resort consists of two ski areas: El Colorado and Farellones – both situated above two interconnected villages of Villa Colorado and Villa Farellones.

Unlike its sister resorts, this ski field is more affordable to the locals. It is especially popular with Gen Y’s, who love its great terrains and vibrant Farellones nightlife. The resort is also easier to get to as it is closer to Santiago City.

The snowfield has excellent runs for all ability levels, although Farellones best suits tubing enthusiasts and beginners.

How to get to the El Colorado/Farellones Ski Resort

El Colorado is about 54 kilometers from Santiago. It also takes 1.5 hours to get to the resort from the Chilean capital. The G-21 road from Santiago is the best route and takes you to the Farellones after a steady steep climb.

Visitors arrive via the Santiago International Airport and either rent 4 x 4 flat-bed SUVs or take shuttles to the resort.

Why Skiers and Snowboarders love El Colorado/Farellones

The resort has decent snowfall throughout the ski season at an altitude of 3,333 meters above sea level.

The ski field consists of 22 trails spanning over 1,110 acres, served by 16 lifts. Its trails can accommodate all abilities and are designated as:

  • Green – 51%
  • Blue runs – 28%
  • Advanced skiers – 8%
  • Expert skiing – 13%

The ski area also has an out-of-bounds expert zone known as Santa Teresita, reserved for seasoned pros who love to push the limits.

Key highlights of the El Colorado/Farellones Ski Resort

  • Family-friendly resort with fun activities for all levels
  • Reasonably priced services that include accommodation and dining, stores, restaurants, a ski rental service, and pubs.
  • An international ski school with instructors from various countries
  • A kid’s park with beginner slopes and lifts specially designed for them

El Colorado

Valle Nevado

Located in Northern Chile, Valle Nevado is the highest ski resort in the Latin American country, at nearly 10,000 feet above sea level.

Also part of the Three Valleys resorts, it is the closest ski resort to Santiago, making it highly accessible. In addition, the resort is renowned as one of the most modern in South America, with great snow and vast skiable terrain.

Valle Nevado resembles Les Arcs in France as it was modeled after the French resort. In 2001, it was the first ski field in Chile to launch a FIS-approved terrain park.

You can get 10% off lift tickets, ski equipment rental services, and hotel services if you are an IKON pass holder.

How to get to the Valle Nevado Ski Resort

The resort is located in the Santiago Metropolitan Region, less than an hour’s drive from Santiago.

Visitors arrive via the Santiago International Airport and either rent 4 x 4 flatbed SUVs or take shuttles to the resort.

Why Skiers and Snowboarders love Valle Nevado

The resort boasts an impressive 2,200 acres of skiable terrain, with a staggering 45 runs serviced by 18 modern lifts. The runs are designated as follows:

  • Six beginner slopes
  • 13 blue runs
  • 17 runs for advanced skiers
  • Nine expert runs

The ski field has many activities for different abilities, including but not limited to:

  • Heli-skiing
  • Piping
  • Boxes for intermediate and advanced riders
  • Rails

Due to its high altitude, the snow field has the best snow, which stays longer than the sister resorts.

Key highlights of the Valle Nevado Ski Resort

  • The exclusive Hotel Valle Nevado with classy accommodation and dining options
  • A ski and snowboarding school with experienced instructors
  • Plenty of stores to get supplies, including clothing, snacks, gifts, and ski equipment
  • Friendly multilingual staff at the resort
Valle Nevado

Nevados de Chillan

Sitting on the southern slopes of the Andes, this unique ski field offers diverse terrain and scenic views for skiers.

This ski resort is home to the Las Tres Marías, the longest trail in South America, spanning about 13 kilometers. It spans three active volcanos and treats thrill-seekers to tree skiing and hot spring bathing.

How to get to the Nevados de Chillan Ski Resort

The resort is located in the southern Chilean region of Bio Bio, about a six-hour drive from Santiago. You can also take a three-hour flight from Concepción city, about 194 kilometers away. The drive from Santiago takes visitors across spectacular views of vineyards and mountain ranges.

Visitors arrive through the Concepción International Airport and take the bus or plane to the ski field.

Why Skiers and Snowboarders love Nevados de Chillan

Thrill-seekers love the experience of skiing and snowboarding on the skirts of an active volcano.

Nevados de Chillan has 23 runs spanning 34 kilometers of skiable terrain served by 13 lifts. The terrain favors people of all abilities. However, there are great off-piste and backcountry opportunities for experienced snow lovers.

The resort’s terrain is designated as follows:

  • Beginner slopes – 22%
  • Blue runs – 39%
  • Terrain for advanced skiers – 22%
  • Expert terrain – 17%

After a fun day on the slopes, you can visit the legendary Thermal Water Park, which has four pools with volcanically heated water.

Key highlights of the Nevados de Chillan Ski Resort

  • A diverse range of affordable accommodation and dining, with casinos and stores
  • Luxurious thermal spas
  • Backcountry and off-piste terrains with cat skiing
  • Proximity to the Las Trancas village for more lodging and dining options

Need Help Picking Your Next Snowboarding and Skiing Adventure? Brealpa Can Help You.

From skiing on the skirts of a steaming volcano to dropping the extreme slopes in Portillo, Chile’s Andes ranges are a perfect winter getaway.

The country is home to a diverse range of skiing and snowboarding terrain, making it an excellent destination for winter sports. Its world-class ski resorts offer fun activities for all abilities, with great accommodation, dining, and a vibrant après-ski scene.

As you retire after an action-packed day on the slopes, don’t forget to sample the world-famous Chilean wine and stargaze through the clear skies.

Still not decided?

Brealpa can help you plan your next winter sports adventure. We provide you with hands-on information on:

  • The best ski resorts from around the world
  • Activities you can take part in various ski fields
  • How to get to the resorts
  • Accommodation and dining options available
  • Why we think a specific resort is a good choice for your next holiday

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Written by Brealpa

September 22, 2022

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