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How to get to Portillo Resort or Valle Nevado?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
How do I get there, after I step off the plane?

Are there all-inclusive packages? Hotel, food, transport?

I am most concerned about the transport. : s

Has anyone been to either place in July? Which do you recommend? Just going for a week. Should be a nice time. Would like to practice my race carving and do some powder skiing.

And what airlines are 'ski friendly' (read: how much should i expect to pay to bring my skis along)?
post #2 of 9
There is huge amounts of information on the subject on TGR including TRs, and awesome photo travel journals as well. Plus there are a lot of very knowledgable people on the subject. You might ask bklyn, she's been down there, oh yeah one of those TRs was hers.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

New Zealand seems to be much nicer than Potrillo but the plane ticket (not to mention the journey from NY) is much more.

Portillo doesn't seem to have any race camps...
post #4 of 9
The Interwebs can be such a wonderful thing, you know...

like going to Portillo and Valle Nevada's official websites, for example.

they have tons of travel information there.



(yes, they have packages).

Also I found this site:


And as Volant suggested, check TGR...Bklyn has been all over South America and has some solid tips.


A friend of a friend runs this company: http://casatours.com/cst.asp

I have not used them, but my friend (whose friend runs the company) says they are great.
post #5 of 9
I skied 7 days at Portillo, Arpa Snowcat and Valle Nevado this September. TR's here: http://www.firsttracksonline.com/boa...wforum.php?f=6 .

About 3 weeks of July are South American holidays that command premium lodging prices in the resorts and increase crowds. August is the sweet spot for South American skiing.

If you go for a week to one place, you can probably get an all-inclusive package including transport. I wanted to ski multiple places, so we booked with http://santiagoadventures.com/ and had a car with driver except for the 3 days in Valle Nevado. Do it yourself with a rental car is an option also. Public transport booked by itself tends to be either expensive or cheap but slow (SkiTotal, etc.).

For the international flights from the U.S. the baggage rules are the same as to Europe etc.: Skis+boots count as one item, the other checked bag must weigh no more than 50lb. If you're doing internal flights within South America you may run into stricter rules. LAN wanted to hit me up for $100 on the Lima - Santiago flight. I protested a lot and got them down to $25.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I'll check out that site.

And yes, the Internet is a great source of information, and have seen what's on their official sites, but was wondering what other Bears have done.

Official isn't always best.
post #7 of 9
As mentioned, Brooklyn has a bunch of beta over on TGR. Also, Tyrone Shoelaces has Las Lenas experience, not sure about Chile. Send either of them a PM and you can probably get some great direction.
post #8 of 9
Portillo is pretty much always sold as all inclusive -- one week package of lodging, meals, skiing. They can also arrange your ground transportation and if you want add ons like a night in Santiago or tours. They have a bus that meets flights on Saturday with a per person cost or you can arrange a private vehicle through them. The pricing is on the web site. Very easy - email or call to book the whole thing -- separate email to another person with flight info to book your airport pickup. One thing I liked my first time about Portillo was it was easy to arrange directly with them.

Race camps -- I don't think Portillo runs one and I don't know of a public one run there. There are often national ski teams there training (US, Austrians, Canadians etc). There is a GS course set up every day (I think not Saturday). It is free and timed. There is a hotel guest race on every Thursday. There are instructors with race backgrounds you could hire. If you want to combine running some gates with a great overall ski experience its a good trip. If the snow is good you probably will not race much but if there is less fresh and it is firm the race course is a fun choice. If you are looking for a pure race trip there might be other packaged race experiences to consider.

Flights - American (via Miami or Dallas), Delta (via Atlanta) or LAN Chile (from JFK). Rules are really pretty similar (and online).

Good luck and have fun whatever you decide.

Always Skiing
post #9 of 9
Valle Nevado and Portillo are all inclusive resorts. They own everything, all the concessions all the beds, etc. Food is included, alcohol is charged separately. There are no other restaurants to eat at or bars to go to within striking distance that are set up for tourists. In Portillo, there is a place called La Posada (sp) that is a resort worker's hangout. That's it and I believe it's the Chilean way. I have not been to Termas, so I can't tell you if it's different there.

There are heli ski options available in both areas, you might like the one at VN better. The one in Portillo looked sketchy to me. Both areas allow outside instructors to set up camps, so if you want to do a race specific camp you might want to look for a program that is being offered and join up with them. Bring all the gear you think you may need. If you forget anything or if your luggage is lost; rental and shopping options are very limited compared to what you may be accustomed to in the US, Canada or Europe.

When you book, they will arrange everything for you, including RT transfers from the airport. If you fly into Chile, you will have to pay a $100 reciprocal charge for your 'visa' upon arrival which is valid for the life of your passport.

If you enjoy a variation on the club med experience, you'll like these places. If you thrive on variety and hate eating on a set schedule, you may want to explore other destinations in SA.
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