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post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Planning a ski trip to Chile next summer.  Looking for suggestions on hills and itineraries.  Also what do you think about taking your own equipment vs. renting? 
post #2 of 11
Bring your own skis -- SA doesn't exactly have the rental facilities of major NA resorts. Definitely bring your own.

I skied Termas de Chillan, fun place, but others have skied a wider variety of places.
post #3 of 11
I skied Valle Nevado and Farrellones. As Aleph said it would be wise to bring your own gear, I only took my boots when I went and couldn't really find one good pair of skis to match.

Make sure to arrange proper transportation to/from the mountain (Valle, Colorado, Farrelones and LA Parva are on the same route btw) because some drivers are 'sketchy' and sometimes afraid to drive up depending on conditions. Be ready for a 1:30 -2:30 hour drive up to base elevation and enjoy the scenery=] I felt like I was on the moon because there is no tree line so everything looks like moondust and just good old 'epicness' feel to it. 

VN to me was the best but the trails were not all clearly marked and the 'Diablada' was a very cool run (my favorite) overlooking the hotels and the HUGE mountain on your left side (like the one they show you in advertisments). Good pow and plenty of dumps in mid-July early August. I would recommend going after the first week of august if you are on a budget and just looking for a deal. If not, I would check out Portillo or Las Lenas (argentina)

The other resorts are nice, but do not offer the amenities that VN can. My next trip to Chile will be Portillo. This place has a lot of good reviews and many ski teams go there to train in the summer. Its services are based on a 7 day/14 day ski/lodge bundles only (from what I've heard) and are very ski-oriented, so there's not much to do besides skiing.

The weather was about 28-34F in the day time and dropped a little by nightfall and the altitude can be underestimated if not careful, but if you're used to skiing out west you can handle these slopes.

Have fun and enjoy the ride=]
post #4 of 11
try this

We were there and saw this company's van all the time.  Looks like good local ski tour company. They even have day trips to Portillo!

Since we had friends in Santiago, we did not use their service.

Regarding resorts, I like Chillan and Portillo better.
post #5 of 11
I'm workindg on the same thing. We are thinking of going to Las lenas. I was there along time ago. Back then it was the top place to ski. I'm thinking of do a tour of a few resorts, this time.
post #6 of 11
I took a trip to Portillo this past August and would definitely recommend it. The resort offers great alpine terrain with lots of opportunities for hiking/touring if you're experienced. We managed to get a few feet of fresh snow while I was up there which closed the road, I loved being stuck up there. For that reason I would suggest not booking your flight out of Chile until a couple days after you are scheduled to leave Portillo.

Its correct that they only really do 7-day stays, when you're there its pretty much all inclusive (except booze). If you stay in the Inca lodge there is a cafeteria with half decent food, or if you stay in the octagon or main hotel you get access to a very nice dining room (think steak or osterich and chocolate cake for dinner). I stayed at the octagon and was very pleased with everything.

When staying up there, be sure to play basketball at night with the locals and join them for a beer at La Posada (the only affordable beer up there). Becoming friendly with the staff really improved the quality of my stay, I met a lot of great guys up there and we ended up traveling with one of the dining room servers for a few days after we left.

I also took a day trip from Santiago up to Valle Nevado. Its a bigger more commercial resort and seems like it has a lot to offer. I will try to spend more time there next time I go, and I will definitely go back since this was the best summer skiing experience I've had by far.
post #7 of 11
How long are you planning to stay?

You could definitely ski Valle Nevado + Chillan or Portillo + Chillan in the same trip (or even the 3 resorts)
Go after the first week of august, because it the end of school holidays.
In Valle you can stay in La Parva, and with the same lift ticket, ski Valle, La Parva and El Colorado ( the 3 are connected by lifts)
Portillo is very nice, but has few accommodations...

Termas de Chillan (now called Nevados de Chillan) is about 250 miles south of Santiago, and is a nice place to ski (don't expect lots of express lifts over there) with reliable snow.
You can go from Santiago to Chillan by train, and than get a shuttle to the resort.
An other option would be renting a car in Santiago, in this case you could stay in Las Trancas, a Village 5 miles down the hill from Nevados de Chillan.
In las Trancas you can get a Chalet for about 30% of the price you will pay up in the resort.
post #8 of 11
Great advice but how much would it cost in US dollars for a day at Nevados de Chillan and how expensive is it staying at the hill?

post #9 of 11
Most of the hotels at the base are run by the resort, so your looking at the Gran or Pimamuhida <sp> and a number of condos... there might be one other hotel.

At the Grand you're looking at about 150-200 / night, probably cheaper at Piramuihida. Dunno about the condos.Those rates include life and food (I think) I know most places in Chile seem to prefer weekly rather than daily rentals, so take a look at what you can do.

If you want to stay somewhere cool and unique, I recommend the Hotel Mission Impossible down in Las Trancas. They're a french-run hotel back on a dirt road, but they're very cool folk -- hot tub made from an old wine cask, communal area with friendly folk, well stocked bar, very good dinners.

Las Trancas is where it's at for the expat types -- the gran hotel and slopeside is for rich "gaper" chileans.
post #10 of 11

Heading into South America at the end of August and would like to do skiing in both Chile and Argentina. I Was wondering if it is difficult/any issues with multiple boarder crossing in a few weeks OR if its better to do all the skiing in Chile first, then head to Argentina and there? Ideally I would like to do all the north/middle then work my way south. Any info or tips would be awesome, Cheers!

post #11 of 11

Chile Boarder Crossing.jpg


Originally Posted by MoonShine View Post

Heading into South America at the end of August and would like to do skiing in both Chile and Argentina. I Was wondering if it is difficult/any issues with multiple boarder crossing in a few weeks OR if its better to do all the skiing in Chile first, then head to Argentina and there? Ideally I would like to do all the north/middle then work my way south. Any info or tips would be awesome, Cheers!


I have skied in Chile and Argentina, but I am certainly no expert on the subject, but the first thing I thought of in reading your post is that driving across the Andes in the winter is not like driving in the Rockies.  If you read Bob's current thread about his trip to Portillo it starts with being unable to get there from Santiago because the road is closed, and then being met with situation pictured above when it finally opened.  That is the road leading to a border crossing between Chile and Argentina just above Portillo, and the truck traffic is backed up for miles. You can see from the picture how far it is from the top of the Pass. 


Sounds like you have the potential for an incredible trip, but make sure you understand the travel logistics beyond a map and a rental car. The Andes are big, high and prone to extreme weather, while the snow removal leaves something to be desired. That road in the picture is a major highway and is often closed for 2-3 days when it snows.  Multiple border crossings are generally not a problem, as long as you can get there.


If you fly into BA in Argentina it is about a 15 hour bus ride to Las Lenas, or you can fly to Mendoza and then bus for a couple hours.  If you want to get to the other ski areas in Argentina you need to go back through BA, or face days of driving.  If you are not familiar with the logistics I strongly suggest using an experienced travel company to put the trip together, unless you have unlimited time.  They cram 3,000 miles of country onto a map, so you don't realize the huge distances you may be dealing with.wh

Edited by mudfoot - 8/15/11 at 11:51am
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