For perfecting your turns during the summer months, Chile offers up some of the best terrain in the southern hemisphere, especially if you’re looking for big vertical. You’ll also get the chance to see to some spectacular scenery – you can even ski alongside active volcanoes here – and enjoy a relaxed ski culture than makes this an extra special destination.
It is a long flight from the UK into Santiago, but the good news is that three of the main ski areas, El Colorado, La Parva and Valle Nevado are located directly above the city. These areas link up to form Chile’s very own Three Valleys, providing a network of well-prepared slopes and if conditions allow, some great off piste terrain too. Fairly nearby lies the iconic resort of Portillo, home to the world-renowned yellow hotel and some of South America’s best freeride runs.
Further south, there is some great skiing at the likes of Nevados de Chillan, where you’ll get the chance to ski alongside active volcanoes. The terrain here is different, being less open and more heavily wooded, providing good storm-skiing and slightly more consistent snow conditions.
As with its Latin American neighbour Argentina, Chile is also home to a great, relaxed ski culture that permeates every element of a ski day in the Andes. The food is usually good and cheap, as are the drinks, plus you’ll get the chance to soak in a spa at the end of the day if you base yourself down in the volcanic region further south.
With this however, you’ll also get the slightly creaky infrastructure and some pretty slow chairlifts. But we think the positives more than outweigh these downsides, making Chile a fantastic bucket-list ski destination.