Nevados de Chillan

Chile's leading ski and spa resort, set in a forest under twin volcanoes. These provide the thermal water and mud for the spas.

The slopes offer a small network of mostly intermediate pistes, including a couple of wonderful, away-from-the-lifts top-to-bottom runs. One of these, the Golf Alto, is South America's longest piste at 13km long and with a vertical drop of 1100m. Beginners also have plenty of options in the beginners area at the base of the resort - it is below the tree line and therefore good even at times when the visibility is poor on the rest of the mountain. There is little to interest experts except some decent off-piste (best in September, when there is spring snow normally). The best on piste option can be accessed from the top of the extremely slow Otto chairlift. There is also a designated freeride area which has some great varied terrain.

There are three contrasting hotels, with a couple of decent restaurants and bars - a place to relax rather than to party. The resort is around 80km from the railway station at Chillán, a small town four hours by train to the south of Santiago (or you can fly to Concepción 195km away).

Resort website: www.nevadosdechillan.com

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