Ski South America - Portillo Chile
Ski South America - Portillo Chile
Portillo Chile
Portillo Chile
The Lake Run at Portillo Ski Resort
The Lake Run at Portillo Ski Resort
Bariloche Argentina
Bariloche Argentina
Great lift-accessed backcountry in South America
Great lift-accessed backcountry in South America
Lonquimay Volcano - Corralco Ski Resort Chile
Lonquimay Volcano - Corralco Ski Resort Chile
Corralco Chile
Corralco Chile
Villa la Angostura Argentina (base for Cerro Bayo)
Villa la Angostura Argentina (base for Cerro Bayo)
Cerro Bayo Argentina
Cerro Bayo Argentina
Arpa Cat Skiing Chile - Aconcagua in the background
Arpa Cat Skiing Chile - Aconcagua in the background
A trip can combine skiing and wine tasting
A trip can combine skiing and wine tasting
Pucon Chile - Villarrica Volcano
Pucon Chile - Villarrica Volcano
San Martin de Los Andes (base for Cerro Chapelco)
San Martin de Los Andes (base for Cerro Chapelco)
Cerro Chapelco Argentina
Cerro Chapelco Argentina
Valle Nevado Ski Resort Chile
Valle Nevado Ski Resort Chile
Nevados de Chillan Chile
Nevados de Chillan Chile
Esquel (Base for La Hoya) - Authentic Argentine Village
Esquel (Base for La Hoya) - Authentic Argentine Village
Thermal hot springs at Termas de Chillan
Thermal hot springs at Termas de Chillan
El Colorado Ski Resort Chile
El Colorado Ski Resort Chile
Las Lenas Argentina
Las Lenas Argentina

South America

Ski South America for a great vacation – fantástico y excelente! South America is not just famous amongst international travellers for Latin salsa dancing, Machu Picchu and scantily clad Brazilian beach-goers. There is also some great skiing to be found, especially in the Andes of Argentina and Chile. Skiing in South America is world renowned, but it is particularly popular amongst keen skiers and boarders from the USA and Canada who need a ski fix during the Northern hemisphere summer.

South America Ski Resorts South America features more than 30 ski resorts. Most of the skiing in South America is in the gargantuan Andes mountain range that creates a natural border between Argentina and Chile. In addition to the Chile ski resorts and Argentina ski resorts, the Andes also provide an endless expanse of backcountry ski terrain.

There is also a ski resort in Bolivia, Chacaltava, which claims to have the highest elevation lift served skiing in the world, but it’s rustic with a capital “R”. Skiing and boarding elsewhere in South America is limited to guided ski touring in Columbia, Ecuador and Peru.

Some well known Argentina ski resorts are Las Leñas, Cerro Catedral (Bariloche), Chapelco and Cerro Bayo. High profile Chile ski resorts include Portillo, Valle Nevado, La Parva, El Colorado / Farellones and Nevados de Chillan (formerly known as Termas de Chillan).

The ski resorts have extreme diversity regarding the infrastructure, cost, and clientele that visit them. Some resorts are incredibly rustic, designed for family fun, and the peso reigns supreme. There are many resorts at the other end of the spectrum where there are multi-million dollar lift systems, swanky hotels, and the US dollar is the main currency.

Skiing in South America The Andes Mountain range that splits Chile and Argentina is the second highest mountain range outside the Himalayas. Consequently many of the ski resorts are at high altitude with lift-served elevations reaching up to 3,700 metres (12,140 feet). At these dizzying heights, you’ll need to take it easy for the first few days, but these altitudes also bring advantages for the snow enthusiast. The snow fall is reliable, and the quality of it is reasonably well retained. Andean snow is typically a cross between the coastal snow packs you’d find on the west coast of North America, and the dry powder found in Utah and Colorado.

In the south some of the ski resorts have a mix of skiing above and below the tree line, but many of the South American ski resorts are above the tree line. Great views are afforded at these heights, and some people prefer to ski in open terrain. However treeless terrain can have many disadvantages. In inclement weather there are no sheltered areas on the mountain, and resorts sometimes have to close or at least put some of the lifts on wind-hold. And if the resort remains open, the impaired visibility may turn a ski pro into a novice. Thankfully there are plenty of sunny days in South America.

See our South American ski resort comparison to compare snowfall, size, mix of terrain, size, elevation and ski vertical.

Heli Skiing in South America Various resorts in South America offer heli skiing, and the majority of them provide single day packages. Some of the heli-ski operators also offer single runs, so there is the convenience of being able to mix and match resort skiing with heli skiing. The proximity of the heli ski operators to the resorts is particularly advantageous for families or groups where only one member of the group wants to go heli skiing. See our Chile heli skiing page for more information.

When is the Ski Season? Needless to say, the South America ski season is during the southern hemisphere winter. The ski season begins in mid-June and runs to October, and backcountry touring can extend another month beyond this. For prime powder skiing in South America, your best bet is mid July to early September.

Why Ski or Snowboard in South America? South America offers a diversity of ski terrain and powder skiing on a huge mountain range. However, a ski vacation to South America isn’t just about the skiing and snowboarding. If you love to combine great skiing with an amazing nightlife, then South America is for you because you get to experience the fabulous Latin culture. Après starts late, dinner is later, and dancing is much, much later. You might not make the first lifts the next day, and avid powderhounds will love you for staying in bed all morning, especially on powder days.

South American Ski and Snowboard Tours

A great way to explore the South American ski resorts is to go on a multi-resort tour, and some itineraries also incorporate snowcat skiing or backcountry touring. Apart from meeting other like-minded riders, there are multiple benefits of going on a tour. You won’t have to struggle with your Spanglish language skills, and the guides also look after all your transport requirements. Some tours also incorporate other activities such as winery visits, Mapuche village outings, or other cultural experiences. You can also get the most out of the ski areas because the guides know the terrain intimately so you get to ski the best lines in the best snow with your safety being paramount.

You don't need to be an expert or advanced rider as there are many intermediate trips available, and some tours incorporate instruction or coaching.

See the Chile ski tours and the Argentina tours pages for more information. For tour dates and an indication of availability, check out the South America ski tours schedule page.

South American Ski & Snowboard Tours

Safari (Road Trip) Tours
Condor Classic DETAILS
GUIDED OFF-PISTE ROAD TRIP
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Days Skiing
From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in USD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 3,795
Book & pay deposit by July 1, 2016 & get US$150 off (Aug 22 - 29 tour date only).
Ability: Intermediate, Strong Intermediate, Advanced, Expert
This incredible adventure takes in some of Chile's finest destinations including Portillo, spectacular Nevados de Chillan & a day of cat skiing at Ski Arpa.
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Classic Shortie DETAILS
GUIDED OFF-PISTE ROAD TRIP
9 Days | 8 Nights | 6 Days Skiing
From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in USD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 3,595
LAST MINUTE DEAL: Book & pay deposit by July 1, 2016 & get US$150 off (Aug 11 - 19 tour date only)
Ability: Intermediate, Strong Intermediate, Advanced, Expert
This tour is ideal for first-timers to skiing in Chile or those wanting a quick fix of southern POW as it visits many of Chiles best resorts including Valle Nevado, La Parva, El Colorado and spectacular Nevados de Chillan.
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Chiles BIG 4 Resorts for Skiers DETAILS
GUIDED INSTRUCTIONAL TOUR for SKIERS
13 Days | 10 Skiing | 4 Resorts + Cat Ski Option
From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in USD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 4,698
Ability: Strong Intermediate, Advanced, Expert
Ride 4 of Chile's best ski areas including Valle Nevado, El Colorado, La Parva & Nevados de Chillan (plus an optional day of cat skiing at El Arpa) whilst improving your off-piste & powder skiing skills with a certified level 3 or 4 CSIA ski instructor.
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See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit South America here
Single-Base, Single-Ski-Area Tours
Chile Powder Sessions DETAILS
GUIDED OFF-PISTE & BC ADVENTURE
10 Nights | 7 Days Skiing | Nevados de Chillan
From price based on twin/double-share room, min 6 guests on tour (per person)
Base/invoice currency is in USD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,765
Book & pay deposit by June 15, 2017 & receive 10% off the advertised price. Bookings must be made via Powderhounds.com website to qualify for this special.
Ability: Advanced, Expert
Nevados de Chillan is a relatively unknown resort noted for its abundant snowfalls and amazing backcountry terrain. This guided 11 day tour will enable you to become intimate with this incredible volcano whilst incorporating some fabulous Chilean culture, food & wine.
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See all Single-Base, Single-Ski-Area tours that visit South America here
Ski & Snowboard Camp Tours
Argentina Ski & Snowboard Weeks DETAILS
GUIDED OFF-PISTE & BACKCOUNTRY TRIP
4 x 8-Day Sessions (do from 1 to 4 sessions!)
From price based on adult rate, twin/double-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in USD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,695
Ability: Advanced, Expert
SGT's program at Cerro Catedral (Bariloche) provides a guided sidecountry & backcountry experience for adults as well as camps for college students and 15-18 year old shredders. Aimed at advanced + skiers & boarders, this tour has a progression element to it.
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See all Ski & Snowboard Camp tours that visit South America here
Backcountry Skiing Tours
Chillan Backcountry DETAILS
GUIDED BACKCOUNTRY TOURING
7 Days | 6 Nights | 5 Skiing/Riding
From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in USD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,995
Ability: Advanced, Expert
This guided randonee and splitboard tour is open to the advanced skier and rider looking to earn his turns and venture into the spectacular world of volcano ski touring. Feast in Chillean cuisine and soak in natural hot springs daily.
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Sled Access Backcountry Skiing DETAILS
SLED ACCESS BACKCOUNTRY SKIING & RIDING
1, 2 or 3 days | Baroliche Argentina
From price based on 1 day package (no lodging)
Base/invoice currency is in USD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 700
Ability: Intermediate, Strong Intermediate, Advanced, Expert
If you are heading to Bariloche and looking for a ski or snowboard adventure with a difference then this could be it! 1, 2 or 3 days accessing the backcountry with sleds & 4WDs & staying in rustic mountain lodges. Multi-day packages include accommodation and full board.
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See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit South America here
Heli Skiing Tours
Andes Heli Ski Packages DETAILS
HELISKI CHILE'S BEST TERRAIN
4 Nights | 3 Days Heliskiing
From price based on group of 8 (price per person)
Base/invoice currency is in USD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 6,900
Ability: Strong Intermediate, Advanced, Expert
This deluxe package is ideal for those that have limited time yet want to experience the best powder and terrain in Chile in just a few days. Available for private & mixed group tours. The package includes 3 days of heli-skiing, avo safety gear, use of skis/snowboard, 4 nights of luxury lodging, transfers, meals & more
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Baguales Heli Skiing DETAILS
ARGENTINA (BARILOCHE) HELI SKIING
From 1 Night / 1 Day Heliskiing
From price based on 1 day heli skiing + 1 night single-room with private bathroom.
Base/invoice currency is in USD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,700
Ability: Advanced, Expert
Up for a heli skiing / boarding adventure of a lifetime? Baguales Mountain Reserve (near Bariloche) offers single-day and multi-day for solo travelers and small groups. Packages include accommodation, meals, guiding & transfers to/from Bariloche.
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Central Cordillera Heliskiing DETAILS
CHILE HELI SKIING PACKAGES
7 Nights | 3 or 6 Days Heliskiing
"From price" based on Lodge Ingenio, twin/double-share room, group of 8, 7 nights, 3 days heliskiing package.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 7,786
Ability: Strong Intermediate, Advanced, Expert
These private heli ski weeks comprise of either 3 or 6 days of heli skiing combined with 7 nights of accommodation that come in a variety of options. Stay in Santiago in a 5-star hotel & fly from the 55th floor of a city building, or stay in-resort on-mountain, or at a remote nature reserve
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See all Heli Skiing tours that visit South America here
Cat Skiing Tours
Baguales Cat Skiing DETAILS
ARGENTINA (BARILOCHE) SNOWCAT SKIING
From 1 Night / 2 Days
From price based on 2 days cat skiing + 1 night multi-share roomwith shared bathroom.
Base/invoice currency is in USD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,400
Ability: Strong Intermediate, Advanced, Expert
If you are heading to the Bariloche area this winter and you are in search of powder, you cant go past a couple of days of Cat Skiing at Baguales Mountain Reserve or mix it up with some heli skiing and touring. The rusting Baguales Lodge is a quintessential part of the experience as is the cuisine & service.
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Ski Arpa Portillo Express DETAILS
ARPA CAT SKIING - PORTILLO EXTENSION
1 Night Lodging | 1 Day Cat Skiing
From price based on twin/double-share room (group of 2) staying at Inca Hotel. Min 2 guests required to tour to operate.
Base/invoice currency is in USD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 781
Book & pay deposit by April 30, 2016 and get 5% discount off advertised prices
Ability: Strong Intermediate, Advanced, Expert
The ultimate way to finish a week at Portillo and maximise your ski time in Chile. Stay an extra night en-route to Santiago Airport and ski 10,000 - 15,000 vertical feet of freshies with Arpa Cat Skiing.
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Ultimate Ski Arpa Experience DETAILS
MULTI-DAY SNOWCAT SKIING TOUR
2 Nights Lodging | 2 Days Cat Skiing
From price based on twin/double-share room (group of 2) staying at Inca Hotel.
Base/invoice currency is in USD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,386
Book & pay deposit by April 30, 2016 and get 5% discount off advertised prices
Ability: Strong Intermediate, Advanced, Expert
A multi-day tour includes 10,000 - 15,000 feet of vertical cat skiing, accommodation in nearby Los Andes, some meals (depending on your choice of lodging) and transfers to/from Santiago as well as to/from El Arpa from your Los Andes lodging
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See all Cat Skiing tours that visit South America here
Boat Skiing Tours
Patagonia Package DETAILS
PATAGONIA FLOATING HELISKI WEEK
7 Nights Luxury Yacht | 15 Hours Heli Time
"From price" based on twin-share Patagonia heliski week.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 18,080
Ability: Strong Intermediate, Advanced, Expert
This Patagonia heli skiing has to be one of the most amazing packages on the planet; cruising around the Patagonia fjords in a luxury motor yacht & skiing exclusive terrain on a different volcano each day. Spectacular views of natural wonders combined with additional activities make this a once in a lifetime trip....
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See all Boat Skiing tours that visit South America here