Portillo Ski Resort - Hotel Portillo
Portillo Ski Resort - Hotel Portillo
Hotel Portillo
Hotel Portillo
Ski Chile at Portillo
Ski Chile at Portillo
The Lake Run at Portillo Ski Resort in Chile
The Lake Run at Portillo Ski Resort in Chile
Nevados de Chillan Ski Resort Chile
Nevados de Chillan Ski Resort Chile
Termas de Chillan at Nevados de Chillan ski resort
Termas de Chillan at Nevados de Chillan ski resort
Ski Chile for amazingly diverse terrain
Ski Chile for amazingly diverse terrain
Arpa Cat Skiing - Aconcagua in the background
Arpa Cat Skiing - Aconcagua in the background
Casa San Regis Los Andes
Casa San Regis Los Andes
Chile Skiing - Ski Arpa
Chile Skiing - Ski Arpa
Valle Nevado - Chile Ski Resort
Valle Nevado - Chile Ski Resort
Ski Chile South America
Ski Chile South America
Valle Nevado Near Santiago de Chile
Valle Nevado Near Santiago de Chile
El Colorado has lots of groomed runs
El Colorado has lots of groomed runs
Farellones is a good base to ski at 3 Chile ski resorts
Farellones is a good base to ski at 3 Chile ski resorts
Corralco - a new ski resort in Chile
Corralco - a new ski resort in Chile
Corralco has some great backcountry terrain
Corralco has some great backcountry terrain
Pucon - Villarrica Volcano
Pucon - Villarrica Volcano
La Parva Ski Resort Chile
La Parva Ski Resort Chile
Chile skiing in the majestic Andes
Chile skiing in the majestic Andes

Chile

Ski Chile, South AmericaSki Chile at some of the great ski resorts perched up high in the majestic Andes mountain range. Chile is a great destination for a ski or snowboard holiday because you can combine powder skiing with an interesting culture.

Other than the skiing, Chile is also renowned for its weird shape – the long skinny country that spans 4,300km along the coast of South America and is 18 times longer than its widest point. It’s the land of startling diversity in regards to its geography and climate. From hot arid deserts in the north, to the chilly (OK, pun intended!) expanses of Patagonia in the south, it’s definitely the land of contrasts.

Chile Ski Resorts Chile has at least 20 ski resorts located in the southern half of the country. The most northern resort is Portillo, which is 164km northeast of Santiago, and not far from the border of Argentina. Portillo ski resort is world renowned, and is recognized in photos by the distinctive yellow Hotel Portillo set amongst the magnificent backdrop of the snow covered Andes.

Also near Santiago are the ski resorts in the Three Valleys (Tres Valles): the modern and massive world class Valle Nevado, and the interconnected La Parva, El Colorado and Farellones ski resorts. To the southeast of Santiago is little Lagunillas, a non-commercial ski resort. Nearby is Chapa Verde, 145km from Santiago.

About five hours south of Santiago near Chillan is Nevados de Chillan (formerly known as Termas de Chillan), a hot springs resort that sits on two active volcanoes. Further south is the small family resort of Ski Pucon on the Villarica Volcano. This ski resort is also situated on a volcano, and is popular with freestylers due to the natural half pipes formed by lava flows. Other southern resorts include Antillanca (adjacent to Bariloche in Argentina) Antuco, Corralco (on Lonquimay Volcano), Llaima, and El Fraile. And way down south is the Cerro Mirador Resort.

The lift systems at the Chile ski resorts are generally not very good, especially when compared to USA ski resorts and skiing in Canada. Undertake a good pre-season fitness regime, as your quads won’t get much rest on all those surface tows (although they will get a long rest on the slow chairlifts). The ski resorts nearer to Santiago have acceptable lift and facility infrastructure, whilst the more southern resorts have less infrastructure on offer. The upside of the lack of glitz is the lower cost. Another disadvantage for many of the southern resorts is that they are not well suited to the expert skier or boarder.

Skiing in Chile The Andes is the second highest mountain range in the world, and it’s still rising. The summit of Aconcagua which is only 15km from the border of Chile, sits at 6,950 metres (22,841 feet). Thankfully the ski resorts aren’t as high, but those around Santiago still rise to around 3,650 metres. These elevations are fantastic for the views and snow quality, but are not quite so good for the ability to breathe for the first day or so.

These northern ski resorts are above the tree line, and as you move further south the elevations are lower which affords some tree skiing opportunities. Average annual snowfalls are generally around the 6-7 metre mark, except for Nevados de Chillan and Ski Pucon that receive a bountiful 10 metres annually. The snowpack is coastal, so it’s reasonably stable, and considering the cool temperatures, the powder is reasonably dry. That being said, Chile ski resorts sometimes also suffer from horrendously icy conditions.

The weather can be very kind and provide lots of sunny days, but considering that many of the resorts are very exposed, nasty weather can close the resorts and access roads for days at a time. This may put a quick dampener on your ski vacation, but when the bluebird day arrives you’ll forget about it and enjoy skiing bliss once again.

Heli Skiing and Cat Skiing in Chile There are various heli skiing and heli boarding opportunities in Chile. These are typically situated at the upscale ski resorts such as Portillo, Valle Nevado, and La Parva. All the operations provide single day heli skiing packages, and most provide single runs options. See our Heli Ski Chile overview for more information.

There is only one formal Chile cat skiing operation. The Ski Arpa cat skiing operation is located about 100km north of Santiago.

When is the Ski Season in Chile? Chile is a great place to have a winter vacation in summer (of course this only works for those who live in the Northern Hemisphere!), or a winter vacation in winter! The ski season begins in mid-June and runs to October. However the best skiing conditions in Chile are generally mid July to early September, but the busy Chile holidays are during July.

Why Ski or Snowboard in Chile? Chile is a great place to have a ski holiday and experience the Latin culture all at the same time. You can speak Spanish to your heart’s content or giggle at the Spanglish where eating is described as “gastronomy”, and skiing is something that you practise. In Chile, dinner is eaten late, dancing goes to the wee hours, and you might get away with having an après siesta. And as part of the culture, only the super keen powderhounds are up early for first lifts. Fantástico!

Chile Fully Hosted & Guided Ski & Snowboard Safaris
A great way to explore the Chile ski resorts is to go on a multi-resort tour. The guides look after any language issues and transport requirements, and 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.

Chile Packages & Tours

Cant decide which resort to go to? Why not join an organised tour and visit several ski areas on the one trip and be driven around from one place to another, guided to the best spots on each mountain (relative to your ability) and in some tours you will be provided with instruction along the way!

See the Chile ski tours for more information. For tour dates and an indication of availability, check out the South America ski tours schedule page.
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 4,398 USD 4,398
LAST MINUTE DEAL - US$300 off last couple of spots. Discounted price displayed.
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 lever 3 or 4 CSIA ski instructor.
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See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Chile 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 Chile 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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See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Chile 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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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 7,648
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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Classic Heli Ski Package DETAILS
HELISKI CHILE'S BEST TERRAIN
7 Nights | 6 Days Heliskiing
From price based on private group of 12 (price per person)
Base/invoice currency is in USD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 10,400
Ability: Strong Intermediate, Advanced, Expert
If you are looking for an epic week of heli skiing in the Chilean Andes, this could be the tour for you! Available for semi private groups of 4 or 8 or private groups of 12. This package includes 6 days of heli-skiing, avo safety gear, use of skis/snowboard, 7 nights of luxury lodging, transfers, meals & more
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See all Heli Skiing tours that visit Chile here
Cat Skiing Tours
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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Ski Arpa Day Trip from Santiago DETAILS
ARPA CAT SKIING - DAY TRIP FROM SANTIAGO
1 Full Day of Cat Skiing inc Transfers
From price based on group of 2. 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 577
Book & pay deposit by April 30, 2016 and get 5% discount off advertised prices
Ability: Strong Intermediate, Advanced, Expert
If you are based in Santiago and are looking for a unique and exciting ski or snowboard adventure, then a day of snowcat skiing (10,000 - 15,000 vertical feet) at Ski Arpa could be just the ticket! The full day tour (12 hours) includes return transport ex Santiago.
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See all Cat Skiing tours that visit Chile 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 17,760
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 Chile here