Ski Corralco Chile
The Corralco Ski Resort in Chile on the Lonquimay Volcano is the antithesis of the ski resorts near Santiago. Corralco is located off the beaten track so it’s very quiet and you can get away from the hordes. However that may change in the near future because Corralco Chile is a new ski resort that is evolving rather rapidly with the development of new facilities, lifts, and a luxury hotel. Build it and they will come!
Corralco Mountain and Ski Resort is mainly frequented by South American families who enjoy the child-friendly facilities and gentle slopes, whilst outside the ski resort boundaries, the extensive slopes lure backcountry powder hounds who are happy to earn their turns.
Corralco Ski and Snowboard Terrain
Since 2014 and the addition of the Cumbre (summit or top lift), the ski resort has had 2 chair lifts and 4 surface lifts, 25 trails across 500 acres (200 hectares) of skiable terrain, and a vertical drop of 920 metres (1,480 to 2,400 metres elevation).
The base of the Corralco ski resort sits just above the treeline so the slopes are treeless and open; ideal for learning to ski or snowboard. There are a handful of long groomed beginner slopes near the base that are very mellow, whilst further up there are a few intermediate groomed trails. Corralco also has a few “advanced” groomed trails which can be tackled by strong intermediate riders and are lots of fun for some speedy turns. In between the groomed trails are lots of off-piste lines and with some traversing you can access an abundance of interesting terrain features that have resulted from lava flows.
Corralco Chile offers excellent backcountry and mountaineering access and this is the main drawcard for experienced skiers and boarders. An ascent to the “peak” (aka crater) of Lonquimay is particularly popular which is at an elevation of 2,890 metres, 490 metres higher than the new top lift.
Corralco gets huge amounts of snow, and the quality of the snow is often pretty good because the slopes face south to southeast. The Lonquimay Volcano is rather exposed and at the mercy of the weather gods. Whilst the weather isn’t as fickle as it is at nearby Villarrica, there might be days when you need to sit it out.
Where is Corralco?
The Corralco Ski Resort is located on the southeastern side of the Lonquimay Volcano in the Malalcahuello National Reserve, not far from the little town of Malalcahuello. Corralco is 120km to the east of Temuco, whilst Santiago is 700km to the north.
The Corralco Ski Resort is about 90 minutes drive from the Temuco Airport (Maquehue Airport), which receives flights from Santiago. The flight takes just over an hour and there are about 4 flights a day. Guests of the Valle Corralco Hotel and Spa can get transfers from the airport, or it’s possible to rent a car to get to the ski resort.
The Valle Corralco Hotel and Spa
is a new 5 star hotel at the base of the mountain set amongst the unusual and ancient Araucaria trees (aka monkey puzzle trees). The luxury hotel has 54 hotel rooms and an abundance of amenities such as a day spa, swimming pool, gym, cinema room, restaurant, bar, child care, and activity services. Hotel packages incorporate full or half board, and can include ski lessons and rental equipment, and child care for 2-6 year olds is included in all packages.
The nearby town of Malalcahuello also has some limited lodging options.
Facilities & Activities
The Corralco ski resort has a beautiful new day lodge with a restaurant, sun deck and small skiosk. Other facilities include a picnic area, ski and snowboard rentals, and ski school.
The activity centre at the Valle Corralco Hotel and Spa offers various winter activities such as snowshoeing in the Araucaria forest and snowmobiling on Volcan Lonquimay. The activity centre also offers guided alpine touring (randonee).
The region features various hot springs, which are a fabulous way to relax and rejuvenate after a big day ripping the slopes, or just head to the day spa at the hotel.
The Corralco ski season begins on June 1st and goes until October 15. It’s generally rather stormy during June and July, so the best time to go is from early August onwards when there are more fine weather days.
Why Ski or Snowboard at Corralco?
Corralco Chile is a great spot for a tranquil ski holiday. The ski resort is ideal for beginners and is very family friendly, whilst for advanced and expert riders the main appeal is the off-piste and backcountry terrain.
- Corralco is well suited to backcountry riders who are happy to earn their turns.
- Corralco has no crowds so on a powder day the powder is all yours!
- Corralco has very mellow terrain for first timers, is very child friendly, and ideal for families that speak Spanish.
- The Valle Corralco Hotel & Spa offers fantastic accommodation, great facilities, and a range of activities including guided backcountry skiing.
- The chair lifts are very slow.
- Corralco doesn’t have a large amount of intermediate terrain.
- Corralco may not be the best resort for children who don’t speak Spanish, with group ski lessons and child care conducted in Spanish only.
- The Corralco Hotel is priced at the luxury end so for those travelling on a budget there are no on-mountain lodging options. There is limited lodging nearby and you’ll need a car (or be on a tour) to get between the ski resort and your lodging.
- The nightlife is close to non-existent at Corralco and the sleepy Malalcahuello.
Experienced riders are likely to get the most out of Corralco Chile by including it as part of a guided Chile ski tour.
Tours That May Include Corralco