La Parva Ski Resort Chile
Skiing at La Parva Chile in the Andes is definitely inimitable and worthy of bragging rights. The resort of La Parva is one of the Tres Valles (Three Valleys) ski areas, along with El Colorado and Valle Nevado. Relative to these resorts, La Parva ski resort gets few international visitors and it’s more like an exclusive private ski club for Santiago’s wealthy families. The local elite enjoy the skiing and boarding, but their favourite past-time is to sit on the deck of their condo and lap up the fantastic views of the Andes whilst basking in the sunshine.
Ski and Snowboard Terrain
La Parva Chile is a moderate sized ski area with treeless terrain and plenty of vertical (960 metres). It has a very good dedicated area for beginners and like its neighbours, the ski area is mostly suited to intermediate riders. The groomers are a lot of fun and 75% of the trails are rated as either blue (easy intermediate) or red (more difficult intermediate). The resort also has a terrain park and a handful of on-piste slopes for advanced skiers.
For advanced skiers and snowboarders the main joy can be found in the extensive off-piste areas. The Valle de Fabres (Zona de Freeskiing) in particular has some really interesting terrain features. For experts there is some fabulous hike-to-terrain above the ski resort and you can test your nerve on the famous La Chimenea, a tight colouir with a super steep entrance. The line is visible from the village, so it’s a great show pony run.
For such a posh ski resort, the lift infrastructure is rather no-frills. Of the 16 lifts, only 5 are chair lifts and these are generally thumb twiddlingly slow. The rest of the lifts are quad-burning surface lifts which are at least good for when the wind is howling.
La Parva Snow
As with all South American ski resorts, the snow conditions are very variable and the off-piste areas are either powder filled bowls or a powder hound’s nightmare. The wind scours some of the slopes at La Parva, particularly the backcountry areas, and with lots of sunny days and no trees, there’s plenty of opportunity for the north facing slopes to become sun affected. However on a powder day the place absolutely rocks, and with an average of 7 metres of snowfall per season, powder days are reasonably common.
Interconnected with Other Tres Valles Ski Resorts
From La Parva it’s possible for accomplished riders to ski to Valle Nevado
and El Colorado
. The combined Tres Valles ski area is huge with almost 2,500 hectares of in-bounds skiing, but a major limitation in accessing all this terrain is the exorbitant prices for an inter-resort lift ticket.
Where is La Parva Ski Resort?
La Parva is incredibly accessible, only 56km from Santiago, the capital of Chile. From Santiago you can self-drive, or alternatively there are various ground transportation options from the city or the airport. See the getting to La Parva
page for more information.
||Santiago Skiing - Day Trips
If you don't have time for a few days or a week at one of Chile's top ski resorts but you have a free day available, jump on a Santiago skiing day trip. Pickups around 8:00 am & leaves the mountain of choice at 5:00 pm daily.
||Backcountry Day Trips from Santiago
Get away from the crowds and experience the best of the Tres Valles. These tours are lift-accessed backcountry (slackcountry) with experienced guides. Includes transfers and avalanche safety gear..
La Parva Accommodation and Facilities
The delightful village is largely ski-in ski-out and likened to a ski village in Europe. Unfortunately there are no La Parva hotels and lodging options are limited to apartments. These condos are not suited to the budget oriented, and the requisite duration of the stay in most cases is a week.
Alternative accommodation can be found in El Colorado and Farellones where there is more flexibility regarding the length of stay and a range of accommodation for different budgets. Farellones
in particular is a great place to stay to access La Parva for day trips (only 4.5km away by road). Many Farellones lodging
providers offer complimentary transport to La Parva in the morning and you can ski back to the village of Farellones at the end of the day.
There are a few restaurants at La Parva that reflect the European influence of the resort, but many families have dinner at home and don’t venture out in the evenings. There are a couple of drinking holes, but if you want a little nightlife stay in Farellones.
Summary of Pros and Cons of La Parva
- La Parva Chile is an ideal ski resort to visit for day trips from Farellones.
- The ski resort is reasonably sized and has better advanced terrain than El Colorado and Valle Nevado.
- The resort is somewhat exclusive, and staying at La Parva is well suited to those with a generous budget who want a quiet family oriented experience. Many of the apartments are either ski-in ski-out or very close to it.
- The amenities are good and the ski resort has some nice restaurants that are perfect for perching in the sun to soak in the views.
- Whilst it can get busy on weekends, the place is almost deserted on weekdays.
- If coming from Santiago, the travel time to La Parva is a little less compared with Valle Nevado.
- There are no La Parva hotels (yet!) and only apartment (condo) accommodations. La Parva apartments are generally either outrageously expensive, of sub-standard quality, and/or they require you to supply your own linen. During the peak season there is very limited flexibility regarding the start day and duration of your stay.
- There are a lot of surface lifts, which is somewhat common with South American ski resorts.
- The resort is very family friendly but it doesn’t cater particularly well for English speaking children.
Pros and Cons of the Tres Valles Resorts
- The proximity to Santiago is a big bonus for international travelers and Santiago receives direct flights from many international cities. Unlike many other South American ski resorts, you don’t need to take an additional domestic flight.
- All three ski resorts have great terrain for intermediate riders.
- The resorts have well-developed amenities and infrastructure (especially by South America ski resort standards).
- The Tres Valles resorts boast about 80% sunny days.
- The three resorts combined provide a massive terrain choice.
- The resorts don’t cooperate with each other to make the most of their huge terrain by creating a reasonably priced multi-resort lift ticket. You have to buy separate lift passes or a very expensive dual-pass (not available at Valle Nevado), even if you just want to ride one lift at your “home” resort to get over to another.
- The ski resorts can get very busy on the weekends with day trippers from Santiago.
- The snow quality (and quantity) can be variable (as with all South American ski resorts).
- The Tres Valles resorts are situated at a high elevation and there’s the risk of getting altitude sickness.
Tours That May Include La Parva