South America Ski Resorts – Will They Open in 2020 Considering Covid19?

Updated July 9th 2020

Mother Nature has been absolutely dumping snow on most of the South American ski resorts and locals have been posting photos of the bountiful snow on social media, but sadly it's a case of look but don't touch. Covid 19 cases are soaring in South America, so if the South American ski resorts are able to open for the 2020 season, it would likely be under incredibly strict regulations.

Naturally whether it would be financially viable for the ski resorts to open is another matter. For example, Brazilians make up a huge proportion of the visitation at many of the ski resorts, and with 1.9million Covid 19 cases so far and 73K deaths in Brazil, it seems unlikely that Brazilians will be going skiing or snowboarding this winter.

Argentina Ski Resorts 2020

The Argentina ski resorts will be hard pressed to open during the 2020 season due to the Corona Virus. With about 103,000 cases so far, Argentina has introduced very tight regulations with respect to managing the virus.

Of particular note, the government has put a ban on all flights, both international and domestic, until at least September 1st. This obviously precludes international skiers and snowboarders from visiting the Argentina ski resorts until September. It also makes it difficult for the Argentines to travel the long distances to the ski resorts.

State of play so far:

  • Las Lenas has announced it will not open in the 2020 season.
  • La Hoya has announced that it will not open for the 2020 season due to Covid 19.
  • Cerro Catedral has reported today that it is “working to enable services for the 2020 winter season... After developing a strict safety and hygiene protocol, we have resumed maintenance since the beginning of May”. The deadline for requesting payment for season passes has been extended to June 15.
  • Other Argentina ski resorts are still hoping for a miracle that they may be able to open for the 2020 season.

Chile Ski Resorts 2020

Most of the Chile ski resorts are working hard with the aim of opening at some stage during the 2020 season, but they might be dreaming. A dozen of the Chile ski resorts are part of an alliance, the Asociaciónde Centros de Ski de Chile, and are working together to develop protocols that would enable the resorts to open. This includes major restrictions on the numbers permitted each day on the slopes and in facility buildings. Plans have been submitted to government and are awaiting approval, but they may be waiting awhile. 

Portillo is offering 100% refund or credit for 2021 for those who want to book a package in the hope that Portillo opens. Portillo has announced that the resort opening date has been postponed indefinitely.

Corralco is not part of this alliance, and with a lot of local pressure not to open, it may be difficult for them to operate without this local support.

Ski Pucon is also not part of the alliance and has announced that they definitely won't be opening.