Skiing in Chile

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Ski Chile at Portillo high in the Andes
Ski Chile at Portillo high in the Andes
The unique “va et vient” lifts at Portillo Ski Resort Chile
The unique “va et vient” lifts at Portillo Ski Resort Chile
Portillo - best ski resort in Chile for the views
Portillo - best ski resort in Chile for the views
Ski Chile at Nevados de Chillan, known for big snow volumes
Ski Chile at Nevados de Chillan, known for big snow volumes
Skiing at Chile at Nevados de Chillan is ideal for advanced riders
Skiing at Chile at Nevados de Chillan is ideal for advanced riders
Cat skiing in Chile at Arpa
Cat skiing in Chile at Arpa
Blower powder at La Parva in the Tres Valles near Santiago
Blower powder at La Parva in the Tres Valles near Santiago
La Parva - a high elevation ski resort in Chile
La Parva - a high elevation ski resort in Chile
Big lines at La Parva Ski Resort Chile
Big lines at La Parva Ski Resort Chile
Valle Nevado village sits on a ridge & affords spectacular views
Valle Nevado village sits on a ridge & affords spectacular views
Snowboard Chile - Ash Muller riding at Valle Nevado
Snowboard Chile - Ash Muller riding at Valle Nevado
Valle Nevado has a lot of terrain on offer but most of it is fairly mellow
Valle Nevado has a lot of terrain on offer but most of it is fairly mellow
El Colorado in the Tres Valles has a lot of fast groomers
El Colorado in the Tres Valles has a lot of fast groomers
El Colorado village is quite small compared to Farellones & La Parva
El Colorado village is quite small compared to Farellones & La Parva
Farellones is a great central location to stay in the Tres Valles & for those on a budget
Farellones is a great central location to stay in the Tres Valles & for those on a budget
Some Chile ski resorts are on a volcano - Corralco
Some Chile ski resorts are on a volcano - Corralco
Villarica Volcano (at Pucon) offers good backcountry skiing in Chile
Villarica Volcano (at Pucon) offers good backcountry skiing in Chile
Skiing down the Villarica volcano is fairly mellow
Skiing down the Villarica volcano is fairly mellow
The sunsets around the Tres Valles are spectacular
The sunsets around the Tres Valles are spectacular
Do a stopover in Santiago as part of your Chile ski vacation
Do a stopover in Santiago as part of your Chile ski vacation

Skiing in Chile

Ski Chile, South America

Ski Chile at some of the great ski resorts perched up high in the Andes Mountains. Snowboarding and skiing in Chile can be combined with soaking in the views of the majestic mountains and enjoying the interesting culture that has a rich history. You can speak Spanish or Spanglish to your heart’s content, eat dinner late in the evening, go dancing into the wee hours, and you might get away with having an après ski siesta. And as part of the culture of skiing in Chile, only the super keen powder hounds are up early for first lifts. Fantástico!

Other than the skiing and snowboarding, Chile is also renowned for its weird shape – the long skinny country that spans 4,300km / 2,672 miles along the coast of South America and is 18 times longer than its widest point. It’s the land of startling diversity with 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

There are about 17 ski resorts in Chile, located in the southern half of the country. You can check out the Chile ski resorts page for a summary of the main areas and resort statistics.

Many North Americans go skiing in Chile and just go the highest profile ski resorts of Portillo and Valle Nevado where there are good options for all-inclusive Chile ski packages, yet there are plenty of other options to get off the beaten track as you venture further away from Santiago.

The most northern Chile ski resort is Portillo, which is 164km/102 miles 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.

Other high profile skiing in Chile is at the Three Valleys (Tres Valles) near Santiago at 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 that takes Chile skiing back to its roots. Nearby is Chapa Verde, 145km/90 miles from Santiago.

Further south, the Chile snowboarding and skiing is on volcanoes, some of which are smokin’!

About five hours south of Santiago near Chillan is Nevados de Chillan, a hot springs resort that sits on two active volcanoes. We’ve rated Nevados de Chillan as offering the best skiing in Chile for powder hounds, plus other accolades.

Corralco Ski Resort on the Lonquimay Volcano is not very busy, despite it having a fancy hotel at the base, and we’ve rated it as one of the top skiing Chile destinations for powder hounds.

Further south is the small family resort of Pillan (formerly Ski Pucon) on the Villarica Volcano. With unreliable lift operations, it’s mostly attractive for its backcountry touring to see the lava lake in the crater.

Other southern ski resorts in Chile include Antillanca (adjacent to Bariloche in Argentina), and Antuco, Llaima (Ski Araucarias), and El Fraile. And way down south is the Cerro Mirador Resort. These southern ski resorts in Chile don’t tend to be well suited to the expert skier or boarder.

Ski/Snowboard Chile - Characteristics

As a generalization, the lift systems at the Chile ski resorts are generally not very good, especially when compared to high profile 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.

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 (about 12,000 feet). These elevations are fantastic for the views and snow quality, but are not quite so good for those susceptible to altitude sickness.

These northern Chile 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 7 metre/23 ft mark, except for Nevados de Chillan that receives a bountiful 10 metres/33ft annually. The snowpack is coastal, so it’s reasonably stable, and considering the cool temperatures, the powder is reasonably dry. That being said, the 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 Chile ski vacation, but when the bluebird day arrives you’ll forget about it and enjoy skiing bliss once again.

Backcountry Skiing Chile

There are plenty of options for lift assisted backcountry skiing and snowboarding in Chile. Portillo is renowned for its steep chutes that are beyond the resort boundaries. The Tres Valles ski resorts also provide some great backcountry lines that use the lifts plus road pick-ups. Nevados de Chillan Ski Resort is also a popular starting point for ski touring and splitboarding.

In spring, the volcanoes further south become the main objectives for backcountry touring.

You can check out the Chile backcountry tours here.

Mechanized backcountry skiing in Chile is also possible, with options for sled skiing, heli skiing and cat skiing at Ski Arpa 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 Chile ski season begins in mid-June and runs to October. However the best snow conditions in Chile are generally mid July to early September, but the busy Chile holidays are during mid July which are best to avoid.

Ski Chile Packages

Several ski resorts in Chile offer ski and stay packages, however some of them only offer ski weeks (7 nights) or mini ski weeks (3 or 4 nights) such as Portillo ski packages and Valle Nevado ski packages.

Most Chile ski packages include lodging, half or full board, lift tickets, transport to/from the airport, and some like the Hotel Portillo offer free child care as part of the package. Some of the resorts have many facilities that are included in the package like swimming pools, hot tubs/jacuzzis, hot springs, cinemas, gymnasium, yoga classes & more.

Powderhounds also offers some multi-resort packages (that are not hosted or guided) that enable you to stay at a couple of different resorts and/or add a day or 2 of snowcat skiing or heli skiing.

Check out the list of Chile ski & stay packages and what they offer.

Ski Chile Tours - Fully Hosted & Guided

A great way to go snowboarding or skiing in Chile is to go on a guided and hosted multi-resort tour (aka ski/snowboard safari).

On a Chile ski tour, the guides look after any language issues and transport requirements, and they know the terrain intimately so you get to ski or ride the best lines in the best snow with your safety being paramount.

You don't need to be an expert or advanced rider (although some tours are specifically for advanced to experts) as there are some intermediate trips available, and some tours incorporate instruction or coaching.

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

Safari (Road Trip) Tours

High Andes Adventure
GUIDED OFF-PISTE ROAD TRIP
7 Days | 6 Nights | 5 Days Skiing inc 1 Day Cat
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Visit the highest ski resorts in the Andes and experience a day of cat skiing at Valle El Arpa. Situated in the shadow of Aconcagua, the tallest peak outside the Himalayas, these ski and snowboard centers will bring out the big mountain
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy for 2023 season.
Base/invoice currency is in USD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 4,695
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Classic Shortie
GUIDED OFF-PISTE ROAD TRIP
9 Days | 8 Nights | 6 Days Skiing
Ability: Intermediate to 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.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy for 2023 season.
Base/invoice currency is in USD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 4,895
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Chile All Mountain
NO HIKING OFF-PISTE TOUR
9 Days | 8 Nights | Max 8 Guests
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Advanced
No hiking or uphill skinning with more turns and less thigh burn! Heads to the best Chile ski areas near Santiago including Valle Nevado, El Colorado & La Parva plus the massive Nevados de Chillan.
Price p/p 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.

*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 5,599
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See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Chile here

Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours

Family Freeride & Backcountry Trip
FAMILY FREERIDE & BACKCOUNTRY TOUR
7 Nights | 8 Days | 6 Days Skiing
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
An experience your family will never forget: visiting the very edge of the world to enjoy one of the most beautiful sports surrounded by completely untouched, wild nature. Treat yourself and your family to this experience that few have been able to enjoy. Discover the wild south as a team.
Price p/p Sample price is based on 3 guests in group.
Base/invoice currency is USD
Displayed price might vary slightly from actual due to exchange rate fluctuations.
USD 3,990
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Explore Atacama & Valle Nevado
7 DAY TOUR (Unguided) ex SANTIAGO
Private groups only | 2 Night, 3 Days
Ability: Beginner to Expert
This incredible tour is one of extreme contrasts with half of the week spent exploring the Atacama desert and the other half skiing at Santiago's largest ski resort; Valle Nevado. Do it now or add it to your bucket list!
Price p/p From price based on 2 guests booked (cheaper for larger group of up to 8)
Base/invoice currency is in USD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Enquire Enquire
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See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Chile here

Single-Base, Single-Ski-Area Tours

Chile Powder Sessions
GUIDED OFF-PISTE & BC ADVENTURE
10 Nights | 7 Days Skiing | Nevados de Chillan
Ability: Strong Intermediate to 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.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share room, min 4 guests on tour (per person) for 2024
Base/invoice currency is in USD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 4,065
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BC Portillo Week
PORTILLO RESORT & FREERIDE TOUR
7 Nights | 8 Days | 7 Days Skiing
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Experience skiing like never before at a world-renowned classic destination. Immerse yourself in the best of the best with top-notch snow quality, daring runs, and stunning panoramic views. And when the day is done, treat yourself to luxury accommodation.
Price p/p Base/invoice currency is USD
Displayed price might vary slightly from actual due to exchange rate fluctuations.
USD 5,490
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See all Single-Base, Single-Ski-Area tours that visit Chile here

Backcountry Skiing Tours

Chile´s Iconic Volcanoes
GUIDED BACKCOUNTRY TOUR
9 Days | 8 Nights
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Embark on a thrilling journey through northern Patagonia, skiing iconic volcanoes like Osorno and Villarrica. Experience spring skiing, savor local cuisine, unwind in hot springs, & indulge in the rich flavors of local wines. Discover Chile's unique blend of adventure & culture on this unforgettable volcanic escapade! Share
Price p/p Price is per person twin-share.
base/invoice currency is USD
Displayed prices might vary slightly to actual due to exchange rate fluctuations.
USD 3,450
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 Book by March 31, 2024 & take 5% off advertised price
Chile Volcano Ski Touring
SKI TOURING CHILE VOLCANOES
9 Days | Customizable Itinerary
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
On this tour, you will climb to the top of some of Chile's most spectacular volcanoes & ski back down to the low-lands. Some afternoons you will visit relaxing hot springs & along the way you will experience South American cities & towns. PRIVATE GROUPS of 2 - 6 guests or join a fixed date tour as a solo/small group
Price p/p Price is per person based on 9-day tour with min group of 4
Base/invoice currency is USD inc tax
*displayed price may vary slightly due exchange rate fluctuations
USD 3,200
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Freeride The Andes
SNOWMOBILE ACCESS SKI/BOARDING TOUR
2N | 2D Riding OR 4N | 4D Riding
Ability: Advanced to Expert
This tour offers up some of the world's best backcountry snowmobiling, skiing & snowboarding high-up in the Andes about 80km from Santiago. Packages are available for 2 nights / 2 days riding OR 4 nights / 4 days riding.
Price p/p From price based on 2-night package staying in a cabin in a group of 4.
base/invoice currency is USD
displayed price may vary slightly due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,950
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See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Chile here

Heli Skiing Tours

Andes Heli Ski Packages
HELISKI CHILE'S BEST TERRAIN
4 Nights | 3 Days Heliskiing
Ability: Strong Intermediate to 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
Price p/p From price based on group of 8 (price per person) with 9 hours flying time
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 8,342
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Classic Heli Ski Package
HELISKI CHILE'S BEST TERRAIN
7 Nights | 6 Days Heliskiing
Ability: Strong Intermediate to 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 8 or private groups of 4. This package includes 6 days of heli-skiing, avo safety gear, use of skis/snowboard, 7 nights of luxury lodging, transfers, meals & more
Price p/p From price based on semi-private - 2 groups of 4 - 12 hrs fly time (price per person)
Base/invoice currency is in USD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 14,000
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Dos Tiempos Multi Day Heli Skiing
PRIVATE GROUP HELISKIING THE ANDES
5 nights | 8 - 10 Hours Heli Time
Ability: Advanced to Expert
This package offers up some of the world's best heli skiing & heli boarding high-up in the spectacular Andes (about 80km from Santiago). Packages are for 5 nights with 4 days riding including all meals.
Price p/p From price is PER PERSON based on 5-nights, 2 private groups of 4 (8) guests staying at El Morado Lodge inclusive of 10 hours of heli time.
base/invoice currency is USD
displayed price may vary slightly due to currency fluctuations.
USD 10,450
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See all Heli Skiing tours that visit Chile here

Cat Skiing Tours

Ski Arpa Portillo Express
ARPA CAT SKIING - PORTILLO EXTENSION
1 Night Lodging | 1 Day Cat Skiing
Ability: Strong Intermediate to 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.
Price p/p From price is per person 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.
USD 720
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Ultimate Ski Arpa Experience
MULTI-DAY SNOWCAT SKIING TOUR
2 Nights Lodging | 2 Days Cat Skiing
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
This tour includes approx 26,000 feet of vertical cat skiing, accommodation at the Inca Hotel in nearby Los Andes, daily breakfast and transfers to/from Santiago as well as to/from El Arpa from the hotel.
Price p/p From price (current for 2023 season) is per person 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.
USD 1,410
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Ski Arpa Day Trip from Santiago
ARPA CAT SKIING - DAY TRIP FROM SANTIAGO
1 Full Day of Cat Skiing inc Transfers
Ability: Strong Intermediate to 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.
Price p/p From price based on group of 2. Price reduces per person depending on number of guests attending. Min 2 guests required to tour to operate.
Base/invoice currency is in USD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 590
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See all Cat Skiing tours that visit Chile here