Chile Powder Tour

Where is Farellones Chile?

Farellones is 51km northeast of central Santiago, and only 36km from the Las Condes area of Santiago. From Farellones:
  • El Colorado village sits above and to the east of Farellones, 5km away by road
  • La Parva is 4.5km by road to the northeast
  • the Valle Nevado hotel base area is 15km to the east but slightly south of El Colorado

Flights

Farellones is only 67km east of the Santiago Benitez International Airport. LAN of Chile is the major international carrier with flights from USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. Flights from the United Kingdom may go via New York, Miami or Los Angeles. You can search for flights here.

Transfers to Farellones

The easiest way to get to Farellones is to have a driver. Transfers from either the city of Santiago or the airport can be organised as part of a Farellones ski package or there are reasonably priced shuttles that run from Santiago daily.

Driving to Farellones from Santiago

If you want the ultimate flexibility to get to the Tres Valles ski resorts on your own timetable, or want to also head to other Chile ski resorts, it may be worth renting a car from Santiago Airport or Santiago. Try to get chains when renting the car.
Most GPS systems will be able to locate Farellones. If not, head east out of Santiago via the Costanera Norte Autopista onto Av Kennedy, or via Av Apoquindo. You’ll end up on Av Las Condes heading east. Not far after the Mall Sport mega shop (on the right) is a Terpel Service Station. Turn right here into Camino de Farellones (G21). The signage for this turn-off is quite subtle so keep a close eye out.

Just after the turn-off there are a couple of ski and snowboard shops where you can pick up rental equipment and chains. The other option to rent the compulsory chains is part way up the hill at some colourful shipping containers, where you’ll potentially find some men flapping their arms at you as they vie for your business! Undoubtedly they’ll try to rip you off!

The first half of Camino A Farellones is reasonably windy but it’s the last 15km that has the real curves. There are 38 “curves”, most of which are switchbacks. The road is paved, cleared, and has various safety barriers in place. It’s also fairly wide but considering that it’s sometimes choked with traffic (including wild donkeys!) there are regulations to make the road one-way at times. On weekends and during holidays (in July) only up-hill traffic is permitted between 8am and 2pm, and down-hill traffic is permitted from 4pm to 8pm. At other times it’s a two-way road.

If the road is snow covered you may be accosted by various men offering to put your chains on. This is rather handy if you don’t know how to fit chains or if you don’t want to get your hands and clothes dirty (or break a nail!). The competition is fierce, so feel free to barter a little and carry small notes, otherwise they’ll claim they have no cambio. On the way down the hill, the process for taking off the chains is similar except that the price will be much less.

Travel Between Farellones and El Colorado

Most people travel between El Colorado and Farellones via the surface lifts and ski slopes. You can let the liftie know that you’re heading up to El Colorado and purchase a lift ticket up there. The interconnection between El Colorado and Farellones is nearly always open, except in very foul weather.

Getting Between Farellones and La Parva

To ski La Parva without buying two lift tickets, you’ll have to get to La Parva via road (only 4.5km). If you don’t have a car, most of the Farellones accommodations provide complimentary transfers to La Parva or charge a small fee. During storms, there is some potential that the road up to La Parva may close and the slope inter-connection may also close (or the lifts that access the connection).

Intermediate riders and above can return to El Colorado and then Farellones via the slopes.

Travel Between Farellones and Valle Nevado

If you’re happy to pay the exorbitant price to get a dual resort ticket for El Colorado and Valle Nevado, strong intermediate riders and above can ski between the areas. Check the snow report in the morning because sometimes the interconnections are closed if the access lifts are shut due to limited visibility, windy conditions or avalanche risk.

To ski at Valle Nevado without buying two lift tickets, you’ll have to get to and from Valle Nevado via the road (about 13km to the day car park) because in order to return to Farellones you need to catch an El Colorado lift up the east face before you can ski down the front face to Farellones.

The drive between Farellones and Valle Nevado takes about 20 minutes in good conditions. The access road from Farellones up to Valle Nevado can feel a little perilous, particularly in poor weather conditions or when there’s a lot of traffic. The last part of the road has about 20 tight switchbacks. This road is also subject to one-way traffic on weekends and holidays (up in the morning, down in the afternoon) and the road is highly likely to close during and after a snow storm.

If you don’t have a car, your accommodation can organise a driver for your group to get to and from Valle Nevado (there will generally be a charge for this), but a driver may not be willing on weekends/holidays due to their inability to get back down the road after they drop you off in the morning (or they’ll charge you a premium).
150