Getting to Valle Nevado

Getting to Valle Nevado

Where is Valle Nevado?

Valle Nevado ski resort is located high in the Andes Mountains, about 67km (42 miles) to the east of central Santiago in Chile, so it’s often referred to as one of the Santiago ski resorts. From the Las Condes area of Santiago, Valle Nevado is only 49km away.

Valle Nevado is one of the Tres Valles ski resorts and is adjacent to El Colorado and inter-connected with a part of La Parva ski resort. From Valle Nevado:

Flying into Santiago de Chile

The Santiago Benitez International Airport is 81km west of the Valle Nevado ski resort. LAN is the major international carrier with flights from Australia, New Zealand, United States, Canada and Europe. Flights from the UK may go via New York, Miami or Los Angeles. There are also other airlines that fly into Santiago from other South American cities. For a great price on a flight you can use one of our flight search engines.

Valle Nevado Transfer from Santiago International Airport

A Valle Nevado transfer from the city of Santiago or from Santiago International Airport can be organised as part of a Valle Nevado ski package.

There are also lots of other companies providing transport from the Santiago airport to Valle Nevado, but the prices can be extraordinarily high unless you have a large group.

If you want to avoid all those switchbacks and money is no object, Valle Nevado can arrange helicopter transfers from Santiago Airport. Have you got a spare spot for me?!

Shuttles and Private Transport from Santiago City – Day Trips

There are various transport companies that provide inexpensive daily shuttles from Santiago to Valle Nevado. These either leave from their ski rental shop on the eastern outskirts of Santiago, or the transport can include a hotel pick-up that goes via the ski rental shop.

These shuttles are good for the budget oriented but they can take a long time, especially considering there’s a wait at the ski shop for everyone else to rent or take back their equipment. If you don’t need rental equipment this can be rather frustrating.

The other option is to catch a taxi from Santiago. Your hotel will generally be able to negotiate a better fixed price for the trip, as opposed to hailing a cab off the street where you’ll need very well developed bartering skills.

Ski Total Santiago Ski Total Tres Valle Day Trips
Same-day return scheduled bus service from Santiago to Vale Nevado, La Parva and El Colorado. Departs Santiago 8:00am 7-days during ski season. Also Portillo on Wednesdays & Saturdays. Private group transfers also available for 1 - 14 guests.
KL Adventures Transport KL Adventures Tres Valles Day Trips
Offer a same-day return scheduled bus service from Santiago to Vale Nevado, La Parva & El Colorado. Regular hotel pick-ups from 6:30am to 7:45am, 7-days during ski season. They pass by their ski rental shop on the way to the mountain to get you kitted out.

Driving to Valle Nevado

The drive up to Valle Nevado takes about 1:15 hours in good conditions, but there are many variables that can impact on the drive time. The drive time to Valle Nevado is slightly longer than the drive to La Parva and El Colorado ski resorts.

The drive goes via Farellones – see the travel to Farellones page for information on this portion of the trip. Once in Farellones the turn off to Valle Nevado is well sign-posted. Both the road to Farellones and the Valle Nevado road are sometimes subject to one-way restrictions. On weekends and holidays the road is one-way for drivers heading uphill between 8am and 2pm. The road is only open to downhill traffic from 4pm to 8pm. Two-way traffic is possible at other times.

The access road from Farellones to Valle Nevado used to be perilous and not for the faint of heart. Some improvements have been made in recent years, including widening the road a little and installation of some additional guardrails. Nevertheless extreme caution should be exercised, particularly in poor weather conditions or when there’s a lot of traffic.

The road up to Valle Nevado is initially just a little windy and it lulls you into a false sense of security. Then the real curves start (about 20 of them). They call them “curves” but they are more aptly called tight switchbacks.

The terrifying road isn’t as bad as a couple of New Zealand club field roads because it’s not particularly steep, there are a few safety rails, and the edges of the road are marked by orange poles which are a godsend in low visibility. However the road must come as a bit of a shock to many North Americans who are used to driving on highways to get to the ski resorts!

When Valle Nevado gets big storms, the road can close for days which can complicate travel plans. You’ll need to keep a very relaxed approach to the potential of the road closing, because the resort certainly has a very laid-back approach to it and don’t seem too savvy to the angst it can cause for travellers.

Occasionally if there’s been a big dump of snow they might introduce a one-way rule on weekdays. When driving to and from Valle Nevado, you have to just go with the flow! Overnight guests can park under the hotel, but for day trippers a car park has been built at the base of the ski area at Curva 17 on the access road. From there a gondola provides transport up to the base of the Andes chair lift.

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Getting Around Tres Valles

It can sometimes be difficult to sample multiple resorts at Tres Valles even though they are interconnected. If staying on-mountain, you need to pick one resort knowing that’s where you’ll do most of your skiing. The exorbitant cost of a dual-resort lift ticket is one barrier, and there are times when the lifts for the inter-connections are closed due to limited visibility, windy conditions or avalanche risk. Similarly during and after a storm, the roads may be closed, and the one-way restrictions add to the complications of driving between the resorts.

Valle Nevado makes it clear that they want their overnight guests to only ski at Valle Nevado, because they don’t sell dual resort lift tickets!

Travel Between Valle Nevado and El Colorado
If you’re happy to pay for two lift tickets, you might be able to get across to El Colorado via the slopes. However this can be problematic because Valle Nevado doesn’t sell passes for El Colorado, and from the Sol Run you have to get a lift up Cono Este at El Colorado. There’s an electronic ticket gate here (and no ticket sales), but you might be able to beg the liftie to let you up so that you can ski down the front face to purchase a ticket.

It’s easier to ski from El Colorado over to Valle Nevado because you can just ride down to the ticket office from the inter-resort connection.

To ski El Colorado without buying two lift tickets, you’ll have to get to El Colorado via the road (about 19km – 45 mins in good conditions). If you don’t have a car and can manage to organize a driver (expensive and not always possible), advanced riders can ski back to Valle Nevado.

Getting Between Valle Nevado and La Parva
If you’re willing to buy a lift ticket for Valle Nevado and La Parva, it’s possible for strong intermediate riders to ski from Valle Nevado across to La Parva. You can ski down the front of La Parva and purchase a ticket at one of the base areas.

To ski La Parva without buying two lift tickets, you’ll have to get to La Parva via road. If you don’t have a car, there’s a small chance you might be able to organize a driver to take you there, but this won’t work on weekends and holidays when one-way road restrictions are in place.

Travel Between Valle Nevado and Farellones
It’s possible to ski down to Farellones via El Colorado which are both accessed on the same lift ticket.

If you’re staying in Farellones lodging, a few of the accommodations provide shuttle transport to and from Valle Nevado for a fee.

If you want to get down from Valle Nevado to Farellones in the evening to access the Farellones nightlife, you might be able to organize a driver to do this (rates in the vicinity of US$100).