Winter sports in Chile
Chile is one of those countries that seems to have something for everyone no matter what time of year that you want to visit. As their winter is our summer, it is a great place to head to if you want to indulge in some winter sports when most people are relaxing on the beach. The Andes are filled with great slopes for skiing but there are also plenty of other winter sport options.
Visit anytime from June to October to take advantage of the great skiing facilities although some places offer skiing all year round due to the climate. They are very easy to reach as most are within an hour’s travel of the capital city Santiago. If you are new to skiing there are some great slopes at Termas de Chillan as well as Volcan Lonquimay. Those who have some skiing experience could head for resorts such as El Colorado or Valle Nevado. If you have plenty of skiing experience and are looking for something to really set the adrenaline pumping, then Portillo or the Parque Nacional Villarrica are a must. The latter is actually a smoking volcano so it is a skiing experience with a difference.
The resort of Antillanca can be found close to a volcano too within the Puyehue National Park. The volcano is the Casablanca volcano and this resort is just 98 km from the city of Osomo. It offers a variety of runs so this is a great resort for groups of friends with varying levels of skiing expertise. As a resort there is accommodation available on-site with a luxury hotel that boasts plenty of other leisure facilities such as a pool, fully equipped gym and a restaurant.
The aforementioned resort of Portillo is perfect for those who want to try their hand at both skiing and snowboarding as facilities are available for both. This resort is located in the Valparaiso region of Chile and has a great reputation for the quality of the facilities that it provides. It sits at an altitude of 2500 meter sand the views from the hotel there are spectacular. There is a renowned school here which offers tuition in both skiing and snowboarding and any equipment that you need can be rented. Those traveling in groups can also rent private lodges here. The facilities make this resort a little more expensive than some of the others but they are worth paying for.
Slopes that are less demanding can be found at Chapa Verde, a resort which sits at an altitude of 3000 meter sand close to Rancagua. It has 22 different runs and it is ideal for those who want a more sedate pace of skiing. With restaurants and cabins for accommodation, visitors can spend as much time as they need here to make the most of the facilities.
The resort of Termas de Chillan is close to the city of Chillan and boasts some of the best ski resort hotels in the country. The ski runs total 28 and it sits just 1650 meters high. The adventurous skier might want to try the longest run that Chile has to offer, the Las Tres Marias which covers a total of 13 km. When not skiing, the resort has spa facilities and these are open all year round.
For a wide range of skiing styles, the resort of Valle Nevado is a must. This is one of the closest resorts to Santiago and has some of the most modern facilities in the country. It sits more than 3000 meters above sea level and has a large area for both skiing and snowboarding. The runs have recently been expanded and those with a little experience can try acrobatic skiing, ski jumping and freestyle skiing.
For one of the widest choices of ski runs the resort of El Colorado will not disappoint. With 70 different runs skiers of all abilities will find something to suit their needs. The resort has everything that is needed including a variety of accommodation types, rental services for ski equipment and schools for those who want to brush up on their skills.
Santiago international airport welcomes flights from all the major cities in the world and public transport links to the resorts are excellent. Costs at most of the resorts are low when compared to European resorts but the skiing facilities are just as good. Heading for Chile for winter sports makes economic sense and will broaden your horizons at the same time.