Ski the Central andes of Chile -
Take your skiing to new heights this summer
Located just 29 miles from Santiago de Chile is the area dominated by the awe inspiring peak of El Plomo, conquering the valleys in which three of South America's best ski areas nestled shoulder to shoulder: La Parva, Valle Nevado and El Colorado/Farellones, making it the largest skiable domain in South America.
The resorts are interconnected, thus providing a unique skiing experience similar to those found in the French Alps. You'll have an endless array of options, whether you are looking for groomers, off-piste, backcountry or HeliSkiing.
With over 100km of trails and more than 40 lifts between them, they form the biggest playground for skiers and snowboarders south of the Ecuator.
Generally, the winter season in the Southern Hemisphere runs June-September, and sometimes into early October.
We suggest to go between the months of July and August, when optimum weather conditions allow for a full skiing experience.
Valle Nevado is a French-designed resort that straddles an isolated steep ridge high in the Andes. It is a self-contained resort. Therefore, on weekdays the slopes are practically empty given the resort’s size and distribution of skiers, who are pretty much just guests lodging in their hotels.
"Valle" is probably the biggest skiable area in South America, with 10,700 hectares / 21,400 acres of skiable terrain and 107 kilometers / 70 miles of ski runs, providing almost endless options.
Opened in 1988, Valle Nevado is located 3,025 meters over sea level (aprox. 9924 ft.) and it has 9,000 hectares / 18,000 acres of skiable terrain, distributed into 37 km. / 22 mi. of ski runs.
Opened in 1988, “Valle” -as the locals call it- it is one the most luxurious ski resorts in South America with a unique combination of its hotel and gastronomic infrastructure, providing 5 star accommodations and a delightful offer of bars and restaurants. It is the ski resort to go to when you want to have it all – loads of varied terrain, shops, a spa, outdoor pool, bars, 7 restaurants, hotels and condos, heliskiing, snowpark, and so on.
Several lodging otptions are offered: from the budget-concious Hotel Tres Puntas, thourgh the Hotel Puerta del Sol, which is more family-oriented, and their Hotel Valle Nevado, beign the latter the most luxurious accommodations
El Colorado is the less pretentious of the three resorts in the area of the “Three Valleys”. Nestling two interconnected villages, It is probably one of the oldest resorts in South America , as in the 1930's, when the sport started to sprout in Chile, it was in the Farellones village where the first wooden skis brought from Switzerland were tested.
The resort base is located at 2,430 meters over sea level, reaching a summit of 3,333 meters (10935 ft.) over sea level and 903-meter vertical drop (2962 feet), its 1,000 hectares / 2,000 acres receive abundant and short snowfalls, with an annual average of 5 meter of snowfall. The resort has 18 lifts and 22 runs, distributed in a 40-kilometer area.
Nevertheless, there are a lot of steeps here, and few know that El Colorado is a gem on a powder day – its east face, in fact, usually receives the largest dumps in the Three Valleys area- with the added feature of few people, making possible to ski fresh tracks in every single run. The steep chutes that face Valle Nevado are especially good, since the resort wraps around a cone-shaped mountain above treeline so you can pick a line anywhere you want – there are loads of backcountry alternatives here.
It is also probably the most affordable lodging options in the area, including a backpacker’s hostel, and the resort’s own apartments, which are very comfortable. Apartments, Apart-Hotels and Bed & Breakfasts are among the available lodging options. Interesting- although few- gastronomic options are available, Spanish and Chilean cuisine restaurants.
Just a few miles down the road from Valle Nevado, La Parva stands at 2,700 meters over sea level (aprox. 8858 ft.)
A single feature: the entire valley of Santiago may be watched from its base. Together with El Colorado and Valle Nevado, it is the largest skiable surface in South America. La Parva offers 38 kilometers distributed into 30 long and varied runs that may interconnect with Valle Nevado runs by means of a special ticket.
Similar to Valle Nevado, the resort has a self-conatined village that is composed mostly of modern apartments that descend a ridge in a layout that looks a lot like an avalanche of condos, which are mostly owned by local people, therefore giving it a more family-friendly and laidback atmosphere. Lodging is mostly comprised by condos and apartments and restaurants and bars options are not as varied as in other resorts. However, La Parva has two slopeside restaurants with big views, and three restaurants at the base, where you can taste one of the most delicious fondue in Chile, along with a varied selection of Chilean wines.
La Parva counts with 14 lifts, and vertical drops 969 mtr. / 3146 ft. Its privileged location provides sunny runs, good snow conditions and pleasant temperatures to practice ski, snowboarding and heli-skiing.
For those looking for challenging terrain, La Parva manages to offer endless options; there is enough steep terrain and lots of off-piste runs to keep you well entertained. Santa Teresa is probably one of its most famous “secrets”. Surrounded by rocks and forming a steep and thrilling chute, it provides one of the best backcountry spots in the whole valley. “La Chiminea” –The Chimney, in Spanish-, provides some of the best and easiest-to-access backcountry terrain in the area.
But really even two days after a dump you can still find a untracked powder, that is the beauty of it! Also, on clear days, you can see La Parva from Santiago, and from La Parva sweeping views of Santiago and the surrounding Andes, although smog usually covers the city