Riding the Snowcat at Ski Arpa

Riding the Snowcat at Ski Arpa

Have you ever dreamt of carving through pristine snow, surrounded by majestic peaks, and indulging in some après-ski delights that’ll leave you grinning from ear to ear? Well, look no further than the ultimate ski destination—Chile! This captivating country in South America offers an unforgettable skiing experience that combines heart-pumping action, breathtaking landscapes, and a healthy dose of fun. Get ready to strap on your skis, embrace the powder, and discover why skiing in Chile is an adventure. I’ll share my personal details from my 2022 skip trip to Chile. Our trip was not without hiccups, but it was one of the best I ever planned. It also helped that they had the best snow year in over a decade :)

Heli ski group

Heli ski group

Valle Nevado: Heli Skiing

Quick Tips: The ski resort is OK (thanks, IKON), but the heli-skiing with Claudio is where it’s at.

Valle Nevado is Chile’s largest and most modern ski resort, located just 37 miles from Santiago’s international airport, offering access to 65 miles of ski runs and 24,000 acres of skiing. Valle Nevado offers Heli-Skiing for thrill-seekers, allowing skiers and riders to access untouched powder areas in the Andes Mountains. The experience begins with a 15-minute helicopter ride from the Tobalaba Aerodrome or the top of the Millennium building in Las Condes, landing at Valle Nevado’s helipad.

Heli Ski Views of the Andes

Heli Ski Views of the Andes

Skiers and riders can then ski the resort for the day or go Heli-Skiing. The process involves a safety briefing and equipment check before taking off, followed by a scenic flight over the Andes Mountains. The helicopter lands at a drop-off point, where skiers and riders can enjoy a thrilling descent down the untouched powder slopes. Safety measures include a guide and a radio system to stay in contact with the helicopter and the base. Valle Nevado’s Heli-Skiing is a must-do for thrill-seekers looking for an unforgettable experience in the Andes Mountains.

Heli Skiing Valle Nevado

Heli Skiing Valle Nevado

Line we skiied (heli skiing)

Line we skiied (heli skiing)

  • My personal take: The ski resort was nothing crazy, but the heli-skiing was the highlight of my trip.

Ski Portillo: A Literal Slingshot

Laguna de Inca at Ski Portillo

Laguna de Inca at Ski Portillo

Quick Tips: Either full-send the All-Inclusive or risk not making it to the resort.

Ski Portillo is a world-renowned ski resort in Chile’s majestic Andes mountains. Known for its spectacular scenery, superb hotel ambiance, and extraordinary terrain, Ski Portillo has been South America’s premier destination ski resort for over 50 years. With just one grand hotel, Ski Portillo feels almost like a private club, offering slopeside facilities, uncrowded slopes, and no lift lines. The resort has a capacity of 450 guests and is often ranked as Chile’s best ski resort.

the Lake of the Inca

the Lake of the Inca

One of the unique features of Ski Portillo is its RIDICULOUS Pomas, which are lifts that can accommodate 4-5 skiers or snowboarders at once. These lifts are the only ones in South America and offer a faster and more efficient way to access the mountain’s runs…if you can stay on :)

Trying to post at Ski Portillo

Trying to pose at Ski Portillo

Famous Runs at Ski Portillo

  1. Roca Jack is a challenging run that will test even the most experienced skiers. With its steep terrain and exciting twists and turns, it offers an adrenaline-pumping adventure.
  2. Garganta, meaning “throat” in Spanish, is a thrilling run that takes you through a narrow, steep mountain section. Prepare for an exhilarating ride as you navigate its tight corridors.
  3. Plateau is a picturesque run offering stunning panoramic views of the mountains and the beautiful Laguna del Inca lake. It’s a perfect spot to capture some breathtaking photos.
  4. Super C Couloir: The Super C Couloir is an off-piste adventure that attracts advanced skiers seeking a challenge. This legendary run is known for its steepness and gnar.
The drive to Ski Portillo with alpacas

The drive to Ski Portillo with alpacas

Fun Facts about Portillo

  1. Slingshot Lifts: Portillo is famous for its unique slingshot lifts, also known as Va et Vient lifts I mentioned above. These lifts, designed by Poma, use pulleys to pull skiers uphill while they remain on their skis or snowboards. It’s an exhilarating experience to ride these lifts and access thrilling terrain. Some crazy French men thought they were a great idea.[Source].
  2. Alpine World Ski Championships: Portillo has a rich history and hosted the Alpine World Ski Championships in 1966. This prestigious event put Portillo on the map as a world-class ski destination[Source 1][Source 2].
  3. Awe-Inspiring Landscape: The resort’s location in a high, arid valley surrounded by rocky cliffs and the stunning Laguna del Inca lake creates a breathtaking setting for skiers[Source 1][Source 2].
  4. All-Inclusive Experience: Portillo offers an all-inclusive ski experience, where lodging, meals, and entertainment are included. It provides a convenient and hassle-free stay, allowing visitors to focus on enjoying the slopes and amenities[Source].
  5. Heli-Skiing and Wine Festivals: For those seeking even more adventure, Portillo offers heli-skiing from July to September, providing access to pristine powder turns in the stunning Andean mountains. Additionally, wine enthusiasts can enjoy Chilean Wine Weeks and the Wine Festival at Portillo, where they can sample wines from top vineyards[Source].

Jesse and I waiting to get to Portillo

Jesse and I waiting to get to Portillo

Ski Portillo Hotel

Ski Portillo Hotel

My personal take

  • I first want to say that I did not get lodging at Ski Portillo. We stayed 1.5 hours away and did not make it to Portillo for two days because of a huge trucker accident. We waited about 5 hours one day and finally got there around noon to ski. I ate shit on my first five-person poma ride but figured it out shortly after :) We tried to book a heli trip but were unsuccessful. Honestly, the highlight was the view.

I guess it’s also worth mentioning that everyone speaks English and is from America, so it’s not the most authentic Chilean experience.

El Colorado La Parva

El Colorado La Parva

El Colorado: Stashes for Days

Quick Tips: Best local vibes and stashes.

El Colorado ski resort in Chile is a must-visit destination for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts. Here are some unique features that make it one of the best ski resorts in the country:

  • El Colorado is the closest ski resort to Santiago, making it easily accessible for visitors.
  • It is connected to nearby resorts La Parva and Valle Nevado and linked with the small slope (more like an ant hill) at Farellones below, accessible on the same ticket.
  • El Colorado is an excellent choice for families with less experienced skiers and snowboarders, thanks to its reputation as a “locals’ mountain” and relatively low prices.
  • The resort offers plenty of easier terrain and other activities like tubing, a raucous après ski, and nightlife.
  • El Colorado accesses some of the best expert terrains in Chile, making it a great destination for advanced skiers and snowboarders.
Road kill at El Colorado

Road kill at El Colorado

My personal take

I flew all the way from Colorado to go to El Colorado. Honestly, this was one of my favorite ski resorts, and I liked it more than Valle Nevado (the resort, not the heli-skiing). Despite the lack of trees, it offered more challenging runs, and I met more locals here.

On the Snowcat

On the Snowcat

Ski Arpa: An Incomparable Experience

Quick Tips: Must have a 4×4 and adequate time to drive up the mountain pass.

Ski Arpa Sign at Sunset

Ski Arpa Sign at Sunset

Ski Arpa


Andes, Chile


Approximately 108 km from Santiago, accessible via a 2-hour drive, including a 13 km dirt road [1][2]


4,000 acres of freeriding terrain in Valle Honda and Valle Arpa; wide-open alpine terrain, steep chutes, suitable for advanced skiers and intermediates.


Average of 16 feet per season, providing great skiing and snowboarding conditions.

Snowcat Skiing Experience

Operates with two Pisten Bully Snowcats, accommodating 22 riders; offers 3,000-foot vertical descents, rustic and remote feel without lifts or on-mountain accommodation.


Breathtaking vistas of Cerro Aconcagua (highest peak in the Americas) and the Pacific Ocean.

Sunset Experience

Guests can enjoy the stunning Andes sunset while savoring cold cervezas (beers) and snacks after skiing.

Season and Availability

Cat-skiing available from mid-June to mid-October (subject to snow conditions)

Overlooking the valley at Ski Arpa

Overlooking the valley at Ski Arpa

My personal take

We did two days of cat skiing at Arpa. It’s funny how small the ski world is because we met a couple of guides there who also guided at Silverton (where I’ve lived). The first day was super sunny, and we saw the Aconcagua. Jesse and I were solo with a “group” led by a company called CASA. I’m personally stoked that we did not pay out the butt for a guided trip with a bunch of strangers not knowing their skill level, but I can see how that would be more awesome for certain folks or solo travelers. The skiing was rough and gnarly, and it definitely puts you in your place. I’d lie and say we skied a ton of fresh powder, but it was mostly chunder and wind-scorned terrain lol. The drive up there is gnarly, so make sure you have 4×4.

Hotel near Nevados de Chillan

Hotel near Nevados de Chillan

Nevados de Chillan

Quick Tip: Very far from Santiago, don’t go unless you have plenty of time on the trip.

Food at Chil'in Pizzeria

Food at Chil’in Pizzeria

Location and Amenities

  • Nevados de Chillan Ski Resort is 82 kilometers away from Chillán, surrounded by native forests [1]. The resort offers many amenities, including mountain-style hotels, spa services, hot spring pools, restaurants, a discotheque, a gym, a golf course, tennis courts, conference rooms, and bars. Visitors can relax in outdoor baths with natural volcanic waters ranging from 27°C to 65°C. The resort also features a full-service spa offering various treatments such as sauna, shiatsu, thermal waters, mud baths, cosmetology sessions, massages, and aromatherapy. The hotels provide comfortable accommodations with mountain-style rooms and delicious cuisine, including pastry specialties and a selection of meats accompanied by Chilean wine.

Skiing and Snowboarding

  • Nevados de Chillan is considered one of the best ski centers in Chile, offering 28 well-groomed runs totaling 35 kilometers [1]. The slopes cater to beginners, intermediates, and experts, providing suitable terrain for all skill levels. The resort has nine lifts, including triple and double chairs and surface tows. With an elevation of 1,600 meters above sea level, it boasts South America’s longest run of 13 kilometers. The ski area encompasses a variety of disciplines, including Nordic, alpine, randonnée, and snowboarding. Snowboarders can enjoy open slopes, tree-lined runs, and a specially designed Snowboard Park. The resort also offers activities like snowmobiling and dogsledding.

Off-Piste Terrain and Hot Springs

  • Nevados de Chillan is known for its diverse off-piste terrain shaped by past volcanic activity [Source]. The resort receives abundant snowfall, creating excellent conditions for freeriding and backcountry adventures. Moreover, the area is famous for its natural hot springs. Hot springs throughout the resort provide a unique opportunity to relax and unwind after a day on the slopes.

Accommodation Options

  • The resort offers a range of lodging options. Slopeside accommodations are available at resort hotels, providing convenient access to the slopes and thermal pools [Source]. More affordable options can also be found in the nearby town of Las Trancas. The on-site Gran Hotel Termas de Chillán and Hotel Pirigallo provide various amenities, including well-appointed rooms, restaurants, bars, game rooms, conference facilities, and a hot springs spa [Source]. Fully furnished slope-side condominium complexes with kitchen facilities are also available.

Ski Season and Access

  • The ski season at Nevados de Chillan typically runs from mid-June to mid-October [Source]. The resort is accessible from Santiago by train or plane. Travelers can reach the resort via a scenic journey from Santiago, passing through the beautiful Chilean countryside. The resort’s unique feature is being the only ski center in Chile with a nearby town, Las Trancas, where additional accommodation and services can be found.
Delicious Lamb in Termas de Chillan

Delicious Lamb in Termas de Chillan

My personal take: The fact it hadn’t snowed in 3+ weeks when we arrived very much influences my opinion. However we had a great time and definitely preferred this vibe to the resorts closer to Santiago.

La Parva

La Parva Ski and Snowboard Terrain

Ski Level



Dedicated areas near the ski school with easy slopes.


Many long, wide open runs, with approximately 75% of slopes rated as blue or red. Some groomed black runs for confident intermediates.


Several black runs and off-piste areas. The Valley of Fabres (Zona de Freeskiing) offers exciting terrain features.


Limited in-bounds terrain, but hike-to areas in the backcountry above the resort provide challenging lines with varying degrees of difficulty. Notable areas include La Chiminea, a tight rock-walled chute.

Lifts and Tickets



16 lifts, including 2 quad chair lifts, 3 other chair lifts, and surface lifts.

Lift ticket prices similar to other resorts near Santiago. Dual passes available for skiing at La Parva and El Colorado or La Parva and Valle Nevado, but may be costly.

Lift quality may not meet upscale standards. Lift queues can be long on weekends, but the resort is less crowded on weekdays outside peak Chilean school holidays.

Interconnected Resorts

Tres Valles Ski Resorts

La Parva, Valle Nevado, and El Colorado are interconnected resorts via lifts and slopes.

Access between the resorts is generally for strong intermediate riders and above and depends on various factors like visibility, wind, avalanche risk, and resort patrollers’ decisions. Road access may also have challenges.

Snow and Weather

Snow Conditions


Snow quality can vary across the 900-meter vertical range, including dry powder, wet powder, ice, and crust.

Fine weather days are common, providing opportunities for outdoor activities. However, the resort may close during big snowstorms or strong winds. Weather conditions affect visibility.

La Parva has different aspects, allowing skiers to find good snow.

Friends at Ski Arpa

Friends at Ski Arpa

FAQs About Skiing in Chile

You asked, I answered. Some of this is my knowledge, and some are with the help of Google.

Sunburned lips

Sunburned lips (PRO PRO TIP: Don’t forget to sunscreen your lips like I did)

Pro Tips:

  • BYO Ski Gear. Rentals suck.
  • Whatsapp. Download the app.
  • Get a SIM card at a shop.
  • Rent a 4×4 if you plan to drive yourself.
    • I rented here from a guy named Andres. It was by far not the cheapest, and we did full insurance, but do you really want to be stuck in the snow and in an emergency, possibly hindered by a language barrier? :)
  • Book a group/tour if you need planning support/help/want to be around others (we didn’t).
  • Don’t venture to the ski resorts south of Santiago without adequate time. That highway is insane.
  • Some people in Chile drive like they have nothing to live for, so be safe and keep your eyes peeled.
  • If you book a hotel, bring some containers to bring sandwich/lunch material. We saved so much by booking hotels with free breakfast. If you are rich, please ignore my peasant pro tip.
Small hike to heli ski

Small hike to heli ski

What are the best ski resorts in Chile?

The best ski resorts in Chile include Valle Nevado, Nevados de Chillan, El Colorado, Volcan Villarrica Ski Center, and Ski Portillo. Valle Nevado is the largest ski resort in Chile, offering terrain for all levels and closeby lodging, making it a great vacation spot.

Nevados de Chillan is a hot spring resort atop two active volcanos, offering slightly higher snowfall each season than the northern resorts. El Colorado is interconnected with La Parva and Farellones, offering a whopping 6177 acres of terrain to explore, ranging from intermediate groomed runs to steeper bowls and chutes for expert skiers. Volcan Villarrica Ski Center is located in the beautiful Lake District, offering stunning views of the surrounding nature and various terrain for all levels. Ski Portillo, located north of Santiago, is known for its legendary terrain and world-renowned hospitality, making it a must-visit for any skier.

Ski Arpa views

Ski Arpa views

What type of terrain is available for skiing in Chile?

Glad you asked. Most importantly, know there are no trees except at Nevados de Chillan. Even there, it’s scarce. So here’s what you can expect:

Groomed Runs

  • Chile’s ski resorts have well-maintained groomed runs suitable for beginners and intermediate skiers. These slopes provide a smooth surface and are ideal for practicing technique and building confidence [2].

Powder Terrain

  • Chile is known for its deep powder snow, and ski resorts offer terrain where skiers can enjoy off-piste and backcountry skiing experiences. Powder terrain is popular among advanced skiers and offers the thrill of carving through untouched snow.

Backcountry & Volcano Shredding

  • Chile’s mountainous landscapes provide ample opportunities for backcountry skiing. Skiers can venture beyond the resort boundaries to explore the untouched wilderness and enjoy the freedom of skiing in natural terrain.

Alpine and High-Altitude Terrain

  • Chile’s ski resorts often feature alpine terrain characterized by steep slopes, challenging descents, and breathtaking views. Some resorts reach high altitudes, offering the opportunity to ski above the tree line and enjoy panoramic vistas.

Varied Slopes

  • Chile’s ski resorts offer a variety of slopes with different levels of difficulty, ranging from gentle slopes for beginners to steep and challenging runs for advanced skiers. This variety ensures that skiers of all levels can find suitable terrain to enjoy.

Cross-Country/Nordic Skiing

Some resorts in Chile, such as Nevados de Chillan, provide cross-country skiing opportunities. These resorts offer groomed trails and allow skiers to explore the winter landscapes while enjoying a different skiing style.

Casa Tours Powder to the People

Casa Tours Powder to the People

How can I find the best backcountry guides for skiing in Chile?

I didn’t use a backcountry guide, but to find the best backcountry guides for skiing in Chile, you can follow these steps:



Online Research

Conduct an online search for backcountry skiing guides in Chile using search engines and relevant keywords such as “backcountry skiing guides Chile” or “ski touring guides Chile.” This will provide a list of companies and individuals offering backcountry guiding services.

Specialized Websites

Explore websites that specialize in connecting adventurers with certified guides, such as Explore-Share.com. This platform offers a wide selection of backcountry skiing trips in Chile, with numerous certified guides. Browse their offerings and select a guide based on their experience, ratings, and reviews.

Local Guides

Consider seeking out local ski guides and companies based in Chile. These guides often have extensive knowledge of the region’s terrain, conditions, and hidden gems. One example is Backchillan Guides, a local ski guiding company that offers backcountry ski touring, avalanche education, and freeride skiing experiences in the Andes mountains of Chile.

Recommendations and Reviews

Look for recommendations and reviews from other skiers who have experienced backcountry skiing in Chile. Online forums, ski communities, and travel websites can provide valuable insights and firsthand experiences from fellow skiers. Pay attention to the feedback regarding the guides’ expertise, professionalism, and safety practices.

Contact and Inquiries

Once you have identified potential backcountry guides, contact them directly through their websites or contact information. Inquire about their guiding services, availability, rates, and any specific requirements or preferences you may have. Engage in a conversation to assess their knowledge, communication skills, and suitability for your skiing goals.

Chilean Pesos

Chilean Pesos

What is the cost of ski lift tickets in Chile?

  1. Lift Ticket Prices: The adult lift ticket prices for the main ski resorts in Chile vary depending on the high and low seasons. Among the major ski destinations, El Colorado has the highest lift ticket prices, around $82 USD, while Portillo has the lowest prices [Source].
  2. Ski Packages and Vacation Packages: Ski resorts in Chile offer various packages, including lift tickets, accommodation, and sometimes additional activities or amenities. For example, Ski Portillo offers Ski Weeks, which are 7-day, all-inclusive ski vacation packages with different pricing options for lodging and occupancy [Source]. The cost of these packages can vary depending on the resort, the length of stay, and the level of amenities included.
  3. Affordability: Chile offers a range of ski resorts with varying price-performance ratios, providing good ski options at reasonable prices. Lagunillas is mentioned as one of the most affordable ski resorts in Chile [Source].

Cows on the drive to Ski Arpa

Cows on the drive to Ski Arpa

Jesse enjoying room service in Santiago

Jesse enjoying room service in Santiago

What type of accommodations are available for skiing in Chile?

Chile offers various accommodation options for skiing enthusiasts, including hotels, lodges, cabins, and hostels. Each type of accommodation has its unique features and benefits. Hotels and lodges are ideal for those looking for a more luxurious experience, with amenities like swimming pools, hot tubs, yoga classes, and child care. Slopeside accommodations are available at Valle Nevado and Portillo, making it convenient for families and seasoned skiers. Cabins and hostels are perfect for budget-conscious travelers, offering affordable rates and a more rustic experience.

Rinconada & Santiago Hotels

We stayed in the countryside north of Santiago to be closer to Portillo and stayed in a nice hotel in Santiago to ski the mountains nearby (Colorado, Valle). We booked a lodge for Chillan. All offered free breakfast (bread, jam, meat, cheese). This was the AFFORDABLE route, but you can book all-inclusive resorts or stay slopeside.

Waiting on Jesse at ski Arpa

Waiting on Jesse at ski Arpa

What is the average snowfall in Chile’s ski resorts?

Gonna be honest here. Average snowfalls/seasons don’t really matter or apply anymore. Even in the northern hemisphere, if you’ve skied the last few years, you saw terrible snow conditions in 2021/2022, followed by RIDIC in 2022/2023. Just be prepared for anything. Through my research, I determined that Nevados de Chillan received the most pow, yet it hadn’t snowed in three weeks when we got there and was pretty much an ice chunk.

What is the best time of year to ski in Chile?

Mid-August/September, hands down.

Volcano Skiing in Chile

Volcano Skiing in Chile

Table of All 19 Ski Resorts in Chile:

You may have to scroll sideways on your phone to see all the details

Ski Resort



Runs (km)


Additional Features

Price (CLP)

Price (approx. €)

Valle Nevado

Santiago Metropolitan Region

2860m – 3670m




CLP 63000,-

€ 72,-

El Colorado/Farellones

Santiago Metropolitan Region

2350m – 3460m



CLP 59000,-

€ 68,-

Nevados de Chillán

1530m – 2400m




CLP 60000,-

€ 69,-

La Parva

Santiago Metropolitan Region

2653m – 3574m




CLP 57000,-

€ 65,-

Pillán – Villarrica


1380m – 2100m





1550m – 2400m



CLP 50000,-

€ 57,-


Los Lagos

1040m – 1540m



CLP 40000,-

€ 46,-

Chapa Verde

O’Higgins Region

2260m – 3050m



CLP 39000,-

€ 45,-



2580m – 3310m




CLP 55000,-

€ 63,-


Los Lagos

1230m – 1760m



CLP 30000,-

€ 34,-

Cerro Mirador – Punta Arenas


380m – 570m



CLP 28000,-

€ 32,-

Las Araucarias/Llaima – Vilcún


1550m – 1942m



CLP 37000,-

€ 42,-


Santiago Metropolitan Region

2200m – 2550m



CLP 25000,-

€ 29,-


Bío Bío

1400m – 1850m



CLP 29000,-

€ 33,-

El Fraile

Chile Cat Skiing

Summed up shortly, cat skiing in Chile is done at Ski Arpa, or you cam cat ski the volcano at Nevados de Chillan. It was literally smoking while we were there, so we weren’t allowed for safety reasons.

Chile Heli Skiing

Valle Nevado is the money. If you can swing it at Portillo, I’d be totally jealous of you since they couldn’t be reached when we went.

Backcountry Volcano Skiing in Pucon, Chile

Pucon, located in southern Chile, is renowned as the “adventure capital of Chile” and offers an incredible opportunity for backcountry volcano skiing. The majestic Villarrica Volcano dominates the area, which provides breathtaking natural terrain for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts. The region is known for its short hikes, backcountry touring, and thrilling descents on steep pitches, cornices, and rock drops.

To embark on a volcano skiing adventure in Pucon, one can visit the Pillan Ski Resort, nestled on the slopes of the active Villarrica Volcano. The ski season in Pucon typically runs from early June to late October, allowing ample time to enjoy Lake Villarrica’s slopes and stunning vistas. The resort offers lift-accessed off-piste runs and various touring options, catering to skiers of different skill levels.

How to Get to Pucon and Villarrica Ski Resort

Getting to Pucon and the Pillan Ski Resort is relatively straightforward. The closest airport is La Araucanía International Airport (ZCO) in Temuco, just one hour from Santiago, Chile’s capital. From the airport, it takes approximately 1.5 hours to drive to Pucon. Visitors can take buses or hire taxis for the roughly 100 km (60 miles).

For more information on Pucon’s skiing and snowboarding scene, including travel tips, terrain details, and guided trips, PowderQuest provides a comprehensive guide to Ski Pucon and the Villarrica Ski Resort. Their guide covers the region’s stunning landscapes, weather conditions, ski resort statistics, and recommended ski trips.

Volcano Skiing in Chile

Volcano Skiing in Chile

Guided Volcano Skiing Tours in Pucon

If you’re seeking a guided tour experience, PowderQuest offers a Chile Volcano Ski Mountaineering Tour that takes you on an incredible adventure through the Andes. This tour explores the pristine backcountry terrains of Volcano Lonquimay, Volcano Villarrica, and Volcano Lanin, providing an exceptional ski mountaineering experience. The tour includes professionally guided adventures, opportunities to soak in volcanic mineral hot springs, and immersion in the local culture of Pucon, Chile’s adventure capital.

Should I ski in Argentina or Chile?


Skiing in Argentina

Skiing in Chile

Snow Coverage

Argentina offers consistent snow coverage throughout the season, especially in regions like Bariloche and Las Leñas.

Chile has reliable snow coverage, particularly in resorts like Valle Nevado and Portillo.

Scenic Beauty

Argentina’s ski resorts boast stunning landscapes with picturesque mountain views and charming alpine villages.

Chile’s ski resorts are in the breathtaking Andes Mountains, providing spectacular panoramic views.

Variety of Terrain

Argentina offers diverse terrain suitable for skiers and snowboarders of all levels, from gentle slopes to challenging off-piste areas.

Chile provides a range of terrain options, including groomed trails, steep slopes, and backcountry skiing opportunities.

Cultural Experience

Skiing in Argentina allows for an immersive cultural experience, as you can explore charming towns, indulge in delicious Argentine cuisine, and immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture.

Chile offers a rich cultural experience, with opportunities to explore vibrant cities like Santiago and experience the country’s unique blend of European and indigenous influences.

Currency Value

The Argentine peso has experienced a significant decline, making skiing in Argentina more affordable for international visitors.

The Chilean peso has remained relatively stable, resulting in higher prices for travelers visiting Chile.


Some popular ski resorts in Argentina, such as Cerro Catedral, may experience larger crowds during peak season.

Chile’s ski resorts, especially those near Santiago, can be crowded during peak times, particularly in August.

Travel Logistics

Traveling to ski resorts in Argentina may involve longer travel times and multiple transfers.

Ski resorts in Chile, particularly those near Santiago, are more easily accessible and require shorter travel times.

Off-Slope Activities

Argentina offers a wide range of off-slope activities, including vibrant nightlife, shopping, and cultural attractions.

Chile provides opportunities for exploring Santiago’s cosmopolitan city life, visiting wineries, and enjoying hot springs.


  1. Skiing in Argentina and Chile: Hitting the Slopes in Our Summer
  2. When to Ski in Chile and Argentina | A Ski.com Guide
  3. Best Skiing in South America: 2023’s Ultimate Andes Ski Guide – PowderQuest


What else should I see in Chile?

If you’re planning a ski trip in Chile and looking for unique attractions and landmarks to visit, here are some recommendations:

  1. Torres del Paine National Park: Located in southern Chile, Torres del Paine is a breathtaking national park renowned for its towering granite peaks, pristine lakes, and stunning glaciers. It offers a range of outdoor activities like hiking, wildlife spotting, and boat tours.
  2. Atacama Desert: Considered one of the driest places on Earth, the Atacama Desert is a unique destination with otherworldly landscapes. You can explore geysers, salt flats, and colorful lagoons and enjoy stargazing in one of the best spots for astronomy.
  3. Chiloe Island: Located off the coast of central Chile, Chiloe Island is known for its distinctive culture and architecture. Visit the colorful UNESCO World Heritage-listed wooden churches, explore charming fishing villages, and enjoy local cuisine, including traditional curanto.
  4. Valparaiso: This colorful coastal city is famous for its vibrant street art, steep hillsides, and funiculars. Walk through the winding streets, visit art galleries, and enjoy panoramic views from Cerro Concepcion and Cerro Alegre.
  5. Marble Caves: Located on General Carrera Lake in Patagonia, the Marble Caves are a natural wonder formed by water erosion. These stunning marble formations showcase a range of colors and patterns and can be explored by boat.
  6. Rapa Nui (Easter Island): While not on the mainland, Rapa Nui is a unique destination if you have extra time. Explore the mysterious Moai statues, enjoy beautiful beaches, and immerse yourself in the fascinating Polynesian culture.

Constant car accidents in Chile

Constant car accidents in Chile (you won’t have to worry about driving if you book a tour)

Should I look at Chile ski tours & snowboard safaris?

I feel like it’s irresponsible of me not to recommend that. Many of these guides are seasoned pow vets that can show you the best time. So why did I not book one? Because I could make my own 2-week trip with flights, a 4×4 Subaru, heli-skiing, cat skiing, restaurants and meals, massages, gas, and more, for just under 7k. Most tours cost 5k for five days or fewer, not including flights, tips, or anything else. I didn’t want to afford it, and I usually travel frugally. Jesse and I carved out our own itinerary and adventure and made friends along the way.

Gorgeous Andes Mountains near Portillo

Gorgeous Andes Mountains near Portillo

Good luck planning your ski trip to Chile!

That’s all I have to share – if you have questions about my ski trip in Chile, feel free to reach out :)