Are you looking for the best ski resorts in Chile? We’ve got you covered.
Chile is well known for its intoxicating Latin culture, fantastic weather, and great nightlife — but did you know it’s also an outstanding ski destination?
Perched aloft the breathtaking Andes mountain range are a number of ski resorts with staggering scenery, sensational après ski, and prime powder.
Want to discover the best skiing the country has to offer? Here’s our guide to the best resorts in Chile…
- 1 Ski Portillo
- 2 El Colorado
- 3 La Parva
- 4 Nevados de Chillan
- 5 Valle Nevado
- 6 Ski Pucon
Famed for its stupendously steep slopes, the world renowned and exclusive Portillo Ski resort boasts spectacular views across majestic mountaintops and crystal lakes.
At a height of 10984 feet, it’s no surprise that Ski Portillo benefits from huge quantities of dry, fluffy powder — around 25 feet average snowfall each season. That said, Portillo snow can be unpredictable, and occasionally quality can be a little lacking.
There are 35 runs over the 1235 acres of skiable terrain at the resort, with something to please every level of experience, and a 2743 foot vertical.
15% of runs are greens and offer a good starting point for beginners, with some easy blue runs nearby for gentle progression. 60% of runs are evenly divided between blues and reds, offering up a wealth of fantastic terrain for intermediate and advanced skiers, from top notch groomers and steep timed trails, to mogul runs, wide bowls, and lake runs — as well as the infamous Kilometro Lanzado run where the 200 kilometre per hour speed barrier was first broken in 1978.
Take a look at this awesome video footage of a day skiing in Portillo:
Expert skiers come here for the thrills of the crazy chutes and steeps, as well as plenty of extreme, but sometimes difficult to access backcountry.
Apart from the amazing trails, one of the best things about Ski Portillo is the lack of crowds which means there are rarely queues for lifts and hardly any crowds.
There’s no ski resort village at Portillo. Instead, après ski action takes place in the handful of hotels and restaurants — notably Hotel Portillo with its striking yellow facade. Despite being a fairly compact location, the nightlife is lively and friendly, and there are a number of restaurants dishing up delicious cuisine. There is also a spa and wellness center, outdoor pool and Jacuzzi, cinema, and a smattering of shops, as well as a first rate ski school.
Where to Stay: Casona El Resguardo
A colonial mansion set amid amazing natural scenery of mountains and forest, Casona El Resguardo is a tranquil haven a mere half hour drive away from Ski Portillo.
This historic bed and breakfast hotel has just 5 cozy and characterful guest rooms with private bathrooms and complimentary Wi-Fi, and each morning a tasty continental breakfast is served in the dining room with plenty of choice for vegetarians.
Casona El Resguardo benefits from a pretty garden, picturesque outdoor swimming pool, and sun terrace.
- Historical building in a wonderful, peaceful location
- Excellent breakfast
- Swimming pool
- Games room
- Communal lounge area with TV
This affordable and family friendly ski resort overlooking the Santiago valley has a 2963 foot vertical and covers 2471 acres of mostly mellow terrain ideal for beginner and intermediate skiers, as well as snowboarders who love the well equipped terrain park.
El Colorado receives an average of 16 feet of seasonal snowfall, although snow quality is variable and the ski areas are fairly exposed to windy conditions.
There are 22 runs in total, with lots of green and blue trails — particularly on the lower slopes of the mountain — which appeal to families.
There are wide, groomed red runs, chutes, and steeps to appeal to intermediate to advanced skiers, but not many challenging trails for experts.
There is however some excellent backcountry skiing to be had, although much of this can be dangerous and a guide is recommended for certain areas.
There are a total of 18 lifts, but most of these are slow, so be prepared to be patient at peak times.
The ski resort village has a small but decent selection of restaurants and cafés including gourmet burger joints, fondues, seafood, and more. Après and nightlife tend to be fairly tame, with the bars at the nearby Fallerones area being the most lively, with a late night pub and disco.
Where To Stay: Departamento Monteblanco
A great option for families or groups of up to 6 people, Departamento Monteblanco is a comfortable, self contained, 45 square meter ski in / ski out apartment with a double bed plus 4 bunk beds, gorgeous mountain views, an elegant fully equipped kitchen with dining area, large flat screen television, and a modern shower room.
The apartment is in a block and guests can benefit from the communal facilities which include an indoor swimming pool, large lounge with open fireplace, games room, terrace, and on site grocery store. Complimentary Wi-Fi is provided throughout the property.
- Ski in / ski out location right on the slopes
- Self catering accommodation
- Swimming pool
- Games room
La Parva is an intimate and exclusive ski resort at 9000 foot high Chilean Andes, and makes up one of the three resorts in the Tres Valles ski area.
It’s a long standing favorite among the local Chilean elite who’ve got plenty of cash to flash, and tends to attract only small numbers of foreign tourists. La Parva boasts an impressive 3150 foot vertical, 118 inches average annual snowfall, and 520 hectares of somewhat exposed terrain which often brings fantastic ski conditions, but which can also be changeable.
There are 16 lifts which serve the 30 runs at the resort, although the lift system is somewhat slow. This doesn’t present much of a problem during the week when the slopes are peaceful and uncrowded, but weekends bring marge numbers of day trippers from nearby Santiago, and queues can be long.
Trails are varied, with a good mix of terrain for all levels of ability. Intermediate to advanced skiers will get the most out of the 45% blues and 30% reds which include long, wide groomers, cornices, and powder bowls, and the resort’s backcountry is perfect for advanced to expert skiers who don’t mind a hike, with steep couloirs and white knuckle chutes, including La Chiminea, a tight rock walled chute which is something of a rite of passage for those looking for a challenge.
The sun soaked ski in / ski out village is the place to see and be seen, with well heeled Chileans kicking back drinking cocktails on sunny private terraces.
There are only a small number of drinking and dining options, but they are of top quality. Chow down on local cuisine or dine on refined French fare while sipping on a Pisco Sour.
Where to Stay: El Refugio
This exceptional bed and breakfast in charming Farellones offers unique, cozy rooms decorated with warm wood and neutral color schemes, as well as jaw dropping mountain views.
Chill on the terrace and enjoy the scenery, or relax in the comfortable communal areas which include a spacious lounge and well equipped kitchen.
Enjoy a hearty American style breakfast to start your day on the slopes the right way. El Refugio also offers guests free parking and complimentary Wi-Fi.
- Beautiful accommodation
- Located not far from La Parva ski resort
- Delicious breakfast
- Pet friendly
Nevados de Chillan
In an exceptional location poised on the sides of three active volcanoes and surrounded by forests, Nevados de Chillan ski resort not only boasts some extraordinary skiing, but also natural outdoor volcanic hot springs whose soothing waters can be enjoyed all year round — perfect for aching muscles after an awesome day on the slopes.
The 1223 acres of terrain has a 2300 foot vertical with some of the best and most copious powder to be found in Chile — around 400 inches per snow season.
There are 32 runs of which 20% are beginner, 30% advanced, 30% intermediate, and 20% expert.
Beginners have the advantage of dedicated safe, sheltered areas in which to learn. Intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders get the best of the on piste terrain, with wide groomers, and the thigh burning 13 km long Tres Marias, but it’s the off piste terrain which really takes the breath away at Nevados de Chillan.
The volcanic landscape has created a natural playground of moguls, ridges, cornices, bowls and gullies, and a whole world of incredible backcountry with tree skiing to explore.
Nevados de Chillan is also a blissfully uncrowded resort, which leaves plenty of fresh powder for everyone. There is no real resort village at the resort, but après can be enjoyed at a handful of fun bars on the mountain, but if you’re looking for late night spots you’re out of luck as things tend to wind down early.
There are a small selection of restaurants in the 3 resort hotels including fine dining at the Shangri-La Restaurant at the Gran Hotel, buffet style fare at the Hotel Alto Nevados, and family dining at the Club House.
Where to Stay: Departamento Termas de Chillan
This comfortable modern apartment has enough accommodation for 6 people, an open plan living area with fully equipped kitchen including microwave and washing machine, dining area leading out to a private terrace, and lounge area with large flat screen satellite television.
It’s an ideal self catering apartment for families as sleeping areas are arranged with 1 double bed and 4 bunk beds.
There is Wi-Fi throughout the property, and guests can make full use of the communal lounge and garden areas, Jacuzzi, and a heated outdoor pool within season.
Best of all, the apartment offers ski in / ski out access to Nevados de Chillan ski resort.
- Great location close to slopes
- Self catering accommodation
- Use of communal areas
The most international of Chile’s ski resorts, Valle Nevado has 900 hectares of skiable terrain, 324 inches of annual seasonal snowfall, and a 2657 foot vertical drop.
It’s situated not far from Santiago in the beautiful Tres Valles area of the Andes, and while Valle Nevado is perched 12040 feet high above sea level, it is encircled by even higher majestic peaks.
The terrain is vast and mostly without trees, plus the ski lift infrastructure is excellent in comparison to other Chilean ski resorts, and includes a gondola and a high speed quad
. Intermediate skiers will get the most out of the mountain, with 36% of the 44 total runs being marked blues including plenty of long, groomed cruisers, and the majority of red runs also being suitable for those of intermediate level.
Beginners get to play on the 10% green runs, with plenty of safe space for kids and novices.
Experts may find the 21% of runs designated black a little tame, but there’s some fantastic off piste and backcountry to provide plenty of more challenging terrain including chutes, steeps and bowls – although a guide is required for certain areas.
Après is pretty kicking at Valle Nevado. The heated outdoor pool with bar and DJs spinning tunes is at the heart of the action, and carrying on into the night at the Pub Tres Puntas. There are also a good choice of classy bars and restaurants if you fancy something a little more sedate.
Bear in mind that Valle Nevado is probably the most expensive ski resort in Chile, so be prepared to spend a few bucks if you want to make the most of the off slope entertainment.
Where to Stay: Hotel HF
In pretty Farellones just 16 kilometers from Valle Nevado, Hotel HF features spacious and well appointed accommodations with terraces and mountain views.
Each tastefully furnished room has a private en suite bathroom and flat screen television.
The hotel restaurant provides a buffet style breakfast, and in the evening serves a range of international dishes. The communal lounge bar offers a convivial spot for après drinks.
- Great location close to slopes
- Outdoor swimming pool (summer only)
- Recently renovated
- Nice views
This bijou ski resort occupies a picturesque position on the slopes of the active Villarrica Volcano amid the dramatic lake and mountain scenery of Villarrica National Park.
As far as stats go, the resort has a 3150 foot vertical, and receives plentiful snow each season — over 400 inches — although powder quality can be unreliable, and the resort is also prone to sweeping fog and strong winds, which along with the occasional risk of volcanic eruption sometimes results in closures.
Making the somewhat arduous hike to the top of the impressive bubbling volcano for the deliciously long, hair raising descent is a top draw for experienced skiers and snowboarders, but it’s not for the faint hearted.
The rest of the resort has just 17 runs, fairly evenly divided between beginner, intermediate, and advanced / expert. There are some decent gentle slopes for novices which are protected from harsh weather conditions by the treeline. For intermediate, advanced, and expert skiers there is some supreme terrain to discover, with chutes, cornices, jumps and more naturally sculpted by the presiding volcano, however access to all of this terrain is not always possible, as different parts of the mountain are often closed.
Après and other entertainment can be found in the charming nearby town of Pucón — a lively little tourist town with a lakeside location where you can find a wide variety of fantastic restaurants, cafés, bars, and shops.
Where to Stay: La Codorniz B&B
For a little slice of paradise just a stones throw away from Villarrica national park and the Pucon ski resort, base your stay at La Codorniz B&B.
Set in beautiful organic gardens with views of Villarrica volcano, accommodation is available in either bright and airy double or twin rooms with garden views, en suite bathroom, warm, wood floors, and lounge area, or in the fully independent, cozy garden cottage.
The friendly owners provide guests with a scrumptious breakfast each morning, and the option of home cooked meals using produce from the La Codorniz farm and gardens.
Guests are invited to relax in the snug communal lounge area or in the games room.
- Beautiful location
- Outstanding breakfast
- Pleasant communal areas
- Volcano views
Which do you think are the best ski resorts in Chile?