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As spring and summer sun melts the snow in the Northern Hemisphere, savvy skiers pack up and travel south to the great ski centers in South America where the ski season begins in mid-June and runs to October. You’ll find the best conditions in July and August.
As far as landscapes go, Chile wins first prize with its wonderfully diverse collection of geographical features and cities including the awesome and never ending Andes and cosmopolitan Santiago. The opportunities for leisure and adventure activities in Chile are endless and the skiing here is no exception, with many top-class ski resorts ranging from the remote wilds of Tierra del Fuego to the easy-to-reach mega resorts situated near Santiago.
Valle Nevado ski resort is one of the most accessible in Chile and also happens to be the largest resort in the southern hemisphere. It belongs to Chile’s famed Three Valleys ski region and speaks quality with a definite French theme. This self-contained, purpose-built resort is one of Chile’s most recent and it boasts incredible skiing and snowboarding, lots of après-ski and unbeatable hotels and restaurants. The nearby resorts of La Parva and Farellones-El Colorado make up the trio and are equally brilliant.
Farther south of the Three Valleys is Chapa Verde, another quality resort that is famed for its stunning views, slopes suitable for every ability and awesome off-piste terrain. Chapa Verde also has a decent, long slope and an array of ski lift systems to go with the excellent ski school and extensive ski rental accessories found here.
Termas de Chillán ski resort resides on a volcano south of Santiago and is Chile’s largest single resort, with a massive amount of terrain and a big vertical to boot. Termas also boasts Chile’s longest slope and a quality snowboard park, while there are also hot springs in the area. Chile boasts another dozen quality resorts spread across the country which offer equally good sliding.
Santiago-Benitez International Airport is the hub for air travel into Chile, receiving many flights with a host of carriers from around the world. Chile also has international airports at Punta Arenas, Puerto Montt, Iquique and Antofagasta, and there are many smaller regional airports for domestic travel. The roads are adequate in Chile and the first-class buses are efficient yet long distances between destinations make driving unappealing.
If you’re travelling here, we recommend that you take a good guidebook. We like the layout and content of the Lonely Planet book. It provides an excellent mix of travel information and practical advice. Click below to purchase. You won’t regret buying it!