South America may pride itself in its dedication to sports such as futbol, but the region is also home to some of the world’s best skiing and snowboarding sites. American travelers looking for the perfect powder just need to head south, where it’s easy to enjoy the sun and the snow.
Considered one of Chile’s most picturesque ski resorts, La Parva and its trails are ideal for all ski levels. From the first-time slopester to the well-weathered veteran, 14 lifts and 30 runs mean there’s options for everyone at this venue about 25 miles outside Santiago.
This popular destination boasts 11 lifts and more than 100 runs—making it one of Chile’s biggest ski resorts. Travelers can carve down the slopes amid incredible mountain scenery at this destination that sees more than 300 inches of snow each year.
Stationed some 22 miles outside of Santiago, well-groomed mountainsides cater to skiers and boarders of every level. With its unique terrain park, 19 lifts and more than 100 runs, El Colorado is the perfect place for winter sports lovers. The site offers up eight jumps and 40 boxes and rails for snowboarders to perfect their freestyle skills.
Located two hours from Santiago, it is Chile’s oldest–and perhaps most famous–ski resort, having opened in 1949. It is renowned for its beauty, as well as its world-class facilities. People go to Portillo year-round to see famous Inca Lake, and the western hemisphere’s highest mountain, Aconcagua, sits nearby.
Las Leñas and Los Penitentes
Both of these Argentinian ski resorts are accessible from the adventure activity hub of Mendoza. While both resorts do cater for beginner and intermediate skiers, Las Leñas in particular is renowned for its extreme ski runs, with its double-black diamond chutes frequented by thrill seeking skiers and snowboarders, cat skiing and heli-skiing tours available and elevation reaching up to 3,340 meters.
Argentina’s southernmost city, Ushuaia, is best known for glacial hiking and Patagonia to Antarctic cruises, but if you fancy hitting the slopes when you’re down south, there’s Cerro Castor. Castor is the country’s newest ski resort, and thanks to its icy climate, boasts the longest ski season in South America. Head to the ski school for instruction and rentals for skiing, snowboarding and snow-blading.
Just a 20-minute drive from Bariloche, Cerro Catedral is the largest resort in the area, having once been two separate resorts. The spot now boasts almost 3,000 acres of skiable terrain.