Thanks to its proximity to the Andes, Santiago is a gateway to some of the best winter activities in South America. With multiple major resorts located just a few hours away, a day trip to the slopes is easy. Here are some ideas for a winter sports trip from Santiago.
Two hours from Santiago, Portillo is Chile’s oldest ski resort, open since 1949, and is renowned for its scenic setting. Private tours provide transportation to the resort with hassle-free Santiago hotel pickup and drop-off. Chile’s most popular ski resorts are clustered together in an area known as the Three Valleys, which sits at an elevation of nearly 11,000 feet (3,350 meters) in some places. Guided group tours from Santiago can provide transportation to La Parva, Valle Nevado, and El Colorado in the Three Valleys; some include ski classes.
Valle Nevado, one of South America’s biggest and most modern ski areas, is particularly popular with snowboarders. You don’t need to be experienced to enjoy; after all, many tours from Santiago include group or private snowboarding lessons for beginners.
Santiago residents head for the spectacular gorge of Cajon del Maipo to hike, climb, raft, and ski. It’s also a popular spot for snowshoeing. Full-day guided tours from Santiago take you snowshoeing toward the base of a glacier and typically provide box lunches so that you can refuel before making the return trip.