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Centro de Ski El Colorado © Otavio Piske / flickr
Centro de Ski El Colorado © Otavio Piske / flickr
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The Best Ski Spots in Chile

Picture of Mary Katherine Gwynn
Updated: 26 June 2017
Whether you want to spend the day on the bunny slopes or you prefer to dive right in, dropped off by helicopter, Chile has you covered. Spanning more than 3,999 mile (6,435 km) and consisting of various mountain ranges including the Andes, Chile offers diverse terrain to accommodate all interests. The only problem is deciding where to go first. To make that decision easier, we’ve created a guide for the best places, broken down by each type of skiing.

Alpine/downhill

The most popular type of skiing internationally, as well in Chile. In this sport, skiers ride down snow-covered mountains with fixed-heel bindings. Alpine skiing is also distinct in its use of mechanical ski lifts that take the skier to the top of the trail. As this is the most popular, there are numerous spots from just north of Santiago all the way the Lakes Region, at the mouth of Patagonia. Check out Chile’s best ski resorts.

Centro de Ski El Colorado
Centro de Ski El Colorado | © Otavio Piske / flickr

Cross country

A distinct form of skiing in which the skier generates movement to travel across snow-covered terrain – usually pretty flat, but could include dips and small hills. Cross country skiing is a great way to see stunning sights at a slightly slower pace. Here are some places to check out:

Nevados de Chillan Mountain Resort, Las Termas, Chillan, Chillán, Región del Bío Bío,Chile, +56 42 220 6100

Corralco Ski Center, Ruta 181, El Colorado, Curacautín, IX Región, Chile +56 2 2206 0741

Araucarias Ski Center, Cherquenco, Vilcún, Novena Región de La Araucanía, Villarrica, Chile, +56 45 227 4141

Ski Pucon, 5 Ote. 6, Viña del Mar, Pucón, Región de Valparaíso, Chile, +56 45 244 1901

Back country

Similar to cross country, however, back country skiing takes a step farther off the beaten path. Trails are predominantly unmarked and unpredictable. If you’re an explorer, adventurer, and want a unique ski experience, back country is for you. Here’s where to go:

Nevados de Chillan Mountain Resort, Las Termas, Chillan, Chillán, Región del Bío Bío, +56 42 220 6100

La Parva Ski Resort, G21, Lo Barnechea, Región Metropolitana,Chile, +56 2 2964 2100

Heli-skiing

A variation of back country, heli-skiing is done off-trail and is accessed by helicopter. Skiiers and snowboarders are deposited on a mountain landing zone and take off from there. Dangers include avalanches and tree wells, so both Heli and back country skiing should be reserved for the most experienced. Here are some places to have a Heli-good time:

Centro de Ski Portillo, Renato Sánchez 4270, Las Condes, Región Metropolitana, Chile, +56 2 2263 06 06

Nevados de Chillan Mountain Resort, Las Termas, Chillan, Chillán, Región del Bío Bío, +56 42 220 6100

Heli ski Chile
Heli ski Chile | © Alex Grechman / flickr

Freestyle

Of the types mentioned thus far, freestyle requires the most coordination. This sport involves flips, jumps, moguls, half-pipe, cross and creativity. Even if you don’t freestyle yourself, these spots are worth checking out – you’re sure to be entertained by the acrobatics of others.

Valle Nevado Ski Resort, Avenida Vitacura 5250 of. 304, Vitacura, Región Metropolitana, Chile, +56 2 2477 7705

Ski Arpa, San Esteban, Región de Valparaíso, Chile, +56 2 2244 2750

Ski Pucon, 5 Ote. 6, Viña del Mar, Pucón, Región de Valparaíso, Chile, +56 45 244 1901

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Snowboarding

Not a variation of skiing, rather it’s own sport, snowboarding is distinct in how the board is securely attached to the rider’s boots. Skiers in contrast, are able to easily clip out of their skis. Inspired by skateboarding, surfing and skiing, snowboarding is an evolution of some of the most agile sports. Where you can ski, you can snowboard, however be sure to check out Ski Arpa, – consisting of Valle el Arpa and Valle la Honda – where the snow is natural and the rugged terrain offers natural pipes, cliffs, drops.

Ski Arpa, San Esteban, Región de Valparaíso, Chile, +56 2 2244 2750