If you are a ski enthusiast and searching for some thrilling skiing adventure in South America, this article is definitely worth your time. South America may not be the first continent that comes to mind when thinking about popular skiing destinations, but it does boast some magnificent snow-capped mountains.
Chile, Argentina, Peru, and Bolivia are home to some of the stunning mountain ranges in the world, soaring high above 18,000 feet with picture-perfect slopes, where skiers can experience an adrenaline rush like no other in the world. The idea of skiing on majestic peaks during the summers might sound odd to those who reside in North America or Europe. However, thanks to the unmatched geography and terrain features, there are several enjoyable ski resorts – both small and large- scattered throughout the continent.
“South America has a bunch of amazing ski resorts scattered across its Andean spine from Chile through Argentina, perfect for hitting during our summertime.” -Chris Davenport
This post intends to give you an insight into some of the breathtaking ski resorts in different parts of South America. Whether you’re looking for a serene alpine setting with excellent powder or dramatic backcountry runs, there’s something for everyone here. Keep reading to learn more about skiing opportunities available in South America.
Discover the Best Ski Resorts in South America
Explore the Andes Mountains
The Andes Mountains stretch through seven countries in South America, providing limitless opportunities for winter sports lovers. The majestic mountain range offers steep slopes, stunning vistas and world-class skiing experiences.
Ski resorts like Bariloche in Argentina, Portillo in Chile, and Valle Nevado in Chile offer modern facilities, comfortable accommodations, and a variety of ski runs suitable for all levels of experience. In addition to skiing, visitors can explore the natural beauty of the mountains by hiking, snowmobiling or enjoying a scenic ride on a chairlift.
Experience World-Class Skiing
Skiing is a popular sport in South America and as a result, many ski resorts have invested in providing world-class skiing experiences. Resorts like Las Leñas in Argentina are considered some of the best ski destinations in the Southern Hemisphere, while others like Cerro Castor in Ushuaia provide a unique experience with skiing under the midnight sun.
Most ski resorts in South America operate between June and September when the winter season reaches its peak. During this time, skiers from all over the world flock to the continent to enjoy the exceptional skiing conditions ranging from wide open trails, deep powder snow, and unforgettable alpine views.
Discover Unique Culture and Cuisine
South America has a rich culture that stems from its history, indigenous traditions, and long-standing passion for music, food, and art.
“Every new cuisine is like a precious gift.” – Ferran Adria
While exploring the Andes Mountains for skiing, travelers should also take advantage of experiencing the diverse and delicious local cuisine. Argentine beef, empanadas, ceviche, and Chilean sea bass are just a few examples of the many culinary delicacies that await visitors. Additionally, Buenos Aires’ vibrant cultural scene, Lima’s top-rated restaurants, and Santiago’s wine tours are just some of the attractions that make South America an extraordinary destination.
South America is an excellent location for skiing and more. Visitors have access to world-class ski resorts alongside breathtaking scenery, unique culture, and exceptional cuisine. So whether you seek adventure, relaxation or enchanting nature, South America has it all!
Experience the Thrill of Skiing in the Andes Mountains
The Andes Mountains span over 4,300 miles from Venezuela to Argentina. This legendary mountain range is known for its diverse landscape and make a perfect backdrop for skiing enthusiasts across the world who want to experience an adrenaline-packed adventure.
Ski on Glaciers
If you are looking for something unique that you can’t find at ski resorts in North America or Europe, then consider skiing on glaciers in South America. Valle Nevado in Chile offers the best glacier skiing experience with wide-open, smooth slopes where skiers can glide around huge crevasses and seracs while catching incredible panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.
“Glacier skiing in South America is all about taking full advantage of summer snowpacks. The weather’s better in South America during our summer months so it’s a real opportunity for people to enjoy some sunshine while skiing.” -Mattias Sjoblad, CEO of Summit Travel
Take in Spectacular Views
One of the greatest appeals of skiing in the Andes Mountains is undoubtedly its unparalleled beauty. Snow-capped peaks, crystal clear lakes and rivers, and stunning landscapes dominate the region, making every run a breathtaking experience. Even novice skiers will want to take time out from their falls to soak up the scenery.
“The most beautiful skiing I’ve ever had has been skiing in Portillo, Chile, or Las Lenas, Argentina. It was amazing: absolutely gorgeous mountains, steep terrain, big vertical, incredibly great experiences.” -Greg Harms, Author of “Skiing Around the World”
Enjoy the High Altitude
The altitude in the Andes Mountains may be a challenge but for some, it is equally rewarding as high altitudes can provide an extra rush of adrenaline. Your body and lungs will work harder than usual which improves both your overall fitness levels in addition to the experience. Many top athletes train at high altitude for precisely this reason.
“High-altitude training means blood cells have to work a lot harder to deliver oxygen around the body when there’s less air about – so more red blood cells are produced.” -Dr David Hemery CBE, Olympic gold medalist
Try Night Skiing
Night skiing has become increasingly popular across the world and South America isn’t left behind in this regard. Chile and Argentina offer a chance to ski into the moonlight during their peak season runs and make this another unique attraction to these resorts. The beautiful views under the starry sky and cool temperatures minus the crowds make night skiiers extremely thrilled by the experience
“Night skiing adds an entirely new dimension of excitement to the thrill of skiing – different challenges, new vistas, bright lights. It’s great fun!” -John J Coyle III, President & CEO of International Skiing History Association
Skiing in South American offers everything from glaciers to stunning sunsets on mountainsides while providing endless opportunities for all types of ski enthusiasts. So pack up your gear and travel south for a winter vacation that is sure to be remembered forever!
Explore the Beautiful Scenery of South America’s Ski Resorts
Ski through National Parks
If you are an adventurous person who loves to ski, you should know that there are many great options in South America. Some of the most scenic resorts are located in national parks. For example, Argentina’s Los Glaciares National Park is home to a world-renowned ski resort called Cerro Castillo.
The park covers 600,000 hectares and contains one of the largest ice sheets outside of Antarctica and Greenland. Visitors can explore various lakes, rivers, forests, glaciers, and mountains while skiing down slopes of powdery snow.
“Cerro Catedral is perhaps the best known of all of Argentina’s winter sports centers…With boundless off-piste areas as well as over 60km of pistes, it also offers the exceptional joys of backcountry riding.” -The Guardian
In Chile, Nevados de Chillán resort stands out thanks to its unique volcanic landscape overlooking two hot springs. Another notable option is Portillo, which is just two hours away from Santiago and famous not only for its skiing opportunities but also as a training ground for Olympic athletes.
Admire the Scenic Beauty
South American ski resorts are not just about fantastic runs – they come with stunning panoramas. One such place is Valle Nevado in Chile, which is situated in the Andes Mountains at an altitude of almost 3,000 meters. Here skiers can enjoy vast fields of virgin powder and views of countless peaks rising above the horizon.
When visitors travel to Bariloche in Argentinean Patagonia during July or August, they can experience some of the greatest scenery imaginable while skiing Cerro Catedral. This town may be small but has a distinctly European feel thanks to its architecture, cafes and restaurants.
“While not as big and buzzy as some of the ski resorts out west in North America and Europe, South America’s slopes offer unique scenery (think expanses of jaw-dropping peaks) and plenty of charm.” -Travel + Leisure
Another resort that offers breathtaking views is La Parva in Chile. At almost 10,000 feet, this resort overlooks Santiago from the middle of the Andean Cordillera Mountains.
- So are there ski resorts in South America? Absolutely!
- You can enjoy skiing while basking in stunning panoramic views – from bright-blue skies to towering mountain chains, lush forests, wide lakes, and majestic glaciers.
- Different resorts offer different landscapes and attractions, so whether you’re looking for challenging expert-level runs or want to take it easy on beginner pistes, there will be something to fit your needs.
- In addition, most resorts have other amenities such as spas, pools, gyms, golf courses, bars and restaurants just waiting for you to relax once your ski day is over.
- The climate is generally mild year-round, although depending on your elevation and chosen season, be prepared for everything from deep powder to slick slushy conditions! Don’t forget to pack sunscreen since UV rays get stronger at higher altitudes regardless of the time of year.
Find the Perfect Ski Resort for Your Next Winter Vacation
Winter is here, and it’s time to hit the slopes! Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner looking to improve your skiing skills, there are plenty of ski resorts to choose from. However, finding the perfect ski resort can be challenging, especially if you’re on a budget.
Consider Your Skiing Ability
If you’re an experienced skier, then you’ll want to look for a resort with challenging terrain that will test your skills. On the other hand, if you’re a beginner, you’ll want to find a resort with gentle slopes and easy terrain. It’s also crucial to consider the weather at the resort since harsh weather conditions can affect even the most skilled skiers. Before booking a trip, take the time to research the different ski resorts available to find one that suits your skiing ability and style.
“The mountains are calling, and I must go.” -John Muir
Look for Family-Friendly Resorts
If you’re planning a family ski vacation, then you’ll need to find a resort that caters to families with children. Look for resorts that offer kids’ programs and services such as childcare, entertainment, and ski lessons for children. Additionally, ensure that the resort has a variety of runs suitable for all levels of skiers, including beginners and young kids. According to Family Vacation Critic, some of the best family-friendly ski resorts include Keystone Resort in Colorado, Smugglers’ Notch Resort in Vermont, and Beaver Creek Resort in Colorado.
Check for Amenities and Activities
Skiing is undoubtedly the main attraction at a ski resort, but there’s more to a vacation than just skiing. Check if the ski resorts you’re considering offer other amenities such as spas, fitness centers, and restaurants. You’ll also want to look for additional activities offered by the resort, such as sledding, snowshoeing, or horse-drawn sleigh rides. For example, Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia offers attractions like zip-lining, ice skating, and bobsledding – making it a top winter destination for non-skiers too.
“To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake, it is necessary to stand out in the cold.” -Aristotle
Compare Accommodations and Prices
As with any vacation, finding affordable accommodations is crucial. Many ski resorts offer package deals that include lift tickets and lodging, so be sure to compare prices before booking your trip. Keep in mind that staying closer to the slopes may cost more than lodgings further away from the mountain.
You can also consider options like Airbnb or VRBO, which might offer better deals on housing compared to the resorts themselves. By weighing all accommodation and pricing options, you can ensure your ski trip won’t break the bank.
“Never let your memories be greater than your dreams” -Doug IvesterIn conclusion, when researching ski resorts for your next winter vacation, it’s important to take into consideration your skill level, amenities available, price point, location, and extra-curricular activities available. There are several beautiful ski resorts located around the world – even in southern hemisphere locations like South America. In fact, according to The Points Guy, some of the best South American ski resorts include Las Lenas, Valle Nevado, and Cerro Catedral. Remember to plan ahead, book early, pack smartly, and then enjoy the glides down smooth powdered slopes throughout your magical winter getaway!
Learn About the Different Types of Ski Runs in South America
Green Runs for Beginners
If you are new to skiing, then starting with a green run is your best bet. Green runs are designated for beginner skiers and snowboarders who have little to no experience on snow. These runs offer gentle slopes, low speeds, and wide-open spaces that allow learners to practice their turns and technique without having to worry about losing control.
Some ski resorts in South America that offer excellent green runs include Portillo in Chile and Las Leñas in Argentina. While Portillo has two beginner runs, Los Parva y La Princesa, with easy slopes perfect for learning, Las Leñas has a special area just for beginners, making it one of the best places for first-timers.
“Skiing combines outdoor fun with knocking down trees with your face.” -Dave Barry
Blue Runs for Intermediate Skiers
Once you feel comfortable with your newfound skills, then moving on to more challenging blue runs can be an adventure. Blue runs are meant for intermediate skiers who want to push their limits and hone their abilities. These runs typically have steeper inclines and more significant drops than green runs, making them suited for those who are confident about their balance and speed control.
Cerro Bayo in Argentina boasts 23% of its terrain as blue runs, ideal for beginner-intermediate skill levels, while Valle Nevado in Chile offers numerous trails and pistes dedicated to intermediates across three interconnected mountains.
“Skiing is the closest thing to flying.” -Margaret Young
Black and Double-Black Runs for Experts
If you’re an experienced skiier or snowboarder looking for a challenge, look no further than the black and double-black runs in South America. These runs are suited only for highly-skilled and confident skiers who possess excellent technique and control. Black and double-black runs can have steep inclines, tight turns, moguls, and bumps that take quick thinking and precise movements from expert skiers to navigate safely.
Most ski resorts in South America cater to advanced skiers with big mountain skiing terrains like La Parva and Portillo in Chile, Las Leñas in Argentina and Catedral Alta Patagonia in Bariloche. With challenging terrain across all abilities, Salinas Resort outside Santiago offers some of the most demanding black diamond runs on the continent with well-groomed corduroy snow to help keep you grounded while carving your way down the slope.
“The best powder is in my husband’s pant cuffs.” -Unknown
- If you’re looking for fantastic ski runs in South America, then there are plenty to choose from! Firstly, green runs provide an ideal starting point for beginners to feel comfortable and get acquainted with skiing or snowboarding. Second, blue runs offer intermediate skiers more exciting challenges but still present slopes that aren’t too daunting. Lastly, black and double-black runs are meant for experts and will test even the most seasoned skier’s ability and stamina.
- What type of ski run suits you? Which resort will you be checking out this winter season?
Get Ready for Your Next Adventure on the Slopes of South America
If you are a ski enthusiast looking for adventure, why not consider skiing in South America? With its crisp snow, breathtaking views, and relatively inexpensive resorts, skiing enthusiasts have been flocking to this continent for years. The Andes Mountains that run through Chile and Argentina offer some of the most remarkable slopes in the world.
Rent Equipment in Advance
The excitement of skiing down the slopes might make you forget crucial things like renting equipment. It would be best if you rented your gear before heading to the mountains. Ski rental shops in South America tend to get crowded during winter months, and many shops have limited inventory. Book your reservation in advance and ensure availability.
Moreover, some may find it convenient to ship their equipment ahead of time or even bring them along. Either way is possible but bear in mind that transporting oversized baggage can come at an additional cost, so plan accordingly.
Dress Appropriately for the High Altitude
South America’s mountain resorts sit in high-altitude locations ranging from 1,500 to over 5,000 meters above sea level, which brings us to another important point: dressing appropriately. Be prepared for temperatures as low as minus twenty degrees Celsius. Dressing warmly does not mean stuffing yourself with clothes. Instead, layer up smartly. Light layers of wool and synthetic fibres work well together. Avoid cotton because it absorbs sweat, making you feel cold. Top off your outfit with waterproof and windproof jackets and pants.
Apart from face masks, gloves, warm hats, and goggles, sunscreen also comes highly recommended. High altitude equals thinner air which provides less UV protection. Therefore, slathering some sunblock on exposed skin areas will help prevent nasty burns from mountain sunrays.
Take Ski Lessons to Improve Your Skills
The slopes in South America cater to all skill levels from beginners to seasoned experts. Even if you are confident about your skiing prowess, don’t dismiss the idea of getting a ski lesson or two. Learning with an instructor can improve your skiing posture, technique, and safety measures needed for high altitude snow sports.
Ski lessons ensure that you have confidence skiing on unfamiliar terrain and teach you how to read tricky snow conditions typical in South America. Furthermore, instructors know which trails to avoid during winter months when avalanches occur frequently. In short, taking ski lessons is advisable even for experienced skiers because it enhances their overall experience on the slopes.
“Skiing combines outdoor fun with knocking down trees with your face.” —Dave Barry
If you’re wondering whether there are ski resorts in South America, we hope this post answered your question. Not only are there ski resorts, but they offer some of the best experiences in the world. With preparation, the right gear, clothes, and skills, skiing in South America offers unforgettable skiing trips.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where are the ski resorts located in South America?
Ski resorts can be found in various locations throughout South America. Some popular destinations include Chile, Argentina, and Peru. In Chile, ski resorts are mainly located in the Andes Mountains, while Argentina has resorts in both the Andes and Patagonia regions. Peru has ski resorts in the Andes Mountains as well. Each country has its own unique terrain and scenery, providing a different skiing experience.
What are the popular skiing destinations in South America?
Some of the most popular skiing destinations in South America include Valle Nevado and Portillo in Chile, Cerro Catedral and Las Leñas in Argentina, and Ollantaytambo in Peru. These resorts offer a variety of slopes for skiers of all skill levels and are known for their breathtaking mountain views. Some resorts also offer additional activities, such as hot springs, snowmobiling, and dog sledding.
What is the best time of year to go skiing in South America?
The ski season in South America typically runs from June to October. The best time to go skiing depends on the specific resort and its location. In general, the peak season is from July to September, when there is typically more snowfall. However, the earlier and later parts of the season can also be good times to go, as there are fewer crowds and lower prices.
What amenities do the ski resorts in South America offer?
Ski resorts in South America offer a range of amenities, including ski rentals, ski schools, restaurants, and bars. Many resorts also have spas, fitness centers, and swimming pools for guests to enjoy. Some resorts even offer childcare services, so parents can hit the slopes while their children are being looked after. Additionally, some resorts offer activities such as zip-lining, mountain biking, and horseback riding.
What is the cost of skiing in South America compared to other regions?
The cost of skiing in South America varies depending on the resort and season. Generally, it is less expensive than skiing in Europe or North America. Ski passes, equipment rentals, and accommodations tend to be cheaper in South America. However, travel costs can add up, as flights from North America or Europe can be pricey. Overall, South America can be a more affordable option for skiers looking for a unique and adventurous experience.