Skiing in Chile: Everything You Need to Know

July 17, 2010
Skiing in Chile

Due to ski racing, I have been lucky enough to travel all over the globe and I’m only 18. I have been skiing in Chile three times, always flying into Santiago and then making the one-and-a-half hour trek up a winding, dirt road to a trifecta of ski areas, La Parva, El Colorado, and Valle Nevada.

I have always been based at El Colorado in one of the several hotel there, but have skied all three. Valle Nevada (located on the far right when looking at the mountains) is the “Aspen, Colorado” of the three ski areas and therefore is the most expensive to stay at, but the mountain is beautiful and boasted the longest T-bar in the world when I was there two years ago.

The important thing for women to know is that it can feel sketchy in Chile.

El Colorado is the center mountain and is less expensive than Valle Nevada. You can, however, find nice housing with kitchens. You will want to cook when you go. Additionally, you will also want to do a Costco-style shopping trip at the Jumbo, Chile’s version of Costco, before heading up the mountain because there is a serious lack of groceries at the top. The trails range from flat (beginner) to more advanced racing terrain.

La Parva is the furthest left of the three. I have never stayed there personally, but I have heard mixed reviews on accommodations.

A good thing to know is that you can ski from one ski area to the other, so you can stay and El Colorado and ski Valle Nevada one day and La Parva another. I believe there are even “Three-Way” passes.

The important thing for women to know is that it can feel sketchy in Chile. I am a blonde and I am a rare find down there. Let me tell you, I have never been whistled at more in my life. It’s the same with all girls. If you are traveling, always stay with a buddy. The bigger the group, the better.

Skiing in Chile: Everything You Need to Know

Random tip #1:

If you are there for a ski trip, but get the chance to explore Santiago, go to the fish market. It’s huge! And there are awesome seafood restaurants inside with fresh fish, which is Chile’s main export. You can thank my high school Spanish report for that fun fact.

Random tip #2:

Do not let people help you with your bags at the airport! They will expect to be paid. If you do accept help, do not show them the money in your wallet or they will expect a lot. It can be a little overwhelming, but stay strong!

Remember if it’s summer and you want to ski, make a trip down to Chile. It’s definitely worth the visit!


Skiing in Chile: Everything You Need to Know

Related Reading

Dating in Chile: A Conversation with Jennifer Ramos
Why Santiago’s La Vega is a Market Like No Other
Chile’s National Holidays: Family, Fondas, and Fun
Why Did I Move to Chile? “¿Por qué no?”
A Long Weekend in Chiloe, Chile
Travel Chile: A Conversation with Rebecca Murphy

Have you traveled to Chile? What were your impressions? Email us at [email protected] for information about sharing your experience and advice with the Pink Pangea community. We can’t wait to hear from you.

Photo by Gabbi Hall.

About Gabbi Hall

Gabbi Hall has skied throughout the world.

One thought on “Skiing in Chile: Everything You Need to Know

  1. Emily
    March 13, 2011

    Sounds like ski racing has been a great opportunity! I did however want to mention a couple things. First, the ski resort is called Valle Nevado (not Nevada). And second, as a woman living in Chile, I don’t think it’s fair to call it sketchy. Yes, your blonde hair will get you more attention, but cat calls are part of the culture here, and while they’re annoying, they don’t necessarily mean you’re unsafe – 99 percent of the time it’s a case of all bark and no bite, and some guys will say they’re just giving you a compliment. As a woman, you can walk alone in the parts of Santiago tourists tend to visit (downtown, Providencia, Las Condes) as well as at any ski resort during the day without putting yourself in a dangerous situation. Of course there are areas of the country and hours of the night when you shouldn’t wander around by yourself, but that’s just common sense and is true in the US or any other country.

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