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Visitor reviews for Villarrica-Pucon Ski Resort
July 01, 2010
partner0 from Chile
Pucon (Villarrica-Pucon) is a very entertaining ski resort for advanced snowboarders, even if the resort slopes are flat to the extreme. Also, the snow is not that great (wet and heavy most of the time and lots of wind), but that is what you get from that point and further south. On the other hand, there are plenty of natural features literally all over the place that can be very entertaining. Lots of them very easy to access and very few people actually go there. There are nice cliff jumps (10-15 feet), huge wind lips and all of them with steep reception on 100-200 yards. Just perfect for big jumps :). The landscapes are absolutely breathtaking and the hike to the crater not technical but very entertaining and physical.
When there is fresh snowfalls you should prefer Corralco or Termas de Chillan, but otherwise my destination of choice is Pucon (Villarrica-Pucon).
Overall: 3.6. Based on 12 votes and 5 reviews. Vote
(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Villarrica-Pucon.
Public Transport: 4.3
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Villarrica-Pucon, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.
(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.
(1) No places to stay in/near Villarrica-Pucon, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 4.5
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 3.6
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Villarrica-Pucon.
Ski in/Ski out: 3.3
(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.
(1) There are no child care facilities at Villarrica-Pucon, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.
(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Villarrica-Pucon is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Villarrica-Pucon relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 3.9
(1) There are no snow groomers at Villarrica-Pucon, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Villarrica-Pucon are groomed daily.
(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Villarrica-Pucon is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 3.0
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Villarrica-Pucon, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.
Regional rating: 3.7
(1) Villarrica-Pucon usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.
Lift Staff: 3.8
(1) The staff at Villarrica-Pucon are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Villarrica-Pucon are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.
(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.
Ski Schools: 3.9
(1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.
Hire and Repairs: 4.4
(1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.
Variety of pistes: 3.4
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Villarrica-Pucon has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.
(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.
(1) No intermediate terrain at Villarrica-Pucon, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.
(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.
Snow Park: 2.9
(1) Not even a kicker at Villarrica-Pucon, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.
(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.
(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Villarrica-Pucon, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.
(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Villarrica-Pucon has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 2.8
(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.
(1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.
(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.
Other Sports: 2.4
(1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.
(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.
Winter Walks: 3.7
(1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.
Ski Pass Value: 2.6
(1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.
Value (National): 3.5
(1) Overall, Villarrica-Pucon is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.
Value (Global): 3.7
(1) Overall, Villarrica-Pucon is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.
September 20, 2009
Maurice Parraud from Chile
Pucon-Ski Centre (Villarrica-Pucon) deserves not being too much demanding on infrastructure. 2 lifts are completely off-duty, 2 others do not work during spring time. 60% of slopes are really for the beginners. I would say that there is opportunity to develop the slopes much more than it's done today. Most of the lifts are slow and quite old.
On the other side, to compensate all of these cons, I still recommend the place and will return as many times as I can. It is a great ski center in South America to go with a family (small kids, teenagers and grandparents included). It is a safe place, not crowded at all but with enough people to make it interesting for most social ages, long runs to learn or just talk while skiing, amazing views and very decent doses of adrenaline if you want to hike top to the summit. Pucon (Villarrica-Pucon) infrastructure is planned for crowded summers so during winter (Chileans just don’t go there) you may not have problems to find good accommodations and really good restaurants.
August 19, 2008
Phil Smith from Snoworks All Mountain SKi Courses from France
One of our favourite places and on both of the Snoworks itinerary's, Chile and Argentina Extravaganza and the 7 Volcanoes. Villarrica is one of the most spectacular volcanoes in Chile. The lift system is great for beginners and lower level intermediates but if you’re an experienced off-piste skier then you go here to ski off the top of the volcano. It’s an open top volcano and I literally mean open top. On arrival at the crater your breath will be taken away. I’ve been at the top Villarrica about 6 times and it is always very special. Smoke bellows out and you can hear a rumbling noise that sounds like it’s coming direct from the centre of the earth. On numerous occasions you can catch glimpses of lava spitting up and landing on the inside of the crater. If this doesn’t impress you nothing will. Once you’ve savoured the atmosphere you can ski off the top. Either directly down the way you came up of if you’re a strong off-piste skier and competent on steep terrain you can take the ‘steep side’. Pick your route and enjoy. We’ve always had exceptional conditions here. But beware there are some crevasses so only go up with mountain guides. We use Guido from Amity Tours for all our trips, a local guide, great skier and knows these volcanoes like the back of his hand. It can take between 4 to 6 hours to get to the top but it’s a once in a lifetime adventure. Do it! You can find out more about our Adventure trips to Chile on the Snoworks website.
July 21, 2008
Mike Taylor - CASA Tours Guide from Canada
Volcán Villarica is the most popular volcano in Chile, with thousands of tourists summiting each year. Much fewer in winter, but on any opportune winter day there's at least a couple packs of tourists staggering along in single file to the top if they're lucky, and most often they're non-skiers who butt slide/stumble down... it's really not graceful in any way, but very entertaining. One could say Pucón receives its fair share of wind and rain, and the summit days in winter are few and far between. The resort at the base of the cone offers some great skiing (esp. boarding) when the upper chairlifts aren't buried, partially buried, or scarily weighted down with rime. There are a total of 9 lifts, but only a few are really rewarding. In good conditions the summit can be reached in 3 hrs (fr the uppermost chair), and the very top 100 m is the only technical part of the ascent. However, the acidic fumes which continually spew from the open crater can bring you to your knees. But on the bright side, there's always Mamas Y Tapas when you can't ski in Pucón.