Ci Ski Chile

One of the four leading ski areas in the southern hemisphere, there are just over a dozen Chilean ski centres stretching along the Andean mountains from north to south in the country.

The ski season here typically lasts from early June to late September.

Chile’s ski resorts have built a reputation for great powder and spectacular heli-skiing with several resorts marketed particularly heavily in North America as summer skiing destinations.

One difference from other southern hemisphere ski nations is that there are several major ski areas within a comparatively short drive of the capital, Santiago so visitors can combine skiing in Chile with a city break or business.

Most of Chile’s ski areas were established after the second world war, but the oldest, El Colorado, still the closest to Santiago (45km/28 miles), built its first lift way back in 1936 – one of the world’s first dedicated ski lifts.

People had however been able to ski Chile for more than four decades before, using the then newly-built Argentina-Chile railway line in the 1890s as a ‘ski lift’.

At the other extreme, although linked to El Colorado by lifts and piste in Chile’s version of the famous French ‘3 Valleys’ is Valle Nevado, which has a more cutting edge design very reminiscent of the more stylish French purpose built ski areas. It opened in 1988 and has been arguably the most innovative Chillean ski area over the past few decades and continues to expand both on the slopes, quite frequently adding new lifts and runs, and resort facilities.

The third ski area in this ‘3 Valleys’ is La Parva which was built by Europeans in the 1950s before being commercialised by Americans and then run by Chileans since the late 1980s. Originally Chile’s highest resort it was also home to the country’s first quad chairlift.

The most famous of Chile's ski resorts, its original ski area and later destination resort, is Portillo in the north of the country. Particularly popular with North American guests, it has a kind of private club ambience from the early years of ski vacations, although with all modern conveniences. All catering and facilities are focused primarily in the resort’s main hotel complex. Today there's one employee for every guest resulting in high service standards.

Host of the 1966 World Alpine Skiing Championships, Portillo has easy and intermediate groomed slopes plus some of the toughest skiing in the southern hemisphere, with heliskiing an option, giving views of the Western Hemisphere's highest mountain - Aconcagua.

In the south of the country Termas de Chillan mixes a five star hotel and warm thermal springs with one of the country’s six leading ski resorts. On the downside the area has had problems with seismic activity including earthquake damage in the past decade, on the upside there are 10,000 hectares of heliskiing terrain around the main resort.

Villarica-Pucon located on the slopes of the still active Villarica volcano which gives it the highest ski area in southern South America, has similar problems. Lift towers incorporate rubber bungs to absorb minor quakes from volcano, and ash which sometimes issues from the summit tends to drift away from the ski slopes on the prevailing winds.
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Chile: latest snow conditions round-up

Summary of forecast snowfall and ski conditions for resorts in Chile. Fresh snow is forecast at 10resorts. Powder is reported at 0 resorts and 0 are reporting good piste conditions.

All resorts

Ski resorts of Chile, alphabetically

Bottom Mid Top
Resort Webcam Top
snow depth
top and bottom
Good piste
on-piste
Powder
off-piste
Fresh snow depth
last snow
Fresh snow depth
next 9 days
0–3 | 3–6 | 6–9
snow (cm)
Weather Next 5 days weather forecast.
Freezing level (m)
Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat

(1954m — 3349m)

clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 2652 m
3500m 3950m 3400m 3400m 3850m

(1236m — 1700m)

opens in 53 days
32
5
clear
partly cloudy
heavy snow
light snow
partly cloudy
Mid station 1468 m
2500m 3000m 2200m 1300m 1850m

(1449m — 1899m)

3
clear
clear
rain showers
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
Mid station 1674 m
3050m 3500m 2800m 2500m 3350m

(357m — 576m)

11
1
light rain
moderate rain
light snow
partly cloudy
light rain
Mid station 466 m
1150m 1350m 750m 400m 800m

(2246m — 2871m)

clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 2558 m
3650m 4050m 3700m 3700m 3950m

(1530m — 2399m)

31
1
2
clear
clear
snow showers
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 1964 m
2850m 3400m 2450m 2000m 3000m

(2340m — 3480m)

opens in 31 days
clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 2910 m
3750m 4150m 3900m 3900m 4100m

(1025m — 1826m)

4
4
partly cloudy
light rain
light snow
snow showers
clear
Mid station 1426 m
1450m 2150m 1300m 1150m 1100m

(2434m — 3333m)

clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 2884 m
3850m 4200m 3900m 3900m 4100m

(1100m — 1600m)

24
14
clear
partly cloudy
heavy snow
snow showers
partly cloudy
Mid station 1350 m
2600m 3100m 2250m 1450m 2100m

(2699m — 3669m)

opens in 31 days
clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 3184 m
3800m 4150m 3900m 3900m 4100m

(1896m — 2201m)

opens in 53 days
clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 2048 m
3750m 4150m 3800m 3850m 4050m

(1500m — 1800m)

14
1
clear
clear
heavy rain
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
Mid station 1650 m
2800m 3300m 2350m 1950m 2900m

(1540m — 2400m)

opens in 53 days
16
12
clear
clear
rain showers
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
Mid station 1970 m
3100m 3600m 3000m 2750m 3450m

(2548m — 3310m)

opens in 60 days
clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 2929 m
3800m 4100m 3900m 4000m 4100m

(2800m — 4500m)

clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 3650 m
3800m 4150m 3900m 3900m 4100m

(2015m — 4845m)

clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 3430 m
3500m 4000m 3600m 3550m 3850m

(2690m — 3740m)

clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 3215 m
3900m 4200m 4000m 4000m 4150m

(2859m — 3669m)

opens in 31 days
clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 3264 m
3800m 4150m 3900m 3900m 4100m

(1480m — 1960m)

36
4
clear
clear
heavy snow
snow showers
cloudy
Mid station 1720 m
2700m 3250m 2250m 1650m 2550m

(1230m — 1760m)

51
10
clear
cloudy
heavy snow
snow showers
partly cloudy
Mid station 1495 m
2450m 2850m 2100m 1300m 1750m