Visitor reviews for El Colorado Ski Resort
August 08, 2017
Jan from Chile
El Colorado in 2017 is looking quite good. More snow is expected as of tomorrow. The ski runs are excellent, especially at the back, that is the east side of the cone. Cono Este is a steep slope, but then there are many opportunities in the Copa and in Pioneros. No chair lifts though, but wonderful ski runs and marvellous views!
El Colorado Ratings
Overall: 3.4. Based on 34 votes and 13 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 El Colorado.
Public Transport: 3.8
(1) There are no buses or taxis to El Colorado, (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 El Colorado, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 2.9
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 2.6
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in El Colorado.
Ski in/Ski out: 3.8
(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 El Colorado, (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) El Colorado is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) El Colorado relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 4.3
(1) There are no snow groomers at El Colorado, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at El Colorado 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) El Colorado is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 2.7
(1) If snow conditions are poor at El Colorado, 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: 3.9
(1) El Colorado 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: 3.9
(1) The staff at El Colorado are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at El Colorado 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: 4.0
(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: 3.8
(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: 3.6
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) El Colorado 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 El Colorado, (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: 3.8
(1) Not even a kicker at El Colorado, (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 El Colorado, (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) El Colorado has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 3.4
(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: 2.0
(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: 2.3
(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: 3.1
(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): 3.7
(1) Overall, El Colorado 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): 3.2
(1) Overall, El Colorado 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.
July 06, 2016
Antonio from Chile
Cheap Management .
I was skiing in El Colorado for the last few days. The snow was great but …
On consecutive dates when they run their snow machines in hour the resort is open they are forced to turn off all the chairs until 11 am because apparently they do not have enough electricity to do both. Only one T-bar for the whole front side of the resort until 11:30!
With the very considerably high ticket prices they should provide a better service. Also, I got stuck in Valle Olimpico for over an hour because one of their T-bars broke down. I went to customer service and left my name and number but no one has contacted me.
June 13, 2016
canadian from Canada
Coming from Canada and having heard so much about the Andes snow, we were very excited to go. They got a huge storm that dropped over 2 meters of snow. After a couple of days we went without knowing what to expect. We hopped on a Ski Total bus at 8am and went up. The bus service is awesome and the buses are pretty sweet. The road up is crazy! We had fun but some Brazilians were ready to throw up.
We arrived at El Colorado and found a cool looking town in the mountains and an old looking lodge with 2 windows to sell tickets for too many people. Lines were long and disorganised; no signs allowed people to get into the wrong line over and over again, making everything even slower. We got our turn and had to pay 70 usd plus a 10 dollar charge for the ticket itself. It seems they don't want to pay for the plastic so they add a charge over that. We were hesitant for a second but agreed because there was so much snow!
Then we found no place to store a backpack and the cafeteria only allowed you inside if you paid for food so we bought a 20 dollar burger. We then spent about 10 minutes stuck on the only chairlift open. This happened again 2 times. Every other lift was a T-bar which, after several runs, begin to suck really bad. We searched for steep runs and found nothing ;it's mostly flatter areas. A positive note was that after a few days from the storm we found fresh lines most of the day and no trees allowing for views of huge snowy valleys. Overall, El Colorado blows for advanced-expert skiers and paying such prices for things you expect quality service and lifts that actually work. We hiked a bit but most lines ended up on a road without a way back to the resort. If you must go, stick to the back area as the front only has a few areas considered double blacks but not sure why. 1 out of 5 stars for terrain. 0 stars for service and 5 out 5 for stunning views.
June 28, 2013
sebastian from Chile
I am a Chilean who loves to ski. You can found in El Colorado to most steep slope runs!! (León, Cornisa y Cono) Always good snow quality. Some very good out of bounds powder (Santa Teresa). If you really like this I recommend Valle Nevado though.
Fast and easy to get up there. Really good place to stay: Blue Tambo.
May 23, 2012
David Owen from Argentina
El Colorado offers a bit for everyone. The front side has good groomed runs for beginners to experts and also hosts the best terrain park in Chile with over 40 features. There is also a 250 meter boarder cross course.
For me the best part of El Colorado is the east side of the cone. Steep off-piste powder runs and access to some of the best slack country terrain in the Andes; the road runs of Santa Teresita. Steep bowls, cliffs, and chutes that funnel down to the road the connects Valle Nevado resort and the Farellones village. Be sure you have an avalanche beacon, shovel and probe, and of course backcountry knowledge as this zone is not controlled. Ideally ski this terrain with a certified guided that knows the terrain. You can get easily cliffed out if you don't know where you are going. The terrain is amazing and with a vehicle you can run laps here all day.
If you prefer lift access terrain, the Cono Este and La Copa zone generally has the best snow on the mountain. New for 2012, El Colorado is expanding their terrain in this area with the new Los Pioneros surface lift, reaching the upper portion of the Valley Olympico. After a storm it can take until mid morning or noon before they open this zone, so do some warm up laps on the front side.
They are investing into the base area too with new parking lots, a big Juan Valdez Cafe, and more places to grab lunch. El Mirador is a great place to grab a apres drink and mix with the locals before your sunset descent back to Farellones.
July 15, 2011
Walker Rowe from Chile
I am a Gringo living in Santiago. El Colorado is the 2nd closest ski resort to Santiago. It's really two resorts with a smaller resort called Farellones just below it. Chilean people do not ski much (they say it is too expensive) so some go to Farellones just to look at the snow and walk around in it since it does not snow in the city. El Colorado is about a 1 hour ride by bus or other vehicle from Santiago. The ride is straight up. You go from about 1,000 meters in the city to 2,400 meters at the ski resort. Rentals of equipment is about $36 USD per day and the lift ticket is $66. This year we are having drought but just last night it snowed heavily so I am going back for the 2nd time this year. For those of you who live in the crowded Northeast of the USA you will like it here. It is not crowded at all and the slopes cover two mountain sides. At higher elevation and maybe 45 minutes further away is Valle Nevado. Mainly foreigners go there as it costs more and it has a certain panache that is intimidating to those who are not well heeled with cash. Because Nevado is at a higher elevation at times that road can be closed due to the heavy snow. The bus drivers here tell me that the road to El Colorado rarely closes due to heavy snow as the government keeps it plowed and they use chains. As I write this El Colorado is open but soccer fans cannot pass over to Argentine to see the matches there this weekend because the pass over the Andes is closed. If you want to know more about Chile look at my blog gringolandiasantiago.com. saludos,
August 02, 2008
Dave Johnson from United States
I love El Colorado. It is probably my favorite in the Tres Valles. The backside has a great pitch. It is the most low-key of the 3 resorts. The number one reason I love El Colorado is that is has the best access to Santa Terasita and the Farellones chutes. In my opinion this is some of the best terrain in Chile. I agree, if you are a beginner it offers some of the best slopes to learn on. It has a very good park too. I dig its funkiness and spent many a wonderful pow days here. Plus it is probably the best deal for a lift ticket; is the fastest to get to from Santiago, and most importantly if you are on a budget, which is very hard to do in the Farellones area. There are a few hostels in the village which are walking distance to the base lifts. Bed space here is difficult and expensive so El Colorado offers an alternative to shuttling up from Santiago everyday.
CASA Tours Owner
July 31, 2006
Marco from Brazil
No sense the last review. In my point of view, it is just not a serious comment. El Colorado is a nice resort. In terms of snow quality it is not that different from Valle Nevado. I admit that I do prefer Valle Nevado, but El Colorado is totally worth knowing. Also, if you are a beginner, I would say that El Colorado is a nice resort to start.
Take Sean Brown review. It is a very good one.
June 22, 2005
Sean Brown from Chile
El Colorado is one of the three resorts located in the valley of the Rio Mapocho, in the high cordillera of central Chile, just outside Santiago. It is only 45km from the capital and can be reached in a little over an hour. The road up is extremely treacherous with 40 numbered switchbacks up to the village of Farellones.
Given its proximity to Santiago, El Colorado is the biggest and most popular ski area with nearly twice the number of lifts of its competitors La Pava and Valle Nevado. The mountain has some of the best runs in Chile with plenty of space for beginners and challenging terrain for experts, as well as a large well maintain snowpark for the freestylers.
There are two base areas to the resort. The first on the edge of Farellones, which is used by beginners, tobogganists and non-skiing visitors and the second Villa Colorado which is the modern base several kilometers further up the road.
Multi-mountain lift passes are also available that allow you to ride between El Colorado, Valle Nevado and La Parva.
El Colorado is a cone shaped mountain with south facing slopes and is bordered to the south by Farellones village, on the west by La Parva, on the north by Valle Nevado and on the east by the long cliff-band that stretches from Cono Este to the base of the Embudo lift. The resort has 16 lifts (4 chairs and 12 surface lifts) and services an area from 2,430m to 3,333m above sea level, providing a vertical drop of 903m with the terrain divided into 40% easy, 20% intermediate and 40% difficult.
The western slopes that face La Parva are exposed to the prevailing winds and are thus undeveloped and usually rocky. The deepest snow is found in the Cono Este area which lies on the leeward side of the mountain where runs vary from wide open powder fields to tight gullys and cliffs. Excellent views of the surrounding ski areas and Santiagoâs smog blanket can also be enjoyed from the upper slopes.
Like the other resorts in the area El Colorado may not be known for its huge powder dumps but it definitely receives its fair share of snow. There is Valle Olympico, a large unpatrolled bowl that creates the link with El Colorado, that always takes some time to be tracked out.
Although there is less backcountry access from El Colorado than its neighbours an area to be explored is the long cliff area between Cono este and the Embudo lift. The region can be throughly scoped from Valle nevadoâs access road where a car could be parked for escape. The other bonus is the chutes and bowls are patrolled by Valle nevadoâs avalanche team since the area is a threat to the road below..
At busy times, on weekends and holidays, crowds can be a problem at El Colorado, however, the majority of people seem to like to stick to the easy or intermediate areas, on the slopes closest to the base lodge. So, the best thing to do is head off to the backside of the mountain and other slightly more remote areas or hit the terrain park which is rarely crowded.
As with other resorts in this area, their proximity to Santiago makes El Colorado a perfect place for beginners. As a result, the ski/snowboard school, rental facilities and accommodating terrain and beginner lift system make it a perfect place for anyone who is learning. The entire lower section of the mountain is covered with extensively grommed beginner runs that provide a perfect environment in which to learn.
El Colorado has a superb terrain park with a bunch of kickers varying from small fun hits for beginners, to big spines, and the giant 40â table at the bottom. Mixed in are an array of rails to keep any jibber more than satisfied. There dedication to satisfying the requirments of progressional snowboarders and skiiers alike is to be admired.
There are a number of hotels and self-contained apartments available at El Colorado which can be arranged by staff at the Information Desk - most however are quite expensive.
Then, there is the option of staying in Farellones, which is conveniently connected to El Colorado by a surface tow. Basic bunk dorm rooms can be found here for USD$20 a night, as well as a number of cheaper hotels and apartment style accomodation. And for those making day trips out of Santiago, there are many options for hotels and hostels.
El Colorado caters for all types â in the main bar area there is always music or a DJ playing and on weekends and holidays there are often big parties. There is also a very nice restaurant in the same building, and some smaller establishments throughout the village.
El Colorado has a complete set of retail outlets at the main base lodge El Parador. Naturally, these are more expensive than most other places but are very convenient if you need something quickly. Otherwise, Santiago is the best bet, and for the latest snowboard shops, ask around in town â most are located in the Las Condes district, which is east of the city and closest to the mountains.
Perhaps the most convenient and cheapest way to access El Colorado or any of the other Mopocho Valley resorts is with Ski Total which run minivans up the hill every morning, every day of the season and you can get a return trip for USD$15.
You can also try hitching from the gas station at the start of the mountain road