The famous ski resort of Portillo in Chile is to miss its second successive season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Last winter most ski areas in the country were closed for much of the season by the first wave of the pandemic, although a few were able to open for about a month in August/September 2020 as rules eased, but for most, including Portillo, it was not viable to do so. This winter Chile is one of the world’s leading nations for vaccinating its population and most of the country’s ski areas have been open for about a month although of course operating restrictions are in place.

Portillo in happier times

However Portillo relies heavily on international visitors and was relying on a hoped for re-opening of Chile’s border to leisure travel at the end of July. The country’s government has now said this won’t happen until at least mid-August, about two-thirds of the way through the ski season, and perhaps not then, so Portillo has announced it won’t now attempt to open.

“Due to border closures until August 14 and possibly later, Portillo is not going to open for this season,” a Portillo spokesperson confirmed.

Most other ski resorts in the Andes are open but most of South America is having a poor winter for snowfall and one of Argentina’s best known ski areas, Las Leñas (pictured below in 2019), which also didn’t open last winter but was building to opening in June with some good pre-season snowfalls, has unfortunately had warm weather and no snow in July so has also not opened so far, but in its case due to having no snow.