Skiing in Chile is an activity that attracts the interest of thousands of tourists every year. The beautiful natural geography, the quality of the slopes and infrastructure of its centers, in addition to their easy access, not only make the country a reference for this type of sport in Latin America, but they are also an entertaining outing for families and groups of friends.
As in any country, to practice this sport in Chile you will need special equipment, which you can buy in the specialized shops in the diverse shopping centers.
One of these is Mall Sport, a place specially created for sports lovers, where you can find the clothing and equipment necessary for all disciplines, including skiing and snowboard.
Likewise, there are small shops likeNautisport, La Bolsa del Ski, Andesgear and Ski Ahorro, all located in northeastern Santiago.
If you are a beginner at skiing, we recommend that you rent the equipment and only buy it if you have decided to practice the activity regularly. TheOmnium Shopping Center has two shops that rent equipment and clothing: Ski el Colorado and Ski Total.
How to reach the ski centers?
The diverse ski centers that the country offers the lovers of the white sport are grouped by area. The most popular ones are in the central region: Portillo,La Parva, El Colorado, Farellones and Valle Nevado. They can be reached via companies that provide transportation services to the centers. Some of them are Ski Ahorro, Skitotal, Skivan and the El Colorado Store.
They can also be reached by car, keeping in mind the indications that appear here, or else on the websites of each ski center. It is suggested that you drive with the lights on low and with care, in addition to always carryingchains in the vehicle to keep the vehicle from skidding. If you have trouble putting them on, there are “cadeneros” (chain men) in the area who will do so for a fee.
We also recommend that you read the“Driving in the Mountains” Manual by the National Traffic Safety Commission (Conaset), which will help you to drive better in these areas.
For their part, the centers in the southern region, such as Corralco, Los Arenales and Las Araucarias, can be reached via two travel agencies:Politurand Trancura, with departures every day from the city of Pucón.
Skiing, an Activity for All
The enormous Andes Mountains and its attractions are a good choice for an outing with friends or family. The centers in the central region are the most expensive because they are the best equipped. This is the case with Valle Nevado, where lift ticket prices range from $10,000 pesos for children (US$18) to $33,000 pesos for adults (US$61) in the high season (3 July – 15 August 2010).
Now, if you want more than a day of fun you will need to plan your trip and reserve ahead of time. InPortillo, for example, seven days of lodging and seven of skiing, with four meals per day and access to all hotel facilities, starts at US$3,190 per person.
For its part, in La Parva ski lift tickets for the day cost from $7,000 pesos (US$12) for children up to the age of 5; $21,500 pesos (US$39) for children ages 6 – 12, and $31,000 pesos (US$57) for adults. Meanwhile, lodging in hotels ranges from US$365 to US$859 per person per day during high season.