With the coldest time of the year and the arrival of the first snowflakes begins the highly popular ski season in Chile and Argentina
If you’re not a mountain expert, don’t worry: Cerro Catedral is perfect for beginners. The resort is located some 12 miles [19 km] from Bariloche and offers ski and snowboard lessons. If it still seems too hard, you can try other activities, like tubing (riding on an inflatable tube) and sledding (riding on a sled).
With the Andes in the background, Las Leñas offers more activities than any other resort, like sleigh rides and zip lining. Featuring a lively atmosphere, the entertainment options there include shops, events, a spa, night parties and even a small casino.
From Concepción, it takes a little over two hours to get to this ski resort. With accommodations worthy of royalty, guests can enjoy spa treatments and pools with thermal waters. Among the slopes, the highlight is Las Tres Marias, which crosses native forests and is one of the longest ski runs in South America, at 8 miles [13 km].
Experienced skiers will love to feel the adrenaline of exploring the mountains of Valle Nevado, dedicated to extreme winter sports. Visitors have over 25 miles [40 km] of skiing and snowboarding slopes at their disposal, as well as an infrastructure that includes hotels, bars and restaurants where they can relax after intense days.
A less popular winter destination, Cerro Bayo calls itself a “boutique ski resort” for its charming and exclusive installations. Taking the closed-cabin lifts, visitors have a view of the blue Nahuel Huapi Lake and the slopes, with four different levels of difficulty, from easy to very hard.
One of the oldest ski resorts in Latin America, Portillo maintains its excellent skiing and snowboarding tradition. The wonderful view of Laguna del Inca and the winding roads that lead to the resort is also enchanting.
On the way from the city of Temuco to the resort of Corralco, the Malalcahuello National Reserve is unveiled, with an almost untouched landscape, at the foot of the Lonquimay Volcano. The resort has 25 slopes with varying levels of difficulty, but anyone who wants to go beyond the traditional can go snowshoeing around the volcano or snowmobiling (riding on vehicles used for traveling on snow or ice).
At the tip of Chile, in the extreme south of the continent, stands the small and cozy Club Andino, inside the Magallanes National Reserve. Even though it seems inaccessible, the resort is just 16.8 miles [27 km] from the Punta Arenas airport. From atop its mountains, visitors have a view of the ocean and the impressive nature of the islands.