Rising to fame in 1966 for hosting the World Skiing Championships, Portillo Chile has garnered international praise as one of the best ski resorts in South America!
Olympic skiers commonly flock to the steep slopes and high-speed terrain to practice during the European and North American summer. World-famous backcountry trails offer many of the most challenging runs on the continent.
Portillo’s reputation as a bona fide training ground for expert skiers is heightened by its noticeable lack of accommodation options. Visitors will never be surrounded by more than a few hundred people and this offers a breath of fresh air for those looking to escape the crowds.
Located 160-kilometers from the bustling capital of Santiago, Portillo provides a convenient, mountainous escape for international adventurers. Once you reach the famous bright-yellow Hotel Ski Portillo, you will be surrounded by an alpine paradise. Best of all, the limited number of guests creates virtually no wait times on lifts and a more laid-back atmosphere.
Glorious views of the rugged Andes, pristine glacial lakes, world-class ski runs, and all-inclusive amenities make this resort and skiing in Chile a bucket list experience for any winter lover!
Attracting the Best of the Best
Ask any of the top skiers on the circuit where they prefer training for the season and Portillo is sure to come up! Those legendary runs of the 1966 championships were responsible for drawing in many of the most talented skiers around the world.
The reversed seasons make mountains in South America, and especially Portillo a prime destination for professional skiers to practice while the Northern Hemisphere is suffering through heat waves. Ski fanatics should keep their eyes peeled during a winter Chilean getaway for the top athletes in the sport.
Heart-Racing Ski Runs
The trails at Portillo are among the most exhilarating or terrifying in South America, depending on your preference. Savvy riders will find plenty of worthy challenges on the marked trails, but the backcountry is what makes skiing in the Andes worthy and fun.
Portillo’s vertical and yearly snowfall pales in comparison to other famous resorts but it makes up for it with some of the steepest runs in the world. Super C is a must and is often considered a right of passage for South American ski aficionados.
Not only will it take a strenuous hike to reach many of Portillo’s backcountry beauties, a ride on its unmistakable va et vient (slingshot) lifts is a spectacular experience. Strapping yourself in and being hoisted up the mountain creates a unique journey along the ultra-steep slopes.
Intermediate riders can have a field day at the numerous fun-filled runs inside the gates including the Lake Run, Toilet Bowl and Garganta. Accessible runs will be harder to come by for novice skiers and snowboarders, but lessons are offered to learn from a veteran.
If you are up for a death-defying flight into the Andes, hop aboard a chopper for a breathtaking heli skiing trip.
Admire the Roof of South America
Being surrounded by the Andes Mountains, Portillo offers visitors stunning views of the continent’s tallest peaks. In particular, the summit of Aconcagua dwarfs all others in the southern hemisphere standing at 6,961m.
Alpine lakes like Laguna del Inca glisten on a clear day and twilight skies are simply out of this world.
One of the most revitalizing things to do in Portillo around your skiing adventures is soaking in the hot tubs outside the resort and just gazing at majestic landscapes.
What Portillo lacks in number of accommodations and a traditional village base, it makes up for it with excellent amenities and impeccable customer service. Staff members impress with their attention to detail and visitors can expect to be pampered 24/7.
Treat yourself to local gastronomic delights and a variety of delicious Chilean wines inside an opulent dining area. Then, head to the spa or jacuzzi to have a well-deserved lazy day.
A welcoming, low-key vibe creates a wonderful place to meet all sorts of interesting people and the outgoing staff is the cherry on top!