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I felt exactly the same on my first visit, which was for only a day on FAM trip.

Prices and Lodging - Ski Portillo : Ski Portillo

I returned the following three years in a row. I came the same week and traveled with great friends from Jackson. Their is an aura at Portillo that is true only to Portillo. I feel more alive and free at Portillo than any other place I have traveled. The staff, the guests and Andes are so welcoming. The journey to get here is one I love, long but pretty darn easy, 2 flights and a van or helicopter ride, easy peasy! I have experienced great snow each trip with feet over the week. I miss Portillo greatly these days, so another trip is needed to re-charge!

Aww Portillo! Thanks so much for sharing your experience at Portillo Michael! On my journeys I flew out of jackson to dallas and then Santiago.


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Most times spent layover at Four Seasons in Dallas for a workout and snack. I agree the paying of the journey can be hardest thing. The Hotel Portillo is often compared to a cruise ship, because it provides almost all the lodging, food and […]. Your email address will not be published.

Snow Report

Enjoyed this post? Portillo certainly is one of the top choices for an austral winter ski trip, but in reality the options are many. Just think how difficult it would be to recommend one or two North American resorts to a visiting skier! Of course, each area has its own flavor and unique terrain.

The inbounds area is relatively small, with just one square mile of terrain holding 29 runs. Thus, lift lines can be long, and the strong community vibe of Portillo is not as present. Only 42 miles from Santiago, getting to Valle Nevado is a breeze, and once there, the Friday-to-Friday, all-inclusive package deals keep the convenience coming.

Inside Chile’s Old School Ski Portillo, the Ultimate Summer Ski Resort

With this 7-night stay, guests also receive a day pass for La Parva and El Colorado, two nearby resorts that form what locals call Tres Valles. The geography of the area is prone to trapping weather, offering epic powder dumps followed by long stretches of sunny days. In addition, the snow is known to be some of the highest quality in South America.

Valle Nevado boasts extensive terrain and long runs, with 14 lifts the most advanced in the continent and 2, acres of skiable terrain. Expert skiers also will find world-class sidecountry, backcountry, and heliskiing. With surrounding peaks towering as high as 20, feet, the terrain surrounding Valle Nevado is sure to entertain the most intrepid of skiers. Cerro Catedral: For those seeking out a typical North American ski resort experience south of equator, look no further than Cerro Catedral.

Located just 12 miles from downtown Bariloche and home to a resort town complete with shopping, restaurants, and accommodations, Cerro Catedral offers updated facilities and advanced infrastructure enjoyed by locals and internationals alike. In contrast with the areas mentioned above, travelers on a shoestring will find many hostels and affordable accommodation options at Cerro Catedral or in nearby Bariloche. The ski area boasts 39 lifts and 2, acres of skiable terrain, with almost 4, feet of vertical from summit to base—the largest lift access area in South America.

One downside of Cerro Cathedral is its rampant popularity—lift lines are long and difficult to avoid. Additionally, at a lower elevation, the area is known for a smaller and wetter snowpack than resorts at higher elevations. As mentioned above, in Portillo experienced its leanest snowpack in 25 years. On the other hand, was the snowiest season in six years, and Portillo experienced a record-breaking inches in three days this year, however, was still rather average when compared with a wider range of data.

For one, plan your trip in August, widely considered the most reliable month for snowfall. Second, head to one of the higher elevation resorts such as Portillo, Las Lenas, or Valle Nevado for cooler temperatures and hopefully larger storms. Photo Credit. The Conditions Portillo is open late June through early October, with its high season occurring in July.

The Cost Portillo is not your average ski resort with hour-long lift lines, local skiers, and myriad restaurant and shops. Powered by Drupal. Read More From Switchback Travel. He authored Alpine State of Mind, a beautifully presented book of adventure stories and There are important considerations when making a purchase: What is your skill level? In what region It is important to note that to ski and hike the Super C, the stars must align.


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Good weather, low avalanche danger and snow quality all play a factor in whether you can hike the Super C on any given day. You cannot just show up to the resort for a day and expect to check this off your bucket list. You need to check your own ability level, too.

This is a backcountry hike that should only be undertaken by expert-level skiers with previous experience in backcountry terrain and safety, and those who carry all safety gear such as a beacon, shovel and probe.

Weather and Snow Conditions

Boot crampons and an ice axe should be carried as well. The hike can take 4 hours depending on snow conditions, and it involves crossing a few harrowing no-fall zones and thin air due to high altitudes. You must always check conditions with Portillo ski patrol and advise them if you plan to hike the Super C. This is very important. Your browser does not support iframes. They claim to have purchased one of the most environmentally friendly snow making systems available.

The Portillo resort complex is miles from Santiago km and is situated high in the craggy Andes in the vicinity of Cerro Aconcagua, a mere 3 miles 5 km from the Argentine border. The resort can be reached in 2 hours and some change via a modern highway, followed by a progression of switchbacks frequented by long-haul truckers carrying goods to Argentina and beyond. The closest town is Los Andes at 40 miles 63 km to the west. The road will shut during heavy snowstorms, so be prepared for this. Arriving Via Private vehicle service: PowderQuest includes private shuttles with professional drivers from both the airport or your hotel in Santiago when booking a 3- to 7-night stay with us to Portillo.

English-speaking drivers are available upon request.

By Bus: The most economical way to get to Portillo is via bus. A bit of a travel hack ia involved and speaking Spanish really helps.

PORTILLO, CHILE "The Spirit of the Andes"

Basically there is not direct bus service to Portillo. You need to purchase a bus ticket from Santiago to Mendoza or vice versa followed by making sure the driver is willing to stop and let you off on the highway in front of the resort. Rent a car: If renting a car, remember that your vehicle will sit in the parking lot for several nights or a week, so it may not be worth it.

If you are visiting several areas during your stay or plan to continue on to Mendoza, Argentina then a rental might make sense. Just keep in mind gas is expensive, the roads are not easy, and you will need to carry snow chains, even during a dry period. Heli service leaves from the Santiago airport and a few rooftop landing pads in Santiago.

When booking a Portillo package with PowderQuest we can arrange this custom service. Travelers can rent their own vehicle and drive to the resort, keeping in mind that weather conditions can increase the amount of driving time, and that when snowing the carabineros police at the base of the road to Portillo could require that you carry chains. Once you pass the police checkpoint, there is a toll plaza; let them know that you are going to ski Portillo to avoid having to pay the toll.

Portillo rents high-quality ski and snowboard gear at the resort for day visitors. It is advised to call ahead to make sure they have a good selection for the day you plan on skiing. We update lift ticket rates here. If snow conditions are not optimum, be sure to call ahead to see if Portillo is open to day visitors as poor conditions may cause management to shut the resort to day visitors in order to give hotel guests full access to the slopes. Portillo is not for everyone. The weeklong stay requirement during busy periods and the lack of a village can make the hotel feel claustrophobic for some, especially non-skiers, and dining takes place in the same restaurant every night.

On the other hand, many an international skier relishes this set up, specifically choosing Portillo due to its unique intimate character and the opportunity to meet new people who love to play as hard as they love to ski. Guests are expected to dress for dinner and therefore evening meals take on a whole life of their own. During the South American holidays in July, Portillo sees a lot of young children, whose parents love the resort for its kid-friendly activities and closed environment within the hotel; but it can be overwhelming for adult travelers.

Come to fill up, converse, soak up the sun, and savor one of the most dramatic panoramic views of any ski resort restaurant, anywhere. Reserve a 7-night Hotel Portillo ski holiday package with PowderQuest and we will pay for your shuttle round trip from the airport to the resort!