Ever since I started skiing, I have wanted to ski in South America. When I got the call that I would be going to do some site tours in Chile, I was more than ecstatic. I had waited for that phone call for four years and the time was finally here! Flying from Los Angeles, we landed for a brief time in Lima, Peru. Normally, this would not be a big deal, just stopover for a refuel. However, there was a small issue with the plane so we had to disembark the plane. This was great because this is where we got to experience our first of MANY Pisco Sours, a very common South American drink. What a great way to start the trip with my new found friends.
After Arriving in Santiago, our first destination was Valle Nevado. After a long journey we were finally at the resort. I was tired, but too pumped up to sleep. The skiing here was great! Valle Nevado is about an hour and a half from Santiago so there is a lot of locals’ skiing—lots of open runs, not very crowded and plenty of terrain for everyone. After a long day, it was time to check out the après ski scene. We found the fun in the oversized hot tub. There was a pool side bar with music blaring to keep everyone entertained. It was on this first night that I saw the most beautiful sunset of my life wrapping around the sky and mountains with a full 360 degrees of some of the most amazing colors I had ever seen.
After a couple of days at Valle Nevado, it was time to move on. The next stop on our journey: Portillo! Portillo is a great little ski resort. I could not even call it a ski town. The mountain is basically closed to everyone unless you are staying at one of the three lodges. Each morning you get breakfast, lunch and dinner served by the same servers while sitting at the same tables. During this week, you really get to know your wait staff and the other staff like they are your friends, not your servers. There are lots of extra activities for the kids such as a gym, pools, hot tubs, ping pong, etc. Portillo provides a very unique experience. They do a great job of getting you to socialize with other guests by having different evening activities and social events. While I was visiting an all-girl rock cover band was playing in the bar/lounge. Let’s not forget about why we came to Portillo, to SKI! The skiing here was great! Long, steep runs that you have all to yourself. I highly recommend having lunch at the top of the mountain at Tio Bobs. It is a great intimate lounge with great views and great food!
It was then time to move on to the last and final resort, Termas de Chillan. But first, we had to make an epic stop in Santiago for the night. In Santiago we had a great dinner with local cuisine. Afterwards our guide took us to a friend’s house and we eventually ended up going to a club with live music. We danced and partied all night long like we were kids again. My favorite part of traveling is experiencing culture. In Santiago, we got a brief taste of this culture, which is amazing! I was feeling a little worn out but I was still excited to head out toward our final destination, Termas de Chillan. This resort is a little livelier and a little bit bigger. The skiing here was the best of the trip because they had the most snow. The resort itself is great and provides something for everyone. There is a large casino on site, hot tubs, pools, spas, etc€”enough for you to do something new every day while not getting bored.
Overall, I was blown away by the entire trip. I was impressed by everything: the culture, the skiing, the people, the nightlife, the food, the fun. Nothing was a disappointment except the fact that we had to leave and come home. I cannot wait to go back to experience it again. I recommend that ANY avid skier take the chance to experience such a great culture and great skiing. It was the trip of a lifetime that I will never forget! Everything in Chile exceeded my expectations!