8 Reasons to Ski Portillo This Southern Winter

You know Chile’s got great access to the Andes, as they’re the backbone of this long, skinny country. But with so much powder, how can you be sure to hit some of the best runs and off piste Chile has to offer? Here are eight reasons to think about Portillo, with family or friends, and as a stand-alone destination, or in combination with other nearby slopes.

1. North American and European ski pros choose it for “off-season” training.
When the snow melts up north, and pros are looking for summer training, many of them (like the U.S., Canadian, Norwegian, and Austrian National Ski Teams) base themselves at Chile’s Portillo. You wouldn’t argue with the pros, would you?

2. Limited lodging means limited skiers, capped at about 450 per day.

Very few day skiers as there’s a lot of skiing closer to Santiago. The slopes are sparsely populated, and there’s very little, if any, lineups at the lifts.

3. Varied terrain means there’s something for everyone.

There are beginner through advanced slopes, as well as backcountry and heli-skiing available at Portillo. Build your skills and keep challenging yourself every day. We love the Train Run for all ages and the Lake Run in spring for advanced skiers.

4. Average annual snowfall of 7.4 meters

We can’t control the weather, but historically, the snow is great at Portillo, with deep snow pack and good powder. See reason 1 (you wouldn’t argue with the pros, would you?).

5. The après ski life

Portillo is built as a family lodge, so the fireplaces are popular for evening conversations, and teatime snacks are always popular. There’s also a disco and good nightlife here, though late nights at ski resorts tend to end on the early side all the same. There’s more skiing to be done!

Portillo, Chile

Portillo’s heated pool with an unbeatable view of the snow-covered Laguna del Inca.

6. The view
You won’t be able to get enough of the view out over the slopes or from the dining room (or back porch, or your room) to the turquoise Laguna del Inca. It’s just that great. Even the drive up to Portillo is photo-worthy.

7. Portillo offers more than just skiing.

There are programs for families, including game rooms and a camp for kids, two different weeks for wine and ski combinations up at the slopes, a week for singles, a friend-focused week, a disco, a pool and much more.

8. Easy combination with Ski Arpa, for world-class cat skiing

Portillo is close enough to some of the world’s best cat-skiing that you can combine the two on consecutive days. Or if some of you will and some of you won’t cat ski, leave half of your party at the resort while you cat ski a full day nearby.

Alto de la Ballena Uruguay wineRodolfo Guzman plating steak tartare