Whether you’re a seasoned veteran of Southern Hemisphere skiing or planning your first trip to make turns below the equator, there are a few locales that you’ll find on most every skier’s bucket list. One of them, situated 10,000 feet above sea level in Chile’s Andes Mountains, is Valle Nevado. Each summer, as the flakes begin to fly in South America, skiers from all over the world flock to Valle Nevado with hopes of scoring deep powder turns and burly descents within the jagged pinnacles of the world’s longest mountain range as their backdrop.
For those who have been putting off that Southern Hemisphere ski trip for years (or even those that haven’t even given it much thought), we’ve compiled a list of ten reasons why you should visit Valle Nevado in 2022.
1. Valle Nevado is open again to North American skiers in 2022
We all experienced a variety of restrictions while skiing during the pandemic, but international travel was the most restrictive. Chile is now open following two years of closure to international travelers, and Valle Nevado is ready to celebrate when it opens its doors on June 17. You can rest assured that a scrumptious Pisco Sour will be awaiting you after a day tearing up the resort’s 2,200 skiable acres (or 7,000 via an interconnect ticket that connects Valle Nevado with El Colorado and La Parva), because it’s not a South American party without a Pisco Sour. With 34 years of excellence at its back, Valle Nevado continues to build its reputation as Chile’s ski capital.
2. If it’s good enough for World Cup champions, then it’s good enough for you
When summer melts the snow north of the equator, the world’s best ski racers beeline it for Valle Nevado to train for their upcoming World Cup season. Valle Nevado serves as the training ground for international ski teams including the United States, Austria, Canada, Russia, Italy and Norway. That’s right, come August you’ll be rubbing elbows next to some of the world’s best in the lift line and sharing beverages with them come après time.
3.The best heli-skiing in South America
Valle Nevado Heli-Ski serves up 50,000 acres of mouthwatering, big-mountain terrain. Sign up for a full day excursion (four to six heli drops) where Valle’s experienced guides will lead you into lines that average 5,000 to 6,000 feet of vertical that will set your quads on fire (half-day packages are available that allow for two to three heli drops). Heli-skiing with Valle Nevado is an experience unlike any other, as you can etch turns into slopes with 20,000-foot peaks surrounding you.
4. The Ikon and Mountain Collective passes
Valle Nevado is a member of the Ikon and Mountain Collective passes, and skiers can use either pass to get lift tickets (number of days according to the level of pass). Because Valle Nevado’s ski packages include lift tickets, skiers can forfeit the day passes for a 10% discount on Ikon packages and a 15% discount on Mountain Collective packages. If you’ve spent winter 2021-22 traveling to Ikon and Mountain Collective resorts across the United States and Canada, and aren’t quite ready to stop the fun, head south and nab these discounts to cut some costs.
5. The Vino
Plan your trip around the Chile Wine Festival, taking place August 12th to 18th. The festival features wineries from all over Chile, both big names and smaller boutique brands that are thinking way outside the box when it comes to winemaking. Each night features tastings, wine seminars and the “grand wine festival” on the final night—be sure not to imbibe too much, you’ve got a big day of skiing ahead of you.
6. Wellness Week
We’re all worn out from two years of a pandemic. What better way to recharge and revitalize this summer than Valle Nevado’s Wellness Week from August 5th to 11th? The week is dedicated to finding a healthy balance between body and mind through a variety of activities including yoga, meditation, relaxation clinics, Pilates, aromatherapy, and more.
7. The Food
Valle Nevado offers a smorgasbord of international cuisine from French to Peruvian to Italian, as well as a nightly changing buffet and even fresh sushi served in one of several cozy lounges. On-slope cuisine at Bajo Zero centers around an outdoor Chilean BBQ that fires up on weekends, and the resort’s La Leñera brings in the party with live music and classic Chilean fare like empanadas and hearty meat and seafood dishes. And it’s all included in the price of your ski/lodging package.
8. Lodging Discounts
Book a reservation before May 30, 2022 and you could score huge discounts from 20% to 40% off all-inclusive ski packages, or use your Mastercard for 10% off any week of the season. Ski packages include lodging, lift tickets and meals, making it a no-brainer when it comes to booking a reservation.
9. Plentiful bone-dry, dream-worthy snow
With the combination of high altitude and its place in the Andes, Valle Nevado is blessed with some of the most snow in Chile. And if the sheer amount doesn’t have you salivating, the snow’s low water content—we’re talking fluffy, blower pow here, folks—surely will.
10. The access
Valle Nevado is located a quick 90-minute drive from the Santiago Airport. You can rest easy knowing that after a long day of travel to get to Chile, the skiing of your dreams is only a short drive away.
How To Get To Valle Nevado:
Most major airlines fly to Santiago International Airport (SCL), including Delta, American, United, Latam, Air Canada, Air France, British Airways and Qantas. There are direct flights from the major cities of Miami, New York, Toronto, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Sydney, Melbourne, Paris, Madrid and London. Then, it’s a 90-minute drive to the ski resort.
There are three on-mountain hotels at Valle Nevado. They range from the deluxe Hotel Valle Nevado to the mid-range, family-friendly Hotel Puerta del Sol to Valle’s most affordable option, Hotel Tres Puntas. Valle Nevado also has one to three bedroom condo rentals.
You won’t go hungry at Valle Nevado. For those looking to indulge in an elegant night out, La Fourchette offers gourmet Mediterranean and French-inspired cuisine and incredible views of the Andes, to boot. Those in the mood for pub food and beers would do well by La Leñera, while hungry skiers looking for a slice should hit up Monte Bianco.
There’s no shortage of hotspots to hit up when the sun goes down. Enjoy craft cocktails in the Valle Lounge next to Hotel Valle Nevado, throw a few back over a game of pool at Bar Tres Puntas or class it up at the elegant Bar Valle Nevado.