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 and every 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 with 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 2018.
1. To celebrate 30 years of skiing at Valle Nevado
Who doesn’t like a good party, right? The 2018 ski season marks Valle Nevado’s 30th anniversary… that’s 30 years of skiing in Chile’s largest ski resort. Well done. You can rest assured that a scrumptious Pisco Sour will be awaiting you after a day tearing up the resorts’ 2,500 skiable acres (or 7,000 via an interconnect ticket that connects Valle Nevado to El Colorado and La Parva), because it’s not a South American party without a Pisco Sour. With 30 years of excellence at its back, Valle Nevado will continue to build its reputation as Chile’s most modern ski resort with upgrades to lodging, restaurants and more.
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 20,000 acres of mouth-watering 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 4,000 to 5,000 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. Recent resort renovations
The folks at Valle Nevado have been hard at work with upgrades around the resort. The resort features brand new interiors in its bars, terraces and the Monte Bianco restaurant, while the Bajo Cero—located on-mountain—will expand to feature a second restaurant dishing out classic Chilean comfort food.
5. The Mountain Collective Pass
Mountain Collective passholders receive two free lift tickets to Valle Nevado for the 2018 ski season or 15 percent off all-inclusive packages. If you’ve spent winter 2017-18 traveling to Mountain Collective resorts across the United States and Canada, and aren’t quite ready to stop the fun, head south and nab those two free lift tickets to cut some costs.
6. The Vino
Plan your trip around the Chile Wine Festival, taking place August 17 to 24. 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.
7. The Food
Head to Valle Nevado between August 3 and 10 to take part in the Gastronomy Festival, and be sure to bring an empty stomach. With a full week of tasting specially designed menu offerings from top chefs in Santiago (who will also be giving cooking classes and presenting shows) you’ll need every inch of real estate in your belly.
8. Lodging Discounts
Through its partnership with Explora hotels, Valle Nevado is offering a 30-percent discount on all-inclusive packages (minimum three night stay) at the resort as well as one other Explora Property (Atacama, Easter Island or Sacred Valley, Peru). A six-night stay featuring premium lodging, dining, lift tickets and daily excursions starts at $1,986 (USD) per person.
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, United, 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 ultra-fancy 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.