Size does matter, particularly if you dream of off-piste skiing in the Andes. Built in 1988 at the foot of the imposing El Plomo Peak by a French company, Valle Nevado has a distinct French ambiance which sets it apart from other ski vacation resorts of Chile. Valle Nevado is extremely popular with snowboarders and is home to South America’s only Super Half-Pipe, the largest at a ski resort in the southern hemisphere. Valle Nevado hosted the first event on the 2003/2004 Snowboard FIS World Cup circuit, the only southern hemisphere stop on the tour.
Valle Nevado in Chile is part of the Three Valleys of the Andes, which include El Colorado and La Parva, and it is the loftiest of the three. Just thirty-five miles from Santiago’s International airport, Valle Nevado ski resort has access to more than twenty-three thousand acres of world class skiing terrain and to the slopes of three mountains, back to back to back.
The three interconnected resorts of Valle Nevado La Parva and El Colorado offer a total of more than 65 miles of runs, accessible by 43 lifts. Skiers have access to scores of groomed slopes, heaps of fresh powder, a multitude of bumps and huge stretches of off-piste Andean meadows. Of the 34 slopes that favor expert skiers and snowboarders, the highest is the Tres Puntas. Valle Nevado’s wide open intermediate bowls allow high-speed arcs, while La Parva and Farellones-El Colorado ski resorts offer easier terrain.
Valle Nevado is the place for helicopter skiing/rides that whisk you off to virgin snows and to the seldom seen spectacular Andean landscapes. Accommodation at Valle Nevado includes lodgings near the slopes at Valle Nevado ski resort, three top-notch hotels and a huge condominium with apartments for rent. At over 12,000 feet, Cerro Negro often has powder on its summit into October, although the season generally ends in September at other resorts.