In addition to world-class skiing among spectacular Andean peaks, a Portillo ski vacation also provides opportunities for tack-on trips to unique regions. From Santiago’s Airport, which is just two hours from Portillo, you can easily hop on a regional flight to spectacular destinations, like Patagonia, the otherworldly Atacama Desert and the stunning Chiloé Archipelago. Conveniently, Portillo also has sister hotels in each of these regions, making tack-on trips a no brainer.
Here are some of the top attractions and experiences at the aforementioned destinations.
Sojourn to the far south in Patagonia
Patagonia is well known as a dramatic destination for explorers of all kinds. Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa sits at the edge of the South American pampa (lowlands) and Lake Sarmiento with incredible views of the Torres del Paine National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Tierra Patagonia guests embark on daily guided excursions, exploring the national park’s cultural points of interest and ecological wonders.
The hotel itself is nearly as dramatic as the landscape, with the exterior designed to resemble “an old fossil, a prehistoric animal beached on the lakeshore, like those drawn by Charles Darwin,” according to the hotel’s architect Cazu Zeger. Inside, it’s a cozy hideaway that offers a warm atmosphere for guests returning from a day discovering Patagonia’s natural and cultural wonders.
Video: Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa
Explore ecological wonders on Chiloé
The largest island of the Chiloé Archipelago off the southern coast of Chile, this destination offers travelers a step back in time to a place where nature and local culture has been preserved through the centuries. Chiloé enchants visitors with its unique architecture, warm hospitality and stunning landscapes. To the east, green hills are met by tranquil waters, and to the west, the powerful Pacific Ocean scours and shapes the coastline. The archipelago’s biodiversity captivated Charles Darwin in the 19th century and continues to fascinate visitors exploring the area by land and by sea.
The design of Tierra Chiloé Hotel & Spa takes cues from its sister hotels in Atacama and Patagonia. The structure is meant to be one more element in the surrounding landscape, adding to the area’s interest without detracting to its beauty. Inside, spaces are designed to centerpiece the dramatic views and warm guests returning from excursions.
Video: Tierra Chiloé Hotel & Spa
Sightsee in Santiago
Any Chilean ski trip typically includes a night in Santiago. Read our guide to Chile’s colorful capital city to find out where to stay, eat and sightsee.
Adventure on the Andes’ Altiplano in the Atacama Desert
Often compared to the surface of the moon, the Atacama Desert is the highest and driest place on earth. This destination includes many natural wonders and several oases. Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa is tucked away in one such oasis, on the outskirts of a quaint town called San Pedro de Atacama.
A 32-room adventure spa resort, Tierra Atacama is the sister resort to Portillo and offers a very similar guest experience. Instead of skiing, guests embark on guided excursions through the Altiplano. The options for adventures in the Atacama are endless, from climbing volcanoes and horseback riding across sand dunes to touring local villages and watching the sunset across the salt flats inhabited by thousands of flamingos. Just like Portillo, guests return to the hotel each evening to share the day’s stories over delicious food and wine.
Video: Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa
Take advantage of Portillo’s mini ski weeks this year, and explore other areas of Chile. Start planning your Andes adventure by requesting a customized quote today or speaking with a South America Travel Expert at 800-610-8911.