Typically, during average snowfall years, ski season in Chile and Argentina runs from mid-June to mid-October. Some years, ski touring or “skinning” is possible as late as November. However, if you’re looking for the best snow coverage, the best chance of powder, few crowds and the least expensive lodging, there’s definitely a sweet spot for traveling to Chile and Argentina to ski.
When should I book my ski trip to Chile or Argentina?
To skip the crowds and most expensive lodging rates avoid the last two weeks in July, as they are student holidays and popular resorts like Portillo, Valle Nevado, Las Lenas and Cerro Catedral tend to get a little over run. Plus, nightly rates, as well as food and drinks, will be more expensive during that time period since availability is limited.
This year, if you’re looking to add some Chilean flavor to your ski trip, consider booking during the week of August 17–24, which is the Chile Wine Festival at Valle Nevado. Resort representatives are reporting that there is still plenty of lodging availability at the time this article was posted.
In addition, Portillo also confirms that pricing later in August tends to be more affordable. The resort just announced a new 4-night “mini-week” package for August 18–22. If you’re planning on bring the little ones, Portillo offers “1 child skis free” Aug. 25 – Sept. 1. This could be a great pre-back-to-school trip!
When is the snow the best in Chile and Argentina?
Early season, mid-June to early July can be a bit hit or miss in terms of snow coverage, but by early August, the terrain tends to be completely open and the snow pack is at its deepest. The months of August and into early September are when the Andes typically receives the biggest snow storms.
In fact, there’s even a legendary weather system, the “Santa Rosa Storm,” which hits the Andes a week or so before the end of August—right around the Fiesta de Santa Rosa (Aug. 30). If you’re down south, pow skis in tow, when Santa Rosa makes landfall, you’re going to be one happy camper.
In summary, you’re going to want to ski in Chile and Argentina August and early September.
Originally from the icy trails of New Jersey, I moved West to pursue powder and a career in writing and editing. Now in Aspen, Colo. and working for Ski.com managing the website and blog content, I couldn't be happier. You'll find me skiing at Aspen Mountain or Aspen Highlands in the winter and mountain biking at Snowmass in the summer.