A great first trip to Chile for snowboardingThis was my first trip to Chile, so I can only compare against North American resorts I've stayed at. Transportation:Excellent. Driver/porter were waiting for me at the SCL customs exit and wasted no time getting me to my vehicle for a private ride up to Valle Nevado. Blocked at 2 hours, it was probably closer to 90 minutes. Mountain and staff:The lodge base is just under 10,000 feet. If you are not used to this sort of altitude, take it easy the first day or so, drink LOTS of water and don't push yourself too hard. I found the mountain had a wide variety of terrain difficulty, although some of the backside wasn't open when I was there as this has been a sparse snow year for them. Still, a 40-50" inch base of packed powder that stayed frozen and powder(y) didn't suck and I had a lot of fun tearing around on the frontside and also found myself challenged on some of the steeper red/orange runs. Back country/Off-piste isn't really accessible w/ out heli-ski/heli-boarding in. North American visitors that aren't used to the Euro-style telemark/"teleski" lifts might find themselves hemmed in a bit since there are only a few chair lifts going up the front face and the more interesting side/back terrain is served mostly by these other lifts. They're the gateway to some of the more challenging runs Valle Nevado has to offer, so it's worth learning how to use them. I had a great couple private lessons w/ a snowboarding instructor who helped me get over some bad habits from my off-season skateboarding & surfing. The ski/board school will let you book multiple hours with the same instructor for either a whole day or over multiple days. Prices were quite reasonable(< $500 US for 3 days) compared to what you'd pay in the US for private lessons. I would definitely go back, but probably stay shorter and check out some of the other resorts in the area while I was there.
Good experience, skiing can be limitingMy 25 year son and I traveled to Chile for the sole purpose to ski in the first week of July. The trip to Santiago and then the two hour drive to Valle Nevado was was easy compared to other trips to South America of which I had heard described. The hotel was a standard hotel and is essentially next to the slopes (25 yard walk). There is no town in Valle Nevado. Three hotels and a few restaurants in those hotels. I would rate the food as a 3 out of 5 in all places. Good, not great. Similarly, I would rate the skiing good, not great primarily because the mountain is more like a small northeast U.S. mountain. My son and I skied the entire mountain the first day and by the end of day 6 were really only skiing 2 trails which are short compared to western U.S. standards. While the trail maps show some advanced runs, most runs in the U.S. would be Blue or Double Blue. Hardly any true black runs. And, since above the treeline, no tree runs if that is what you are looking for. The snow the first week of July was heavy in water content so somewhat icy but plenty of it. It was worth the experience to ski in July in Chile but cannot say it is a go back to place because limited range of mountain to ski and limited variety for the town. But, again, overall a good getaway.
Great experience.Had a great weeklong stay here this August. Nice resort, good skiing and very nice people.
We booked 2 nights pre in Santiago, 4 nights in Valle Nevado and 1 night post in SantiagoFrom start to finish, everything worked out perfectly. The transfer company, Portillo Tour and Travel (arranged by ski.com) were professional and prompt the entire trip. The drive up the mountain was an adventure in itself, filled with 65 hairpin turns, but we felt safe with our driver. When we arrived at Valle Nevado we were treated graciously. The package included lift tickets, meals and accommodations. Most of the staff at the resort were courteous and pleasant. Overall, the resort was clean and comfortable. Lots of dining choices but very expensive (as expected). Being that we were early in the season, the skiing was still good. The only complaint is that the lift ticket included in the package did not allow us to "upgrade" to a connector ticket so we could ski the other two resorts next to Valle Nevado (El Colorado & La Parvo). We had read that it was possible but the staff at the hotel told us we had to purchase a new full day ticket and had to ski to La Parvo to do that. This didn't seem like a good option and disappointed us. Other than that, the resort was great and Valle Nevado was, by far, the nicest of all.