One of Chile’s main attractions, and one of the products for which it is best known, is wine. From the areas nearby Santiago such as the Santa Cruz, Maipo and Colchagua valleys, to the warmer, more arid areas of the Aconcagua valley and further to the north and south, Chile produces wines, most famously, Carmenere, but Cabernet Sauvignon is growing in popularity, as are (newly) a few white wines, including some grown closer to the coast. Pinot Noir is also up-and-coming in Chile, in addition to the better-known reds.
If the snow isn’t to your liking, or it’s out of season, or you’re just itching to try a new sport, there’s a great option in the north of Chile, that might remind you of snowboarding, with a touch of surfing, and a whole lot of desert. That sport is sandboarding.
For pristine, above-the-treeline back-country skiing, tremendous vertical drop and the opportunity to ski in the shadow of Aconcagua, South America’s tallest peak, cat-skiing at Ski Arpa, has an offer that is unparalleled in Chile, and much of the world. Add to that the fact that Chilean winter comes during North America’s “off season” period, and the decision is simple.
Photo: Ismael Cañete
Pucón is Chile’s adventure sports capital, with a beautiful, volcanic-formed topography including the snow-covered Villarica volcano that peeks out on sunny days. In and around Pucón there are great opportunities for biking, hiking, canopy, rafting, skiing, horseback riding, canopy, rock-climbing (some of these only in season), and to wrap it all up at the end of the day, plentiful hot springs to choose from to suit every taste from rustic to elegant, and all-inclusive resorts.
A few hours from Santiago, Chile, lies Nevados de Chillán a snow-covered volcano, offering the prettiest combination thousands of acres of fresh powder and warming natural hot springs that you’re ever likely to get the chance to visit. There are several housing options, from a nearby hostel to four-star hotel right at the resort, so there’s something to suit every budget. Ski packages and ski gear rental are available at many of the accommodations as well. This mountain has plentiful activities to choose from, and offers ski schools and day care for kids, off-piste guides, volcano ascents and more, making it one of Chile’s favorite resorts.
Parents know that one of the best ways to form fabulous family memories is to spend quality time together with the kids. Chile is a very family-friendly tourism destination, with many vacation packages available. While summer is great for hiking and late sunsets, Chile’s off-season June to August southern winter rounds it out with world-class skiing.
Portillo is a great option for family skiing at one of the world’s ten best resorts, nestled high in Chile’s majestic Andes mountains, some of which tower at over 19,000 feet.
As spring and summer settle on the northern hemisphere, Chile is laying in fresh snow for your “off season” skiing pleasure. Skiing is within easy reach of Chile’s capital city of Santiago, with one of the best, Valle Nevado, just 37 miles away. Recent repaving and widening of the access road have improved travel time to the slopes.
Due to Valle Nevado’s location high in the Andes, this resort has some of the most reliable snow in South America, and even with 80% sunny days, conditions are optimal, due to low temperatures.
Photo: Juan Ernesto Jaeger - Gentileza de Turismo Chile
The history of Chilean wine began approximately 500 years ago with the arrival of the Spanish conquerors. They were the ones that introduced wine made of Vitis Vinifera (Common Grape Vine) to Catholic mass rituals.
Photo: Michael Barrera
Chile is a country of many flavors. A combination of European and aboriginal traditions allows for wide gastronomical variety.
Seafood fans will be glad for the long coastline of Chile. Some of the most famous coastal dishes are: caldillo de congrio (soup with onions, potatoes and carrots); pastel de jaiba (Chilean crab pie); chupe de locos (sea snail soup); machas a la parmesana (clams with grilled parmesan cheese); and mariscal (cold soup with a variety of raw seafood).
Photo: David Berkowitz
Fascinating facts about the most isolated island anywhere, courtesy of explora Rapa Nui