Gretchen Bleiler is one of the most accomplished women in all of snowboarding. She’s an Olympic Silver Medalist; four-time X-Games Gold Medalist; two-time US Open Champion; World Cup Champion; World Superpipe Champion; Espy Award Winner and more. Gretchen lives in Aspen, and has ridden at Chile’s Valle Nevado numerous times, so who better to shed some insight on the two resorts featured in our Peak Seasons promotion?
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: Steven Depolo
For those traveling on a small budget, I suggest the traditional empanadas, a type of pastry filled with pino, a mix of diced meat, onions, olives, raisins and a piece of boiled egg. You can also find them filled with cheese, seafood, chicken and other combinations depending on the place.
You should also try sopaipillas, a round fried pumpkin dough. It can be eaten as a snack combined with a good pebre, a mix of chilli peppers, onions, garlic and cilantro, or as a dessert with chancaca (dark brown sugar) or powdered sugar.
Photo: Miguel Vieira
Chiloé is the largest island of the Chiloé Archipelago. It is located off the coast of Chile in the Pacific Ocean. The island is a must see if you are visiting Chile, especially in the summertime.
What make this island magical and unique is its nature, beautiful landscape, world heritage sites, whales, culture and food. It is a land of mythology, ghost ships and witches.
Chiloé offers many interesting things, but we will check five most exciting ones:
Photo: David Horowitz
The central zone of Chile, located between two mountain ranges: the Andes and Coastal ranges, is home to fertile valleys bathed by different rivers. Taking advantage of these special characteristics, this area of the country has seen the establishment of vineyards that produce different and exquisite varieties of wines. It’s led to Chile being recognized as one of the main exporters of wine from the “new world.”
Photo: Andy Price
When visiting Chile in the winter, why not plan on taking a relaxing bath in one of the many hot springs (termas) around the country?
There are different types of hot springs, such as a natural hot springs, mud baths, swimming pools, and therapeutic massage, among others.
Hot springs are known to have a therapeutic effect on the nervous system, skin illnesses, stress, rheumatism, lumbago and other types of back pain.
Photo: Mabel Flores
Chile celebrates its independence from Spain in September and the entire month is recognized as the “Month of the Nation.” The weather has begun to change, spring has almost arrived and the sun sets the mood for a celebration.
Fiestas Patrias, or more commonly, Dieciocho, are the names given to the holiday celebrations that take place on September 18 and 19. This year festivities will also take place on Monday the 17th. But don’t be surprised if you discover that the celebrations already got started. Because Chileans are patriotic and like to always have fun, the Fiestas Patrias provide a great excuse for a party.
Photo: Alex Grechman
Valle Nevado, la Parva and el Colorado are three ski centers located near Santiago, the capital. Each has a special charm and allows winter sports lovers to enjoy a great day trip from Santiago. It’s also possible to stay in a resort up the hill to enjoy the wonderful natural snowy landscapes of the Andes mountain range.
El Colorado offers a 25-mile (40-kilometer) terrain and 70 ski slopes; la Parva has an area of 24 miles (38 kilometers) and Valle Nevado is known for having the biggest skiable surface in South America with 23,000 acres.
Photo: Daniel Diaz Vera
Road races are increasingly becoming more popular in Chile. Nowadays it’s easy to run a marathon on Santiago’s streets or a triathlon or a road race in other regions of the country throughout the year. All you have to do is search for these runs and sign up!
Photo: Orban López Cruz
Chile’s capital city is known for its clean streets and diverse urban landscape. You can visit interesting museums, marvel at architectural gems and enjoy great food and entertainment while exploring Santiago de Chile’s neighborhoods.
Day 1: Start your first day in the bohemian borough of Bellavista. A walk around the streets will lead you to the entrance of San Cristobal Hill, where you can reach the top to have a panoramic view of the capital.
For lunch, you can go to a restaurant in the neighborhood and then visit La Chascona, a house built by the author Neruda for his secret love.
Photo: Karin Paz
No matter what your interests and travel preferences are, you will be sure to find amazing destinations to explore on your next vacation in one of Chile’s diverse regions.
North: San Pedro de Atacama is a place not to be missed in the northern region of Chile. A small village located in the Chilean altiplano (high plains), it is a cornerstone of Chile’s archeological history. From Santiago, catch a plane to Calama and then a bus to San Pedro (90-minute trip). Here you will find a wide variety of accommodations such as hostels, hotels, bed and breakfasts or camping. If you love the outdoors and don’t mind cool nights, pitch your tent and enjoy some of the clearest skies in the world.