Photo: Leandro Neumann Ciuffo
Though little known outside of Brazil, the small but adorable Swiss-inspired mountain village of Gramado, 124 miles northeast of Porto Alegre in the deep Brazilian south, is a little island of giddy European charm surrounded by an ocean of Tropicália. During winter break, Brazilians flock here, all too happy to don hats, gloves and galoshes while they pretend that cold is kitsch between bites of fondue in fireplace-toasted restaurants. Sounds like hell frozen over? Not so fast.
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: 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: Fer Quintana
From the Andean peaks near Mendoza to the snow-capped ranges around Ushuaia, at South America’s very southern tip, Argentina is packed with enough mountains to satisfy even the most enthusiastic skiers. And right now is the best time to go: Late July is the very heart of Argentina’s snow-skiing season, which typically begins in June and runs through August.