For those who love snow, skiing is the perfect combination of sport and nature. This activity, originally used as a transport in countries of Eastern Europe, is becoming increasingly popular worldwide. It doesn't matter if you were born on top of those skis or you're a beginner... enjoy sliding down the Chilean mountains, in the center or south of the country.

Popular tours

Here's a list of the best tours with Ski in their activities. To see the full list, visit our Tours in Ski


The first skis were made in Sweden and Finland around 4000-5000 years ago, being shorter and broader than the ones used nowadays. Despite skis are mainly used for sports, they are still used were used as a means of transportation in Norway, Sweden, Finland and some areas in Eastern Europe.

Skiing as a sport derived from its initial use as a vehicle. In 1850, the Norwegian, Sondre Norhein slided on the slopes of his land, creating then the Telemark technique. This consisted of bending one knee in order to turn left or right. This change is considered by many the beginning of skiing as a sport.

In the sport's early days, the skier had to climb to the top of the mountain before sliding down, but in the 20th century, skiers started using cable cars to climb to the top. In the 1930's several elevation methods were introduced, from ropes tied to the skier's feet, to chairlifts, with which the skier could climb a mountain several times a day. Finally, the arrival of the artificial snow machine ensured the presence of snow, in case the weather did not allow to ski in natural conditions.

The development of skiing gear promoted the professionalization and popularization of the sport. Original skis were made of a solid piece of wood, usually walnut tree, but since the 1930's, laminated woods started to take over the market. In the 50's, speed and durability were improved due to the useof plastic covers and combined metal skis which had a plastic or wood center. These new skis became very popular.

The classic ski model developed from the curved-edge design of Nordheim, from the 19th century. In 1990, parabolic skis were developed, allowing novice and intermediate skiers to improve their control over the ski. This, added to a new variety of waxes, greatly improved performance and made skiing a competitive sport. In 1924, skiing became an olympic sport. and in 1936, alpine skiing and feminine categories were standarized. In 1970, the Skiing World Championship was privatized and professionalized.

Ski Types

In modern skiing you can distinguish three main categories:

Traditional Skiing

This is the most popular modality, and also, the easiest to learn. It does not require an excellent physical condition or specialized equipment. It is practised in ski centers, which provide all the services you may need, suchs as ski lifts, track maintenance, lessons, and many others that make skiing a very accessible sport. 

Alpine-tour skiing or randonnée

This modality combines alpinism and skiing. For practising it, you don't need ski lifts or elevation devices, since randonnée boots and bindings allow you to move both down and uphill. In order to do that, you can also use sealskin (they are traditionally called that way, despite the fact that nowadays they are synthetic) under your skis to help you move upwards.

Even though this modality requires different skis and bindings, mixed bindings are becoming more and more popular, which allow you to practice traditional and alpine randonnée using the same gear. Due to the settings in which this sport is practised, you need knowledge about mountaineering, mountain safety and orientation skills.

Cross-country Skiing

This kind of skiing, typical of the Nordic countries, is practised mainly in flat lands with slight inclines. Its main objective is to traverse long distances on snow. Both footwear and skis are different from those used for traditional and alpine skiing.


The basic equipment you need for skiing is:

  • Skis
  • Bindings
  • Ski boots
  • Poles
  • Proper Clothing
  • Gloves
  • Ski goggles

When buying or renting your equipment talk to someone experienced who can help you choose the gear that best suits your level and needs. At first, you can rent your equipment until you are sure you like this sport and you want to continue practising it.


When skiing for the first time, it is highly recommended to take lessons with a qualified instructor. In that way, you will learn the right moves and techniques to ski safely. Most ski centers have schools with highly qualified instructors.

You must bear in mind that skiing does not only take time and willingness, but also money. Buying your own equipment entails a considerable investment. You must also consider transportation, accommodation, food, and your lift pass, which is usually fairly expensive.

If you are a beginner, it is better to rent or borrow equipment until you have gained some experience. Then, if you decide to keep on skiing, you can buy your own equipment.

Basic Aspects

  • Use sunscreen lotion to protect your skin.
  • Respect the signals and track boundaries.
  • Remember that the skiers ahead of you cannot see you. Therefore, it is your responsibility to avoid an accident.
  • Keep a speed that suits your skills, and never stop in the middle of the track.
  • Ski only on slopes that suit your level.
  • If you ski outside the tracks, you are doing it under your own responsibility.
  • Get instructions about mointain safety, avalanches, and other dangers threats may find in the alpine environment.


Do not litter, especially under the snow. When the snow melts, the garbage obviously reappears. If you find garbage and can dispose of it properly, the mountain will thank you.

Ski Centers in Chile:

There is a number of ski centers in Chile along the long and majestic Andes. Places like La Parva, Portillo, El Colorado-Farellones, Valle Nevado, and Termas de Chillán have world class infrastructure for practising sports like skiing and snowboarding, as well as hotels and lodges for resting and relaxing. In them, you will find all the comfort and amenities necessary to enjoy skiing in Chile, a long standing tradition in our country, with centers receiving thousands of visitors every year.

Ski Centers:


  • Portillo Ski Resort
  • Located in Valparaíso Region, 164 km. away from Santiago and 2.860 mts. above mean sea level, Portillo Ski Resort is one of the oldest, most beautiful, and famous ski centers in Chile.

Valle Nevado:

  • Valle Nevado Ski Resort
  • Valle Nevado ski resort is one of the most modern and newest ski center in Chile. Furthermore, it is the largest in South America, and it is interconnected to the nearby centers of La Parva and El Colorado.

El Colorado

  • El Colorado Ski Resort
  • El Colorado is located in the Metropolitan Region, only 39 km. away from Santiago. Its maximum altitude is 3.333 mts. with an incline of 903 mts, and a skiable area of a thousand hectares.

Nevados de Chillán

  • Nevados de Chillán Ski Resort
  • Furthermore, it one of the ski centers that offers the greatest variety of activities, such as nordic ski, randonnée, heliski, snowmobiles and sledges, among others.


  • Pucón Ski Resort
  • Located on the slopes of one of the most well-studied volcanoes in South America, Pucón Ski Center offers its visitors not only a place for skiing, but also the opportunity to discover and enjoy one of the most beautiful areas in Chile.


  • Antillanca Ski Resort
  • Adequately equipped with an optimal hotel infrastructure, this ski center has earned a name for itself amongst the national ski complexes, due to its excellent snow conditions for all types of skiers. Other remarkable features are the freeride slopes and cornices, most appreciated by snowboarders.

More Ski Centers in Chile

Ski Resorts in Central Valley, Vineyards and Santiago

La Parva

  • Located at an altitude of 2.700 mts, Ski Center La Parva has a quality that no other resort can offer: a complete view of Santiago Valley in all its magnitude.
  • Villa La Parva has all the services that visitors may need: accommodation, restaurants, equipment rental, ski school, bar, transportation, cafeteria, club, medical clinic and parking lot.


  • Lagunillas is run by Club Andino, and has a skiable area of 200 hectares, with 13 tracks of different levels. Due to its location and surroundings, Lagunillas is the ideal place for all mountain activities, including randonneé and snowboarding.

Chapa Verde

  • Located in the lands of Codelco (National Copper Corporation), Chapa Verde Ski CLub is 60 kilometers northeast of Rancagua and 145 km. away from  Santiago.
    Regarding acommodation, the center has individual cabins for renting throughout the season.

Ski Resorts in Araucanía, Lakes and Volcanoes


  • Antuco Ski Center is located on the north slope of Antuco Volcano (2,985 meters high), within Laguna del Laja National Park, and near the Argentinian border.

Las Araucarias

  • Otro centro de ski enclavado en los faldeos de un volcán es Las Araucarias, ubicado justo bajo el Volcán Llaima. Situado dentro del Parque Nacional Conguillío, se compone de 350 hectáreas de dominio esquiable, lo que lo hace ideal para todo tipo de esquiadores, ya sean principiantes, avanzados o expertos.


  • Montaña Corralco Mountain Center is located 50 kms. west of Temuco, on the southeast slope of Lonquimay Volcano, at an altitude of 1.400 mts.

Ski Resorts in Northern Patagonia

El Fraile

  • Located in the austral zone at 1,600 meters above sea level, and just 29 km. away from Coyhaique, El Fraile Ski Center is a unique choice, since it allows you to ski among lenga, pine, and ñirre forests, with a magnificent view of Frío and Pólux lakes.

Ski Resorts in Southern Patagonia

Cerro Mirador

  • The center is set on the slopes of Mount Fenton, and it has an excellent infraestructure, with narrow powder-runs that move through trees, posing a nice challenge for skiers.

Ski Shops in Santiago

With over 3000 kms of mountain range in the Andes, skiing is a very popular sport in Chile, and thus you can find a large number of ski shops, where you can buy or rent ski equipment. Most of our tours include the necessary equipment, but here is a list of ski shops in Chile just in case you still need some extra gear.

La Bolsa del Ski

7360 - 7322, Las Condes Ave. Las Condes
3820, Candelaria Goyenechea, store 152, Vitacura
El Colorado Ski Center, next to commercial office.
Phone Number: (56-2) 2020615 / (02) 2087669

Ski Ahorro

9143, Las Condes Ave , Las Condes.
Phone Number: (56-2) 229 4532 - 202 3832


4900, Apoquindo Ave, stores 39 to 42
Omnium Gallery, Las Condes.
Phone number: (56-2) 246 0156 - 246 6881 - 246 5847 Fax: (56-2) 246 5847


Easton Center Shopping Mall, 9719 Eduardo Frei Montalva st. Store 245, Quilicura.
Phone Number: (56-2) 733 5498 


418, Manquehue Norte Ave, Las Condes
Phone Number: (56-2) 2112421 


1435, Manquehue Norte Ave, Vitacura.
Phone Number: (56-2) 2247938

Peak Performance

7384, Las Condes Ave, Las Condes
Phone Number: (56-2) 2012575


12255, Nueva Las Condes Ave, stores 43-44, Las Condes
Phone number: (56-2) 217-0945


8606, Las Condes Ave, Las Condes
Phone Number: (56-2) 229 4093 


Parque Arauco Shopping Center, 5413, Presidente Kennedy Ave, store 391, Las Condes. Also in Rockford and Funsport stores.
Phone Number: (56-2) 4329110

La Picá del Ski

9280, Las Condes Ave, store 4, Las Condes.

Ski Nautica

7735, Las Condes Ave, and Mall Sport store 101, 13451 Las Condes Ave.
Phone Number: (56-2) 7118065 y (56-2) 4371531 y


La Cabaña del Esqui
1105, Ecuador Ave, Chillán.
Phone Number: (56 - 42) 432277


Ski Aventura
499, Caupolicán Ave, 1st floor, Temuco.
Phone Number-Fax: (56 - 45) 741285. 

Punta Arenas

Sien Sports
965, Armando Sanhueza, 10367, Luis Lagos Ortiz, Punta Arenas.
Phone Number: (56 - 61) 613594 - 613595.


Ski & Snowboard Federation of Chile
Avda. Vicuña Mackenna 40, Santiago. Phone number: (56-2) 2228733 y 6659369.

Driving in the Mountain Handbook, Nacional Comitee of Transit Security.


El Esquí en Chile - Skiing en Chile

Author: Guy Wenborne y Macarena Valdivia. 2005, 176 páges, Spanish-English.

El Esquí en Chile Guía 2009 - Ski in Chile Guide 2009
Author: Sergio Paz. 2009, Spanish-English.


These are de destinations where you can Ski

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