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Tackle the slopes in Portillo picture in Santiago
Morten Anderson / Portillo

Details

  • Skiing, Neighborhood/Area Type
  • More than Full Day Time to Spend
4.1
Overall
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  • Value
    3.0
  • Food Scene
    4.0
  • Atmosphere
    4.5

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Every winter, powder hounds flock to this ski area 102 miles northeast of Santiago to tackle the Andes' famed slopes. Portillo's history stretches back to 1930, when winter sports aficionados began constructing a ski area surrounding Laguna del Inca (Lake of the Inca) that lured skiers from Europe, North America and other parts of Chile. Over time, Portillo earned such a positive reputation that it was chosen to host the Alpine World Ski Championships in 1966. After hosting the first-ever World Championship event in Latin America, Portillo and its popularity only continued to grow, earning it a reputation as one of Chile's most-beloved ski retreats.

Portillo boasts 1,235 skiable acres and 19 runs. But that's not the resort's only draw. Recent visitors are just as impressed by the scenery. "Portillo is an intimate resort with breathtaking views and great groomed runs. I was lucky enough to go up for a night," remarked one TripAdvisor user. If you have the chance, many travelers recommend staying at the Hotel Portillo, easily identifiable by its famous canary yellow facade. The hotel offers enviable access to the slopes, fresh cuisine and all-inclusive rates. But there is one hitch: Guests of the Hotel Portillo are required to stay for at least a week.

While Portillo's high season lasts from July 5 to August 2, visitors are welcome year-round. Lift ticket prices vary by the date and the number of days you wish to ski. If you come during peak visiting days (on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays and from July 6 to August 16), expect to pay 38,000 CLP (roughly $68.50 USD) for a one-day adult pass or 25,000 CLP (roughly $45 USD) for a one-day child ticket. If you're not a skier or you would prefer to visit in the spring or summer, there are plenty of activities to pique your interest, like Water Fitness, Watsu Water therapy and yoga classes, as well as excursions to nearby wineries. For additional information, including off-season pricing, visit the Portillo website.

The easiest way to reach Portillo from Santiago is through a shuttle service, such as Portillo Tours and Travel or Ski Total. You can easily catch the shuttle from Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez Airport. SkiTotal also offers round-trip service from Apoquindo Avenue to Portillo on Wednesdays and Saturdays for 22,000 CLP (about $40). For additional information, consult the SkiTotal website.

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#1 Bellavista Beckoning to an artsy crowd, the Bellavista neighborhood features graffiti-lined streets with cafes, art galleries and boutique shops. Here, you'll find inventive cocktail bars and eclectic eateries rubbing shoulders ... Read more » Luigi Giarino / Flickr

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#4 Santa Lucia Hill A hilltop park on the eastern edge of downtown Santiago, Santa Lucía Hill (Cerro Santa Lucía) draws visitors with its panoramic views. To reach the top of Santa Lucía ... Read more » Pierre-Yves Babelon / Shutterstock

#5 Museum of Memory and Human Rights If you're looking to learn more about General Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship, plan a visit to the Museum of Memory and Human Rights (Museo de la Memoria y los ... Read more » Courtesy Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos

#6 Plaza de Armas Spanish conquistador Pedro de Valdivia (who founded Santiago) established this historic square back in 1541, creating a religious and political hub teeming with architectural treasures. Amid the many sights on ... Read more » bumihills / Shutterstock

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#8 Wineries Wine connoisseurs love the aromatic vino and colorful scenery found in the Maipo Valley. A smattering of small wine producers — renowned for their flavorful reds, especially cabernet sauvignon — can be ... Read more » Rafael Franceschini / Shutterstock

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#14 The Fashion Museum When the celebrated Fashion Museum (Museo de la Moda) opened its doors in 2007, it attracted the "glitterati" with its array of famous garments. Among the 10,000 pieces on ... Read more » Miguel Vera León / Flickr

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