A trio of ski treats in Chile

Chile is a long, narrow country on the Pacific Coast of South America.  It is a country of remarkably beautiful landscapes, the best known of which is in the far South of the country in an area known as Patagonia.

With thrusting mountains and spectacular icebergs, Chilean Patagonia is beginning to attract its fair share of skiers who are out to take on slopes that are rarely crowded.

Three of the most popular ski resorts are Valle Nevado, La Parva, and Colorado, which are commonly known collectively as the Tres Valles.

These mountains huddle together in the Andes and are only about one and a half hours drive from Chile’s capital, Santiago.

They are strung together by an interconnected lift system, making movement between them relatively easy.  The Tres Valles combine to offer enough runs to keep an advanced skier busy for a week. The peaks range 2800-3700 meters (9186-12139 ft), and during the high season (July-Aug), usually get a generous dusting of crisp dry powdery snow.

Valle Nevado is considered to be the most elegant of the three, with a resort that offers a luxurious touch to its rugged slopes. And there is a lot of fun to be had here. Visited by skiers from all over the world, Valle Nevado has 9,000 hectares of skiable surface, distributed into 37 kilometres of ski trails of various difficulties.  It is open year-round to skiers and snowboarders of all abilities, plus heliskiers, this park offers an all-inclusive stay for snow-sport lovers. Valle Nevado is popular because of its high-purity powder snow, 34 trails and slopes specially prepared with a vertical drop reaching 810 metres and ending in splendid Andean fields and off-piste areas.    

El Colorado, Valle Nevado’s neighbour, is the largest of the three parks.  It features 16 lifts, 25 trails, and a magnificent view over Santiago. This is an excellent park to take the kids, with several beginners’ slopes and a lift designed specifically for little ones.

Colorado melds into La Parva, and boasts untrekked trails that stretch over 66 miles. It’s known for its advanced skiers’ slopes, and great backcountry bowls of completely untouched snow. Together with the borders of Valles Colorado and Nevado, La Parva makes for some of the widest-ranging skiable snow in all of South America.

All-in-all skiing Tres Valles promises great runs on fine snow in a part of the world that allows you to enjoy the slopes without the hassle of battling crowds.

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