Skiing in South America

Oma H. Barnett

Skiing in South America has been a favorite pastime since before the 1930’s, when Bariloche in Argentina first became popular with travelers hoping to beat the hottest days of the Northern hemisphere’s summer. Chile and Argentina both offer some exceptional skiing, hosting world-class tournaments and competitions, and bringing Olympic athletes and vacationers alike to the region for what is, without a doubt, some of the very best skiing and snowboarding the entire planet has to offer.

What Makes the Experience So Great?

You might wonder why skiing in South America has become so popular; the answer lies, in part, with the quality of the snow. If you’re skiing on the United States East Coast or in California, or in other places where the snow tends to be wet much of the time, then you might long to get away to places like Utah, Jackson Hole or Sun Valley, where the powder is super fine, spraying behind your skis or board like a wide, glittering swath of diamond dust that shimmers in the sun.

If powder is your thing, then try skiing in South America for some super dry, super deep, super intense powder action. In case you’ve ever wondered where pro skiers and snowboarders take those heli-ski adventures that leave you stricken with awe, the Argentinian Andes or the mountains of Chile are often the site where filming takes place. Incredibly, you can experience this for yourself, if you’re ready for a superbly intense challenge that costs less than you might think it does.

In addition to virgin snow at the top of some of the world’s highest mountains, the resorts in Argentina and Chile offer world-class amenities. Places like Chile’s Termas de Chillan and Argentina’s Bariloche feature huge runs, loads of variety, and plenty of lift capacity. With hotels that offer excellent amenities and great international cuisine, not to mention ski and snowboard instruction for kids and adults alike, plus outstanding nightlife and shopping opportunities, all at prices that are very low by Australian, Canadian, American, and European standards, it’s not surprising that so many people visit South America to ski and snowboard each year.

Ski Season in South America

If you live in the Northern hemisphere and can’t seem to get enough of winter, you’ll be thrilled to know that South America’s ski season begins in mid-June and sometimes earlier, and extends into mid-October, and sometimes later. Snow starts to fall around Bariloche in mid-May, so keep an eye on the weather, and start planning your vacation in advance. Space is limited by accommodations, lift lines tend to be short, especially in more remote locations, and you’re only a few hours away by plane. Warn your boss that you might not be coming back; and enjoy all skiing in South America has to offer.

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