El Colorado. The closest ski area to Santiago, El Colorado has 568 acres of groomed runs—the most in Chile. There are 19 ski lifts here and 101 runs for beginners through to experts, as well as the best snowpark in South America, which has six jumps. The beginner runs are at the base of the mountain near the village of Farellones. Sled tracks and a few other activities for nonskiers opened in 2014. There are a few restaurants and pubs nearby, but most are down in the village of Farellones. The ski season here runs from mid-June through September, depending on snowfall. On road between Farellones and La Parva, El Colorado. 2/2353–6760. www.elcolorado.cl. Lift tickets 34,000–42,000 pesos. Mid-June–late Sept.
La Parva. This colorful conglomeration of private homes set along a handful of mountain roads with stunning views of Santiago is home to a resort with 16 ski lifts, most leading to runs for intermediate skiers. The more adventurous (and advanced) can take part in heliskiing on the resort's 1,800-plus acres. 3 km (2 miles) up road from Farellones, La Parva. 2/2964–2100. www.laparva.cl. 29,000–40,000 pesos. June–Sept.
Valle Nevado. Chile's largest ski region is a luxury resort area with 17 ski lifts that connect to 46 runs covering 7,000 acres. Intended for skiers who like a challenge, this resort has few beginner slopes. Two of the extremely difficult runs from the top of Cerro Tres Puntas are called Shake and Twist. If that doesn't intimidate you then you might be ready for some heliskiing. The helicopter whisks you to otherwise inaccessible peaks where you can ride a vertical drop of up to 2,500 meters (8,200 feet). A ski school at Valle Nevado gives pointers to everyone from beginners to experts. Many of the visitors here are European, as are the ski instructors, though in recent years more Brazilians have been coming to Chile for the skiing as well. 13 km (8 miles) beyond La Parva, El Colorado, 769000. 2/2477–7000. www.vallenevado.com. 38,000–43,000 pesos. Mid-June–Sept.