Athletic Clubs and Spas

All of Santiago's larger hotels have health clubs on the premises, usually with personal trainers on hand to assist you with your workout. Even if you aren't staying at a particular hotel, you can usually pay to use the facilities for the day.

Balthus. The city's top health club, this high-tech marvel has all the latest equipment. You feel healthier just by walking into the complex, a sleek series of riverside structures in concrete and glass. There are eight tennis courts, spas, pools, and numerous fitness programs. There is another location at Mall Sport, which is considerably farther from where most visitors stay. The day pass costs 37,000 pesos for non-members. Av. Monseñor Escrivá de Balaguer 5970, Vitacura, Santiago, 7630000. 2/2410–1414.


Santiago has no shortage of public parks, and they provide good opportunities to see the city. If you're ambitious you can even pedal up Cerro San Cristóbal, the city's largest hill.

La Bicicleta Verde. This has become one of the top indie tour providers in Santiago. From their storefront just across the river from Bellas Artes, you can rent singles and tandems, starting at 5,000 pesos for a half day, and join different thematic (historical, political, wine-based) bike tours. Loreto 6, Parque Forestal, Santiago, 8420515. 2/2570–9338.

Horse Racing

Betting on horses is popular in Santiago, which is the reason you see so many Teletrak betting offices. The city has two large racetracks.

Club Hípico. Races take place Friday and alternating Mondays at Club Hípico, south of downtown. El Ensayo, an annual race that's a century-old tradition, is held here in early November. Blanco Encalada 2540, Santiago Centro, Santiago, 8370465. 2/2693–9600. República or Parque O'Higgins.

Hipódromo Chile. Hipódromo Chile is the home of the prestigious Gran Premio Internacional, which draws competitors from around South America. Regular races are held Saturday and three Thursdays a month. It is a bit farther from the center than the Club Hípico and has a 3,000-peso entry fee. The race calendar can be found online. Hipódromo Chile 1715, Independencia, Santiago, 8380041. 2/2270–9237.


KL Ski Rental. If you're planning on hitting the slopes, KL Ski Rental not only rents skis and snowboards, but also arranges transportation to and from the nearby ski areas. Augusto Mira Fernández 14248, Las Condes, Santiago, 7591409. 2/2217–9101; 877/260–5447 in the U.S.


Chile's most popular spectator sport is soccer, but a close second is watching the endless bickering among owners, trainers, and players whenever a match isn't going well.

Estadio Nacional. First-division fútbol matches, featuring the city's handful of local teams, are held in the Estadio Nacional, southeast of the city center in Ñuñoa. Soccer is played year-round, with most matches taking place on weekends. It is also a major concert venue, and its history of use as a detention center during the dictatorship does not prevent its continued popularity. It was declared a national monument in 2003. Av. Grecia 2001, Ñuñoa, Santiago, 7780464. 2/2238–8102.


The slopes here were discovered by engineers building the now-defunct railroad that linked Chile to Argentina. After the railroad was inaugurated in 1910, skiing aficionados headed here despite the fact that there were no facilities available. Hotel Portillo, the only accommodation in the area, opened its doors in 1949, making Portillo the country's first ski resort, and went on to host the World Ski Championships in 1966. Today, it has 35 runs—the longest of these, Juncalillo, stretches 3.2 km (2 miles)—for beginners through to experts, as well as 14 lifts. The most famous run is the very steep Roca Jack, used for training by Olympic ski teams. Day visitors can dine in the auto-servicio (cafeteria-style) restaurant, at Tío Bob's restaurant, in the main dining room (most formal option), or at the Ski Box for on-slope snacks. Equipment rentals are available for around 20,000 pesos per day.


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. 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. 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. 38,000–43,000 pesos. Mid-June–Sept.