Whilst the Valle Nevado/Colorado/La Parva area may be the largest and most easily reached of Chile’s three top ski areas, if you’re up for something a bit more exotic, you’re looking at a journey of 480 km (298 mi.) – some four hours by train – south of Santiago in the province of Nuble.
Here near the city of Chillán, the winter snow cover is deep, the earth’s crust thin, and the Nevados de Chillán a trio of overlapping volcanoes that provide some excellent skiing. The resort and spa at the base of one of these smoldering peaks is another 50 miles up a scenic road. The village has an alpine look to it, with long runs through the trees served by a handful of lifts. The excellent off-piste includes the 14-km (23-mi.) Shangri-La, and Pirigallo – one of the resort’s most famous itineraries, where fumaroles belch sulphur fumes.
Best place to base yourself is the Gran Hotel, which has ski-in ski-out accommodation, a wonderful spa, and a steaming swimming-pool fed by pipes from the volcano.
Read more in our post "Summer" Skiing/Snowboarding in South America..