Guided Tour vs Booking a Resort Hotel
Chile as a skiing destination has become much more known over the last decade and therefore there are more options for how you ski Chile. The three types of Chile ski-holidays are:
- Major tour operators offer multiday resort packages up to two weeks.
- You can be an independent traveler if you have the time and speak some Spanish.
- A guided tour.
Which way you choose depends on your available time, priorities, and what you want to experience in Chile.
One way to experience Chile is to book with a tour agent for a one or two week stay at one of the three ski areas that offer hotel accommodation: Portillo, Valle Nevado, or Nevados de Chillan. With this type of ski holiday be prepared to only experience the ski hill, as there is not much to explore or discover in the evenings after skiing. The ski areas are very isolated geographically and due to the low volume of people, the infrastructure at the ski areas is extremely limited compared to Europe and North America. There are no villages or towns at the base of the ski areas. There is just the hotel and its facilities. People have described their Chile resort stay experience saying they could have been anywhere because all they experienced were the slopes, hotels, and other foreign guests. They didn’t experience much of Chile other than some of the food.
If you are someone who wants to experience more of the country and the culture and ski more than one area while in such a unique and intriguing country as Chile, you need to look into a guided ski holiday. This will allow you to experience more of Chile’s culture, geography, wine and food, plus ski more areas than the large tour operators can offer you.
With a guided tour, you travel by private van and driver in small groups of 10 skiers with two guides. They travel from area to area taking you where the best skiing is, not just the best marketed skiing. You will be guided to the best snow each day and get more fresh tracks. You will visit up to five resorts and you get to see more and learn more of the country than just the ski hill. You will do historical tours of Santiago during the day and wine tasting at night, visit famous vineyards and local colorful markets when traveling through the country. You will be taken into the culture by experienced guides who speak the language and have spent time living in Chile.
Another great benefit to this type of ski holiday in a country like Chile is that the language barrier is removed with the help of your Spanish speaking guides as there is no English spoken in most places. Also the cultural barrier is lowered through your experienced guide who has traveled Chile extensively or lived there.
Another big plus is you do not have to worry about the logistics of your holiday, which can more often than not be very trying in Latin American cultures, where Chile is no exception. You just have fun on and off the slopes and your guides take care of the rest.
If you are thinking of Chile as a destination, don’t think twice – it will be an unforgettable experience. You will find yourself spoiled by the great weather, amazing snow, empty slopes, abundant fresh tracks, and the friendly relaxed culture of the Chilean people, not to forget the abundance of great wine. The only thing you have to think about is how you will do Chile; resort stay or guided tour.
See you on the slopes!