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Southern Hemisphere Ski Resorts

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Southern Hemisphere Ski Resorts - Portillo, Chile
Southern Hemisphere Ski Resorts

Portillo is a premiere heli-skiing destination in Chile.

Copyright Julien Capmeil / Getty Images
When most people think of Southern Hemisphere skiing, Portillo, Chile is usually the first place that comes to mind. Portillo is one of the oldest resorts in the area, and has a rich history of hosting several World Championships competitions.

Portillo is located 2 hours northeast of Santiago, just 5 km from the Argentina border. Its 1300 skiable acres are 15% beginner, 30% intermediate, 30% advanced and 25% expert.

Portillo does not have a resort town. The focus is on skiing, and skiing only, which is one of the reasons its a popular place for world-class skiers to train. Although there are a few restaurants and bars, aprés ski is pretty limited in Portillo.

One thing Portillo is famous for, however, is its terrain. Trails tend to be uncrowded, so when the powder comes, the skiing is unbeatable. Plus, Portillo's high elevation - 10, 860 ft. at the highest point - lends to dry powder that makes for some great turns. Heli-skiing is a popular way to access the pow.

Portillo's main lodging option is the famous yellow hotel, Hotel Portillo, which stands out against the white snow and the bluebird days that so often grace Portillo's skies. (Eighty percent of Portillo's ski days are sunny, with storms coming in between.)

The yellow hotel is often heralded as a hallmark of the mountain. The advertised prices are for week-long stays and include lift tickets, and the hotel often offers discounts for families. Other options the more economical Octagon Lodge, with bunk bed accommodations, and the Inca Lodge, with dorm-style living similar to a youth hostel.

Read More: Ski Portillo, Chile: A Cruise Ship in the Mountains | Summer Skiing Deals in Chile | Ski Portillo's Website

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