Ski Portillo Chile (known simply as Portillo) is a ski resort located 160 kilometers (100 miles) from Santiago, Chile, near the city of Los Andes. It rises 2880 meters above sea level and its highest point reaches 3332 meters above sea level. Ski Portillo has 23 ski trails and 12 lifts.
Plans to build the ski area were drawn up in the 1930s, construction began in 1942 and the ski area was opened in 1949. Several of the ski lifts on the west side of the valley were destroyed by massive avalanches in 1965, but were successfully rebuilt in time for Portillo to host the alpine skiing World Championships in 1966, the same year Jean Claude Killy won his first medals.
Since then, Portillo has become one of the principal destinations for ski racers to train during the Northern Hemisphere summer and hosts the ski teams of Austria, Italy and the USA.
Portillo offers three accommodation options catering to all types of travelers; Hotel Portillo, Octogon Lodge and Inca Lodge. All room rates, regardless of accommodation type, include unlimited access to ski lifts, four meals per day and complimentary use of pool, fitness centre, cinema, games room, disco, piano bar and ski & boot check.
Hotel Portillo, the more luxurious option, boasts 123 rooms with views of either the valley or the stunning Inca Lake. The hotel rooms range from double rooms to suites and family apartments; all with private bathrooms. Guests staying in Hotel Portillo enjoy gourmet food in the main dining room.
The Octogon Lodge, a more economic option ideal for families, offers 4 bed shared rooms with a private bathroom. Guests staying in the Octogon Lodge also enjoy their meals in the main dining room.
The Inca Lodge, the most economic option in Portillo and most popular with young adults, backpackers and students, offers smaller 4 bed shared rooms and communal bathrooms. Inca Lodge guests dine in the self-service cafeteria, but otherwise have access to all hotel facilities.
Travel along Route 57 towards Los Andes and then take the International Highway until finally reaching Ski Portillo, near the Paso Los Libertadores. During the winter season, the use of snow chains is mandatory. Ski Portillo offers shuttles between Santiago, Santiago International Airport, and Ski Portillo.
The ski season typically runs from mid-June to early-October, depending on the length and depth of snowfall regionally. It is also the oldest Chilean resort that maintains its conservative grandeur; there is a 450 person limit to the skiers per day which guarantees the quality of the skiing experience.