May 12, 2012
A combination of favorable weather systems and a boom on infrastructure spending is shaping the ground for Chile to see its tourism biggest winter season ever before, on this 2012. With the Andean country already boasting a reputation as the one with the best ski resorts in Latin America; this year is shaping up as the time for Chile’s ski resorts to be recognized as the best in the entire Southern Hemisphere.
The latest weather forecasts released by the Meteorological Office of Chile and the computerized models developed are showing an alignment of favorable weather systems, which ought to produce the most snow that has been seen in seasons, precisely around Chile’s winter resorts’ areas.
Keeping par with good weather conditions for winter sports buffs and vacationers; Chile has developed a series of smaller ski resorts, many of them sitting on the slopes of active volcanoes; in areas that are less known, less crowded and that offer the travelers an altogether different experience. For these developing new resorts, the promised “deluge” of snow couldn’t come at a better time. A good example of this is Corralco, located in the steep flanks of the Lonquimay Volcano. In addition to a brand new, US $ 7 million, 66-rooms Hotel and Spa; Corralco has also become more accessible with miles of now paved roads.
For many skiers and snowboarders, these new developments will diversify and increase the portfolio of options in the Lakes Region; which already boasts the Villarica Volcano Resort, overlooking the city of Pucòn. Moreover, Chile’s established resorts are also bringing in significant improvements for this winter. For instance, Valle Nevado, just outside the capital city of Santiago; which already has the largest skiable terrain in South America; will open this year the country’s first gondola; a new sports and entertainment center featuring a climbing wall and skate ramp; a large parking area, new equipment rentals and a restaurant.
Neighboring resorts have also announced new attractions: La Parva will open the first half-pipe Olympic training center in South America; a triple chairlift and five new pistes; while El Colorado is developing new accommodations, 12 new runs and an extensive off-piste option.
But not only skiing and snow-related resorts are expecting to have a boom. Winter hikes and treks are becoming ever more popular with those who look for the best nature watching in less crowded ambiances. Chile’s natural beauty of amazing winter landscapes is also attracting visitors who can fully enjoy unmatched hiking opportunities and some of the most spectacular landscapes, practically all to themselves.
Patagonia in the Low Season offers a new and different experience; Quick Escapes from the City are offered from Santiago to locations nearby, like the Sierra de Ramòn mountain range which looms over Santiago. The advantages include the fact that you can plan on a day hike in high Andean mountain, leaving behind the bulky winter camping equipment needed otherwise. Of course you should be prepared for snow and cold weather but the experience will be rewarding and unique. Glaciers and lakes are there just for the taking and a host of winter activities, additional to skiing and snowboarding, are ready for the adventurous souls who look for unique travel experiences. With an already forecasted great 2012 for Chilean Tourism, the spectacular and diverse Andean country is getting ready to add a record-breaking winter season and has invested on infrastructure improvements and new facilities as well as intensive promotion campaigns on special target-markets; to enjoy the fruits of betting on tourism and travel as one of the most important socio-economic activities for the country.