- Accommodation & Hotels
- Ski Area
- Ski Pass
- Facilities & Services
- Activities & Things to do
- Restaurants & Nightlife
Nevados de Chillán (Nevados de Chillan) is situated 1,530 meters above sea level with 33 runs and 30 km of groomed and maintained skiable area of 10,000 hectares of skiable domain. With 9 lifts (five chair and four surface lifts), its longest run is 6,5 kms. There is a vertical drop of 870 meters.
Nevados de Chillán (Nevados de Chillan) is a resort that offers some alternative activities, for example, randonee, cat skiing, snowmobiles and canopy. The thermal centre has nine hot spring water pools which are open all year round. It is possible to ski in and ski out to these pools.
With many beautiful natural attractions, summer at Nevados de Chillan offers visitors a recreational and relaxing retreat with horseback riding, trekking, mountaineering and a bike park. Located in Bio-Bio region, it's 194km to the east of Concepción city, and 82 km to the west of Chillan city.
The ski season is between 15th of June and the 15th of October, but worth visiting any time of the year with nearby attractions including Chillán city, Chillán Volcano, Nevados de Chillán glacier.
Snowboarders and skiers around the world claim that Nevados de Chillán ski center is the most complete, exciting and beautiful Andes Mountains, in the Southern Hemisphere.
Professional athletes and fans call the "Mecca of Ski" and qualify as "something akin to paradise," the perfect combination of high quality powder snow and volcanic hot springs that return the body to its physical strength.
It Nevados de Chillan Mountain Resort & Thermal Spa is a ski area of 10,000 hectares suitable for all kinds of winter sports and skill levels and is located just 194 kilometers from Concepción, the capital of the region of Biobio and 400 kilometers south Santiago de Chile.
Worldwide it is renowned for the quality of the snow and skiing off-piste terrain because the snow fall can reach 10 meters and is kept in perfect condition throughout the season from June to October each year.
Its 30 tracks are kept in perfect condition, including "Las Tres Marias", the longest in South America with 13 kilometers long. The safety and reliability in the preparation of the slopes is guaranteed with the use of professional machinery specializing in art snow.
The place where is located Nevados de Chillán is of extraordinary beauty with virgin snow that intermingle with large tracts of native forests of ancient trees.
This beautiful ski center, one of the most complete in the country, it’s 82 kilometers away from Chillán and besides its excellent quality of snow, it is surrounded by an environment of native forests, with nice mountain style hotels, spa services, hot spring pools, restaurants, a discotheque, a gym, a golf course and tennis courts, conference rooms, bars and much more.
It provides excellent accommodation, and in its wonderful natural environment you can you take delicious outdoor baths in natural volcanic waters, with temperatures ranging between 27° C to 65° C.
In winter and summer, visitors of Nevados de Chillán ( Ex Termas de Chillan) wil be able to bathe themselves in these healing waters and enjoy the majestic scenery amidst mountains and the Chillán Volcano. In addition, it offers different types of activities like skiing and snowboarding in the months where there is snow; and all kinds of outdoor excursions throughout the year to learn about the natural environment of the Mountain Range in the 8th Region of Chile.
Nevados de Chillan Ski and Snowboard Terrain
The Nevados de Chillan ski area is reasonably large and has significant vertical of just under 1,000 metres (1,530 – 2,500 metres).
Nevados de Chillán has a spread of terrain for all ability levels from beginners to experts. The terrain includes long groomed cruisers and off-piste runs on open slopes. Volcanic eruptions and rivers of lava have left behind some really interesting bowls, gullies and natural half pipes. Unlike Chilean resorts further north, there is also some tree skiing (when the snow conditions are very good), which provides the advantage of affording visibility and protection in inclement weather.
Nevados de Chillan is renowned for its great backcountry ski touring opportunities, and the resort also offers cat skiing and heli skiing.
The Nevados de Chillan ski resort has 12 lifts, which includes a mix of chairlifts (2 quads, 1 triple, 3 doubles) and surface lifts that are handy for the often-windy conditions. Now owned by Nevados de Chillan instead of Termas de Chillan, the archaic lift system is slowly being revamped.
Beginners and non-skiers
If you are here to ski Chillan for the first time, the ski school has decent facilities for people who want to learn to ski, however the small beginner area tends to get crowed and chaotic. Other activities include snowmobiling, dog sledding, snowshoeing, telemarking and sightseeing as high as the volcanic crater accessed via snowcat.
Fun offpiste and groomers can be found all over the mountain including the 13 km Tres Marias run. Follow the run to the base and if you are adventurous, you can explore to the left and right of this run, finding good powder, fun terrain features, and more.
Advanced to experts
Expert terrain is endless. While most of the resort lacks the super steeps, most of the area is ungroomed with countless options for off-piste and slack country exploring. The backcountry options are as wide as you could ever need with touring options to remote volcanoes, hot rivers, and long descents.
Nevados de Chillan Snow
Nevados de Chillan is aptly named because the snow is bountiful with an average snowfall of 10.1 metres (almost 400 inches) annually. The snow quality is generally well maintained in the upper two-thirds of the ski area.
Everywhere around the resort there are hot springs (termas) where it’s possible to soak in the therapeutic mineral springs whilst simultaneously soaking in the views of the mountains and sunsets.
There really isn’t a village at Nevados de Chillan, with most of the restaurants, bars and little shops located in the resort hotels.
Transportation - Get In
The ski resort at Nevados de Chillan is situated up the hill from Valle Las Trancas. This charming town is 78 km east of the center of the city of Chillán. From Santiago, Chillán is approximately 500 km to the south. Once in Las Trancas, the nearest town to the ski resort, you are 7 km away from the lifts and hotels.
Flying to Concepcion
It is possible to catch a flight from Santiago, the Chilean capital, to Concepcion. Numerous planes fly this route each and every day, and the trip is relatively quick, just under an hour. From the airport in Concepcion, Las Trancas is about 2 hours away. Directions for driving to the ski resort directly from Santiago are included below.
How to Get to Chillan By Bus or Train
It is also possible to take a train or a bus from Santiago to Chillan. The bus trip takes approximately 7 hours and the train approximately 5.5 hours. The main bus companies are Turbus and JAC. The train leaves from the Estacion Central.
How to Get to Las Trancas By Private Care Hire
Additionally, it is no problem to organize a private car rental from either the Santiago airport or city center. From there, the ski center is roughly a 5-7 hour drive to the south. Take Ruta 5, the main highway that allows speeds as fast as 120 km/hr. From Ruta 5, visitors should take the turn-off at Chillan and then follow the road signs to Ruta 55 which will lead them through Pinto and the Valle Las Trancas to Nevados de Chillan.
There are tolls on Ruta 5 that visitors should be aware of. Also, road conditions, weather conditions, day of the week, and time of the day will change the length of the trip, so visitors should plan accordingly.
How to Get to Nevados de Chillan from Las Trancas
Ground transportation options between Chillan and Las Trancas are relatively cheap and easy to find, and includes private car hire, public bus, and shuttle bus. The typical travel time between the resort and Chillan is 1.5 hours.
If you are driving yourself from Las Trancas to the ski hill, simply follow the road signs out of town. The resort is only 7 km away, and the trip will rarely take longer than 30 minutes.
Transportation - Get Around
The accommodations and facilities of the Nevados de Chillan Resort are spread across three main areas. The main hub for the Nevados de Chillan ski area is about a quarter of the way up the ski area where there is a day car park and Hotel Alto Nevados.
The next major hub is a couple of kilometres down the road at the Gran Hotel. From the hotel down to the bottom of the ski area there are various condos that are dotted amongst the ski trails and the Hotel Nevados de Chillan. At the very bottom of the ski area there is another day car park.
It's possible to ski and use the lifts to get between these areas, or it’s an easy walk from the Gran Hotel down to the bottom of the ski area. There is no organized shuttle system that goes around the resort, but if you’re staying at the Hotel Alto Nevados you might be able to persuade someone to drive you down to the minimarket at the base if needs be.
The variety of ski and snowboard terrain at Nevados de Chillan is fabulous. It's the best in Chile!
The lower part of the mountain has the best beginner terrain in Chile, yet Nevados de Chillan also has very interesting terrain for advanced and expert skiers. This is not a standard mountain with a front face that has uninterrupted runs with perfect fall line and no cambre. Sure there are some areas with wide-open terrain, but in the top half of the ski area, volcanic eruptions and rivers of lava have left lots of mounds, mini bowls, natural half pipes, steep pitches, and drop-offs. Nevados de Chillan has a plethora of playgrounds to explore.
Nevados de Chillan is a reasonably large ski resort and it has some claims to fame. It has the longest run in South America, the 13km long Tres Marias, and the biggest vertical drop in Chile. It has the longest chair lift, the Otto, with a length of 2,500 metres covering a vertical ascent of 700 metres. Don’t be too impressed though, as the lift is painfully slow. It takes 21 minutes to get to the top (and when we last visited it took 24 minutes)! There’s a big screen at the top of the chairlift that looks like it belongs at a drive-in cinema. It’s a shame that they don’t show movies, as it would help pass the time!
Another statistic that the resort can lay claim to is that it receives the most snowfall in South America (although it has to share this claim with Pucon Villarica). And thankfully for powder hounds it’s easy enough to score the abundant snow in the form of fresh tracks. Even when it's busy (e.g. July school holidays), there is a high proportion of beginner and intermediate skiers, so there are plenty of fresh tracks on offer in the more challenging parts of the mountain.
Unlike the ski resorts near Santiago, some of terrain at Nevados de Chillan is below the tree line. However tree skiing fiends shouldn't get too excited. The snow quality on the lower quarter of the mountain is often not conducive to off-piste skiing, and in many areas the spooky trees adorned with green hair are either too close together, or have too much undergrowth. However in the right snow conditions and with some exploring, some amazing tree skiing can be found.
Nevados de Chillan Skiing for the Beginner
The beginners’ areas at Nevados de Chillan are absolutely fabulous. Many of the beginner runs are spread across the lower quarter of the mountain, below the tree line where they are well protected from any inclement weather.
There is also a great beginner run located mid-mountain near the Alto Nevados Hotel.
Ski Center Valle Hermoso is located at the base of Nevados de Chillan and is ideal for beginners.
Intermediate Ski and Snowboard Terrain
Both the blue and red runs are appropriate for intermediate riders. Some of the blue runs are wide groomers that are great for cruising or racing, and there are plenty of places to pop off the side for an off-piste experiment in the powder (on good visibility days).
The super long Tres Marias run is a great way to zip down the full vertical of the resort on a narrow-ish trail, but you’d probably only do it once a day because the slow lifts required to return to the top are too much to bear.
Nevados de Chillan supposedly has a terrain park although it’s always been closed when we’ve visited. Thankfully there are plenty of natural terrain features for shredders.
Advanced Terrain On-Piste
The advanced trails are really just intermediate trails, and there is one long expert trail off the Otto chair (if it’s not closed due to avalanche risk) which would get rather boring after doing it a couple of times (and after twiddling your thumbs sitting on the Otto chair).
Off Piste Skiing Nevados de Chillan
Nevados de Chillan has incredibly interesting and challenging terrain with a plethora of ridges, humps, gullies, cornices and some short steep pitches. The resort has designated freeride areas, and you’re supposed to log-in at the office in the Otto Plaza to get a wrist band.
Some of the best ski and board terrain is off the long Otto lift. If you don’t want to be challenged too much, off load at the mid-station and play in the bowls and gullies either side of the lift. Or from the top of the lift there are more challenging lines. In this treeless terrain you can just spot a line that takes your fancy.
The trails that fan out on the skiers’ right in the Tres Marias area provide a smorgasbord of lines in which to play. Snowboarders will need to keep up plenty of speed on the traverses. Another disadvantage is that the snow on this side of the hill may be more wind affected than that around Otto.
With a bit of exploration in the gullies and on a cold day, a degree of tree skiing can be found in the mid sections of the resort. When the snow is really good, there’s some fabulous old growth forest skiing near the Bosque Nevado trail.
A degree of avalanche control work is undertaken in the designated freeride areas, but it would be very wise to don your avalanche safety gear anyhow.
If you’ve got energy to burn, there are a plethora of backcountry opportunities available from the top parts of the resort. The obvious temptations are to tour up to the three volcanoes, and the Pirigallo Valley is particularly well renowned.
As with all backcountry skiing, check with patrol regarding the conditions and take the usual precautions and safety equipment.
The resort runs guided cat skiing runs a few times a day, which are very reasonably priced. The Nevados de Chillan cat skiing is held in the alpine terrain above the Otto chair (Volcan Chillan Nuevo), so the operation is very weather dependent.
|High season - Day Ticket
24 to 26 June; 8 to 23 Julio; December to August 15
Ski center open from 9:15 am
|Adult (12 +) 44000 CLP 73 USD
Lower (6 to 11) 35,000 CLP 58 USD
Child (0-5) Free Free
|Season - consecutive Ticket
4 days adult 162000 CLP 270 USD
Adult 7 days 283 000 CLP 472 USD
4 days less than 125,000 CLP 208 USD
7 days less than 219,000 CLP 365 USD
| Season Pass
Gold Pass 940,000 CLP 1,567 USD
Normal adult 650000 CLP 1,083 USD
Normal less than 465,000 CLP 775 USD
Tickets light * 130 000 CLP 210 USD
* (Light Tickets: pass valid from Monday to Thursday 2017 season,
except Monday and Tuesday 14.8.2017 15.8.2017)
|Low season - Day Ticket|
|Adult (12 +) 3 4000 CLP 57 USD
Lower (6 to 11) 25,000 CLP 42 USD
Child (0-5) Free Free
Adult 1/2 day 29,000 CLP 48 USD
Minor 1/2 day 23,000 CLP 38 USD
| Season - consecutive Ticket
4 days adult 125000 CLP 208 USD
Adult 7 days 219 000 CLP 365 USD
4 days less than 88,000 CLP 147 USD
7 days less than 155,000 CLP 258 USD
| 4500 CLP value Skipass 8 USD
Debutant ticket gives exclusive right to the use of this area.
All other tickets are excluded from this place.
Value debutante area: 10,000 CLP
It is a valid ski pass every day remaining
seasonal. Spring Pass value: 325,000 CLP.
Ticket Pass Light
It is a valid ski pass from Monday to Thursday
throughout the offseason.
Light Ticket value: 130,000 CLP
Facilities & Services
There are three areas of facilities and services. The Nevados de Chillan main centre is about a quarter of the way up the ski area (at Plaza Otto and the Hotel Alto Nevados). A kilometre or two down the road are various services and facilities at the Gran Hotel, and more amenities are located down at the very bottom of the ski area at Plaza Tata.
Eating On Mountain
Guests at the Gran Hotel and the Hotel Alto Nevados on full board packages will generally have lunch at the hotel restaurants. These fancy restaurants are also open to non-staying guests.
The bar in the Hotel Alto Nevados is a nice lunch option for pub fare.
Poles apart from the gorgeous food at the hotels is the cafeteria at Plaza Otto, the main centre of Nevados de Chillan. Fare is typical for a cafeteria with hamburgers and fries being the highlight. They also sell beers and sometimes have wine tasting here. For sunny days, there’s a huge deck area for a spot of sunbaking.
Restaurant Club Buena Vista is further up the mountain at the base of the Mirador chair. This can be a nice place to perch and take in the views if you can cope with the daggy old songs they have blaring from the speakers.
For a cute dining option there is a small bar on one of the trails below the mid-mountain area.
Facilities for Children
Child care is not available for day trippers to Nevados de Chillan.
Childcare is available for guests of the Gran Hotel. The nursery is open from 0900 until an amazing 2200. This is lucky considering that the restaurants at the hotel are not particularly child friendly at dinner time. Child care for ages 3-7 is courtesy of the hotel, but babysitting for ages 0-2 attracts an additional charge. The Gran Hotel also has a range of daily activities for children of different ages.
Babysitting can be organized for guests of the Hotel Alto Nevados and Hotel Nevados de Chillan.
Nevados de Chillan Ski School
The main Nevados de Chillan ski school is based up at the Plaza Otto at the mid-mountain hub of the resort. They only have one English speaking ski instructor and one snowboard instructor, so the chances of being able to participate in a group lesson in English are slim. Thankfully private lessons are not extortionately expensive.
Nevados de Chillan Ski & Snowboard Rentals
There is ski and snowboard rental available at all three hubs at Nevados de Chillan. Only standard ski and board equipment is available and some of it is rather old. You won't find demo skis, fat skis or anything fancy.
Equipment repairs are readily available at the rental shops and considering the resort is located on a volcano with lots of rocks, you’re highly likely to need some base repairs!
With the closure of the casino at Nevados de Chillan there is no longer an ATM. Las Trancas has no opportunities for cash withdrawals either, and the closest ATM is in the town of Pinto, 55km away.
Activities & Things to do
In Nevados de Chillán there are many fun activities for adults and children that can be performed during the stay at the resort. Entertained bingos, snowshoe walks, horseback riding, football championships in the snow, cross-country skiing, talent shows magic shows and karaoke; are some of the options to share with other passengers.
Besides this, the mountain resort offers the following:
Learn to Ski
This is a program for everyone who wants to learn to ski, regardless of age. It includes 8 hours of ski lessons, complete equipment and a ticket to track "El Bosque".
Paintball in the Snow
This entertaining game of skill and strategy can be enjoyed in the outdoor spaces in Termas de Chillan and enjoy your time with friends and family of all ages.
Live the unique experience of gliding through a circuit in the snow on a sled pulled by Alaskan Malamoute dogs. Enjoy and be amazed with the beauty of the surrounding woods in this entertaining ride.
Via entertaining snowmobiles driven by guides, you can enjoy beautiful scenery and the best of the mountain.
Thanks to the privileged trails in Termas de Chillan, you can practice Nordic ski, which corresponds to the original style of ski. This consists of sliding in large flat and not too steep areas. All this surrounded by beautiful forests and nature that can only be found at this resort.
Ideal for those who enjoy the excitement and adrenaline, Termas de Chillán illuminates their tracks to enjoy the best ski during the night.
Because of its location and geography at the foot of the Chillán volcano with steep slopes and natural ledges, Termas de Chillán is the ideal place for practicing snowboarding. Feel the adrenaline and speed while watching a beautiful landscape of forests and mountains.
In Termas de Chillán you can enjoy randonée practice, gliding across the slopes amid forests and nature.
Intermediate and expert skiers can enjoy the backcountry in the 10,000 skiable acres that Termas de Chillán possesses and venture into untouched snow terrain. The journey begins in a helicopter that can be leased directly in the Ski School where you can see wonderful panoramic views of the landscapes in the area with the Chillán volcano and glacier in the horizon, and after slide through the snow in the company of expert guides.
Restaurants & Nightlife
Shopping at Nevados de Chillan is very limited. There are more shops located in the town of Las Trancas, but these are small and they don’t provide much more variety.
Nevados de Chillan Ski Shops
Up at the main Nevados de Chillan base at Plaza Otto, is a small ski shop. The shop is so small that the chances of finding what you’re after are also small (unless you’re after GoPro accessories!).
The best on-mountain ski shop is at the Gran Hotel. The store is medium sized selling outerwear from Salomon. The range of jackets and pants is large by Chile standards, but the choice is still limited. The shop also sells various ski accessories. No hardwear or boots are sold at the shop. For international guests staying at the resort, any goods charged to your hotel room are not subject to tax.
The shop at the Gran Hotel sells various souvenirs to commemorate your stay including mugs, caps, shot glasses and polar fleece tops.
For those staying in one of the apartments at Nevados de Chillan, it’s probably best to stock up on groceries at one of the many super-mercados in Chillan.
There is a very small minimart at the base of Nevados de Chillan, with only very basic groceries available for which you’ll pay a premium.
There are also a few small grocery stores in Las Trancas.