Destinations

Southern Accents

Your Guide to Skiing South America

We understand if, lately, your mind has been on the Southern Hemisphere: The World Cup. That Brazilian model from last night. And, of course, ski season. Herewith, five critical South American slopes for your summertime shredding needs.

Cerro Castor, Near Ushuaia City, Argentina
THE DEEP SOUTH

Cerro Castor, Near Ushuaia City, Argentina

Your journey to the world's southernmost ski area will start in Buenos Aires. Four hours later (by air), you'll be in Ushuaia City, just 20 minutes (by coche) to Cerro Castor. There, you'll find dry, fluffy powder and (most crucially) a surprising 2,500-foot vertical. You'll après-ski by feasting on local king crabs, then hitting some discos and an area casino. For après-gambling, you're on your own.
Season: July 1 through November 1

Caviahue, Neuquén Province of Argentina
LATER CRATER

Caviahue, Neuquén Province of Argentina

Getting here isn't easy (fly 1,500 kilometers from Buenos Aires, then shuttle 360 kilometers from Neuquén), but nothing worth doing ever is. You'll be rewarded with an off-piste run from the Copahue Volcano's crater to its base, and (should that not prove as relaxing as we'd imagine) natural hot springs.
Season: Now through September 30

Caviahue, Neuquén province, (54 2948) 495053/64

Ski Portillo, Near Santiago, Chile
MAJOR 'PAGNE

Ski Portillo, Near Santiago, Chile

Your one rule of the slopes: first chair, last call. Here might be the best place to fully abide by that motto—it's the oldest and highest ski resort in South America, and famous for that smooth, dry powder you know as champagne. At night, you'll be happy to know that the local hotel scene provides plenty of the other kind of champers.
Season: June 26 through October 2

Penitentes, Near Mendoza, Argentina
DUE PENITENTES

Penitentes, Near Mendoza, Argentina

Sure, you've skied bigger places, but this place's 3,000-foot vertical is among the continent's highest. To help you tackle it, you'll have access to a heli-ski (ask 'em to buzz the locals), and a handful of four-star hotels at the base. They're ski-in, but you might not want to try that with the heli-ski.
Season: June 18 through October 1

Valle Nevado, Near Santiago, Chile
CHILE OUT

Valle Nevado, Near Santiago, Chile

Nearly 7,000 acres of powder. Easy access to heli-skiing. But enough about your estate. Let's talk about this place, the largest ski resort in South America. There, you'll experience the above, and more than half its terrain is designated advanced to expert—thus making it an ideal place to begin your defense of that gold you took in Vancouver.
Season: Now through October 1

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