My very last outing while living in Chile was to the Valle Nevado a ski resort located at 46 km to the east of Santiago, the capital of Chile. It is on the El Plomo foothills in the Andes Mountains and was already covered in snow although this was only the start of winter.
I was cutting my stay in Chile short and had so many places on my wish-list that it was quite hard to choose one for my last weekend in Santiago. But I couldn’t leave without visiting the famous Andes mountains. The only way to do this was to go on a day trip up to one of the many ski resorts on this long mountain range.
The Andes is the longest continental mountain range in the world. It extends from north to south through seven South American countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela.
I got to travel up into the heart of the Andes, 30 miles west of Santiago. Here lies Valle Nevado one of the most modern tourist and ski centers in South America. The route up the mountain, snaking its way through the slippery snow and ice, had more than 40 curves. I stopped noticing the curve boards after number 40 and focused on the beautiful scenery around me.
The resort, Valle Nevado, includes housing facilities with hotels, shops, restaurants, pubs and bars to meet the holiday and entertaining needs of the holiday makers throughout the entire year, carrying on activities, tours and events both in summer and winter. It is very pricey as it caters to the tourist market. But a warm coffee and crepe after traipsing through the cold snow all morning was more than worth it!
It was a bright and clear day, ideal for walking through the thick snow up the ski slope to get views of the beautiful mountains all around. Although it was cold you couldn’t walk around without sunglasses as the glare from the snow on this cloudless day was blinding. I would love to come back someday and actually ski or snowboard down these beautiful slopes. But just standing there in the snow among the beautiful Andes Mountains was an amazing experience.
Was a great way to spend my last Sunday in Chile before moving to South Africa in 2013.