The Must-Read Guide to Portillo, Chile

Portillo Ridge Hike Upper. Photo Frank Shine.

Portillo is one of those ski resorts that should be in your bucket list. That is why I am putting together this Must-Read Guide to Portillo, Chile. Nested in the High Andes of Chile, in the border with Argentina, this boutique-ski resort is a little jewel. With a maximum 450 guests, and a 1-2-1 ratio of personnel, you will feel super pampered.

The perfect groomed slopes of Portillo. Skier: Chris Davenport. Photo: Tamara Susa Photo. Courtesy Ski Portillo.
The perfect groomed slopes of Portillo. Skier: Chris Davenport. Photo: Tamara Susa Photo. Courtesy Ski Portillo.

Located at 2,880 m (9,450 ft) over see level and extending to 3,322 m altitude (10,900 ft), Portillo offers 762 m of vertical drop (2,500 ft) lift served and1,235 acres. You have 35 runs including wide bowls and endless off-piste terrain accessible by traverses and short hikes. There is also heli-skiing, which is pretty affordable, comparing to prices abroad, giving you endless options.

Auberge de la Maison, one of my paintings of the Monte Bianco at dusk from the hamlet of Entrèves in Courmayeur. In my shop in this link.
Auberge de la Maison, one of my paintings of the Monte Bianco at dusk from the hamlet of Entrèves in Courmayeur. In my shop in this link.

The land of sun and snow, Portillo gets 80% sunny days, and usually storms last many days but are not that many in the season. Each storm can bring a big snowfall, which usually remains very dry and crisp thanks to Portillo’s altitude.

Ski season goes from late June to early October (check each year as opening and closing is mainly depending on snow conditions). They do have snowmaking to help with natural snow conditions if needed!

Ann Schorling and her students having a ball in Portillo, Chile. Photo courtesy Ski Portillo.
Ann Schorling and her students having a ball in Portillo, Chile. Photo courtesy Ski Portillo.

Not sure if folklore or not, but something I did for many years- the best time to go skiing is in August, (July is the school holidays), but if not, in September, as at the end of August, there is always a big snowstorm called Santa Rosa (Santa Rosa is on 31st August), that brings lots of fluffy snow. In September rates decrease as it is a lower season than August… But beware, as Portillo gets reserved from year -on-year for the 7th September is the Brazilian independence day, so Brazilians fill up the hotel, and on 18th September is the Chilean Independence…so those two weeks is difficult to get lodging! If you want to get a spot, reserve a year earlier!

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The Must-Read Guide to Morgex, the Heart of the Valdigne

View towards the Monte Bianco, Tête du Grand Monte, Tête des Jeunes, and Tête des Vieux from Morgex. Photo: The-Ski-Guru.

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Why am I making a guide of Morgex? Because this place is such a well-kept secret. Morgex is the place where all savvy Milanese, Torinese and Genovese buy their second home. It is the spot where I have my second home and where we go year-round, around six times a year! A great spot for all your year-round outdoor adventures!

Chatelard- the turret overlooking the valley of Morgex. Photo: The-Ski-Guru.
Chatelard- the turret overlooking the valley of Morgex. Photo: The-Ski-Guru.

In winter, is a strategic place where to go and ski in different resorts. You have Courmayeur in 10’, La Thuile in 20’ and the parking lot of Pila in Aosta in 30’. If you want, you can stretch it to Cervinia in 1h14’. Amazing cross country is just above in Arpy and many more further afield… like Val Ferret, Rhêmes-Notre-Dame and Cogne.

In summer, you have amazing hiking trails from Morgex to all over – for all kinds of fitness; also mountain biking, road biking, rafting in the Dora Baltea river, amongst many other things!

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