TRAVEL: El Niño brings snow and early opening to Chile ski resort
WHILE Panama’s Pacific coast braces itself for extra heavy downloads of rain, courtesy of El Niño, the folks in the Chilean Andes are delighted because the extra dumping come as snow.
Yes, that white stuff that sends some 750,000 Canadians and Americans scampering south in search of the sun during the northern winter, sends a smaller ban of a different kind of snowbird even further south to extend the skiing season, and this year it promises to be even longer
Valle Nevado, in Chile Chile’s premiere ski resort, opened two weeks early on Friday June 13 due to heavy early snowfall.. While El Niño weather patterns have forecast favorable weather conditions for the central Andes this year, the amount of snow received in the past few weeks has already exceeded expectations, and promises an even better season than previously rumored.
Valle Nevado currently has nearly three feet of snow, with more flurries predicted in this week’s forecast. Valle Nevado’s hotels will remain closed until June 27, but most trails, select restaurants and other services will open for day skiers and those lodging in condominiums.
This year Valle Nevado, Earlier this year Valle Nevado has some added incentives for bisitors as Chile joined the U.S. visa waiver program and the $160 reciprocity fee for U.S. visitors has been lifted, making air travel to Chile more convenient and affordable. In addition, Valle Nevado just became one of the very first southern hemisphere members of the Mountain Collective Pass, joining the ranks of legendary resorts Alta Snowbird, Aspen/Snowmass, Jackson Hole, Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, Whistler/Blackcomb and Mammoth Mountain. U.S.
Mountain Collective pass holders for 2014-15 receive 2 free lift tickets during Valle Nevado’s 2014 season, and “top-tier” pass holders from member resorts receive 50% off lift tickets for up to 7 days.
Visitors have even more ways to save this 2014 season. Skiers can receive up to 35% off hotel reservations for the week of July 11-18, with half board and lift tickets included. Travelers looking for a more independent experience receive up to 25% off apartment rental rates for the same week, July 11-18, with rates starting at just USD $309 per apartment per night in participating condominiums. Plus, an additional 25% discount is available on lift tickets when booked along with your room reservation.
Lastly, as part of Valle Nevado’s USD $150 million Master Development Project that seeks to turn Valle Nevado into the first full service mountain village in the region, the resort announces the inauguration of a new restaurant, La Leñera, serving hearty mountain fare in a cozy lodge setting, as well as two new apartment buildings, El Plomo and Tupungato.
Valle Nevado is offers access to the largest amount of terrain and the most modern lift system on the continent. Guests who book a 7-night stay receive two interconnect tickets for 7,000 total acres of varied terrain, and the Valle Nevado Heliski program transports skiers directly from the resort to untouched snow and once-in-a-lifetime runs.
The complex also provides for snow bunnies and those who prefer seeing to skiing a complete experience, with boutique shops, three hotels, private apartments, six restaurants, a full-service spa and fitness center, cinema, library, bars and lounges, wine tastings, a pub with live music, a sports entertainment center and a state-of-the-art events venue, and. of course. the breathtaking backdrop of the Andes.