The slopes here were discovered by engineers building the now-defunct railroad that linked Chile to Argentina. After the railroad was inaugurated in 1910, skiing aficionados headed here despite the fact that there were no facilities available. Hotel Portillo, the only accommodation in the area, opened its doors in 1949, making Portillo the country's first ski resort, and went on to host the World Ski Championships in 1966. Today, it has 35 runs—the longest of these,
Juncalillo, stretches 3.2 km (2 miles)—for beginners through to experts, as well as 14 lifts. The most famous run is the very steep Roca Jack, used for training by Olympic ski teams. Day visitors can dine in the auto-servicio (cafeteria-style) restaurant, at Tío Bob's restaurant, in the main dining room (most formal option), or at the Ski Box for on-slope snacks. Equipment rentals are available for around 20,000 pesos per day.
Ruta 60 (Camino a Mendoza), Portillo, 2100000, Chile
2-2263–0606; 800-829–5325-toll-free in U.S.