Think ski season’s over? Follow the Web south, way south
the associated press
Hold on, don’t put those skis away just yet. The season is just approaching south of the Equator, and a little research on the Web can take you to spots such as the Andes Mountains resort of Portillo, Chile.
Take a look at Ski Portillo ” http://www.skiportillo.com/ ” where the season runs from June 11 to Oct. 9 and the mountain averages 20 feet of snow a year. People have been skiing here since a couple of Norwegian railroad engineers surveyed the area in the 1880s. Click on “The Mountain” to check out a map of trails that extend up to 2 miles long and are served by three quad chairlifts, one triple chair and one double. “Promotions” advertises Kids Ski Free Weeks, and “Goodies” in the “About Portillo” section has photos.
Learn a little about other ski vacation possibilities in this long, narrow nation of mountains from the Tourism Promotion Corp. of Chile ” http://www.visit-chile.org/ ” along with other activities from spa visits and historic tours to scuba diving and mountaineering. And you can get a sense of what the food is like and answer an important question: How do you get there?
Take a look at the vacation packages at SkiPatagonia ” http://www.skipatagonia.com/en/index.asp ” along with information on other resorts.
There are hot springs all over Chile, especially in the scenic lake district, according to the “Travel Center” section of the Chile Information Project ” http://www.chipsites.com/ ” which can also fill you in on national parks, the capital city of Santiago, the wild scenery of Patagonia and mysterious Easter Island.
Have you seen Chilean labels on bottles at your local wine shop? Go back to the main page of the Information Project and click on “Guided Tours” for tips on visiting the Maipo and Colchagua valleys. Skip the separate “Chilean Wineries” link; it’s an empty library.
Before you go any further, you might want to visit the U.S. State Department ” http://travel.state.gov/travel/ ” and click on “Consular Information Sheets” to find the Chilean entry and helpful information on driving, health issues and safety.
The city of Valparaiso has funicular railways climbing its hills, according to Enjoy Chile ” http://www.enjoy-chile.org/ ” and Punta Arenas is the gateway to the rugged beauty of Patagonia ” and a jumping-off point for expeditions to Antarctica.
All those snow-covered mountains produce wild rivers. Expediciones Chile ” http://www.exchile.com/ ” advertises rafting and whitewater kayaking, along with fly fishing.
If Expediciones doesn’t inspire you, type “adventure” and “Chile” into your favorite Web search engine and you’ll come up with spots such as Adventure Life ” http://www.adventure-life.com/chile/chile.php ” which touts treks through the wilds of Patagonia, coastal cruises and camping trips in the Atacama Desert, or Cascada Expediciones ” http://www.cascada-expediciones.com/index.htm ” which adds its own mix of rigorous travel.
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