“Good variation of ski/snowboard days with friendly staff and good arrangements.”
I just completed a 7 day 6 night ski/snowboard week as arranged by Santiago Aventures. We chose to book a self-guided tour because we wanted a complete skiing/snowboarding experience and read many places that roads can be difficult to drive on. They arranged the week for us and here are the good and bad points.
-They affiliate with Powderlodge in Farrellones and they are an awesome, boutique hotel that is just like being in your ski house but with better cooks
-Their driver Chris was great. He was always on time and he gave us lots of interesting information on Chile. He spoke impeccable English.
-They provide you with most of the week planned out for you which is what I wanted because I wasn't planning the trip on a whim, (the week before we hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu which had to be booked 6 months in advance)
-They readily answer emails and will help figure out an itinerary that works for what you want.
-they do not arrange for a way to get to Valle Nevado from Powderlodge, but Christian (hotel owner) can help you with that. This is a con because my contact agent at Santiago Adventures previously informed me that we could walk to each mountain base and so my husband and I didn't take cash out at the airport. Then, at the mountains, their ATMs didn't have cash either so we almost didn't have a way to get to Valle until Christian helped sort this out.
-they should stay more up to date in regards to conditions when their clients are there for the week. We were at El Colorado, Valle Nevado and La Parva where the snow was great. Then, when we went to Portillo and Arpa, the snow was awful. I would have liked to have been told of the poorer snow conditions and given an option to do something else like mountain biking, four-wheel driving, snowmobiling, winery tours, etc. In retrospect, I can say I would have gone to Portillo for the history experience but was bored there after just one day. And Arpa, backcountry skiing that had snow worse than what I experience on the east coast, I would have loved to have been given a choice to do something else had someone offered. They should stay up to date on conditions and offer alternatives as I was bored my second day at Portillo and hated the snow that I rode at Arpa. (I am a snowboarder so maybe skiers liked the icy conditions better but being a season pass holder at Killington for 7 years and knowing how to ride ice, I can say that I actually disliked the conditions at Arpa more.)
-My itinerary said that there would be a lunch box for the day we went to Arpa and there wasn't. So my husband and I were in the back country with no food or water all day. We would have brought something had we known but like I said, my itinerary said it would be provided.
In conclusion, I would recommend Santiago Adventures if you want your ski trip in Chile planned out for you. They were a good company and offer a good service. My recommendation is that they think a little more in regards to the clients so that a snowboarder like myself, doesn't get stuck at places like Portillo (where it's definitely catered towards skiers-t-bars everywhere) and icy backcountry snow at Arpa. This means that if I hadn't used Santiago Adventures, I would not have done a 2nd day at Portillo and would have checked into how Arpa's snow conditions looked before booking so that I could have done other activities that Chile has to offer.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.