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Sunday, June 05, 2011

Andes Mountains, Valle Nevado Ski Resort, Chile

Andes Mountain is one of the most popular mountain ranges within a short drive from Chile’s capital city, Santiago. Touristik was offering a 4 hour trip to Andes Mountains and I made a short visit to this mountain using their guided service. The mountain was fairly dry when I was there in April, by now (June) it would all be covered in snow. In fact Andes Mountain ranges world’s longest, separating Chile from Argentine. What we visited was a small part of it.

The 4 hour tour started from Mercado Central, Santiago and after 2 pickups- one from a passenger’s hotel and another near a mall, we were on our way to Andes Mountains. We were about 11 tourists, including nationals from Brazil, Germany and USA.
our-guide-from-touristikfellow-passengers-on-andes-tour
Total distance to top of the mountain is said to be about 40 kms from Santiago city. Road was 2 lane and in decent condition, except occasional bad patches. On the way to Andes Mountains was a popular hospital. A poor quality image of that hospital complex taken from moving bus can be seen below (right) I forgot for what it was popular for. We were also shown lot of cactus trees, some of them are infected with parasites (red in colour)
cactus-infested-with-red-parasitefamous-hospital

On the way at one point we were above clouds. The scene was nice.
clouds-below-usabove-the-clouds
A bit of ice could be seen on top of nearby mountains and a glacier was also visible at a distance.
a-bit-of-snow-on-nearby-mountainssnow-covered-peaks-at-a-distance
The valley had a river, which was almost dry.
snow-at-a-distancenear-dry-river-in-valley
The roads were fairly scenic,with occasional bad patches
another-viewbad-patch-of-road
We reached the mountain top, which houses a big hotel (Valley Nevado Resort and Puerta Del Sol Hotel) and few other buildings. Since it was not the season for sking, the venue was almost deserted. Heavy machineries used to clear snow were lying idle. Some construction was also in progress. There was a restaurant where we could refresh and have some food/coffee and few viewpoints.
 construction-in-fullswingsnow-clearing-machine
   hotel-puerta-del-sol-andes-mountains
 resort-entrance valle-nevado-resort-entrance  menu-andes-mountainrestaurant-deck
  houses-on-top-of-andes     houses-front-side-view        
In June tourists flock in large numbers (about 10000 per day is the number given by our guide) do enjoy mountain sports (skiing). All the dry mountains you see in below images would be covered with snow and one can ski over them…How I wish I was there 2 months later…
view-from-viewpointski-path
Other adventures are also available, at a price. Below display details various activities a tourist can indulge in.
activities-at-andes-mountain
Sking, horse ride and jolly ride in the chairs, as shown below seem to be the main activities.
joy-ride-boarding-pointtop-most-point-andes-mountainjoy-ride
The left image above indicates the top most point, from where skiing begins: you can initiate a long slide down the valley from here…All skiing equipments are available on rent
rate-card
Return journey was uneventful. We were back in town by about 6.
cactusandes-mountains-terrain

Toy train service in Santiago * Ceremony at the Palace * Santiago city views * Valparaiso city views * Cats in Valparaiso * Mercado Centre * Srilankan Posts * Chile Lifestyle Notes * Chile Posts Digest

3 comments :

Team G Square said...

lovely captures

Sankara Subramanian C said...

Sounds like a fun place. I am just waiting for my trip there..hopefully next year

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks TGS and Sankara