The Antillanca Ski Resort in Chile is a small ski area in the Puyehue National Park near Osorno. Antillanca, which means “jewel” or “treasure of the sun” in the native mapuche language, is like its slightly northern ski resort neighbours, Corralco
(on Lonquimay Volcano) and Ski Pucon
(on Villarrica Volcano), in that it’s situated on a volcano, the Casablanca Volcano. Skiing on an active volcano seems to provide a degree of fascination, and the intrigue is heightened knowing that the nearby Puyehue Volcano famously erupted in 2011 (well the Cordón Caulle fissure actually) which brought the southern hemisphere air traffic to a grinding halt.
The Antillanca Ski Center is somewhat off the beaten track, especially relative to the highly trafficked Santiago ski resorts
, so it’s rather peaceful and provides an opportunity to be immersed in the rural Chilean culture. In addition to the very good terrain, the serenity is part of the allure for backcountry skiers and snowboarders.
Antillanca Ski and Snowboard Terrain
The Antillanca ski resort is rather small with just 400 hectares of terrain, 14 trails totalling 35km (22 miles) in length, and 5 lifts. One of these is a chairlift although they might choose to not run it if it’s not that busy. There are also 3 T-bars and a little ropetow for the bambinos.
The lower part of the resort has a smattering of trees, whilst the rest of the resort is up in the alpine so most of the piste is wide open with plenty of room to manoeuvre. The 14 trails include a spread for beginners up to supposed “expert” piste (which aren’t that challenging), and there is off-piste terrain for strong intermediate and advanced riders.
The real “jewel of the sun” is the many sidecountry and backcountry lines that you can take without an abundance of hiking or traversing. The ascent to the summit is particularly appealing to provide spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding volcanoes.
Like most of the other southern Chile ski resorts, Antillanca gets lots of precipitation but unfortunately some of it falls as rain because the elevation is not particularly high. The top of Antillanca is about 250 and 650 metres lower than the top of nearby Cerro Bayo
and Cerro Catedral
ski resorts respectively. So the snow quality can vary significantly. The ski resort does get powder, but also more than its fair share of slop, ice, glue and rain.
Where is Antillanca Chile?
Antillanca is about 100km west of the city of Osorno which is 924km south of Santiago. The Antillanca ski resort is situated on the Casablanca Volcano in the Puyehue National Park, only 30km from the Argentine border and not far from Villa la Angostura
and the associated Cerro Bayo Ski Resort, whilst Bariloche
is a little further south.
At the base of the ski resort is Hotel Antillanca
, a ski-in ski-out hotel with basic rooms with private bathrooms that come in single, double, triple or quadruple configurations.
A cheaper option is the refugio, a very basic older wing of the hotel that has a delightful common area.
Otherwise if you want some pampering and delightful luxury you can stay at the Hotel Termas Puyehue Wellness and Spa Resort
, a 45 minute drive away.
Ski Resort Facilities
The Antillanca Ski Resort has adequate facilities for skiers and snowboarders including ski school (in Spanish), equipment rentals, a small Patagonia retail shop selling the basics for a day at the snow, and child care (peak times only).
Non-skiing activities are negligible at Antillanca (except ice-skating in your shoes on the deck of the cafeteria!!).
Food and Nightlife
Up on the mountain at the top of the first T-bar is the most gorgeous little hut called Cabana el Chucao, selling small meals, hot chocolates, picso sours and beers. It’s really rustic and has a couple of cosy fires to warm up on a chilly day.
Down at the base area is a cute little cafe with old chair lifts for seats; generally only open on weekends.
The main cafeteria restaurant and bar is open for lunch as well as for breakfast for hotel guests. The restaurant bar is also open for apres drinks and simple meals for dinner. This area is rather rustically appealling with lots of raw wood features, finished wood, a wagon wheel as a light fixture, and a big fire.
There is also a rustic chic formal restaurant and a discotheque that are only open on peak weekends.
- Antillanca is usually very quiet on weekdays so you can largely have the slopes to yourself.
- The sidecountry is reasonably easily accessed.
- The accommodation is conveniently ski-in ski-out.
- The cute restaurant/bar has a lovely vibe and some of the buildings are very cute and rustic.
- The quality of the snow can be very variable.
- Chilean hospitality is commonly associated with substandard service, but Antillanca takes it to another level with poor service.
- The accommodation is expensive considering the simplicity of the dorm style rooms. Meals are also somewhat costly for what you get.
- Minimal amenities during non-peak times.
- Options for transport other than self-drive are rather limited and the drive there can be a little sketchy.
Pro or Con Depending on Your Perspective
- There is not much English spoken at Antillanca and the resort is very low key (not “resorty”) so it provides an opportunity to experience the “real” Chile.
Packages & Tours that may include Antillanca