Resort Scorecard

Snowsure


Beginners


Intermediate


Advanced


Snowboarders


Après Ski


Families


Base elevation: 1,630 metres

Top elevation: 2,865 metres

Number of lifts: 5

Number of runs: 22

Access: Fly to Temuco and transfer up to the hotel / resort.

Want to get a little off the beaten track? Like your ski resorts to be relaxed, homely and utterly chilled-out? Don’t enjoy compromising on comfort, so prefer a top-class hotel? Don’t like queuing for lifts….ever? Welcome to Corralco.

This is a small resort, but it manages to pack a punch. Corralco is just about perfect for beginners and is very family friendly, yet it also provides access to some remarkable off-piste and backcountry terrain for the advanced skier and rider. And with no crowds even on a powder day, it’s all yours! Betwixt the two are the silent majority - the intermediate skiers, who may find Corralco limited in size, but will no doubt enjoy the pitch-perfect pistes on expansively open volcanic terrain.

Corralco is within the Malalcahuello-Nalcas National Reserve on the slopes of Lonquimay Volcano. It used to be just another remote ski field, admittedly with some remarkable terrain, until a new hotel complex put the resort on the map. Nowadays, the five-star trappings of luxury attract visitors from all over South America to the wonderful Valle Corralco Hotel & Spa, set amongst the unusual and ancient Araucaria ‘monkey puzzle’ trees.

Skiing in Corralco

Until they built a new summit lift, it really was rather limited. However, this recent addition has made a world of difference, creating fresh access to considerably more skiable terrain. However, this is still definitely not a large resort….but, hey, we’ve been often told that size is not everything. There are 25 trails and the vertical drop takes you from 2,400 metres to 1,480. Not bad. Outside the resort boundaries, the white expanse easily lures those backcountry aficionados who are happy to earn their turns.

The vast open topography – essentially you are skiing the exposed slopes of the Lonquimay Volcano – means that Corralco is prone to the prevailing weather. Not often a problem, but when it does blow through you’ve got no choice but to sit it out. On the plus side, this same topography means that the slopes of Corralco get a huge amount of snow, most of it of excellent quality due to the fortunate aspect of the slopes.

Corralco is a forgiving place to learn to ski and snowboard, the base of the resort sits just above the treeline so the slopes are wide and open; perfect! There are a handful of long groomed mellow beginner slopes, whilst further up there are a few easy groomed trails to set your targets on.

The ski area is not hugely expansive, but what is on offer is wonderful fun. You’ll see the more advanced skiers and boarders trekking off to explore different pastures (because of the open nature of the landscape, you can watch them all the way up and back down) and you’ll soon be itching to join them. There’s your motivation to point your skis off-piste, right there. Alternatively, there are a few groomed trails marked as “advanced”, but you’ll find nothing to fear as a reasonably strong intermediates. Practice, practice, practice…..

In between the groomed trails are plenty of side-country opportunities. With a modicum of effort you can traverse from the tops of lifts to find interesting lines down through an abundance unusual features which resulted from long-ago lava flows.

Those in-the-know come to Corralco to get to some of the most outstanding backcountry opportunities possible in South America. The main drawcard is to ascent to the “peak” (aka crater) of Lonquimay. Simply get as high as you can on the lifts and then there is another 500 metres of elevation to tackle. Once you’ve made it then it’s a sustained pitch 1200 meter vertical run from the crater down either the South or South East faces.

Most people come to Corralco for the long cruiser runs and endless backcountry options.

Corralco is popular with South American families who enjoy the child-friendly facilities and gentle slopes. The single hotel is geared up well to accommodate and entertain little ones and support parents. However, having some ability with Spanish really would be to your distinct advantage (group ski lessons are in Spanish only and child care staff also only speak Spanish currently), although the staff are getting more ‘international’ in outlook each season.

Nightlife is non-existent, other than the entertainment within of the Valle Corralco Hotel & Spa.  Most of the packages include dining at the hotel (where else would you go?) and we can upgrade to include drinks, including those of the alcoholic variety. The bar overlooks the Araucaria forest and provides a cosy atmosphere for adults to enjoy a refreshing cerveza, merlot or pisco sour. 

Corralco is a forgiving place to learn to ski and snowboard, the base of the resort sits just above the treeline so the slopes are wide and open; perfect! There are a handful of long groomed mellow beginner slopes, whilst further up there are a few easy groomed trails to set your targets on.

The ski area is not hugely expansive, but what is on offer is wonderful fun. You’ll see the more advanced skiers and boarders trekking off to explore different pastures (because of the open nature of the landscape, you can watch them all the way up and back down) and you’ll soon be itching to join them. There’s your motivation to point your skis off-piste, right there. Alternatively, there are a few groomed trails marked as “advanced”, but you’ll find nothing to fear as a reasonably strong intermediates. Practice, practice, practice…..

In between the groomed trails are plenty of side-country opportunities. With a modicum of effort you can traverse from the tops of lifts to find interesting lines down through an abundance unusual features which resulted from long-ago lava flows.

Those in-the-know come to Corralco to get to some of the most outstanding backcountry opportunities possible in South America. The main drawcard is to ascent to the “peak” (aka crater) of Lonquimay. Simply get as high as you can on the lifts and then there is another 500 metres of elevation to tackle. Once you’ve made it then it’s a sustained pitch 1200 meter vertical run from the crater down either the South or South East faces.

Most people come to Corralco for the long cruiser runs and endless backcountry options.

Corralco is popular with South American families who enjoy the child-friendly facilities and gentle slopes. The single hotel is geared up well to accommodate and entertain little ones and support parents. However, having some ability with Spanish really would be to your distinct advantage (group ski lessons are in Spanish only and child care staff also only speak Spanish currently), although the staff are getting more ‘international’ in outlook each season.

Nightlife is non-existent, other than the entertainment within of the Valle Corralco Hotel & Spa.  Most of the packages include dining at the hotel (where else would you go?) and we can upgrade to include drinks, including those of the alcoholic variety. The bar overlooks the Araucaria forest and provides a cosy atmosphere for adults to enjoy a refreshing cerveza, merlot or pisco sour. 

Getting There

From Santiago you can fly south to Temuco. The flight time is just over an hour and from the airport the hotel will come and pick you up. The road up the resort will take another hour to cover the 75 miles.  

The only alternative is to drive all the way down from Santiago, this 440 miles taking you circa eight hours and the route passing through Victoria, Curacautín and Malalcahuello.

Resort Scorecard

Snowsure


Beginners


Intermediate


Advanced


Snowboarders


Après Ski


Families


Base elevation: 1,630 metres

Top elevation: 2,865 metres

Number of lifts: 5

Number of runs: 22

Access: Fly to Temuco and transfer up to the hotel / resort.