A Winter Dream in August for both Powderhounds and Foodies
Portillo unveils itself after braving the first 24 switchback "curvas" of the Los Libertadores mountain pass. Continue on, and you'll soon reach the Argentinian border. Pull over to the Ski Portillo resort, however, and you will be rewarded with a feast for all sorts of senses.
You might experience vertigo after bootpacking up steep, snowy mountainsides only to feel like you're floating fast back down on fresh powder. Your ears will devour the quietude of the Andes, with only the occasional snowcat or helicopter to break the silence. Your taste neurons will explode with the delicious and aesthetically pleasing meals, from venison with raisin wine sauce to stewed veggies with quinoa or passion fruit curd with ginger gelato.
Also, your patience-center will relax because there are virtually no lift lines here due to Portillo being a resort without a ski town or village. Almost everyone here lives at the hotel and very few outsiders come.
Portillo is still relatively unknown outside of Chile and Argentina, perhaps due to the lack of marketing (according to my snowboarding instructor). We were able to book a week stay there only two weeks before we departed, which is unbelievable considering how special it is. Take advantage of this now, as I doubt it will remain an untapped destination for much longer.