- Type: Tours
NileGuide Expert Says:
Combine the best of Chile in a few short hours, with a winery tour and a trip up to the mountains, all in one day.
NileGuide Expert tip:
Bring hiking shoes and a camera to make the most of your time up at Portillo, Chile's oldest ski resort.
The perfect antidote to a stultifying Santiago summer day is this tour of vineyards and up to Portillo for a delicious lunch. This tour combines a visit to one of three vineyards between Santiago and the Andes, and then a trip up into the Andes for lunch beside the azure Laguna del Inca at a restaurant featuring all the best in Chilean foods, from delicate preparations of seafood to hearty meat-and-potato dishes.
For the trip to Viña Errázuriz, there's an early morning pickup, and a drive up to the Aconcagua valley, where participants can tour the rocky-soiled winery and taste the award-winning wines from this vineyard. After the winetasting, the trip continues up the international route towards Mendoza, through the Andes, going up the zona de caracoles (literally snail zone), where a series of hairpin turns scales its way up the mountainside to arrive at the Portillo ski area and hotel at an altitude of over 9400 feet.
Portillo, the oldest ski resort in Chile, which is used by the North American ski teams in the off season, is a short distance before crossing the border into Argentina, and from here, guests have a full view of Laguna del Inca, a sizeable azure lake that lays in a shallow valley between two mountains. There is a long history to Portillo, from even before it was opened as a ski resort in 1949, from when it was a railroad way station for trains coming to and from Mendoza over the Andes.
At the restaurant, guests enjoy a delicious lunch of their choice, and some free time allows visitors to wander a bit along the lakeside, or along other trails before beginning their trip back to Santiago by 5:30 PM. Cameras, sunscreen and sunglasses are a must.
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