Portillo Inca Lagoon at The Andes mountains is one of the most gorgeous places I have visited in Chile. The emerald blue lake with huge mountains at the backdrop is surely a delight and a photographer’s paradise. As the Ski resort is just about 2.5 hours from Santiago city, it makes a perfect one day or a weekend trip from Santiago.
Also read - Reasons why I love Chile.
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About Portillo Inca Lagoon
At an elevation of 2880 metres, Portillo Inca Lagoon is a ski resort located at the southern end of the Laguna del Inca lake. The resort is owned by the Purcell family who also own a chain of hotels in Chile.
Laguna del Inca lake is situated in the Valparaiso region of Chile and it flows into River Juncal. The lake is in between the Andes mountains and is known for changing its colour from emerald green to deep blue.
Read - Photo diary of Valparaiso.
Best time to visit Laguna del Inca lake is during the months of December and February. The coldest months are during mid of June and October and they make a perfect ski season. It is best not to visit the lake or the resort in the beginning of June as it is the rainiest month.
The Andes mountains is the longest continental mountain range in the world and it goes through seven South American countries, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina.
Legend of Laguna del Inca
According to local legend, Inca Illi Yupanqui was in love with the most beautiful woman in the empire, princess Kora-Ile. While getting married to her high in the Andes above a spectacular lake, the princess fell off the cliff to her death. He decided to burry her body in the depths of the lake. They wrapped her body in white linens and when they were descending into the lake, the water turned into an emerald blue colour, same as the colour of the princess’s eyes. It is believed that from that day onwards, the lake is enchanted and some say that at night they can hear the soul of Inca Illi Yupanqui cry.
Skiing lessons at Portillo Inca Lagoon
Portillo Inca Lagoon is a ski resort that attracts many skiers from around the world during the ski season is between mid June and early October. The ski season Ski Portillo has 35 runs and 14 lifts and the highest lift reaches 3310 metres. The visitors can take ski lessons while staying at the resort. Lessons range from private to group and the prices depend on the type and number of hours of lessons the visitors take.
You can also just take a day ski at the resort.
Dine at Portillo Inca Lagoon
One of the best things to do at Portillo Inca Lagoon is to dine at tables that have spectacular views of the lake. The dining room has huge windows that uninterrupted views of the lake.
Note: The food is expensive but it is surely delicious. As I went with a tour agency, the lunch was included in the package.
How to get to Portillo Inca Lagoon?
Portillo Inca Lagoon is about 150 kilometres from Santiago and by road, the journey takes just 2 hours 30 minutes. There are shuttles that run, three times a week, between Santiago and Portillo Inca Lagoon. The resort also arranges for a pick up and drop from Santiago for extra price.
One day trip to Portillo Inca Lagoon
I took a one day trip from Santiago where I visited Portillo Inca Lagoon and San Esteban Vineyard. The tour was with Stamp’s tour and it cost me AUD 188 for one day. The package included the transportation, lunch and wine tasting.
Safety for solo female travelers
Yes, Portillo Inca Lagoon is very safe for solo female travelers. The ski resort is monitored and the staff are very friendly. However, the resort can get isolated after dark and hence be cautious. Also, it is best to have someone who knows the area while going on a guided walk around the lake.
I absolutely loved visiting Portillo Inca Lagoon. It was a perfect location for enjoying a day or two. The ski resort offers great deal of activities for all kinds of travelers, from adventurous to luxury travelers. I highly recommend adding the ski resort on your list when you are in Santiago.
Have you visited Portillo Inca Lagoon? Let me know what you loved about it in the comments below.
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