The Allure of Portillo Inca Lagoon at The Andes Mountains (2024)

Discover the breathtaking beauty of Portillo Inca Lagoon, nestled amidst the majestic Andes Mountains. Immerse yourself in the serenity of this natural wonder, where tranquil waters reflect the stunning surroundings.

Portillo Inca Lagoon, nestled in the Andes Mountains, stands out as one of Chile’s most stunning destinations. Its emerald-blue waters, set against a backdrop of towering mountains, offer photographers a visual feast and haven. Conveniently located just 2.5 hours from Santiago city, this idyllic spot doubles as an ideal day trip or weekend getaway for those seeking natural beauty and adventure.

PIN for later reference – The Allure of Portillo Inca Lagoon at The Andes Mountains

The Allure of Portillo Inca Lagoon at The Andes Mountains (2024)
PIN for later reference – The Allure of Portillo Inca Lagoon at The Andes Mountains

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About Portillo Inca Lagoon

Perched at an altitude of 2880 meters, Portillo Inca Lagoon is a ski resort nestled at the southern tip of Laguna del Inca Lake. Owned by the Purcell family, renowned for their hotel chain across Chile, the resort offers a unique alpine experience.

The Andes Mountains is the world’s longest continental mountain range, traversing seven South American countries: Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina.

Read – Photo Diary of Valparaiso.

Located in Chile’s Valparaiso region, Laguna del Inca Lake is a striking feature, bordered by the imposing Andes mountains and feeding into the Juncal River. Its renowned characteristic is its colour-shifting waters, transitioning from emerald green to deep blue, adding to the allure of this natural wonder.


The optimal time to explore Laguna del Inca Lake is between December and February, when the weather is most favourable. Conversely, the coldest months, from mid-June to October, mark the perfect ski season for enthusiasts. It’s advisable to avoid visiting the lake or the resort in early June, as it typically experiences the highest rainfall of the year.

Portillo Inca Lagoon at The Andes Mountains

Legend of Laguna del Inca

Legend has it that Inca Illi Yupanqui, captivated by the beauty of Princess Kora-Ile, sought to wed her atop a majestic Andean peak overlooking a breathtaking lake. Tragically, during the ceremony, the princess plummeted to her demise. In grief, Inca Illi Yupanqui chose to lay her to rest in the depths of the lake.

As they lowered her wrapped body into the water, a remarkable transformation occurred: the once clear waters turned a mesmerizing emerald blue, mirroring the hue of the princess’s eyes. Since that fateful day, the lake has been steeped in legend, believed by some to be enchanted. Whispers persist that the soul of Inca Illi Yupanqui echoes through the night, mourning the loss of his beloved.

Skiing lessons at Portillo Inca Lagoon

Portillo Inca Lagoon transforms into a bustling ski resort during its peak season, spanning from mid-June to early October, drawing enthusiasts from across the globe. With 35 exhilarating runs and 14 lifts, including one reaching a staggering 3310 meters, Ski Portillo offers a thrilling alpine experience.

Visitors can enhance their skills with ski lessons offered onsite, catering to private and group settings. Lesson prices vary depending on the duration and type of instruction desired. Day skiing options are also available at the resort for those seeking a brief yet exhilarating escape.

Dine at Portillo Inca Lagoon

Indulging in a dining experience at Portillo Inca Lagoon ranks among the top highlights of any visit. The dining room boasts expansive windows offering uninterrupted vistas of the tranquil lake, providing a picturesque backdrop for your meal.

It’s worth noting that while the cuisine may come at a premium, the delectable flavors more than justify the expense. Fortunately, some tour agencies, like the one I traveled with, often include lunch in their packages, alleviating the cost concerns and allowing you to savor the culinary delights without worry.

How to Get to Portillo Inca Lagoon?

Located approximately 150 kilometers from Santiago, reaching Portillo Inca Lagoon by road is a breeze, with a travel time of just 2 hours and 30 minutes. Shuttles operate three times a week between Santiago and the resort for added convenience.

Alternatively, Portillo offers the option to arrange pick-up and drop-off services from Santiago for an additional fee, ensuring a hassle-free journey to this picturesque destination.

One-Day Trip to Portillo Inca Lagoon

Embarking on a delightful one-day excursion from Santiago, I enjoyed exploring Portillo Inca Lagoon and San Esteban Vineyard.

Organized through Stamp’s tour and booked conveniently via Viator, the experience came at a reasonable cost of AUD 188. This comprehensive package encompassed transportation, a satisfying lunch, and an enriching wine-tasting session, making for a memorable and fulfilling journey.


Is Portillo Inca Lagoon Safe for Solo Female Travellers?

Indeed, Portillo Inca Lagoon offers a safe environment for solo female travelers. The ski resort maintains vigilant monitoring and boasts a friendly staff, enhancing overall security. Nevertheless, it’s essential to exercise caution, particularly after dark when the resort may become more isolated. Additionally, when embarking on guided walks around the lake, it’s advisable to be accompanied by someone familiar with the area to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.


Closing Notes

My experience at Portillo Inca Lagoon was absolutely enchanting. It’s an ideal destination for a day trip or even a longer stay. The ski resort caters to a diverse range of travelers, offering an array of activities suited for both adventure seekers and those seeking a touch of luxury. I wholeheartedly recommend adding this gem to your itinerary when visiting Santiago.

If you’ve had the pleasure of visiting Portillo Inca Lagoon, I’d love to hear about your favorite aspects of the experience. Feel free to share your thoughts with me at

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The Allure of Portillo Inca Lagoon at The Andes Mountains (2024)
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    PIN for later reference – Portillo Inca Lagoon at The Andes Mountains

    PIN for later reference - Portillo Inca Lagoon at The Andes Mountains
    PIN for later reference – Portillo Inca Lagoon at The Andes Mountains