by: southamerica - 21st May 2007

  • 3
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Expert
  • 4All-Mtn. Terrain
  • 4Family Friendly
  • 3Nightlife
  • 3Terrain Park
  • Value

Full review

La Parva is part of the Three Valleys ski region, and you can purchase an interconnect ticket to ski all three. The resort has a village that is composed mostly of modern apartments that descend a ridge in a layout that looks a lot like an avalanche of condos. There are a few shops and restaurants, but most overnighters dine in and hit the resort’s sole pub and its disco for nightlife. The resort draws Santiago’s toniest residents – many own condos here which they rent out to the public, but their rental service doesn’t provide photos or layout designs and so it’s a crapshoot as to whether you end up with a flash pad or a scruffy dive, which is a serious drawback. La Parva also has lodging available with their Nueva Parva condominiums, which they say have new drapes and bedding, and so forth, but when I visited them last year they were antiquated 1970s style condos with battered kitchens and a weird set-up that puts two people sleeping in bunks in the hallway. Still, if you can’t get into Valle Nevado this is a good second option. Budget-minded skiers will want to lodge in Farallones and shuttle up to La Parva each day, about 10 minutes away. When I want to ski for the day only, I usually head here because it is closer to Santiago than Valle Nevado and there is enough steep terrain and lots of off-piste runs to keep you well entertained. Also, the infrastructure is more modern here than at El Colorado. On clear days, you can see La Parva from Santiago, and from La Parva sweeping views of Santiago and the surrounding Andes, but smog usually covers the city. The resort has long runs, about 30 in total, and lots for the intermediate and beginner skier or snowboarder. On the advanced side, there are steep chutes at La Chiminea, and some of the best and easiest-to-access backcountry terrain in the area, although a large off-piste bowl that is just a short traverse from the El Aguila chair is now reached by a groomed trail – formerly you had to do a short hike, and so now there are more skiers tracking up powder. But really even two days after a dump you can still find fresh tracks. The resort has a snow park and lots of product-sponsored signage everywhere. La Parva has two slopeside restaurants with big views, and three restaurants at the base; I especially recommend the fondue restaurant La Marmita for its cozy atmosphere. If you book an apartment here, don’t forget to bring supplies from Santiago because their only grocery shop is very limited.
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