Snow in South America: The most tropical continent in the world also has the best destinations for those who prefer the “chill”.

In the beginning and middle of August of this year (2020) we were surprised by quite cold weather. This does not mean that August or July of other years was not so cold, but the low temperature was the reason for several memes on the internet. Never before had it been imagined snowing in some cities of Minas Gerais. It must have been the first time many people had seen snow in their lives.

This much colder climate arouses the curiosity of people who are used to milder or warmer weather. That must have been why many images, as well as the news, went viral on the internet. What few know is that: you can get to know colder climate environments very close. South America has the most suitable destinations for this. The best thing is that, as it is a nearby region, prices are more affordable. Discover the best cold destinations on our continent.

Read too " Os 100 lugares mais lindos para viajar no Brasil

San Martin de los Andes

snow in south america

Photo: Chapelco / Wikimedia Commons

San Martin de los Andes, located near Patagonia Argentina, has great relationships with wildlife. Gateway to the Lanín National Park, where the Lanín volcano is located, there you can take a guided tour to go trekking and observe nature. The city also has the largest ski center in South America. The whole air and atmosphere is extremely charming and its tranquility is like a postcard. 


Photo: Reproduction / Wikimedia Commons

With more than 60 years of skiing history, Portillo, the Chilean town on the coast of the Andes, attracts countless tourists who love the practice of winter sport. Portillo is located about 164 km from Santiago, the Chilean capital, and the only possibility to reach the place is by car. On this trip of a little over two hours, it is common to be surprised by the scenery that changes as you climb the mountain ranges. One of its main attractions is the Lagona del Inca, a lake nestled between icy mountains. A fairy tale setting.


snow in south america

Photo: Reproduction / Wikimedia Commons

For many non-skiers this is the best place to start, no pressure and a good place to try. The city as a whole is designed to be one big snow park. With an advance ticket you can enjoy several attractions in the region. Farellones is located at a low point in the mountains. This means the snow melts earlier, shortening your visiting season. 


Snow in South America. Photo: Reproduction / Wikimedia Commons

Affectionately known as the city of the “end of the world”, Ushuaia is the capital of the province of “Terra del Fuego”. This name has nothing to do with the snow-white backdrop of the mountains. The name of indigenous origin refers to the numerous volcanoes that exist in the region. In winter season, this small coastal town reaches -20 degrees with winds, which intensifies the cold thermal sensation, ideal for those who enjoy a chill. In Ushuaia the main tours are the visit to the Beagle Channel and the Glacial Mountain. 

Puerto Natales

snow in south america

Photo: Deensel /Wikimedia Commons

Trakking in icy mountains, preserved nature, visiting caves, sailing through the Ultima Esperanza fjord and with lots of wild activity, Puerto Natales is the ideal city for visitors who love adventures. In winter temperatures range from 0 to -10 degrees. In general, daily life in the city is quiet and in season the main attraction is the gastronomy of the region. 


Photo: Quimantu / Pixabay

The small town of Pucón, with around 28,000 inhabitants, is also a destination for visitors looking to venture into Chile. About 800 km south of Santiago, Pucón, reserves magnificent natural beauties from the lake with about 173 square kilometers to the volcano called Rucapillan. A city dedicated to adventures and sports, in the summer period there is a lot of windsurfing, canoeing and kitesurfing. In winter, the main attractions are horseback riding, trakking and caving (cave visits).

Mount Chacaltaya

snow in south america

Snow in South America. Photo: Reproduction / Wikimedia Commons

The former highest ski resort in the world was located on this peak with about 5,421 km of altitude, almost at the top of the Andes Mountains. From La Paz you can reach the old ski resort, obviously, travel a certain distance through trakking and under the pressure and difficulty of breathing in places with high altitude. Climate change has altered the scenario. Where once you saw mountains covered in white snow, today you could see the brown color of mountains exposed to the sun. That was the reason for the deactivation of the old ski resort. Despite the sun, the temperature remains between the low degrees.


Photo: Reproduction / Wikimedia Commons

The ideal destination for lovers of ecotourism and other adventures is located in this small town in southern Argentina, in the Patagonia region. Los Alerces National Park has beautiful lakes to visit in the summer, when it is still cold. In winter, Cerro La Hoya becomes the preferred destination for skiers and snowboarders. With about 40,000 inhabitants, the city Esquel becomes an alternative destination to Bariloche for skiing because it is less crowded. The city's economy is based on raising sheep and cattle, but tourist activity, focused on sports in nature, has become one of the sources of local income.

Cajon del Maipo

snow in south america

Photo: Reproduction / Wikimedia Commons

Cajón del Maipo is located very close to Santiago, and it is possible, from the Chilean capital, to take tours of the mountainous city. Like other cities, Cajón del Maipo is known for its attractions involving sports and ecotourism practices. San José del Maipo is the main one. There it is possible to visit the cinematographic scenery of mountains and lakes surrounded by canyons, which, in winter, intensify their natural beauties. Sport fishing, trekking, rafting, zip lining and mountaineering are the activities to do in the region, in addition to enjoying the wonderful scenery.

Villa La Angostura

Snow in South America. Photo: Reproduction / Wikimedia Commons

on the shores of the lake Nahuel Huapi, in the province of Neuquén, near the border with chile, is the city of Patagonia Argentina, Villa La Angostura. This city is a mix of excitement and tranquility. In its surroundings, surrounded by natural beauty, sports activities are practiced from snowboarding, trekking and mountaineering, and in the city center, strolling among the gastronomic itineraries and small natural and local history museums. Next to the ski resort is Cascada Rio Bonito with about 36 meters of waterfall. 


snow in south america

Photo: Reproduction / Wikimedia Commons

Snow or no snow, whether in winter or autumn and spring, Bariloche is always beautiful. In the winter period, its peak of the season, attracts many Brazilians, becoming even common to speak Portuguese there. Its landscapes and attractions are beyond the snowy mountains and the practice of skiing. In its surroundings, lakes and the greenery of nature beautify the cold scenery. Close to the Chilean border, as well as Villa La Angostura, it is quite possible to include a visit to the Andean regions in your itinerary.

Read too:

» These are the coldest cities in South America
» 9 unforgettable train trips to take in South America
» Itineraries for backpacking in South America
» Discover the best ski resorts in South America

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