Top Five Tips for Traveling to Portillo
Our season is underway and we know a lot of your are gearing up for your visit to us! We’ve compiled our top five tips to help make your travel down to see us as seamless as possible. From what to pack to tips on transportation, we’ve got you covered. Can’t wait to see you!
1) Be Air Fare Aware
As travelers, you’re likely beholden to one airline or another these days. It’s hard to give up the point accumulation or perks you get as a frequent flier. But sometimes round trip flights on your favorite airline to an international destination can be horrendously priced.
Use your miles or your favorite airline to get to a large international hub like New York, DC, Chicago or Miami. From there look at expanding your possible airlines. Latam, Copa and other South America based airlines will get you to Santiago at a more affordable rate. Make sure you leave enough time in between flights to get your bags and re-check them, but saving a thousand dollars will be worth an extra hour in the airport if it means more pisco sours!
2) Don’t Put Your Boots in the Boot
The boot (or cargo hold) of the airplane is the easier place for luggage to go, but who hasn’t lived through the frustration of checked luggage gone missing? No on wants to miss out on days of skiing waiting on missing luggage to arrive, but if you have your boots with you, you don’t have to.
Portillo has a great fleet of rental and demo skis. But boots are arguably the most important piece of equipment in your skiing repertoire and having your own will make your trip feel just like home. In fact, some people travel to Portillo with only their boots opting to not worry about skis and poles at all and simply rent from our shop.
3) Respect Traditions
Speaking of packing… here’s something to consider while packing: Portillo has been around for the better part of a century. This means there are some traditions that were implemented years and years ago that still are adhered to today. “It’s kind of like going back in time,” says long-time Portillo visitor and professional skier Chris Davenport. “Men used to have to wear dinner jackets. The maître d’ still wears a tuxedo.” But what does that mean for you? There is a dress code in the dining room, but only at dinner. Ski clothes are more than acceptable for breakfast and lunch. But for dinner, guests are asked to wear casual dress which means button down shirt for men and no open toed footwear.
If this dress-wear caveat makes it feel overwhelming to pack, don’t worry, just pack light. “There are live-in housekeepers on each floor who love to help you with laundry,” says Davenport. “If you were planning on packing for seven days, maybe pack for three or four and have some laundry done while you’re there.”
4) Pack a Pillow
As cumbersome as neck pillows and blankets might be to travel with through layovers and short flights, you’ll want one on what will likely be a red-eye to Santiago. Many guests get to Portillo on their first day with time to jump on the lift for a run or two and you’ll want to be well rested to take advantage of airport to chairlift access!
Not only that, but falling asleep in the shuttle from the airport to Portillo is a no-no, especially if you’ve never been to Chile before, because the sights are spectacular.
5) Wheels Down, Heads Up
The Santiago airport is bustling. It’s one of the largest and busiest airports in South America. So once you wake up from that red-eye snooze, keep your wits about you. Unlike flying domestically, you go through security AGAIN once you land. After you grab your luggage, you have to wait in line to get scanned and then you’re out into some hectic scrambling from passengers looking for multiple destinations. Be patient. The security line can be long and you might not see your Portillo driver right away. Don’t panic, just hold on to your bags and maybe employ some meditation techniques.
Speaking of your Portillo driver, make sure you book your shuttle or ride with Portillo Tours and Travel prior to your arrival. Shuttles leave twice a day on Saturday; once at 9:00 AM and again at 12:30. If you arrive later or a different day, they will book you a private ride. For rates and options, visit skiportillo.com/en/como-llegar/traslados.