Heli-skiers are a hardy breed. Often traveling without their significant others, they require little more than a single room, a comfortable bed, hot meals, and endless expanses of untracked powder—all of which they will find at Chile’s new Puma Lodge.
Located two and a half hours by car (or 30 minutes by helicopter) from Santiago, Puma Lodge is a 24-room mountain compound that was purpose built for heli-skiers. The hotel, which opened in August, features low-frills accommodations that serve simply to complement the main attraction: exclusive access to nearly 2,000 skiable square miles in the Andes. Much of the terrain, which is privately owned, has never been skied before.
Led by expert guides, Puma’s guests can ski untracked runs nearly anytime during the season (late June to early October). When not on the slopes, visitors enjoy the lodge’s Nordic-style great room, central fireplace, bar, billiard and poker tables, al fresco hot tubs, and steam rooms. Noi Hotels, a 2-year-old Chilean company that has properties in Patagonia and elsewhere throughout the country, also plans to offer off-season programs at Puma ranging from horseback riding to heli-fly-fishing and heli-hiking. Puma Lodge by Noi Hotels, +56.9.9630.7821, www.pumalodge.cl