Ideally, your trip to South America will be filled with so much powder you’ll never even have to consider leaving the bubble of the ski resorts. But, things don’t always work out the way they should, and sometimes you’re stuck in high winds, boiler-plate snow, and generally un-skiable conditions. Luckily, particularly in Chile, plan B isn’t too far away.
As far as the beach goes, there’s a lot of options in Chile, and it all comes down to what you’re looking for. I’m more of a low key beach guy and Matanzas is about as low key as it gets. The small beach town is about 2.5 hours southwest of Santiago, but you wouldn’t guess it. It’s just a cluster of run down houses along about a kilometer of beach.
Amongst the otherwise sleepy town scene is the Hotel Surazo, a newer, bungalow style hotel right on the beach. I’ve had the privilege of staying in some pretty amazing places, and this is definitely in the top five. The rooms have decks that go right to the beach, where world class waves crash down. They have surfboard and wetsuit rentals, as well as a small surf shop.
Beware though, the water is freakin’ freezing. Lucky for you, there are wood burning hot tubs, that are pretty much amazing, plus a sauna to boot. It definitely makes braving the chilly temps of the pacific a little more bearable
Breakfast is included with your room and, like everything else, it’s pretty amazing (at least by Chilean standards). Dinner is essentially a fixed menu, and is usually an assortment of fish and meats. The view (above) isn’t bad either.
So, if the snow sucks, don’t worry- there’s a whole other world of Chile. Plus, in the winter, it’s all but deserted. So don’t delay if the snow’s crap, take a few days to check out the beach, unwind, and (hopefully) get ready for some more powder.