There is no doubt that knowing and touring the Andes is an extraordinary experience. We want you to enjoy it to the maximum, with snow, rain, by car, bicycle or on foot, on those paved roads as well as dirt roads. For this reason, we have created a data guide to plan all your activities in Andes Santiago with security and confidence. So, you can have a memorable experience and come back with your friends or family, to repeat the experience of adventure tourism, mountain tourism and ecotourism that only the Andes Mountains in Chile can give you.
Santiago is the capital of the Metropolitan Region (MR) of Santiago, one of the sixteen regions of Chile. The borders are: in the north and west with the Valparaiso Region, east with the Argentine province of Mendoza, and south with the O’Higgins Region. The MR has a population of approximately 7 million inhabitants, in an area of 15,403.2 km2, and 52 communes, with rural and urban characteristics.
Its climate corresponds to the “Mediterranean” type, with a long dry season and a rainy winter. The average annual temperature is 22 °C, while the warmest month is January, reaching a temperature of 30°C or higher, and the coldest month is July with fluctuating temperatures, generally close to 15°C. Rainfall is recorded during the winter seasons, especially during May, June, July and August. The cold, high-altitude climate is located in the Andes Mountains above 3000 metres. Low temperatures and solid precipitation characterise this type of climate, which allows the accumulation of permanent snow and ice fields on the peaks and ravines of the high Andes. Above 500 metres above sea level, there are sclerophyllous forests with complex, evergreen foliage.
Leave No Trace
We remind you of the basic tips of the principles of Leave No Trace
Remember that when visiting any outdoor area, you should respect the environment and help to keep these places better as you found them, basic rules of ecotourism.
Respect other visitors and locals as well, don’t play music (or ask before you do), avoid bringing your dogs (especially if the ecosystem of the site is fragile or if it is a site that will have animals native to the area).
Take all your rubbish with you. Organic food waste, cigarette butts and finger tape are also litter.
If you find other people’s rubbish, take it with you.
Always stay on the trails.
Do not build fires.
Do not camp at the foot of the track.
If you need to poop, use the “cat hole” technique: Move 70 paces away from any water source and dig a hole 25 centimetres deep in the ground and in an area exposed to the sun. Do your business in it and cover it with the same soil you dug out. Take the toilet paper home in a bag.
Driving in high mountains
Visiting the high mountain has associated risks, as it is a recreational trip. Therefore, the objective is to minimise them by being aware of the altitude, people, and vehicles conditions to prevent dangerous situations while mountain tourism in our Andes Mountain range.
Conditions in the high mountains
Effects of altitude
The higher the altitude, the lower the pressure
The higher the altitude, the lower the oxygen
The higher the altitude, the lower the humidity
The higher the altitude, the higher the radiation
The higher the altitude, the lower the temperature
Unseasonal weather and terrain changes
Effects on people: Inexperienced drivers may experience panic or fear of what they consider to be extreme situations.
Risks and effects on vehicles
Loss of power
Freezing and damage to components
Driving on snow or ice
The degree of grip in this terrain is minimal. Therefore, smooth and precise handling of the vehicle is required.
We usually encounter common obstacles in these conditions, even if they are not visible: stones, tracks, ditches and ditches inside, so be very careful.
Drive keeping the previous tracks, at a steady pace, without sudden acceleration or braking.
Chains are essential because they break up the terrain as you go, improving traction and the vehicle’s directionality.
During the descent, always keep one gear engaged. When braking, pump the brakes rather than slamming on them. Use your foot to gently step on the brake pedal when you want to slow down so that you slow down gradually.
The ice on the snow is a dangerous element; the safest way to deal with this terrain is to use chains and drive slowly. Always carry shovels and suitable tyres.
Use of chains
Advice on their use:
Install chains in a flat and safe place.
Do not wait until you run out of traction to install the chains.
Do not run; the chains cannot withstand speeds over 50 km/h.
Do not drive on dry pavement with chains.
***Link in ski resorts and snow activities box tips and recommendations for going to the mountains.
Chains should fit snugly to the tyre.
Use chain tensioners.
Avoid exposing them to possible freezing.
Air pressure in tyres.
Deflating your vehicle’s tyres can significantly improve performance and driveability; lowering tyre pressure is intended to provide more contact surfaces on snow or ice. In addition, increasing the footprint improves traction by increasing grip for driving or braking.
Deflating the tyres can only be an emergency option, but it is not the best option; chains are advisable.
Plan your trip
Get up early, ideally be at 7.30 AM in route from the city to any mountain destinations, check schedules and traffic conditions of the courses.
Prepare your vehicle: Get your car checked and have it serviced, take it in for routine service and make sure everything is in good working order.
Have the mechanic check the following items and replace anything that is not working correctly:
Tyres and tyre pressure
Battery, belts and hoses
Radiator and antifreeze
Brakes and Exhaust System
Heater and Oil
Lights and Ignition System
Photo of chains and vehicles in snow
During the winter season, the use of chains is mandatory.
Install the chains in a flat and safe place, do not wait until you run out of traction to do so.
In Valle Nevado, we want you to experience the mountain all year round in an entertaining, safe and sustainable way. Therefore, we invite you to know the biker’s responsibility code and your obligations to guarantee the best experience of mountain tourism and adventure tourism in Chile in the Andes Mountains of Santiago.
Stay in control. You are responsible for avoiding obstacles and people.
Protect yourself Use an appropriate bike, protective gear and helmet.
Basic knowledge You should know how to load and unload your bike to the lift. If you don’t, ask for help.
Obey the signs, using only the marked circuits. Do not enter closed or off-road areas for any reason.
Be attentive and yield the right of way. Use only the marked circuits. Look both ways when crossing. Be careful when overtaking or give way to the person overtaking you.
Know your limits. Ride according to your ability. Start small and then increase the difficulty.
Maintain your equipment Know the components of your equipment and how they work.
Pre-inspection Inspect the trails and their characteristics, as they can change due to weather.
Always visible Don’t stop in the middle of the trail in places that are not visible or obstruct the path.
Co-operate If you witness an accident or are part of an accident, contact the trail crew and co-operate.
In case of an accident
Stay calm. If possible, clear the trail.
Assess your condition If you cannot move, wait for someone to assist you.
Communicate with trail safety Ask other cyclists to signal at the base of the lifeline Identify your location Inform trail name, landmark and presumed severity of your injuries.
S.O.S. Follow the instructions of our safety team.