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It can take up to two hours to reach these ski resorts, which lie 48-56 km (30-35 mi) from Santiago. The road is narrow, winding, and full of Chileans racing to get to the top. If you decide to drive, make sure you have either a four-wheel-drive vehicle or snow chains, which you can rent along the way or before you leave Santiago from international car rental agencies (such as Hertz or Avis). The chains are installed for about 8,000 pesos. Don't think you need them? There's a police checkpoint just before the road starts to climb into the Andes, and if the weather is rough they'll make you turn back.
To reach these areas by car, follow Avenida Kennedy or Avenida Las Condes eastward until you leave Santiago. Here, you begin an arduous journey up the Andes, making 40 consecutive hairpin turns. The road forks when you reach the top, with one road taking the relatively easy 16-km (10-mi) route east to Valle Nevado, and the other following a more difficult road north to Farellones and La Parva.
Several bus companies run regularly scheduled service to the Andes in winter. Skitotal buses depart from the company's office on Avenida Apoquindo and head to all of the ski resorts. Buses depart approximately every 30 minutes starting at 7:30 am; a round-trip ticket costs 10,000 pesos to Farellones, La Parva, and El Colorado, and 11,000 pesos to Valle Nevado. Also available for hire here are 10-person minibuses (100,000 pesos).
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