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8 places to escape the heat of summer in the Southern Hemisphere

Santiago in winter

Photo: fahrenheit75/Flickr

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Santiago, Chile

With highs in the mid-50s to mid-60s and nightly lows dipping into the 40s, winter is pleasant and not overly chilly in the Chilean capital of Santiago. Because of the surrounding mountains, however, this metropolis of more than 5 million is a great base for warm weather refugees from the north who want to spend their summer vacation near both world-class ski slopes and one of South America's most cosmopolitan cities.

The ski resort at La Parva is only 30 miles from the center of Santiago. There are other resorts in the area, which is known as Tres Valles (three valleys). Together, these places provide hundreds of runs within an hour of the city. More challenging skiing can be found about two hours from Santiago. The resort at Portillo offers powder skiing and challenging runs that have earned it a reputation among pros and fanatics all over the world.