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The best time to go to Chile

The best time to go to Chile dependant on what you'd like to do and see there. Despite being able to travel to Chile year round, it is better to travel certain parts of the country at specific times of the year. Whether it is trekking in Torres del Paine National Park, wine tasting in the Central Valley, or admiring the Moai and catching some rays on Easter Island we can ensure that you are in the right place at the right time. The most popular time to travel to Chile is during the spring and summer months, from November to March, the reverse of the summer in the Northern Hemisphere. 

Chile’s length and varying geography produces huge variations in climates throughout the country meaning it is a country that can easily be visited throughout the year. 

Guanaco, Chile, Keith Ladzinski

The best times to go to Chile if you want to experience…

The Atacama Desert: Year round – this spectacular desert can be visited throughout the year but during the winter months of June, July and August the nightly temperatures regularly drop below freezing.

Easter Island: Year round – there is no best time to visit Easter Island and the highest temperatures are from January to March.

The Lake District: October to May – spring offers blossoming flowers, Summer offers blues skies, and Autumn brings beautiful red and brown forests.

Trekking in Patagonia: October to April – trekking in the famous Torres del Paine is best done during the spring and summer months taking advantage of the best weather.

Wineries: October to May – grape picking generally happens from late February to early May and usually combines with food and wine making festivals. However, anytime during spring and summer is a good time to visit.

Chile - penguins in Patagonia

When to go by area

Atacama & Northern Chile 

Heading North in Chile, to the Atacama Desert, can be done throughout the year, however it has huge diurnal temperature fluctuations; it can be very hot during the day and temperatures regularly drop below freezing at night. The summer temperatures can reach a baking 32 degrees celcius, whereas winter temperatures average between 18-25°C, and can drop as low as -10°C at night. In terms of weather, Atacama is the driest desert on earth, but it does occasionally rain from November to February. In general the agreeable means it can easily be incorporated into your itinerary whenever you plan to travel. 

Santiago & Central Valley 

The best time to travel to Chile’s central valley very much depends on what you are planning to do, January and February are the hottest months, the parks are full, and the beaches are crowded. With the weather clear and sunny, it is often cooler on the coast and close to the mountains; it is a perfect time to enjoy outdoor activities. If it’s skiing and snowboarding you’re after then the winter months of June to August will guarantee snow laded slopes. 

If you have come to sample some of the best of New World Wine, then late February to early May is ideal during the harvest. Different wines have different grape picking seasons but it is certainly the best time to visit, as you can experience the full process from picking to bottling. Many wine regions celebrate the time with festivals, choosing harvest queens, grape stomping competitions, rodeos and plenty of traditional food. But most importantly, are the wine tastings and local wineries set up stands in the plaza for visitors to sample the produce one glass at a time. It really is a fantastic experience! 

Patagonia & Southern Chile 

Travelling to Patagonia and Southern Chile is best done from November to early March. This is peak season and there are likely to be bigger crowds, but the weather is ideal for discovering areas such as Torres del Paine and the Lake District. The spring months of September, October, and November offer the blossoming of colourful flowers, whereas the autumn months of March, April, May offer stunning red and brown forests. Whatever the time of year, be prepared for four seasons in one day, the famous Patagonian weather, as winds can howl and snow can fall at any time of the year! The winter months should be avoided as it can get bitterly cold, unless you are specifically looking for snow in the form of winter sports! 

Easter Island 

Winds and Pacific Ocean currents have a significant bearing on Easter Island’s subtropical climate. It is, however, pleasant throughout the year, but the peak season is January to March, due to the higher temperatures. Accommodation can increase significantly in price during this period, and it can be difficult to secure preferred hotels, particularly during the Tapati Rapa Nui festival. There are fewer visitors the rest of the year, which can mean exploring in relative peace. The winter months can bring more rain and can be a little cooler, and tropical showers can occur at any time. 

Chile

When best to see wildlife in Chile…

Birds: Year round – from flamingos in the Atacama Desert, the Andean Condor throughout the country, and exotic woodpeckers and hummingbirds in Chilean Patagonia, Chile is considered by many as a birding paradise.

Penguins: September to March – Penguins begin to arrive to Colonies in Southern Patagonia in late September to mate. Chicks are best seen in December, January and February.

Pumas: Year round – these elusive creatures are easier to track during the winter season, but the summer season offers more daylight which can also increase the chances to spot them.

Whales and Dolphins: January to March – Whales frequent the coastal waters of Patagonian Chile before and after migrating to the shores of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Puma cub, Chile, Keith Ladzinski

Your Next Steps

View our Chile safaris, or talk to one of our specialists for more details on travelling to Chile. Please note we recommend a budget of from £7,000 / $10,000 USD per person for our style of trip to this destination.