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The best time to go to Chile

The best time to go to Chile

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. 

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When to go

This is a guide for the country as a whole, indicating good times to plan a holiday, taking into account popular places to visit, wildlife encounters and overall weather. Please remember that where in the country will vary depending on month of travel.

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. 

Puma cub, Chile, Keith Ladzinski

Your Next Steps

Talk to one of our specialists for further details on travelling to Chile.