Best time to visit Chile

Chile is so long and thin, consider it like an ever-fluctuating thermometer.
Chile's elongated shape – 4,300km north to south – makes the best time to visit Chile hard to call. The north – including the world's driest desert – is a year-round destination, while January and February see warm, long summer days in most places, plus a plethora of local festivals. October and November are good for Patagonia and central regions, with clear skies, spring blooms and fewer crowds than the December to January peak. March and April offer autumn colour. Easter Island can be visited year round - March offers generally good weather.

Patagonia Weather Chart

 
MIN °C
MAX °C
RAIN (mm)
JAN
7
14
40
FEB
7
14
30
MAR
5
12
45
APR
3
10
45
MAY
1
7
45
JUN
-1
4
35
JUL
-1
4
35
AUG
0
5
35
SEP
1
8
30
OCT
3
10
25
NOV
5
12
30
DEC
6
14
35

Chile, Month by month

Temperatures and daylight hours are at their peak in Patagonia in December and January – but so are the crowds and the prices. Book well in advance if you are planning to travel at this time. In the northern Altiplano, the rains coincide with the hottest summer months between December and March. Don’t worry too much, though – they tend to fall in short afternoon bursts and shouldn’t disrupt travel. September to April is the best time to hike the central regions. Watch out for May to August, as it can be very cold and wet. October to May is the best time to visit Patagonia's southern region. Out of season, it empties almost completely as roads become impassable and many lodges and attractions close. The northern regions are accessible all year round. In fact, between June and September is one of the best times to spot big cats – including the exquisite and rarely-seen puma. Fierce winds – nicknamed 'willywaw' by the native Yamanas – can spring up quickly in southern Patagonia at any time, generated by steep variations in pressure between mountains and sea.

What happens when in Chile

Alan Lyall from our friends at South America tour specialist Andean Trails suggests two great times to enjoy contrasting places: “In January, many families have left Santiago for vacations, so the city is less frenetic. It's mid-summer so great for sitting outside, sipping a drink and enjoying the sunshine. Great for walking around too – there is much to see, like sculpture parks and outdoor theatre. On Sundays, they close streets around the Forestal Park to hand them over to pedestrians and cyclists. And March in the wine country in central Chile is a good time, as it's the grape harvest – so local places such as Santa Cruz in the Colchagua Valley have wine festivals.”

Our top Chile Vacation

Chile adventure vacation

Chile adventure vacation

Chile's best: the Atacama Desert, Lake District and Patagonia

From US $5279 to US $5549 13 days ex flights
Small group travel:
2019: 1 Dec, 15 Dec
2020: 12 Jan, 2 Feb, 9 Feb, 16 Feb, 23 Feb, 1 Mar, 15 Mar, 18 Oct, 1 Nov, 15 Nov, 29 Nov, 13 Dec
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Chile or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.

Festivals & events in Chile

Did you know about...?

Independence Day - "Dieciocho" (September 18)

September 18 – and days around – sees nationwide Independence Day celebrations known as fiestas patrias (literally "patriotic parties"), either outdoors or in temporary wooden buildings called ramadas. It's wonderfully colourful - traditional costumes, folk music/dancing, parades by Chilean cowboys (huasos), plus flowing wine. Many places set up fondas (stands) selling traditional food and drinks.
Written by Norman Miller
Photo credits: [Page banner: Christopher Michel] [Intro: Paula Porto] [Alan Lyall Quote: Pablo García Saldaña] [Independence Day - Dieciocho: Osmar Valdebenito]
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