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Best time to visit Chile

Chile is a year-round destination, but the nature of the topography and the shape of the country, spanning many degrees of longitude, your destination within Chile will impact on when is the best time to visit. For those visiting Patagonia in the south, October to March will give you the warmest weather and better accessibility. Santiago, the central valleys and Atacama really are year- round destinations.

To give you an idea, Torres del Paine has average temperatures of 6 degrees C in April, but Santiago will be 23 degrees and Easter Island 24, that’s quite a temperature variation to have in one country.

 

CHILE’S SEASONS

PEAK

December to February is Chile’s summer and a busy time of year for travelling.  As a general rule, prices are higher at this time of year and availability more difficult to find, particularly in Torres del Paine National Park. Booking well in advance is advisable if you want the best accommodation. Coastal areas become busy in late December when many Chileans take their annual holidays and escape the cities for the coast.

SHOULDER

September – November and March – May is a good time to visit Santiago, the temperatures are pleasant at this time of year. The Lake District is good from September to November. The beautiful hues of autumn make their appearance in the southern regions in April.  For those interested in the Winelands, this is a good time to travel with many wine festivals taking place in March. The northern regions are good to visit at this time of year with temperatures being rather pleasant in autumn, though they can drop quite low at night.

LOW

Low season is considered to be June to August. This is a good time for skiing, there are several ski resorts close to Santiago. If you head to the lower regions there is an increased chance of rain. The day-time desert temperatures are pleasant though they can reach freezing at night. Many hotels in Torres del Paine close over this period, though the park remains open and it’s at its quietiest, the weather can be unpredictable.

 

CHILE’S CLIMATES

Chile extends 4, 270km from north to south resulting in contrasting weather conditions in different parts of the country. Chile doesn’t lend itself to a one-size-fits all month-by-month weather report so we have split this into regions for the sake of accuracy.

NORTHERN CHILE

North of Santiago is considered a desert climate in Chile, both on the coast the Andean area. This is where you find the Atacama Desert, often hailed as the driest place on the planet. The northern coastal cities of Antofagasta, Iquique and Arica see very little rainfall, in fact it hardly ever rains there at all. Average temperatures on the north coast in winter will be around 18°C and 25°C in the summer. Inland temperatures will be few degrees higher. In the Andes as you reach higher altitudes it become much cooler.

CENTRAL CHILE

The central region of Chile has a pleasant Mediterranean climate. Winter sees mild temperatures and rain whilst the summer brings warm sunny days. November to March sees no rainfall at all, the rainfall usually occurs from May to August. The higher inland areas of the region see snowfall and you will find the ski resorts of Portillo and La Parva.

SOUTHERN CHILE

Valdivia and below is considered to be southern Chile, this is where the climate is somewhat cooler than the rest of Chile. The further south you go, the colder and wetter the weather gets. In Punta Arenas, gateway to the Antarctic, average temperatures in winter are a little above freezing and in summer they reach the heady heights of around 14°C. The best time to visit this part of Chile is the summer. December to February see mild temperatures during the day though nights will be cold.

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