When is the best time to visit Chile?
The seasons in the southern hemisphere are exactly opposite to what we experience. The best time to visit Chile depends entirely on what you wish to do. As the country stretches over 4200 kilometers and several climatic zones, there is no optimal time for Chile tours in the classic sense of the term.
Chile experiences its warmest temperatures of the year, and it is little surprise that this month is high tourist season. Bear in mind though that temperatures will vary, so the thumb rule is, the further north you travel the warmer it will be.
- Don’t miss the Torres del Paine National Park! Sparkling lakes, snowy mountain peaks and diverse flora and fauna await you on a hiking tour of Patagonia
- Take a self-drive tour through the remote Aysen region and immerse yourself in the rugged beauty of karst landscapes
- Visit Chiloé, a lush green coastal destination where a quaint mixture of beautiful landscapes and unique cultural opportunities await!
The warm temperatures continue, making this the most popular month to visit Chile. The long summer days make it the perfect time to experience Chile’s beaches, but make sure you book well in advance!
- Visit the unique Easter Island and let the famous (and mysterious) Moai sculptures of Rapa Nui take your breath away!
- Discover the hidden gems of Patagonia on a Punta Arenas cruise!
- Make the most of the great weather by hiking amid volcanoes, rivers, glaciers, islands and mountains in Petrohué, a gem of the Chilean Lake District
This is the time the country transitions from summer to autumn. The high season begins to wane and lower temperatures and colorful foliage make their way through the country. This is a good time to visit the Atacama Desert with the day temperatures falling. The wine regions also beckon as fall is the time for wine harvests!
- Explore Pucón, famous for its numerous outdoor activities – rides, climbs up the volcano, rafting, hiking and extensive walks
- San Pedro de Atacama is the starting point for Atacama desert tours: visit the bubbling Tatio Geyser at sunrise and watch graceful flamingos looking for food in the glittering Chaza Lagoon
- Sample gourmet cuisine paired with fine vintage on a private tour in the vineyards of Maipo Valley
Autumn is in full swing across Chile so while temperatures are still pleasant in the northern part of the country, expect a fair bit of rain if you head south, so make sure you carry hardy outdoor gear!
- Visit Casablanca, one of Chile’s newer wine valleys, home to several internationally recognized wineries
- Explore the splendor of the Atacama Desert at Tierra Atacama. Choose from hikes and treks at various levels, horseback rides, and scenic van tours or a spot of stargazing
Temperatures in Santiago usually hover around the late 60s. Expect hotter and drier conditions as your head north towards the Atacama, while it is far chillier in Patagonia, where you could experience temperatures in the low 40s with occasional rain.
- Visit Millahue in the heart of Chile’s produce growing region. Take in the beautiful views of the vineyards and orchards with breathtaking mountains in the background
This is the beginning of winter here so expect colder temperatures across the country, with many top attractions in Patagonia beginning to close for the season.
- Calling all stargazers! Head to the San Pedro Atacama desert of northern Chile, and discover ALMA, the largest astronomical project in the world
July is peak winter season in Chile and is also one of the wettest months in the calendar.
- Head to the colorful harbor town of Valparaiso and enjoy its coastal temperatures, special Bohemian flair, antique villas and the Ascensores – cable cars that are over a hundred years old!
This is the last of the winter months in Chile. There’s still snow on the southern Andes, and quite wet and cold in Patagonia, but as you travel north, it gets drier and warmer.
- If you haven’t done so as yet, head to the mountain resorts or unwind at the secluded Cajón del Maipo, at the foothills of the Andes, with its rushing streams and colorful vegetation
This month marks the transition to spring so expect to start seeing stunning wildflowers across the north and central part of the country! The temperatures in Santiago can reach the high 60s and there isn’t too much rain around at this time as well!
- Visit Colchagua, located about 180 km south of Santiago, home to some of Chile’s most prestigious wineries, popular for its wine tastings and tours to the diverse vineyards
October marks spring in Chile and it is a wonderful time to visit the country, especially the northern and central parts with temperatures gradually beginning to rise, though expect chilly evenings and strong winds!
- With highs averaging in the mid 60s, this is a lovely time to be in Santiago. Witness panoramic views of sprawling Santiago de Chile from high up in Cerro San Cristobal
- Visit Puerto Guadal, a small village town at the end of Lake General Carrera and marvel at its marble caves, untouched nature and incredible views over the second biggest lake in Chile
With spring in full bloom, it’s the perfect time to visit any part of Chile! Santiago averages a high of 77°F making it a lovely part of the year to be in the city.
- Santiago is a gourmand’s delight with its fresh seafood and classic dishes – visit the historic neighborhood of Barrio Lastarria for a truly gastronomic journey!
- While in Santiago, make sure you check out its globally acclaimed art scene, from vibrant street art to exhibits housed in the city’s various museums
With summer slowly setting in most parts of the country, this is one of the best times to visit Chile. The temperatures are on the rise, especially in the north, and it’s a great time to indulge in outdoor activities.
- Enjoy peaceful hiking tours to the Petrohue Falls or to the Calbuco Volcano
- A Puerto Montt cruise takes you past majestic fjords and imposing glaciers, especially the San Rafael glacier, which you can see up close from a motorboat
- For an exciting New Year’s Eve celebration, head to Valparaíso, where one of South America’s biggest fireworks display takes place!
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Best Time to Visit Chile by Season
Southern Chile receives a lot of rainfall and can be very windy all year round. The weather in Torres del Paine National Park changes constantly thanks to the unique geography of the region. The extreme climate can be particularly challenging for travelers, who often feel that they have experienced all four seasons within a single day! Central Chile on the other hand, experiences warm, Mediterranean type weather. Summers are pleasant and dry while winters are mild and slightly humid. It also rains a lot in the winter months. Northern Chile is typically very dry although differences in temperature between summer and winter are rather low.
So the best time for a Chile trip depends on the season – but largely the most popular times to visit fall between late spring and early fall (October through April).
- Summer – December to March
- Autumn – March to June
- Winter – June to September
- Spring – September to December
What to Pack
Depending on the season you go, here is a check list of items that you must ideally pack. They include lightweights during the day, a sweater for the afternoon and a very warm jacket for the night and for visiting Tatio Geysers (gloves recommended), comfortable walking boots, swimsuit for hot springs, hat and sunscreen, a rain jacket for winter, hiking shoes and a wind jacket.
“Chile’s natural beauty is stunning. Add to this mix, a vibrant melange of cultures and cuisines, which makes it a must-visit destination!”
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Torres del Paine
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San Pedro de Atacama
The second largest island in South America is host to a warm culture of fishermen and mythical tales that take places in the lush, green hills of this costal destination.
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Puerto Guadal is a small village town situated at the end of Lake General Carrera in what is known as Small Chile.
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