With climates and areas ranging from humid lowlands to tropical rainforests to chilly highlands, when to cruise South America depends completely on each specific itinerary and location. However, the continent can be divided into a few sections with general rules for traveling times.
Amazon: Travelers can embark on an Amazon cruise year round. Rain, heat, and humidity should be expected no matter the season. Wildlife viewing and weather patterns only have subtle differences from one season to the next. School holidays bring larger crowds with children.
Southern South America, including Patagonia, the Falkland Islands, southern Chile and Argentina, has similar summer and winter weather to North America, however the months are opposite due to the hemisphere difference. That is, summertime in these regions (December and February) is similar to summer in North America: warmer and dry. The shoulder months of October – November and March-April have cooler temperatures and smaller crowds. Winter months (May through September) are cold and travel is limited, particularly for cruises that include travel to Antarctica. For more information on the best travel times for Antarctica cruises, please see our When to Go: Antarctica link.
For travel in northern South America, including Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos, the weather can generally be divided into two seasons: wet and dry. Temperature is most impacted by elevation: the higher you go, the cooler it becomes. The coastal region of Peru is fairly dry year round, with its warmest, most humid months from December to March. These are also the wettest months; however day-long rains are very infrequent. Instead there are rainstorms interspersed with sunshine. For further information on touring Ecuador and the Galapagos, click here.
For further details on when to take a South American cruise, please contact our office. Our regional travel specialists can help you determine the best time to travel based on climate, wildlife viewing, and popularity of the season.