Because of Chile’s length, extending for 4,300 km along the Pacific Ocean, this country is a great year-round destination depending on where you want to go. The best time to visit Santiago & the surrounding vineyards is during the warmer, drier spring & summer months from September to February. The popular Lake District can be visited during the warm Chilean summer or from June to August for the best skiing. If you’re heading to the untamed, windswept steppes of Patagonia, then go from November to early March.
Central Chile: Santiago, Atacama Desert, Wine Country
The Chilean heartland enjoys a generally warm and balmy climate similar to the Mediterranean or the Pacific Northwest, with moderate year-round temperatures and inviting seasonal attractions. The Atacama Desert is the highest, driest desert on the planet – daytime temperatures can get up to triple digits and nighttime temperatures can fall below freezing. Although there’s never a bad time to visit the Atacama, if you want to avoid the extreme heat, then visit during the spring, fall, or winter.
The Coast: Valparaiso & the Beaches
The most popular time to visit the beautiful Pacific beaches of Chile is during the summer, from December to February. Although there are heavy crowds, it’s definitely the best beach weather of the year.
Just beneath the tropics in the Pacific Ocean is Easter Island, which ranges from 64º-82ºF (18º-28ºC), making it a great place to visit at any time of the year. If you’re planning to go during the high season, making your reservations & booking your flights in advance is imperative.
When to visit Patagonia
Located at the bottom of the world, the pristine Patagonia region can be best enjoyed from November to March, during the peak travel season. This is a great time of year to explore all of the Torres del Paine National Park and La Tierra del Fuego. If you want to see the plants in full bloom, then the Chilean spring from September to November are ideal. March to April, the autumn season, is also a fair alternative if you’re hoping to find some good deals and less tourist traffic. Patagonia has high winds year-round, so no matter when you go, layers and a windbreaker are essential.
Do not go to Patagonia between June and August – during the Chilean winter, most attractions are closed and trail access in much of the region is very restricted.
A monthly guide:
- Best time to visit Patagonia, with the warmest temperatures, high winds, and accessibility to the most attractions and sites
- Beaches are most popular during this time
- A decent time to visit the Atacama, but beware that temperatures can reach over 100ºF (38ºC) during the day
- Easter Island hosts its Tapati Rapa Nui indigenous cultural festival
- Leaves change color in brilliant displays the wine valley
- Grape harvests & wine festivals happen in March
- Santiago enjoys pleasant weather
- Good for skiing in the Lake District & Central Chile
- DO NOT go to Patagonia during this time – Most attractions & resorts are closed, and trail and park access is limited.
- This is a good time to visit Central Chile
- Weather in Santiago is moderate and comfortable
- The lush greens of the forested Lake District are in full bloom
- October & November are good months to visit Patagonia with less tourist traffic and decent weather and accessibility