Sep 3, 2020|
Last updated on October 15th, 2020 at 07:54 am
Where to Go in Chile in 2021
Updated September 3, 2020
Chile is one of the most charming and diverse South American countries, offering a broad spectrum of beautiful landscapes and lively cities. Chile has it all, whether you are a wine enthusiast, foodie, history geek, or nature lover.
Chile is world-famous for its prosperous economy, wine, and nature. While exploring this beautiful country, you don’t want to miss its most famous landmarks: Santiago, the country’s impressive capital, national parks such as the Atacama desert in the North, and Torres del Paine in the South, and, of course, the mystical Easter Island.
Chile is an incredibly diverse country, which makes planning the best time to visit dependent on the location and activities you’d like to experience. As a general rule, we recommend traveling during the shoulder season, when the weather is mild, the number of tourists is lower, and prices are more attractive! There are two shoulder seasons, we recommend the months of October till early December and again from March to April. Get inspired to plan your own Chile journey today. Discover the top places to visit in Chile, from its modern metropolises to its natural wonders.
1. Santiago de Chile
Why Visit Santiago de Chile
Santiago is Chile’s capital and also its biggest city. Its strategic position at the heart of Chile makes it a proper hub between the most important Chilean regions. When traveling to the country, you’ll set foot on Arturo Merino Benítez Airport, at least on a couple of occasions.
In addition to being a vibrant city with a booming gastronomy scene and offering a beautiful collection of museums and cultural attractions, the city is located a short distance from the most famous wine regions of Chile, Maipo Valley, and Casablanca. And, of course, the enormous Andes mountains are always within sight as they border the city. Choose between a wide variety of activities related to wine tasting, trekking, and hiking while exploring this incredible region.
Best Time to Visit Santiago
Due to its proximity to the Andes Mountains, the temperature range between Santiago’s summers and winters can be quite broad. Thus, the shoulder seasons constitute the best time to visit the city. We recommend visiting Santiago from September till mid-December, and March till May. At this time, the weather is mostly warm, with chilly evenings. December and March mark the beginning and end to summer, however, and feature wonderfully warm days.
How to Get to Santiago
Santiago is very well connected with most of the major international airports all around the world. It is also a short distance from San Antonio, where the majority of cruises dock. In case you are crossing from Argentina, Santiago is easily reachable by bus from Mendoza, (approx. 7 hours drive).
2. Valparaiso, Chile
Once the most important port of Chile, Valparaiso is a bohemian maze of colorful hills, narrow streets, and stairs, which has always inspired poets and writers from all over the world. Each hill of this Chile UNESCO city has its own name, story, and unique look. Reach the top of the hills with historic funicular elevators, and enjoy amazing panoramic views from its numerous lookout points!
Best Time to Visit Valparaiso
The months from December to March are the best time to visit Valparaiso. Temperatures here tend to be a bit chillier than in Santiago, above all at night, hence plan to bring something warmer with you when visiting the city.
How to Get to Valparaiso
Valparaiso is located a short distance from Santiago, is reachable within 2 hours drive from the capital.
Recommended Valparaiso Tours
The Highlights of Chile Tour
3. San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
Why Visit San Pedro de Atacama
San Pedro de Atacama is a charming little town in the Atacama desert, the driest non-polar desert in the world. Characterized by cute adobe houses, dusty roads, and handicraft shops, this is just the starting point of a fantastic trip into some of the most spectacular attractions that mother nature could provide us with. Get ready to explore colorful lagoons, geysers, magnificent lunar rock formations, and one of the best stargazing tours in the world.
Best Time to Visit San Pedro de Atacama
Every time of the year is always a good time to visit San Pedro de Atacama since average temperatures change very little throughout the seasons. If you want to enjoy warmer nights, the best time to travel is in the summer months of December, January and February.
How to Get to San Pedro de Atacama
San Pedro de Atacama can be reached after approximately a 2 hours drive from Calama Airport, located in the Antofagasta region in northern Chile.
4. Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
Why Visit Torres del Paine National Park
Chilean Patagonia is a real paradise for nature and adventure lovers. Its many national parks are very well preserved and, despite their popularity, are still offering pristine landscapes and fantastic options for outdoor activities. Torres del Paine is one of the most popular and is a must-see in Patagonia, with its genuinely unique granite towers and rock formations. Relax in nature by hiking, kayaking, and enjoying the wildlife on a journey through Patagonia.
Best Time to Visit Torres del Paine National Park
Due to its lower temperatures compared to the rest of the country, the best time to visit this side of the world in the summer, from December to March. If you want to avoid crowds and don’t mind giving up a couple of degrees, the shoulder months of November and April are also good options!
How to Get to Torres del Paine National Park
The closest airports to Torres del Paine National Park are the ones of Puerto Natales and Punta Arenas. From there, your land transfer will be approximately 3 to 5 hours, depending on what airport you arrive at.
Recommended Torres del Paine Tours
Patagonia Deluxe Tour
Southern Patagonia at Your Fingertips
Patagonia Cruise to Ushuaia, Torres del Paine & Santiago
5. Easter Island, Chile
Why Visit Easter Island
Easter Island (native name: Rapa Nui) is a remote volcanic island in Polynesia, under Chilean territory. It is among the world’s most remote inhabited islands and is a paradise for archaeology enthusiasts due to the many monolithic statues (Moai) left by its ancient inhabitants. The island is also praised for its natural beauty, featuring beautiful beaches, dramatic ocean-side cliffs, and a giant caldera, reminding visitors of its volcanic past.
Best Time to Visit Easter Island
Easter Island has a warm tropical climate throughout the year; hence it is always a good time to visit the island. The best time to visit is during the shoulder seasons when the weather is temperate, and prices are a little lower (April to June or October to December).
How to Get to Easter Island
There are daily flights between Easter Island and Santiago Airport. Trips to the island depart in the morning, while flights back to Santiago operate in the afternoon.
6. Chilean Lake District
The Chilean Lake District is a gorgeous area rich with glacial clear lakes, snow-capped volcanoes, and lush national parks. The Indian Mapuche (literally “people of the land”) were once the inhabitants of this area, and some tribes still live there today, maintaining a strong and interesting cultural heritage. European, and in particular German settlers established themselves in the region in the late nineteenth century and left a visible trace in the architecture and ambiance of the district’s little towns.
Best Time to Visit the Chilean Lake District
The best time to visit this area is during the Chilean summer, from December to March.
How to Get to the Chilean Lake District
Getting to Chile’s Lake District can be done through various modes of transportation, such as by air, bus, sea, lake, or land. The best way to reach the area is by air. There are domestic flights from the Santiago de Chile airport (SCL) to the Puerto Montt el Tepual Airport (PMC). If you are planning to visit Argentina too during your trip to Chile, another great way to get to Puerto Varas is via a lake crossing starting in Bariloche (Argentina).
Recommended Chile Lake District Tours
The Argentina to Chile Lake Crossing Tour
7. Chiloe Island, Chile
Also known as Greater Island of Chiloé (Isla Grande de Chiloé), Chiloe is the largest island of the Chiloé Archipelago off the coast of Chile, located in the lake region. Chiloe is a mystical island that has always fascinated visitors for its many legends and unicity. Observe its quaint palafitos and its colorful houses and churches built on stilts above water – 16 of which have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The inimitable character of this island is also due to the Chilote people, whose traditions and warmth are difficult to forget! Don’t miss the Chiloé and Tantauco National Parks, famous for their intense evergreen vegetation and offering great trekking opportunities!
Best Time to Visit Chiloe Island
The best time to visit the Chilean island of Chiloe is from December to March. In this period temperatures reach their highest values, which however remain always mild. Precipitations are at their lowest level.
How to Get to Chiloe Island
There are many ways to reach the island, depending on whether you’re traveling from the north or the south of Chile. The easiest way to get there is by catching a flight to Puerto Montt and then getting a ferry across the Canal de Chacao.
Recommended Chiloe Tours
Chile, Andean Lakes & Buenos Aires Tour
8. Marble Caves, Chilean Patagonia
Located in the General Carrera Lake in the heart of Patagonia, the Marble Caves are some of the most remote wonders in the world. The tour includes three different structures: the Marble Caves, the Marble Cathedral, and the Marble Chapels (the most famous of them). Get ready to admire their marvelous color and their reflection in the blue waters of the lake that hosts them!
Best Time to Visit the Marble Caves
Despite the Marble Caves are amazing all year long, the best time to visit is the summer season, from December to March. During the winter season, the unstable Patagonia weather can lead to road closures.
How to Get to the Marble Caves
The best way to get to the Marble Caves is by boat from Puerto Rio Tranquilo. The closest airport is Balmaceda Airport.
Recommended Marble Caves Tours
Add Marble Caves to a Chile Patagonia Tour
9. Portillo, Chile
Portillo is the most famous and oldest ski resort in South America, located in the Andes mountains of Chile. It is renowned for its extraordinary beauty and its world-class skiing and snowboarding, and unusual ski lifts.
Best Time to Visit Portillo
The ski season in Portillo is between the end of June and early September, during the Chilean winter. The month of August into early September is when the Andes typically receive the biggest snowstorms, hence the best time to travel there.
How to Get to Portillo
Portillo is located in Santiago Province and can be reached by car within 2 hours from Santiago International Airport.
Recommended Portillo Tours
Add Portillo to the Skiing in Ushuaia Argentina Tour
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