When is the Best Time to Visit Chile?
The most popular time to visit Chile is from December to February when Chile is in the southern hemisphere’s summer season. Coastal regions of the country, like Valparaiso and Vina del Mar, become busy with local vacationing Chileans and international tourists. This is also a great time to visit Torres del Paine National Park, as Chilean Patagonia boasts warmer temperatures and hiking trails in great condition.
Chile weather is highly varied as the country extends 4,270 km north to south. So while the summer season is a great time to visit there are a wide range of areas that are accessible year-round. For example, the breath-taking Atacama desert, the driest desert in the world, or the quaint island of Chiloe, with its picturesque stilt houses. There’s a best time to visit Chile for travelers of all interests.
So from the Atacama Desert in the northern tip of Chile right down to Patagonia in the far south, see our Top 20 Chile tours and trips for ideas and inspiration.
Visiting Chile in Spring: September to November
Spring in Chile (September – November)
Spring in Chile is from September to November. During this time, the country enjoys warm weather and longer days as the summer season approaches. September is a great month for a visit to Santiago and the Atacama Desert, due to the warmer weather and fewer crowds before the peak summer season from December to February.
Chile Weather in the Spring
Chile’s weather in the spring consists of warm days and chilly nights. The average temperature of Santiago de Chile in September is 53F / 12C. In October, Chile’s weather will begin to transition closer to the summer season. This means average temperatures will rise to 73F / 23C in Santiago, and even higher to 77F / 25C in San Pedro de Atacama. Overall, spring is a great time to visit Chile, just remember to pack some layers because though the days are full of warmth, temperatures do drop at night.
23ᵒ C / 73ᵒ F
25ᵒ C / 77ᵒ F
12ᵒ C / 53ᵒ F
Best Things to Do in Chile during Spring
The best things to do in Chile during Spring involve exploring the northern regions of the country. Destinations like the Elqui Valley, La Serena, and the Atacama desert are ideal at this time for their agreeable weather and limited tourist crowds. In these northern regions, the weather is warmer and the days are longer than in the winter. The top thing to do in both the Elqui Valley and Atacama desert at this time are stargazing. With the clear skies of Spring, visitors will experience some of the world’s best stargazing, with no city lights causing interference. In La Serena, the long sunny days are perfect for enjoying the serene beaches and coastal walks along the town’s edge.
Visiting Chile in Summer: December to February
Summer in Chile (December – February)
From December to February Chile enjoys its pleasant and very popular summer season. This is the most attractive time to visit Chile and for good reason. The days are long and hot, with picturesque sunsets and warm evenings nearly every night. Whether your interests are city sightseeing or trekking through nature, the Chilean summer season has it all.
Note: Chileans like to take their holiday in December so the coastal regions/areas might be a bit busy.
Chile Weather in the Summer
In contrast with the spring season, Chile’s weather in the summer includes warm temperatures at night. In Santiago, the city reaches highs of 86F / 30C and lows of 53F / 12C. This makes exploring the city streets at night very enjoyable. During the peak of summer, Chile is busy with tourists. This is one of the best times to visit Chilean Patagonia, particularly Torres del Paine National Park, as temperatures reach a comfortable high of 61F / 16C and the skies are a beautiful baby blue.
30ᵒ C / 86ᵒ F
24ᵒ C / 75ᵒ F
16ᵒ C / 61ᵒ F
Best Things to Do in Chile during Summer
Summer in Chile is a stunning time to visit, where the climate is dry, warm and sunny. One of the best things to do in Chile during the summer is visiting the capital, Santiago. Featuring an impressive array of sites and monuments, like La Moneda and Plaza de Armas, a visit to Santiago will be full of inspiring moments. Additionally, Santiago summers are renowned for their lively festivals. Nearly every night, whether a concert in the park or local arts and craft market on the street, you’re bound to find something rich in culture to seize your time.
Summer is also an ideal time to visit Patagonia when the weather is the warmest and hiking trails are in full force for the season. Visitors at this time will have open access to all the impressive natural wonders of this region. Patagonia is a coveted destination this time of the year, so advanced bookings are a must.
Visiting Chile in Autumn: March to May
Autumn in Chile (March – May)
Autumn in Chile, from March to May, is the season of harvest. Popular among wine enthusiasts, this is when vineyards throughout the country begin the winemaking process and even some cultural festivities. Similar to the spring, temperatures at this time get slightly cooler and the busy crowds disperse, making for some great opportunities to explore Patagonia, the Atacama, and Santiago in peace.
Chile Weather in Autumn
In early March, Chile’s weather remains relatively warm in cities like Santiago. Though, as April approaches temperatures will start to drop, making for colder weather. April is still considered the “dry season” in Santiago, though down south in Patagonia rain showers are more common during this time of year. Overall, the temperatures in Chile get lower in the fall season but it is still one of the best times to visit the country, as travelers won’t be too hot or too cold like they might be in the summer or winter.
24ᵒ C / 75ᵒ F
23ᵒ C / 73ᵒ F
11ᵒ C / 52ᵒ F
Best Things to Do in Chile during Autumn
Autumn in Chile marks the start of the harvest season for vineyards throughout the country. As one of the most prominent wine-producing countries in the world, a journey through various wine regions of Chile is the top thing to do in Autumn. From the Maipo Valley, Colchagua Valley or Cachapoal Valley, visitors are guaranteed an educational and cultural experience on Chilean wine. Additionally, the weather at this time remains warm and pleasant for outdoor exploration, perfect for vineyard tours and scenic wine tastings.
For nature enthusiasts, a trip to the South of Chile in either the Chilean Lake District or scenic Chiloe Island is also ideal. With the weather and temperatures not quite at their winter low, visitors will be able to enjoy the top sites of these regions peacefully. For those who travel south to Chilean Patagonia, you must hike before the end of the season! Autumn is the last chance to hike the open trails before the chilly winter season.
Visiting Chile in Winter: June to August
Winter in Chile (June – August)
From June to August Chile is in winter. While the country has mostly cold weather at this time, it is an excellent opportunity for snow sports at some of South America’s top mountain resorts. This is also a great time to visit the wine valleys as the wine harvest has just been done.
Note: many hotels in Chilean Patagonia / Torres del Paine close for the winter season, however the national park remains open.
Chile Weather in the Winter
Chile’s weather in winter is significantly colder at night compared to the other seasons. In Santiago, temperatures drop to a low of 36F / 2C, in the Atacama it lowers to 34F / 1C, and in Patagonia, it can get as low as 32F / 0C. One of the best ways to enjoy the cold weather during the winter season is to engage in snowsports at Chile’s most famed ski resorts.
16ᵒ C / 60ᵒ F
20ᵒ C / 68ᵒ F
5ᵒ C / 41ᵒ F
Best Things to Do in Chile during Winter
The best things to do in Chile during the winter will be found in the mountains. Pinned by the Andes Mountain range from the rest of South America, Chile is positioned with some of the world‘s top slopes. Visiting the various mountain resorts for winter sports is a must during the winter season in Chile. The brisk temperatures and snow-filled mountains offer the perfect conditions to ski, snowboard, snowshoe and more. Popular resorts include El Colorado, Ski Portillo, and Valle Nevado.
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