Make the most of your visit to Chile – one of South America’s most rugged and beautiful gems – by planning your trip at the right time of year.
Below, see the best time to visit Chile for ideal weather, cheap prices on flights and hotels, and smaller crowds in the off-season. You’ll see the worst time to visit and helpful travel tips to make the most of your stay, too!
Overall Best Time to Visit Chile
- December-February (summer) is the best time to visit Chile
- Ideal conditions for Santiago’s beaches, stargazing, and exploration
- Temperatures range from 60F-90F, depending on location
The best time to visit Chile is December to February. This is Chilean summertime with the warmest temperatures and best weather of the year.
Locations that are generally chilly warm up to mild, pleasant temperatures and Chile’s beaches, capital city, and glacial Torres del Plaine National Park experience their best weather conditions at this time of year.
Understandably, crowds are bigger in the summertime as tourists flock to the country in search of sunshine, scenery, and adventure.
Prices in some areas rise in response (though they drop slightly in Santiago as locals leave town for vacations). Most travelers will find the crowds and rates well worth it in exchange for the weather, accessibility to all regions, and abundant flora and fauna.
Chile’s vineyards are lush and in full bloom at this time of year, the sun shines for 12 hours each day, nights are perfectly clear for stargazing, and there’s typically little rainfall during summer.
It’s the perfect time to head to Chile for an all-around incredible trip, no matter where you plan to visit!
Cheapest Time to Visit Chile
- September-October, March-May are the least busy times to go
- Spring and fall shoulder seasons offer the cheapest prices
- Lots of activities and good weather in most areas
The best time to visit Chile on a budget is September through October (spring) and March through May (fall), which are the shoulder seasons that bookend the peak summer season.
For the most part, you’ll experience pleasantly mild temperatures, suitable weather for outdoor adventures, and plenty of events and festivals to keep you occupied.
Some areas of Chile, like Patagonia and Torres del Plaine National Park, are notorious for wildly unpredictable weather in the spring and fall.
It’s possible that you could luck out with sunshine and little to no precipitation during your stay, but know that freak rain and snowstorms, hail, and cold snaps are always a possibility at these times of year.
Outside of the more rugged areas, March and April are two of the best months to enjoy Chile’s cities and lush vineyards, where the country’s famous wines begin. You’ll arrive in time to see the leaves change color and paint Chile’s landscape in warm shades of red, orange, and purple.
Santiago (the capital) and Valparaiso (Chile’s port city) are truly divine during the fall and spring months. You’ll enjoy your fill of good wine and food with lots of events and festivals when you visit during these less-busy shoulder seasons.
Least Busy Time to Visit Chile
- June-August (winter) is the low season in Chile
- Fewer tourists arrive, so better flight + hotel availability
- Winter weather challenges outdoor activities, events
The best time to visit Chile without large crowds is from June to August, which is winter in Chile. This is the low season for Chilean tourism with the least number of travelers arriving during this 3-month period.
While it’s nice and uncrowded, accessibility and activity options are also very limited in parts of Chile at this time of year. Winter can be a fine time to visit Santiago, which boasts a California-like Mediterranean climate that stays pretty mild year-round.
Expect increased rainfall during the winter here and temperatures in the mid-30s during the dead of winter. It gets chilly at night, so prepare for dips in temperatures after sunset and bring warm layers to bundle up if needed.
In the mountains and colder zones of Chile, winter is less enjoyable unless you’re there for winter sports. Head up into the Andes Mountains to take advantage of excellent ski conditions and cozy up at your ski resort at night.
Brave the cold and snowy conditions in Patagonia and Torres del Plaine to appreciate the views without the big crowds of summer, but prepare for difficult hikes and frigid temps that only the most serious adventurers will want to take on.
Worst Time to Visit Chile
- June-August (winter) is the worst time to visit Chile
- Coldest temperatures in east and southeast Chile
- Increased rain, snow, and ice conditions
Chile in winter is far from ideal for most travelers, though there are some exceptions. In general, winter (June to August) is the worst time to visit.
With colder temperatures throughout the country and snowy/icy conditions that make the most frigid climate zones and regions (like Patagonia) impassable at this time of year, you’re better off going during the warm summer or milder fall and spring months.
Winter sports in the higher-elevation ski areas in the mountains and visits to the capital Santiago are the two saving graces of wintertime in Chile.
Rain and snow can put a damper on your trip to the big city, but with plenty of museums, shops, and galleries to keep you busy indoors, you can salvage even the worst-weathered trip.
Unless you’re planning on taking part in winter sports like skiing and snowboarding, winter (June to August) is the worst time to visit Chile.
It’s too cold for comfortable hiking and exploration in many regions, and snow and ice can make some of the most-visited areas impassable at this time of year.
Book Your Trip to Chile Today!
Instead of spending your next vacation on a tropical island where it’s easy to forget where you are, why not jet to Chile where you can experience mountains, deserts, volcanoes, beaches, glaciers, and a wide range of wildlife?
Chile packs a lot of substance and adventure into one destination and you’ll be glad you chose this rugged South American country for your upcoming journey. Happy travels!