What's the best time to visit Santiago, Chile?
The best times to visit Santiago, Chile, are spring (September to November) and fall (March to May). During these periods, the weather is mild with average highs in the mid-70s to low 80s, ideal for exploring the city, taking day trips to nature, and enjoying cultural events, including wine festivals and Fiestas Patrias, Chile’s national holiday.
Santiago, the capital of Chile, is one of the most vibrant cities in South America and a must-visit if you are visiting the country.
It’s packed with history, which you can explore at the city’s many museums, such as the Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino (dedicated to indigenous art and artifacts), or just by walking down the streets.
The city is packed with culture as well, which lives on the streets of Bohemian neighborhoods such as Bellavista as well as in the galleries. But what’s the best time to visit Santiago? We’ll show you this and more below.
Overall Best Time to Visit Santiago, Chile
The overall best time to visit Santiago, Chile, is during the spring (September to November) and fall (March to May) for the best weather in the city and surrounding areas.
Santiago is in the Southern Hemisphere, which means that its seasons are opposite what visitors from the Northern Hemisphere may be used to. Summer is between December and February, while winter is in June, July, and August.
Santiago has a Mediterranean climate with mostly mild temperatures, according to the city’s tourism board. Summers tend to be hot and dry, while winters are cool, with cold winds occasionally blowing in from the nearby mountains.
Spring and fall have the mildest weather, making it the best for exploring. Average high temperatures in these seasons hover in the mid-70s to low 80s, making it warm but not too hot.
These seasons also have mostly clear weather, with only an 11% chance of daily rain in shoulder season months such as April and September. Spring and fall weather are perfect not only for walking the streets of Santiago but also for taking day trips into surrounding nature.
In the fall, you can take a trip to the nearby Maipo Valley, an important wine-producing region near the capital. The wine region is beautiful all year round, but in the fall, you can catch the harvest.
In the spring, the nearby Andes Mountains are spectacular. The snow begins to melt, and the winter precipitation means that the mountains are lush and green. This season is a great time for day trips into the mountains.
Spring and fall are also some of the liveliest seasons for culture in Santiago. There are regular concerts, gallery shows, and more. These seasons are also home to some of the most popular festivals in the Santiago area, such as:
- Lollapalooza Chile (March)
- Fiestas de las vendimias (wine harvesting festivals in the nearby wine country, March/April)
- Rodeo season (March/April)
- Fauna Primavera Fest (November)
Fall is also the time of Chile’s national holiday, the Fiestas Patrias. Expect more crowds in Santiago during this time, but also plenty of events, from folk dancing to parades.
Cheapest Time to Visit Santiago
The cheapest time to visit Santiago is during the spring or fall, with spring providing some of the best savings. Traveling during the shoulder season is a great trick to save money since you avoid peak crowds and peak prices.
The fall months of March, April, and May are the best times to visit to save money. The summer peak travel season is over, so many hotels are trying to continue their season and attract guests.
That means that they lower prices to try and make their hotels more appealing. Fall is also usually the cheapest time to fly into Santiago.
According to the official Chile tourism board’s website, the cheapest time for airfare from the United States and Europe is in April and May. There are few major holidays during this time (besides Easter) that drive up airfare.
Spring (September, October, and November) also offers deals, but it is slightly more expensive than the fall. Spring has more festivals, including the official national holiday of Fiestas Patrias, that drive up accommodation prices.
Least Busy Time to Visit Santiago
The least busy time to visit Santiago is the spring or fall, although the summer in Santiago is also surprisingly free of crowds
Summer and winter are the two main travel seasons in Chile, so traveling outside of those popular times means that you get to have a lot of the country to yourself. Spring and fall mean fewer crowds not just in Santiago but also in the surrounding areas.
Summer is the most popular travel season in Chile, but Santiago itself is pretty empty during this time. Many of the city’s residents beat the heat by getting out of town. If you are only visiting the city and not the rest of Chile, you’ll avoid a lot of crowds in December, January, and February.
The city government and local cultural authorities use the quieter atmosphere of a Santiago summer to put on lots of street festivals and cultural events. Events such as the Santiago a Mil theater festival draw artists from all over the world.
Worst Time to Visit Santiago
While Santiago is beautiful all year round, the worst times to visit are during the summer and winter, when extreme weather conditions make it hard to move around the city.
Summer is a good time to visit the city if you want to avoid crowds since many Chileans avoid visiting Santiago during this time. Locals also take their vacations in January and February, mostly heading to the beach or the mountains.
However, there is a reason even the locals avoid their own city during this time—it can get very hot. With temperatures routinely in the high 80s on the Fahrenheit scale, without a lot of rain to cool things off, the city gets very hot and dry.
In these conditions, it’s not the best time to go wandering around the streets. Summer is also not a good time to visit Santiago if you are planning on seeing any other part of Chile.
While the capital may be empty, the rest of the country is at its most crowded. Occupancy rates—and pricing rates—are at their highest in many popular resort towns or getaways.
While a summer city break in Santiago is a good idea, it’s not the most budget-friendly way to see the country at all. Winter in Santiago is not as bitterly cold as it is in the mountains, but it’s not the best time to visit for one major reason—smog.
The capital struggles heavily with air pollution, and the situation is at its worst during the winter due to the inefficient heating systems many citizens use and the surrounding mountains trapping pollution above the city.
However, winter in Chile is the best time to visit if you are hoping to go skiing. During June, July, and August, the ski resorts near Santiago are full of visitors, and there are great snow conditions in the Andes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Still have questions about the best time to visit Santiago? We’ve got the answers:
What's the best month to visit Chile?
In general, the best month to visit Chile is November because you get the best weather in most of the country’s regions but beat the summer crowds.
What's the cheapest time to fly to Chile?
Chilean fall (April–May) is the cheapest time to fly into Santiago, especially if you are coming from the Northern Hemisphere.
Is September a good time to visit Santiago?
September is a good time to visit Santiago, thanks to the mild weather. The Fiesta Patrias livens up the city, but it also brings lots of crowds and higher prices.
So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Santiago, Chile?
The best time to visit Santiago, Chile, is during the spring (September–November) or fall (March–May) shoulder seasons. The weather is at its mildest, and the crowds and prices are at their most manageable.