The best time to visit Chile depends on your priorities: places visited, weather, availability, preferred activities and local seasonality.
Thanks to its size and shape, from a weather point of view Chile is a year-round destination. Outside the local holiday period of December to February, attractions are relatively quiet. As a rule the further south you go the more unpredictable the weather.
- Santiago, Valparaiso and the vineyards have a Mediterranean-type climate, with very warm summers (Dec-Feb) and cool winters (Jun-Sep), pleasant all year round.
- Summer in the lake district is generally warm and sunny, excellent for exploration and walking. (The ski season is Jul-Aug).
- High summer (Dec-Feb) attracts the most visitors to Patagonia thanks to longer days, open accessibility to remote regions and the best chance of good weather (although you can still experience all four seasons in one day). Patagonia can be particularly beautiful in Spring (Oct/Nov) and Autumn (Mar/Apr), when there are far fewer tourists and the weather can still be pleasant. Winter in Torres del Paine (mid-May-mid Sept) has its own unique attractions, including more wildlife and an almost empty national park.
- The best time for walking and trekking is therefore Nov-Mar.
- The Atacama Desert in the north enjoys sunshine and warm temperatures year-round, with cool nights Jul-Sep and a chance of heavy rains in Jan-Mar.
- Easter Island has pleasant temperatures all year, warmest Oct-Mar, cooler Jun-Sep.The Tapati festival normally takes place during the first two weeks of February with traditional music, dance and sports.