If you are limited by school term dates we've put together some ideas based on typical school holiday dates.
In our wintriest months much of South America is your oyster – with seasons in the southern hemisphere being the opposite of our own. This is the height of Patagonia season as well as the best time to visit anywhere in the Caribbean, including Cuba, Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama. At this time of year, Iguazú Falls is at its fullest, making a break to Argentina and Brazil particularly rewarding. Southern Brazil can be rainy at this time of year, but there are still plenty of reasons to visit – including spectacular New Year celebrations and all the fun of the Brazilian summer.
The following destinations all typically experience optimum weather conditions during the Christmas holidays:
, particularly Bahia
and the northeast
The Galápagos Islands
Spring Half Term
Latin American weather conditions in February are similar to those during the Christmas period – see above.
By April, the rainy season in the Central Andes is coming to an end and the land is refreshed, lush and green – a superb time to visit. While on one hand the window of opportunity for visiting Peru is just opening, Patagonia season is coming to an end – but the intense autumnal colours mean that April really is a last hurrah. This is also the best time of year to visit the Galápagos as well as mainland Ecuador.
Consider travelling to:
Argentina, Chile and Uruguay
and the south
(the north is on the cusp of the rainy season)
and the Caribbean
, including Cuba
Ecuador and the Galápagos
See the spectacular Easter celebrations in Antigua, Guatemala
Spring/Summer Half Term
A short June break would be ideally suited to the following destinations:
– for example Buenos Aires
coupled with an estancia stay
or Central America
The weather is also at its best in Peru
, though these destinations are generally suited to a longer
holiday than half term would typically allow. In addition, this is a
great time to visit the Amazon.
Avoid Caribbean regions – our summer months coincide with the rainy season and even bring a risk of hurricanes in some of the more northern countries. On the other hand this is the optimum season for the Andes and a great time all round to visit Brazil
Consider a trip to:
, including Machu Picchu
and the Amazon
– aim to visit in August, when the rainy season has ended in Bahia
and the north, and in Rio
the weather is usually dry and pleasant. Meanwhile in the Pantanal
, our summer is the height of the dry season, when wildlife is most easily viewed. (Note that Florianópolis can be a bit chilly at this time of year.)
and The Galápagos Islands
(though it is not the best time to visit coastal Venezuela)
Autumn Half Term
The autumn half term would be a perfect time for a week-long break in Brazil
– both north
are at their best at this time. Consider a few days in Rio
followed by some relaxation on the Emerald Coast, or alternatively couple Salvador
with Morro de São Paulo or Praia do Forte. A Buenos Aires city break with a stay on an estancia or sometime in the scenic Salta area would also be a good option. Peru
are all still enjoying dry weather at this time of year.