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South America Travel Guide


Travel Guide to South America with Local Expertise

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South America at a glance

Where to visit in South America is dependent on the type of experience you’d prefer and when you plan to travel. There’s something to suit all interests – from the tango-filled streets of Buenos Aires to visiting the ancient Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu and weaving the trails that bend in and out of the gushing waterfalls of Iguazu. Top up your tan on the golden beaches of Rio de Janeiro or the tropical Caribbean beaches of Colombia.

Learn more about each country in our Travel Guides:

TRAVEL GUIDES TO SOUTH AMERICA

BEOFRE YOU GO...MAKE SURE YOU KNOW!

Overview of best times to travel in each country

This is the section with a basic road map to help you in planning your trip to Chile, hopefully to give an idea of a general time to travel, check out our Country Travel Guides for more in depth and helpful information worth considering when preparing for your journey to the region.

ARGENTINA

We have included specific information for Argentina on everything from Language and Culture to Weather & Getting Around in our Argentina Travel Guide, so make sure you check those out for more details to help you plan your trip. Situated in the Southern Hemisphere, Argentina’s seasons are opposite to those experienced in the Northern Hemisphere. The summer months run between December and February while the winter is between June and August. Due to Argentina’s size, the varying degree of the season very much depends on which region of the country you are visiting. In the winter, for example, Southern Patagonia is covered in snow and beaten by icy winds. Unless you enjoy winter sports, this is not the best time to hike or see the glaciers in Patagonia. While winter may not be the best time to visit Patagonia, it’s our favorite time of the year to visit the north of Argentina when the sweltering summer heat subsides. The center of Argentina can be enjoyed all year round, although the spring and fall are our favorite times of the year to visit Buenos Aires and Mendoza. If the main reason for your trip is to discover Argentina’s wildlife, spring is hands down the best time to visit Patagonia’s Atlantic coast to enjoy wildlife spotting.

PERU

We have included specific information for Peru on everything from Language and Culture to Weather & Getting Around in our Peru Travel Guide, so make sure you check those out for more details to help you plan your trip. Due to Peru’s dramatic landscapes, it has different temperatures and climates depending on where you are traveling to, so the weather you’ll experience really depends on where you want to go! In general terms we could say that it is best to visit the mountains and jungle between May and November because this is the driest season. The coast has its summer between November and May, but in most destinations there is sun all year round.

BRAZIL

We have included specific information for Peru on everything from Language and Culture to Weather & Getting Around in our Brazil Travel Guide, so make sure you check those out for more details to help you plan your trip. Brazil generally has a temperate climate all year round meaning there is no bad time to visit Brazil! The summer runs from December to February with Rio’s beaches and the beautiful northeast becoming busy due to the high temperatures (above 80°F/27˚C). Throughout the rest of the year temperatures are generally in the mid-70s ˚F (low 20s ˚C) to low 80s ˚F (mid-20s ˚C). If traveling through the south of Brazil, the temperature variations are more obvious with lows of approximately 60°F (16˚C) in the winter month of June to August up to about 95°F (35˚C) in the summer months. It is rare for the Brazilian Amazon to have temperatures above 80°F (27˚C) however it is extremely humid and there can often been heavy rainfall over the Amazon Basin throughout the year. The dry season of Brazil makes the treks into the Amazon and Pantanal especially from June to August a delight! Make sure not to get confused about the seasons with people from the north of Brazil, calling December to March the winter due to the amount of rainfall in spite of it actually being during the height of Brazil’s summer!

COLOMBIA

We have included specific information for Colombia on everything from Language and Culture to Weather & Getting Around in our Colombia Travel Guide, so make sure you check those out for more details to help you plan your trip. As Colombia is situated on the Equator, rather than the temperature varying by season, its climate is related to altitude. Colombia can, therefore, be split up into three different climates. The Tierra Caliente is a warm, tropical zone covering approximately 82.5% of the country with the land rising up from sea level to roughly 3,500ft (1,067m). The area between 3,500ft. (1,067m) and 6,500ft. (1,981m) is known as Colombia’s temperate zone and has an average temperature of about 64°F (17°F). Between 6,500ft. (1,981m) and 10,000ft. (3,048m) is the Tierra Fria with annual temperatures reaching just slightly over 55°F (12°C). With an altitude of 8,525ft (2,598m) above sea level, Bogota is situated within the Tierra Fria and has a yearly average temperature of 57°F (13°C). The highest levels of precipitation fall on the west coast of Bogota and in the Andes and these areas feature a dry and wet season which alternate every three months. The wettest months to visit Bogota are between April-June and October-December. In the north of Colombia, there is only one wet season which is from May to October.

CHILE

We have included specific information for Chile on everything from Language and Culture to Weather & Getting Around in our Chile Travel Guide, so make sure you check those out for more details to help you plan your trip. Chile’s climate varies greatly, owing to its sheer length, the variation of terrain, altitudes, and latitudes. Spring (September – November) and Fall (March-May) are our favorite times to visit Santiago and its surrounding vineyards. The summer months (December – February) is the best time to visit the Atacama Desert. Our favorite time to travel to Chile’s Patagonia is during the spring and summer months from November to the beginning of March. Despite it being the peak season with a large number of tourists in the area, the weather is ideal for exploring the Torres del Paine National Park and the Tierra del Fuego. Spring which runs from September to November is a beautiful time to visit the Chilean Lake District as the surrounding mountains are covered in colorful wildflowers. Fall (March-May) is another time of year which we love to explore Patagonia as it springs into life with stunning autumnal reds and oranges. Both times of year have milder temperatures as well as fewer tourists. Most attractions and activities are put on hold during the winter months in Patagonia (June-August) so we generally recommend to avoid traveling to that particular region during these months. Even if you are visiting Patagonia in spring or summer, pack plenty of layers to keep you warm from the ice-cold Patagonian winds.

BOLIVIA

We have included specific information for Bolivia on everything from Language and Culture to Weather & Getting Around in our Bolivia Travel Guide, so make sure you check those out for more details to help you plan your trip. Between June and July, the highlands of Bolivia are dry and sunny during the day but the temperate drops significantly at night. Despite the nighttime temperatures dropping to -20°C (-4°F) the warm days makes this is one of the best times of year to visit the region. Bolivia’s rainy season is from November-March and it can disrupt the infrastructure, especially from January to March. During this period it’s not uncommon for there to be flooding, landslides, fog and low-lying clouds which can make driving or hiking in the mountains dangerous. If you’re planning a visit to Bolivia and want to enjoy the various outdoor activities such as cycling and hiking, we wouldn’t recommend going between the months of January and March. However, if you find yourself in Bolivia during these months, the barren, dusty landscape makes way for a blanket of verdant greens while the mountain slopes are covered with wildflowers. The majority of Bolivia’s festivals such as Carnival and Holy Week take place between February and April. While these could be one of the main reasons to visit Bolivia during these months, you may find that there are a number of disruptions to transport due to the weather and festivals.

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