When deciding when to go to Chile, it is best to consider all the factors that come together to create a trip, from peak travel seasons to which activities will be available during your vacation. Many of the South American locals take their vacations during the school holidays, and establishments tend to increase prices considerably to take advantage of the influx of visitors.
Because of its location in the southern hemisphere, Chilean seasons are opposite those of North America, so while spring and fall are both very pleasant seasons to visit, they are on reverse ends of the calendar year, with fall being toward the beginning and spring at the end. Winter is in July and August, and those who visit Chile at this time of year will appreciate the beautiful scenery of the mountains and ski resorts.
Summer in the southern hemisphere is a peak season for Chile travel, and it is during this time that many of the locals in neighboring countries take their vacations. Ideally, this is a popular time to visit the shores and beautiful, scenic vistas of Chile; however, tourist traffic is in full swing at this time, and many of the hotels and destinations will be crowded, so be sure to book ahead.
Anytime of the year is a great time if you're considering when to go to Chile; just remember that the seasonal cycle is opposite that of the northern hemisphere, so while North Americans start wrapping up to stay warm, the summer weather is just beginning in Chile, making it a perfect place to get away from the cold up north. The warm weather is quite welcoming, but on the other hand, the winds can really pick up, making it somewhat uncomfortable for some travelers, especially on the shores of the islands and around Tierra del Fuego.
During the spring and fall seasons of October through November and March through April, respectively, the gales die down, and the weather becomes more stable and a bit more inviting but with fewer crowds as well. The South American winter is additionally a lovely time to visit Chile with soft snowy scenes on the Andes Mountains and excellent chances for winter activities such as skiing.
The only exception to the summer influx of crowds and gales is Santiago, where visitors will find a pleasant Mediterranean climate and a less-crowded city than one might expect. Locals of Santiago often take their summer vacations to visit Chile attractions outside the city, leaving room in the capital for travelers planning a Chile trip, though you should still plan in advance when booking Santiago hotels and other items such as rental cars.
Early planning for Chile travel is an absolute must; the weather is one of the biggest attractions in the country, and plenty of visitors make travel arrangements throughout the entire year. Many outdoor activities await travelers during each of the seasons, from skiing and hiking in the winter, pleasant shores in the spring and fall, and snorkeling and diving in the summer.
Activities abound throughout the year, and deciding when to go to Chile is really a matter of which type of activities you prefer and of course the type of weather. Whichever time of year you plan for your Chile travel, be sure to make arrangements early to ensure a relaxing transition into your vacation, whether you plan to spend time on Easter Island, in Patagonia, or visiting the El Tatio geyser field. Each season offers its own special charm, and no matter what you choose to do, you're sure to have a wonderful trip to Chile.