At 2,500m, the Atacama Desert is both the driest and highest desert on earth. In this harsh, often eerie, yet starkly beautiful desert landscape there is a lot of sunshine, and although the temperature drops below zero at night, generally the year-round climate is pleasant and the transparency of light, unique. The mixture of volcanoes, salt flats and high altitude wetlands is unparalleled. With so much diversity in this small part of Chile, the excursions on offer are endless. We’ve whittled down our top five must-do excursions…
Here, Suzie our Marketing Executive (and foodie) gets our taste buds tantalised as she writes about her top places to eat, drink and be seen in the cosmopolitan capital city of Santiago.
Chilean Patagonia is the perfect destination for nature and outdoor enthusiasts who want exploration and adventure. It’s all things majestically alluring and one of our favourite places to dream of. See below the Latin America teams’ top five reasons to travel to this pocket of South America.
Chile is a land of extremes. A frayed ribbon down the west coast of South America, Chile is so diverse and breathtakingly beautiful it should be visited by everyone at least once. Below the Latin America team introduces you to two of its most extreme areas, going from the very bottom to the very top.
When To Go To Chile
Chile is a year-round destination but the most pleasant months to visit are October to April.
Summer - December to February
In the Atacama Desert, the temperature varies between 28ºC during the day and 16ºC at night. Santiago is hot and the breezes disperse the smog that shrouds the city for most of the year and there is lots of sunshine. In Patagonia, December and January are high season and the glacier trips are at their busiest. The weather's pleasant on Easter Island year-round and this is the peak season. Valparaiso is sunny and temperatures range from 18-28C.
Autumn - March to May
In the Atacama Desert, March can sometimes receive a little rainfall and cloudy skies. The Andes start getting covered in snow. In Santiago, the weather gets chilly and rain can be an issue. The Lake District is beautiful in autumn and fresher in these months than during the height of summer. This is the end of the high season in the Lake District, when all activities are possible.
Winter - June to August
In the Atacama Desert, the average temperature is 22ºC during the day and at night it goes down to around 4ºC; temperatures can occasionally go below freezing. Winter in Santiago brings cold weather. July and August might be a bit chilly on Easter Island but it's ideal for hiking. Patagonia is closed for winter. The ski season in Chile begins in mid-June and runs to October. However the best skiing conditions in Chile are generally mid July to early September.
Spring - September to November
Spring brings pleasant weather in most of the regions.
The Lake District is beautiful in spring, and fresher in these months than during the height of summer.
This is a great time to visit Patagonia , when there are fewer crowds, and the weather can still be beautifully mild.