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Immense mountain ranges, Caribbean beach, salt desert, vast jungles, and much more. Only one continent offers so much diversity in landscapes and climate. Welcome to South America. Due to its diversity and very significant size, it can be quite tricky to know when is the best time to travel but also to define the climate and seasons of south America.
Seasons in South America
If you are wondering when is summer in South America or when to avoid winter in South America, know that defining a single season to visit South America is in fact totally impossible. The continent is so vast that there are so many different climates. There is almost 7000km between the northernmost point and the southernmost point, so basically it’s a bit like trying to sum up the climate between northern Finland and southern Ethiopia.
The further north you are on the continent, the closer you are to the Equator (the country, of course, but also the Equator line). The temperature variations between the different months of the year are therefore smaller and smaller as you go up.
In other words, each seasons of South America depends on its country. Each country has different climates (even within a country sometimes). Let’s see what’s the best time of the year to travel in countries of South America.
Patagonia in March
Although much of the continent enjoys a tropical climate with mild temperatures all year round, this is not the case in southern Latin America. Below the Santiago line, it is very cold in winter. If you want to visit Patagonia (which is strongly recommended), it is best to do so during the southern hemisphere summer (November to March). And it is even better to do it after the school holidays of the South Americans (January to February), so that makes March the perfect month to start your journey
As for the famous Patagonian landscapes, don’t miss Ushuaia and Lapataia Park, Torres del Paine, the Perito Moreno, El Chalten etc. Everything is concentrated in a small corner of paradise, you won’t be able to get lost. If you are curious about what activities to do in this region, but also want to see some breathtaking pictures of Patagonia, you can take a look at the best Photos of Patagonia.
Chile in April
It’s the end of March, you’re on your way to El Chalten and you tell yourself that it’s more than 2000km of the road to Santiago. Fortunately for you, one of the most beautiful roads in the world, the Carretera Austral, is here to save you. An isolated road in Chile that goes from Villa O’Higgins to Puerto Montt. The scenery is beautiful and well worth it. You can otherwise always take a plane to Santiago. It’s time to have your passport stamped one last time with the beautiful Chilean flag because where it all happens is in San Pedro de Atacama! A few days are enough to explore the famous Atacama Desert.
From the rainbow mountains of San Pedro to the Chilean Patagonia Torres del Paine. This country is full of treasure. You can take a look at all the tours to do in Chile to have an idea on all the other places you can visit within the country.
Bolivia in May
The first thing to know is that Bolivia is in the southern hemisphere, which means that the seasons are reversed: winter in Europe is summer there and vice versa. So if you follow the timing advice, you will be there at the beginning of May. The weather is good, it’s warm and not overwhelmed with people.
Bolivia is above all, an essential stop on a South American travel itinerary. You will come across the incredible Uyuni Salts Flats, breathtaking lagoons and volcanoes in the Sajama National Park, the beautiful little town of Sucre or the impressive La Paz. A trip to Bolivia is all of this at once, incredible landscapes that you would think you came from another planet and that will probably mark you forever. If you are craving to know more about what to see and visit on your tour through Bolivia, after reading this, you will already have a pretty good knowledge of it.
Peru in June
In Peru, the country just south of the equator, there are three types of climates: the desert coastal strip, which has a mild climate and cloudy in winter and pleasantly warm in summer; the Andean zone (the Sierra), more or less cold depending on the altitude; and finally the large eastern zone covered by the Amazonian forest, which has warm and humid weather all year round. Keep in mind that when it’s summer in Europe, it’s “winter” in Peru.
It’s the end of May-early June and you are delighted to be leaving Bolivia to descend in altitude to milder temperatures. But you are also grateful to arrive right before the high season. If you have planned to only visit Peru, then you should consider going during the autumn season as it is the lowest season of the year.
All in all, we can say that the country symbolizes all of South America, from the Inca ruins of the famous, yet unmistakable Machu Picchu, to the llamas and colourful hats, you will be amazed wherever you go. In case you’re interested in seeing all of those wonders, then you should probably take a look at the possible tours to do in Peru.
Ecuador in July
Although Ecuador has some of the best seasons of South America, the country also has two main climates: a rainy season and a dry season, which vary from region to region. But the most recommendable months would be from June until September.
Did you know that Ecuador has the most volcanoes (active and inactive) in the world in relation to its surface area? Situated in the middle of the convergence zone between the oceanic and continental plates, this very small country has no less than 100 volcanoes, some of which reach an altitude of more than 5000m! And who says volcanoes say hiking, magnificent landscapes, and thermal springs! So don’t miss all the amazing things to do in Ecuador.
Colombia in December
Between Venezuela, Brazil, Panama, Ecuador and Peru, Colombia is a country with a tropical climate due to its proximity to the equator. There are only two seasons: summer, which is also the dry season, in December, January, July and August, and winter, which is also the rainy season, in April, May, October and November. That makes December a perfect month to go visit Colombia.
Make sure to know w hat to see and what to visit in Colombia, before going so you can 100% enjoy the country.
As you might have understood, the seasons in South American countries are very different from other continents. Generally speaking, the seasons are reversed compared to Europe, but again that stays very general. Thankfully, after reading this blog you can avoid rainy, cold and above all touristy seasons. But remember that the most important thing to know is that whether it is during the summer or the winter, you will never regret visiting this incredible continent.