Chile’s unique shape means it can be visited throughout the year, but the most popular time to visit is during the Austral summer, from December to February. That said, Patagonia and the far south can be visited from as early as September, all the way through to late April and early May. Peak months of December to February have the benefit of longer days, but be warned, Patagonia’s famous national parks, including Torres del Paine, do get exceptionally busy at this time of year and hotels are often fully booked months in advance. Visiting Patagonia in October and November or March and April has the advantage of fewer tourists and less crowded trails as well as slightly cheaper hotel prices. Some hotels do remain open year-round though and although days are short, Patagonia in winter (June to August) is when it’s least windy and puma sightings are at their highest.
Santiago and the Central Valleys have a sunny Mediterranean-like climate and are hottest in the peak summer months of December to February. Temperatures regularly exceed 30C at this time of year. The wine harvest takes place from late February to early May and from June to September, the ski resorts around Santiago open.
The Atacama Desert and northern Chile can be visited at any time of year, but occasionally strong rains can occur in January and February which can close some visitor sites. For most of the year you can expect sunny days and spectacular night skies.
The Lake District’s climate is similar to northern Europe, but does suffer from heavy rainfall (more so than the Argentine Lake District).
Easter Island can also be visited year round, but is wettest from March to October. If travelling in February, be mindful of the Tapati festival, which takes place each year over the first two weeks of February. Accommodation can be hard to find at this time of year!