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The climate of Chile: when to go to Chile

The extension of Chile for over 4,600 km from north to south means that the country is affected by different types of climate. To the north we find the desert and semi-arid climate that characterizes the Atacama desert and the northern coast. Then we find the Mediterranean type climate in central Chile. The alpine and tundra climate in the east and south-east and finally the oceanic climate in the south of the country. Case aside is the humid sub-tropical climate of Easter Island. The seasons are reversed compared to the European ones, summer is between December and February, autumn between March and May, winter between June and August and spring between September and November.

The climate of Chile is greatly influenced by the cold Humboldt ocean current, the presence of the Andes mountain range and the Pacific Ocean. There are four main climatic zones in the country.

CLIMATE OF NORTH CHILE

This is the driest region in the country. Due to the cold Humboltd current, mists (Camanchaca) are constantly forming along the Pacific Ocean coast, but the rains are very rare. In this area of Chile it usually rains, sometimes torrentially, only for a few days a year between late January and mid February. The interior is formed by the Atacama desert, one of the driest regions on planet Earth. The average rainfall in the Chilean region of Antofagasta is only 1 mm of rain per year. Antofagasta has summer temperatures (December-February) with maximums of 24 ° C and minimums of 17 ° C, while in winter (June-August) the maximums are 17 ° C and minimums of 11 ° C.

Climate of the Atacama Desert.

IQUIQUE (1 meter)
Month Average low (°C) Average high (°C) Precip. (mm) Precip. days
January 19,2 25,3 0,0  0
February 19,0 25,5 0,0  0
March 18,4 24,9 0,0  0
April 16,9 22,7 0,0  0
May 15,7 20,7 0,0  0,2
June 14,7 19,0 0,0  0,3
July 14,0 18,0 0,0  0,2
August 14,2 18,0 0,5  0,1
September 14,6 18,8 0,4  0,1
October 15,4 20,1 0,0  0
November 16,5 21,7 0,0  0
December 17,8 27,3 0,1  0,1
YEAR 16,4 21,5 1,0  1,0

CLIMATE OF CENTRAL CHILE

Central Chile has a temperate Mediterranean climate characterized by well differentiated seasons. Winters are rich in clouds, cold and wet. During spring the good weather predominates and temperatures begin to rise, although sometimes rains are possible. In summer the temperatures reach the maximum and it rarely rains with clear and warm skies. In autumn the good weather prevails. The rains grow as we proceed south, the rainiest period in this area of the country are the months between May and August. The Santiago area has an average summer temperatures (December-February) of 19 ° C, with maximums of 29 ° C and minimums of 12 ° C, while in winter (June-August) the average is 7 ° C, with maximum of 14 ° C and minimum of 3 ° C.

Santiago’s climate.

SANTIAGO DE CHILE (521 meters)
Month Average low (°C) Average high (°C) Precip. (mm) Precip. days
January 11,8 29,4 0,3  0
February 11,1 28,9 1,3  0
March 9,4 26,9 3,8  1
April 6,9 22,8 12,9  3
May 4,9 18,2 44,2  5
June 3,3 14,8 69,8  7
July 2,5 14,3 69,3  7
August 3,4 16,2 38,1  6
September 5,2 18,4 22,5  5
October 7,2 22,0 11,0  2
November 9,0 25,3 7,0  1
December 10,9 28,1 1,7  0
YEAR 7,1 22,1 281,9  37

CLIMATE OF SOUTH CHILE

This region of the country is characterized by rigid, windy and humid oceanic climate, with low temperatures. In the Valdivia region the climate is temperate oceanic, the summer temperatures (December-February) have maximums of 23 ° C and minimums of 11 ° C, while in winter (June-August) the maximums are 11 ° C and minimums of 4 ° C. The rainfall is intense especially from April to September, the wettest month ever is June with 550 mm of rain, while the annual average is 2,700 mm.

Climate of Chiloe Island.

ANCUD – CHILOÉ ISLAND (2 meters)
Month Average low (°C) Average high (°C) Precip. (mm) Precip. days
January 10,9 17,8  124  14
February 10,3 17,8  107  11
March 9,6 16,5  129  13
April 8,2 13,8  195  16
May 7,2 11,6  354  20
June 5,6 9,8  361  21
July 5,2 9,4  326  20
August 5,4 10,0  271  20
September 6,1 11,3  221  19
October 7,0 13,0  172  16
November 8,6 14,8  146  16
December 10,0 16,5  128  14
YEAR 7,8 13,5 2539  200

CLIMATE OF AUSTRAL CHILE

In the northernmost area of southern Chile, the rains fall copiously throughout the year. The resort of Puerto Aisen, which is located in this area of the country, has an average annual rainfall of almost 3,000 mm well distributed in each month of the year. The average temperatures in summer are around 14 ° C while in winter around 4 ° C. The extreme south of the country is drier and colder, the rains here are less than 500 mm per year.

Climate of Southern Chile and Chilean Patagonia.

The climate of Punta Arenas.

PUNTA ARENAS (34 meters)
Month Average low (°C) Average high (°C) Precip. (mm) Precip. days
January 6,8 14,3  41,7  15
February 6,6 14,0  31,2  14
March 5,2 12,3  38,1  15
April 3,4 9,7  40,2  14
May 1,2 6,5  41,2  13
June -0,9 4,1  27,0  11
July -1,1 3,7  29,1  11
August -0,1 5,2  29,8  12
September 1,2 7,7  26,5  11
October 3,0 10,2  27,2  10
November 4,7 12,2  30,0  13
December 6,0 13,5  33,3  14
YEAR 3,0 9,4 395,3  153

Easter Island climate.

WHEN TO GO TO CHILE

Chile is a country that stretches for thousands of kilometers from north to south so each region of the country has a different climate and a different period in which it is better to visit it. In the desert of northern Chile the best period is from May to September. While in central Chile the best time for a trip is the summer between November and March. In southern Chile the best months are the summer months between December and February.

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