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South America is a huge continent and climatic conditions vary widely. In June, when it’s freezing cold at the southern tip of Argentina, it’s hot and humid in Venezuela. You can take into account, however, that more than 75% of the continent sits south of the Equator, which means that winter usually lasts from June through September and summer from December through March. In high-altitude cities, such as Quito, you can expect cool weather year-round; in the Amazon basin region — in the center of the continent, from Ecuador to Brazil — the weather is hot and humid year-round.

In general, the high season for travel in South America lasts from June through September, from mid-December through mid-January, and during Carnaval, which takes place the week before Ash Wednesday.



Argentina

Buenos Aires – any time
Iguazu Falls – winter or spring
Patagonia – summer
Andes for skiing – winter
High season is January and February

Bolivia

Avoid the rainy season in the lowlands between November to March
Altiplano – winter
Lowlands and rain forest – April to October

Brazil

Cities – any time
Carnaval in February
Amazon – avoid rainy season between November to May
High season is November to April

Chile

Northern Chile – any time, November is best
Middle Chile – September to February
Southern Chile – December to March
Easter Island and Juan Fernandez – March
High season is January – February and July and August for skiing

Colombia

Dry season in December – March in the mountains;
December to April and July to September on the coast
High season is December to February

Ecuador

Rainy season is December to May
Coast – avoid rainy season
Quito and highlands – any time of year
High season is December to February

French Guiana

Rainy season is January to June, heaviest rain in May
Travel between July to December
High season is February Carnival

Guyana

Best time is mid-October to mid-May, after rainy seasons ending in late January and late August
Travel in the interior is best in dry season

Paraguay

Rainy season in December to April with frequent flooding in the southeast
very hot between October and March
Dry season travel (June to August) is easier.

Peru

Lima – avoid foggy time in June – December
Coastal desert – any time of year
Andes – avoid rainy periods between October – April
Rainforest – hot and humid all year; avoid January – April
High season is May to September

Suriname

Rainy season is April to July, December and January
Best times are mid-August to early December

Uruguay

Best time to visit is mid-October to late March; be prepared for heat and humidity
High season is January and February

Venezuela

Dry season is December to April; but May to October is still nice and prices are lower
High season is Christmas, February Carnival and Easter