Chile Weather

Tatio Geysers, Atacama, Chile
Tatio Geysers
The long, slender strip that is Chile stretches some 2,700 miles from end to end, roughly the distance from New York to San Francisco. Along the way, it encompasses all manner of climate, from the world’s driest desert in the north to the freezing winds and driving rains of the far south. This means that while you can visit Chile’s varied geography year round, planning your trip carefully will help you get the most out of the region you’ll be staying in.

As the most famous of Chile’s geographic features, the great Atacama Desert in the north is the driest place on earth; there are parts of it where it hasn’t rained for 200 years. Surprisingly, it’s much cooler than other deserts its size: average daytime temperature is around 75, and nights can dip to the low 30’s. The skies are generally very clear, though sudden sandstorms can make driving dangerous at times. When you visit, be sure to bring warm clothing, protective eyewear, and plenty of sunscreen.

By contrast, Chile’s transitional zone, also known as the Central Valley, is verdant and temperate, making it feel like a landscape transplanted from Italy or Greece. During summer (December to February) temperatures can get warmish, sometimes reaching 90-plus degrees, but even during these months the nights are cool. If you’re heading to Santiago, summer is the best time to go, offering pleasant days, little rain, and lower hotel prices as the city’s residents head out of town for the holidays.

Further south, the rainfall increases in the Lake District as cool winds come in off the lakes and mountains, causing the temperature to hover between 45 and 65 most of the year. Overcast days and sudden storms are common, even during the warmer summer months. Bring your umbrella: winter months can be positively sodden.

Finally, in the extreme southern region of Magellanes, fierce winds whip though the glacial landscape during the summer, at times reaching speeds of 75 miles per hour. Winters are calmer but much colder, with frequent snowfall causing the landscape to resemble that of a Norwegian village. Here layered clothing and weatherproof outerwear are a must.

Average monthly temperatures (°F) and rainfall (inches) for select locations in Chile are shown below.

Antofagasta

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High 73 74 72 69 65 63 62 62 63 65 67 71
Low 64 64 62 59 56 54 53 54 55 57 59 62
Rain 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Easter Island

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High 78 79 78 76 73 70 69 68 70 71 73 76
Low 70 71 70 68 66 64 62 62 62 62 65 67
Rain 4 3 3 5 5 4 4 3 3 3 3 4

Iquique

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High 75 77 75 72 68 64 63 62 64 67 70 73
Low 66 66 65 62 58 57 55 56 57 59 61 63
Rain 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Puerto Montt

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High 67 66 63 58 54 50 50 51 54 57 60 65
Low 49 49 47 44 43 39 39 39 40 42 44 48
Rain 4 4 5 7 10 9 10 9 6 5 5 5

Punta Arenas

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High 57 57 54 49 44 39 38 41 46 50 53 56
Low 45 45 42 38 35 32 31 32 35 38 40 43
Rain 1 1 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

Santiago

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High 85 84 80 72 64 58 57 61 65 71 77 82
Low 54 53 49 45 41 38 37 39 42 45 48 51
Rain 0 0 0 1 2 3 3 2 1 1 0 0

Valparaiso

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High 72 72 70 67 63 60 60 61 62 65 69 71
Low 56 56 54 52 50 48 47 47 48 50 52 54
Rain 0 0 0 1 4 6 4 3 1 0 0 0

Source: Weatherbase.

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