Winter in Chile is a fantastic way for snow lovers to escape the northern summer to the powder slopes of our southern latitudes! Many guidebooks only talk about what to do in Chile during the summer months when the weather is hotter, but during the high season there are also many more people paying much higher prices. Who wants that when you can come and enjoy crisp blue-sky winter days, as well as some great skiing in the Andes?
When in Chile’s Winter?
Before you begin checking out flights, let’s first define when winter actually is down here at the bottom of the earth. July, August and September are the official winter months with ski resorts opening from June to mid-October, according to snow conditions. You can create a whole itinerary from north to south provided you have the right gear and attitude. So, what should you fit into a winter visit to Chile? Here is our top five list. Read on to find out more!
Star Gazing in the Atacama Desert
The skies are alarmingly alive at night here in Chile and can be appreciated all year round. One of the main reasons is due to lack of light pollution and low humidity. Astronomers around the world would give anything to visit Chile to spend some time gazing at the constellations, especially now as the country is being cited as the pole of world astronomical development.
However, it is not just astronomers themselves who have Chile on their bucket list. Travelers from across the world consider the emergence of “astrotourism” as a value-added reason to visit. In places like San Pedro de Atacama in the north guided nighttime star gazing tours are available where you can get your hands on huge telescopes getting you closer than you may ever have imagined to planets in our universe. They even throw in hot chocolate too!
Trekking in Torres del Paine
Trekking in the national parks such as the famous Torres del Paine in Chilean Patagonia in mid-August is not something everyone would immediately consider, but it really is one of the most perfect times of year to visit. Yes, you do have to be ready to face the cold and the snow. Yes, you must have the right equipment and be prepared to stay in lodges and not tents. Yes, on the hikes you will find yourself in knee-deep drifts at times. However, if you are the outdoorsy type not put off by any of the above, you will be rewarded by a Narnia style paradise which is really just for you and a few other brave, hardy souls.
Skiing in the Andes
Chile has some of the best ski conditions on the planet, with views of the whole Andean mountain chain lying before you like the spikes on the back of a dinosaur. With resorts as close as just 40 minutes from downtown Santiago, to more remote options in the lake and volcanoes region, there are great slopes available for all levels of skiers.
If you are looking to do a shorter trip, then the modern infrastructure and comforts of the resorts near Santiago are perfect. You can stay in the city and travel up early in the morning, or you can take an apartment or hotel at the base of the pistes themselves. If you have more time, the winter wonderlands of the southern Chilean resorts provide some truly amazing back country routes. The runs descend through native araucaria forests and are often located on live volcanoes! The drives up to the ski center bases are as magical as the actual experience out there on the pistes. Learn more about making a ski trip to Chile a reality here.
Polynesian Island Getaway… or a Hot Springs Resort Stay?
Easter Island, a mere 5-hour flight from Santiago, is a true slice of Polynesian heaven. With tropical balmy weather, a range of accommodation options, amazing fish and seafood, plus the mysticism of the omnipresent Moai statues, a stopover to the white sand beaches of Easter Island could be a fabulous way to end up your winter trip to Chile.
However, if budget, or time, are not on your side, you could always opt for a couple of nights’ stay at one of the hot spring resorts dotted around the central south of the country, Admittedly the temperature on the mainland during winter cannot really be described as balmy, but the experience of relaxing in hot water when the rain or the snow falls around you is not to be missed.
So, there you have it! Chile has something for everyone all year round. With direct flights, no reciprocity fees, amazing food and a wide range of accommodation options it really should be the top of your list. The news is already out! Lonely Planet just named Chile as their TOP DESTINATION IN THE WORLD to visit for 2018 so come right now before the rest of the world beats you to it! Dig deeper on Chile.