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Get the Details On Our Chile Trip

Find out more about the trip, including activity level, pricing, traveler excellence rating, included meals, and more

Discover South America—2021 Itinerary
Soak in the variety of this region, from bustling capitals to beautiful lakeside towns and even a horse ranch.

Trip Details

Find the Adventure That’s Right for You

Our Activity Level rating system ranks adventures on a scale of 1 to 5 to help you determine if a trip is right for you. See the descriptions below for more information about the physical requirements associated with each rating.

Activity Level 1:

1 2 3 4 5


Travelers should be able to climb 25 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 1-2 miles over some uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last at least 1-2 hours at a time. Altitude can range from zero to 5,000 feet.

Activity Level 2:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderately Easy

Travelers should be able to climb 40 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 2-3 miles over some uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for at least 2-3 hours at a time. Altitude can range from zero to 5,000 feet.

Activity Level 3:

1 2 3 4 5


Travelers should be able to climb 60 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 3 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 3 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 5,000 to 7,000 feet.

Activity Level 4:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderately Strenuous

Travelers should be able to climb 80 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 4 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 4 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 7,000 to 9,000 feet.

Activity Level 5:

1 2 3 4 5


Travelers should be able to climb 100 or more stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 8 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 4 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 10,000 feet or more.

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Chile: Month-By-Month

There are pros and cons to visiting a destination during any time of the year. Find out what you can expect during your ideal travel time, from weather and climate, to holidays, festivals, and more.

Chile in December-February

December to February is Chile’s summertime. The weather across the country is extremely pleasant, with temperatures averaging between 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit, and low humidity. With peak tourism season in full swing, your travel dollars will not go as far. The country is awash in cultural activity, so for a truly immersive experience, this is the time to visit.

Santiago is flooded in Latin energy as the crowds bring more vendors, arts, and cultural offerings to the fore. This is the time for experiencing all Chile has to offer in food, performance, and activities. In Ancud, a sleepy seaside town with a picturesque marina, the week-long Semana Ancuditana fills the streets with games and competitions, and is a particularly great time to participate in activities among Chileans.

Holidays & Events

  • December 25: Christmas in Chile is a celebration blanketed in colored lights and celebration. As a predominantly Catholic country, ornate religious icons and decorations—especially in cathedrals in Santiago—fill the streets with holiday cheer. For nine days beforehand, Catholics are celebrating Advent with special church services. Boys and girls receive their presents at midnight on Christmas morning, and often wander the streets throughout the night playing with other children.
  • New Year's Eve and Day: In Valparaíso, a three-day festival along the beach culminates in a breathtaking celebration of fireworks over the water—the biggest in South America. People from all over the world bear witness to the stunning light display as it reflects on the water below. The residents of Valparaíso also partake in age-old traditions, from wearing yellow underwear for good luck, to conjuring blessings for more tourists by walking around the block with money in their shoe and luggage in tow.
  • Late January-early February: The Tapati Festival brings thousands from Chile and all over the world to Easter Island for a celebration of the Rapa Nui culture—indigenous to the island. Rife with games and robust competitions of physical strength, as well as spirited native music and dance performances, this is a great time to explore the ancient culture of Easter Island.

Must See

Between December and February, Torres del Paine sees almost 16 hours of sunlight a day, revealing the beauty of its expansive plains and craggy mountains for longer stretches of time. Temperatures are also comfortable, meaning robust adventures in this area are more manageable.  

With the Tapati Festival, this is the best time of year to visit Easter Island. Apart from the festival, you can explore the prodigious Moai statues—all part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site—along with great hiking around the verdant Terevaka Volcano on the northern edge of the island. 

Watch this film to discover more about Chile

How to Make Chilean Empanadas Produced by Epicurious

Spice up your meal routine with this recipe for traditional Chilean empanadas.

Chile in March-May

Walking around Santiago, you’ll experience streets covered in red and orange foliage, much like fall in New England. Especially in Patagonia, the sloping foothills are covered in the bright hues of autumn. Temperatures get brisk in nighttime, reaching lows of 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit.

The crisp air makes great conditions for wine-lovers to sit inside and sample Chilean red wine—the country is well-known for its luscious Cabernet Sauvignon and spicy Carménère varietals. Many vineyards around the country will be open for tastings, so take advantage of opportunities to expand your palate. 

During Santa Semana, from Palm Sunday to Easter, Santiago becomes a veritable ghost town as Chileans vacation all over the country and elsewhere. Many businesses are closed during this week. 

Holidays & Events

  • March and April: With grape harvests in virtually all of Chile’s wine regions, a variety of festivals explore the finer offerings of Chilean wine. The Colchagua Valley, just south of Santiago, is famous for its red varietals of Cabernet Sauvignon and Carménère. The Curicó Valley boasts crisp Sauvignon Blanc—with bright mineral flavors thanks to the Pacific Ocean air. Restaurants and local street-side vendors often provide foods, such as cheese and chocolates, for pairing with signature wines.
  • Late March or April: With Chile’s majority Catholic population, Semana Santa—the week from Palm Sunday to Easter—is extremely important. Good Friday is a bank holiday, and many businesses are closed throughout the week. Families will often stay home, cook feasts, and attend special church services. 

Must See

Walking through the wine vineyards of Chile reveals breathtaking vistas of brilliant autumnal colors. The crunch of leaves underfoot and breaths of crisp air—especially in higher elevations—will make you almost forget you’re in South America.

Patagonia is also beautiful this time of year, often considered one of the best areas for fall foliage. Trekking along the region’s foothills and taking in its wide expanses will be like walking through a painting.

Watch this film to discover more about Chile

How to Make Chilean Empanadas Produced by Epicurious

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Chile in June-August

For skiers, Chile is a paradise from June to August. August is the most popular month as powder reserves are refreshed with steady snowfall. Winter sports enthusiasts—from skiers to snowboarders, and everything in between—are drawn to the desirable slopes and picturesque mountain resorts of the Andes Mountains. 

The most popular Andes resorts—located right outside of Santiago—will be swarmed with visitors, and for good reason. Portillo in eastern Chile, at the southern tip of La Laguna del Inca o del Portillo, overlooks a dramatic view of mountains surrounding the calm azure waters of the lake. El Colorado, just 36 miles from the city’s limits, features the over 11,000-foot peak Cerro Embudo. Valle Nevado features the largest skiable surface in South America, meaning you’ll still feel isolated among the larger crowds.  

In the lowlands, rains have driven out the tourists. This means lower-elevation cities such as Valparaíso, Calama, and San Pedro will be less crowded. Here, your travel dollar will go further.

Holidays & Events

  • June 24: Indigenous communities around the country celebrate New Year’s Day based on their own ancestral calendar. In the southern city of Temuco—with the highest indigenous population in Chile—We Tripantu brings the city’s Mapuche population to the fore.
  • mid-July: La Fiesta de Tirana celebrates the Lady of Mount Carmel, adopted in the late 19th century as Chile’s patron saint. The small town of Tirana becomes a deluge of people for several days celebrating the saint, with frenetic performances, food, and drink filling the streets.

Must See

The small village of Tirana—with approximately 1,200 residents—attracts over 200,000 people a year from around South America for the annual Fiesta de La Tirana. Boisterous parades with throngs of people fill the streets, turning the once small town into a party of throbbing energy. Bands composed of pounding drums and tinny percussion instruments are accompanied by trumpets to create rhythmic, distinctly South American melodies.

One of the main features of the festival is the La Diablada, or the “Dance of the Devil.” Men in haunting demon masks, embroidered capes, and regal costumes—as well as any number of cartoonish and comedic characters—are accompanied by women and children in indigenous dress. Believed to exorcise demons in the community, the ornate dance they perform incorporates native and European styles, and often goes well into the night. You’ll also see Tirana’s streets filled with food and craft vendors selling wares from indigenous artisans for the several days of the festival.  

The Indigenous New Year celebration in June is also a great time to dive into local culture. Adorned in the brilliant colors of Mapuche traditional garb, ancient religious rites give thanks for the harvest, and sacred dance and music fills the air. The festivities end with a call for rest in the new year.

Watch this film to discover more about Chile

How to Make Chilean Empanadas Produced by Epicurious

Spice up your meal routine with this recipe for traditional Chilean empanadas.

Chile in September-November

With tourism season not yet in full swing—along with glorious temperatures ranging from 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit—September to November is a veritable sweet-spot for visiting Chile. The comfortable climate makes exploring areas such as the Atacama Desert in the north, and Torres del Paine to the south, visually stunning adventures.

Considered springtime in South America, blooms start blanketing vast expanses of the country. In the Atacama, miles of purple and red flowers stretch as far as the eye can see every five to seven years. Here, endemic seeds and bulbs wait for optimal growing conditions, such as during El Niño.

In Santiago, the hillsides surrounding the city are painted with dramatic swaths of orange and red blooms, known locally as the city’s “Gold and Silver Spring.”

Holidays & Events

  • mid-September: Las Fiestas Patrias is Chile’s Independence Day. It celebrates the anniversary of Chile's first post-Spanish colonial government being installed.

Must See

The Lake District in southern Chile from September to November is a place of arresting beauty. With volcanoes abutting crystal-clear lakes, and flower blooms blanketing the foothills of the Andes, the region becomes a paradise of color.

The Fiestas Patrias brings all forms of Chilean culture together, especially in Santiago. From the bucking broncos of the city’s frenetic rodeos, to the smoky air of a local fonda—a place where barbeque and beverages are sold during the celebration—the capital is awash in patriotic spirit. 

Watch this film to discover more about Chile

How to Make Chilean Empanadas Produced by Epicurious

Spice up your meal routine with this recipe for traditional Chilean empanadas.

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Puerto Varas

Puerto Varas is the heart of Chile’s scenic Lakes District, one of the most visually spectacular parts of the country. Set beneath the twin volcanoes Osorno and Calbuco—perfectly symmetrical snowcones reflected in the turquoise waters of Lago Llanquihue—there are few better places to admire the natural beauty of the Chilean countryside.

The town is an ideal base of exploration for outdoor excursions—nearby horse ranches beckon to animal lovers, and just an hour’s drive away awaits Petrohue Falls, where the stunning vistas of water, forest, mountain, and sky come together in one place. The waterfalls here are sinuous chutes filled with cold green waters flowing into local lakes.

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There is no denying that Santiago is the heart of Chile: more than 40% of the nation’s population live right here. It’s a city where centuries of tradition are carried on by its modern citizens. In the Plaza de Armas, at the center of the city, the 18th century Cathedral of Santiago presides grandly over the tree-lined square where café tables bustle with chess players, just as they have for generations. The local fish market, Mercado Central, boasts a truly timeless feel, with tiny stalls selling the catch of the day. But Santiago is not only about the past. This decade has seen a stunning boom in development, with new green spaces, cultural centers, and museums featuring contemporary and modern art. To visit today is to find Santiago not resting on its elegant history, but leaning forward to the future.

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