When is the best time to travel to Chile?

In general, the spring and summer seasons in the Southern Hemisphere (October-March) are characterized by long days when weather is warmer and drier. The peak tourist season when accommodations and air travel arrangements are most limited is during the holiday (Christmas and New Year) and summer vacation for locals in January and February. October-November and March-April are recommended "shoulder season" travel periods. The prime season in Patagonia is October-March when average daytime highs range from 65° F in the sun to the low 40°s. Night temperatures are typically in the mid to upper 30°s, but occasionally in the 20°s. The weather is extremely erratic in Patagonia. It varies from warm sunshine to drizzle, to rain and/or sleet in a matter of minutes, and returning to sunshine just as quickly.  Back to Top

What is the weather like in Chile?

Climate in Santiago is temperate and moderated by maritime air. Expect warm, sunny days during summer (70-80°F in Dec-Mar) and cool, cloudy weather in winter (50°F, June-August). The Andean region, including the Lakes District from Puerto Montt to Bariloche, has a cool mountain climate from October-April (50-55°F). The tropical environment of Iguazu Falls is great to visit year round. Expect high humidity and temperatures from mid to high 70°s in Jan-Feb. The high Andean region of northern Chile and Argentina (Salta-Juyjuy Provinces) is typically dry and clear, especially in May-September. The Atacama desert of northern Chile is always dry and suitable year round. Back to Top

What are the visa and passport requirements for travel to Chile?

For U.S. and Canadian citizens, an advance visa for travel to Chile is not required, though your passport should be valid for at least 6 months after the return of your trip. Back to Top

Will I need any vaccinations, immunizations or special medications for travel to Chile?

No vaccinations are required. If you have traveled out of the country recently, you are likely up-to-date on any vaccinations that you would want to have for Chile. We strongly encourage travelers to speak with their doctors and visit the Center for Disease Controls' Traveler website for the most current health-related travel information. Back to Top

Will I have problems with altitude while traveling in Chile?

Generally speaking for most of Chile, no you should not experience any problems with altitude. As a point of reference, in Patagonia along the popular "W" trek in Torres Del Paine, the highest elevation you'll reach is around 4,000 feet. Compare that to the altitudes of some higher South American cities where the altitude can cause illness like Cusco (11,000 ft), Quito (9,000 ft), and Bogota (8,600 ft). Thanks to its proximity to the Andes Mountain range however, there are a few areas where you might experience some altitude sickness; Altiplano in Northern Chile, San Pedro De Atacama (8,000 feet), and the higher points the Andes, so keep that in mind of your trip ventures into those areas.  Back to Top

How do I prevent altitude sickness in Chile?

Altitude sickness prevention involves proper acclimatization and medications. Diamox is the most effective treatment because it allows you to breathe faster and metabolize more oxygen. It can be obtained from a doctor, so contact your local physician for a prescription. It is best to do a trial run of Diamox at home before traveling to a more remote location. Back to Top

Can I drink the water in Chile?

Yes! Tap water is safe to drink throughout most of Chile. The tap water in Chile's larger cities, while safe to drink, can have a high mineral content that may cause an upset stomach. If you are traveling to a remote lodge or estancia or on a trekking trip where treated water is not available, we will let you know in advance and bottled water will be provided. Back to Top

Is it safe to eat Chilean food?

Chile has a rich and marvelous culinary history, with diverse produce and proteins drawn from the Andes down to the Coast. The traditional parrilladas with their grilled or smoked meats and fresh fish caught off the coast are easily found as are a variety of international cuisines, particularly German in Chile. In Patagonia, lamb predominates over beef and a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables may not always be available. By all means, indulge and try all that you are comfortable with though street vendors should generally be avoided. Back to Top

What types of transportation do you use while traveling in Chile?

Ground transfers are typically done by small van. Domestic flights are normally on local airlines. Access to certain lodges is sometimes can be on bumpy dirt roads. Back to Top

What is the electrical current in Chile? Will I need a plug adapter?

Chile uses 220 volt, 50 hz. Plugs are typically two rounded prongs (type I) or three flat prongs in a row (type L)m many of the hotels have multi-use outlets that will accept the 2 flat prong plugs common in the US (Type A). Back to Top

I like a certain Chile itinerary but the scheduled departure dates don’t work for me. Or, I like most of this Chile adventure but want to change the order/visit other locations. Do you design custom Chile adventures?

Of course! We love planning customized trips and are happy to do so! We’ve designed travel in Chile for over 25 years and have gained a wealth of experience in the process. Many of our trips operate in a certain order because time has taught us that this ‘works best’ though we are happy to work with you to design a trip that meets your expectations and preferences.

Trips must be a minimum of a week in length and for the same kinds of comprehensive services we offer in our regular programs including local air, accommodations, and guided excursions. We cannot, however, do piecemeal arrangements. After we have reviewed itinerary options and made some recommendations, we then charge a $100 custom trip planning in order to check availability and quote a custom itinerary. Back to Top