When to visit South America

by SmarterTravel Staff

The majority of South America falls below the equator, which means the seasons are the exact opposite to those in the U.S. and Europe. Summer occurs from December through February and winter occurs from June through August. The enormity of the continent makes it difficult to classify tourism patterns, but like elsewhere, visitors tend to come during times of pleasant weather, good skiing, and holidays. The high and low season chart below is general, and seasonality by specific destination may vary.

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  • high season: December to February
  • low season: June to August
  • shoulder season: March to May, September to November

School holidays are also peak times.

Weather Information

South America stretches from above the equator to just north of the Antarctic Circle, encompassing a wide cross-section of climates. In the hottest regions, visitors may find that winter offers the most pleasant temperatures.

Crowd Information

Crowds are most common during high seasons, holidays, school vacation periods, and events such as festivals. In Brazil, Carnival is a major draw. Peru celebrates over 1,000 festivals each year.

Closure Information

Hotels, shops, and other venues tend to remain open throughout the year, but if in doubt, check with tourist information providers for each area.

When to Save

Though prices will vary according to popularity and season, there are sometimes more discounts and sales during spring and fall.

When to Book

For maximum availability, book four to six months in advance.

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