Guide to Weather in Chile

Climate in Chile

Guide to Weather in Chile

What Weather Can You Expect in Chile?

Chile Climate Map

Chile is one very, very thin and very, very long country: all told it covers 38 degrees of latitude from north to south. To give you some idea, that's more than any country on earth except for Russia: more than China, or Canada or the United States. As you'd expect the differences in the climate and weather in Chile from north to south are huge.

Speaking very roughly, you can divide Chile into three mainland section: the arid north, which includes the Atacama Desert; the Mediterranean south which includes the capital, Santiago; and then the colder Patagonian regions - although arguably that differs as much within itself as it does from the rest of Chile!

You then also have to add on a fourth region: the subtropical Polynesian climate of Easter Island, which is warm and wet almost year-round. To sum up: you're going to need to pack a few different outfits for your holiday to Chile!

Atacama weather

Atacama & the North

Major Holiday Locations: San Pedro de Atacama, Arica

The Atacama Desert is one of the most arid regions on earth, with some areas not having seen a drop of rain for as much as a century. The altitude means temperatures are cooler than might otherwise be expected, but the clarity of the skies means that temperatures can be deceiving: don't forget your sun-cream!

Santiago de Chile weather graph

Santiago and Central Chile

Major Holiday Locations: Santiago, Valparaiso, Central Valley Wine Region

Central Chile enjoys a Mediterranean climate, largely dry and fine and with moderate rainfall - the latter mainly occurs in winter months, with the period from October through to March being almost entirely dry. Towards the east as you climb into the Andes this rain becomes snow in winter months, with the rainfall/snowfall increasing substantially as you head south.

Chilean Patagonia weather chart


Major Holiday Locations: Torres del Paine, Puerto Montt, Punta Arenas

The graph here shows the weather for Puerto Montt, in the Lake District in northern Patagonia. Here there is a pronounced rainy season in the southern winter, but the climate is reasonably mild year-round.

Further south around Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales, and inland in the Torres del Paine National Park, rainfall is lower year-round and much more evenly distributed. The temperatures further south are also uniformly lower, with temperatures in the winter struggling to get above freezing on most days.

Easter Island weather graph

Easter Island

Major Holiday Locations: Rapa Nui

Easter Island offers a completely different climate to mainland Chile, being both warmer and (significantly) wetter than Chile 'proper'. Rainfall peaks in the austral winter but is regular all year-round, although in the warm sunshine you can be sure of drying off pretty quickly!