Travel to Antarctica is only possible during the southern hemisphere’s summer months of late October to late March. What you see will depend on when you choose to go, but your experience will undoubtedly be breath-taking. However, beware the infamous Drake Passage, also known as the “Drake Shake”, which will make the crossing in and out of Antarctica rough!
If you are planning to include a trip to Patagonia during your time in Argentina, then the time to go is December through to March, the weather in Buenos Aires is at its warmest at this time. July and August in Buenos Aires are cooler and it has even been known to snow, though this is rare. If it’s Bariloche’s wild flowers that you are interested in, then travel between September to November, Mendoza’s wine valley will be stunning in Spring and the Andes are magnificent year-round.
Although Bolivia is a country of climatic extremes, it is a destination that can be visited all year. The best time to visit the highland areas is April to October - this is the cooler winter period, but it should be dry with plenty of sunshine. In the southern Altiplano, the sky will be blue but it will be very cold, dropping to well below below freezing at night. The summer rainy season from November to March can cause some disruption on the roads, but travel is still possible, and the lower visitor numbers are a bonus of visiting at this time. The eastern lowlands, including Santa Cruz and the Amazon, enjoy warm temperatures year round.
Brazil is an all year round destination made up of several climatic extremes, none of which are severe enough to deter travel to any part of the country at any given time. Across the country, the warmest months are November to March - perfect for enjoying New Year and Carnival celebrations. The northeastern coast experiences some rain in June and July, but usually only in the form of afternoon showers. We recommend the Pantanal's driest months between April and October, but like in the Amazon, its wetter months offer distinct wildlife spotting opportunities and experiences.
For visitors heading to Patagonia in the south of Chile, October to March are the warmest and most accessible months. Santiago, the Central Valleys and the Atacama Desert are truly year-round destinations. June to August are popular for skiers in the mountains around Santiago, whilst April's displays of autumnal leaves in Chile's winelands make this month an appealing time for a visit.
Costa Rica is at its driest and brightest between December and April on its Pacific coast, and between March and September on the Caribbean side. We’d also recommend travelling in Costa Rica’s green season, from May to June or in November. This is when you catch the seasons in transition and national parks are quieter. Costa Rica’s wildlife is hard to rival and a key attraction of the country, as long as you miss September and October’s heavier rainfall. Being a tropical country, you should be prepared for rain at any time of year, even in the dry season, but it is this rainfall that makes Costa Rica just so lush and beautiful.
Ecuador lends itself to year-round exploration, with weather variations usually the result of regional differences and micro-climates rather than clearly defined seasons. In the highlands, for example, although there is a drier season from June to September, the ‘four seasons in a day’ phenomenon can happen at any time, so you should not limit your travel planning to just one time of year. The country’s cultural attractions can be enjoyed at any time, as can hiking or more gentle touring in the Avenue of the Volcanoes. Similarly, the wildlife of mainland Ecuador can be enjoyed year-round, with the Amazon and the cloudforests delighting visitors whatever the season.
Peru can be visited all year round, and the country experiences two main seasons. The dry season between May and October sees sunny days, bright blue skies in the Andes and chilly nights. It is a wonderful time to be in Peru; but being the peak season, early booking is crucial. Between November and March visitors will notice more rain, with January and February being the wettest months to visit. Travel at this time does offer the advantage of fewer visitors, greener scenery and some lower rates for flights and hotels. Although the Amazon also experiences more rain between November and March, this should not deter you from visiting - the flora and fauna will still be abundant and there are always breaks in the showers.
The best time to travel to Uruguay - particularly to its coastal areas - is during its summer months between November and February, with many of the beach resorts effectively closing for much of the year as soon as summer slips into autumn. However, travel is possible year-round; especially if focusing on more cultural sites and cities.
Venezuela's climate is tropical, with wet and dry seasons rather than hot and cold and average temperatures affected largely by altitude. The wet season runs between May and October, when sunny days give way to afternoon downpours. This is the best time to visit the Angel Falls as water levels are at their highest. The Caribbean coast tends to miss much of the inland rainfall and travel is possible across the country at any time of year.