Chile is a country of vast climate extremes. Due to Chile's long slender shape spanning from Peru in the north to Antarctica in the south, you'll experience a very different climate depending on what part of the country you visit. As a general rule, the farther north the hotter and drier the climate. As you head south, you'll see a cooler and wetter climate. Rainfall is more frequent during the winter months.
Chile sits in the southern hemisphere and as such its seasons are generally these:
- Summer: December - February
- Fall: March - May
- Winter: June - August
- Spring: September - November
Chile's northern most regions are characterized by a dry, arid climate. The world's driest desert, the Atacama, defines the northern most part of the country. Rainfall is so sparse here that some places haven't seen any precipitation in years. As is typical of desert climates, there is little seasonal change during the year and daily high temperatures decline significantly overnight.
The southern extreme of Chile is prone to frequent rainfall with winter months being the wettest. This humid and damp region leads to a lush green landscape.
The central valley enjoys a Mediterranean climate. Summers are warm and dry with little precipitation. Winters are cooler and deliver frequent rain showers. This very moderate climate encourages the fertile agriculture of this region.
The eastern border of Chile is the Andes mountain range. The climate here is a combination of that typical of higher elevations and the overlying general climate discussed previously.
Coastal regions typically mirror the region of the country in which they are located. That general climate is moderated by oceanic effects.
Chile has territorial claims on parts of Antarctica. This region is characterized by ice and extreme cold temperatures year-round.