Does It Snow In Chile?

Does it snow in Chile? This question has been asked since the beginning of time. The answer is yes, it does snow in Chile. In fact, it snows every year from October until April.

Chile is located at the southern tip of South America. It is bordered by Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, and the Pacific Ocean.

It is cold in Chile during the winter months. Temperatures average between 0°C (32°F) and -10°C (-14°F). The weather changes throughout the year, though, with temperatures reaching highs of 30°C (86°F) in summer.

Does it snow in Chile?
Green city of Santiago, Chile

Does It Snow In Chile?

Yes, it does snow in Chile. Chile’s snowfall varies greatly from north to south and from year to year, but some mountain resorts usually have good snow conditions from late May/early June to early October. 

The largest Andean resort, Portillo, opens in mid-June and closes in early October, but most other resorts open in July and close in September or early October.

The Snowfall Atlas below shows the median snowfall (in centimeters) for each major Chilean resort for the period 1981 to 2010 (the orange line) as well as the extreme maximum (upper red line) and minimum (lower red line) recorded values. 

This is useful information when trying to pick the best time to go skiing or snowboarding in Chile, as you can see at a glance which resort is likely to have the most/least snow.

The Weather In Chile

Chilean Patagonia, Chili
Chilean Patagonia, Chili

Chile is a long, thin country that extends down the west coast of South America. It has a varied climate, with cold, wet weather in the west and hot, dry weather in the east. The north of the country has a desert climate,  while the central region has a Mediterranean climate. The south has a more temperate climate.

The best time to visit Chile is during the summer months of December to February. This is when the weather is warm and sunny, and there is less chance of rain.

The weather in Chile is influenced by three factors: the Humboldt Current, the Andes mountains, and the Atacama desert.

The Humboldt Current is a cold ocean current that runs along the coast of Chile. This current helps to keep Chile’s weather cool and moderate year-round.

The Andes mountains act as a barrier to moisture from the Amazon basin. This makes the central region of Chile much drier than other parts of South America.

The Atacama desert is one of the driest places on Earth. This desert extends into northern Chile and keeps that part of the country very dry.

Snow In The Chilean Desert

Atacama Desert, Chile
Atacama Desert, Chile

No, it does not snow in the Chilean Desert. However, there are some small pockets of snowfall that can occur in certain areas. These are typically located near mountain ranges or other higher elevations.

Snow In Chilean Patagonia

In Chilean Patagonia, snowfall is a common occurrence in the winter months. The region sees an average of 20 to 30 cm (8 to 12 inches) of snowfall each year, with some years seeing more than 60 cm (24 inches). 

Snow typically falls in the mountains but can also fall at lower elevations, such as in the city of Punta Arenas.

Snowfall In Santiago-Chile’s Capital

Although Santiago – Chile’s capital – is located in the southern hemisphere, it experiences cold winters with some snowfall. The city’s elevation (approximately 520 meters or 1,700 feet) and proximity to the Andes mountains contribute to its cool climate.

The average high temperature in Santiago in July, the coldest month, is 14 degrees Celsius (57 degrees Fahrenheit), and the average low is 6 degrees Celsius (43 degrees Fahrenheit). However, temperatures can dip below freezing at night, and snowfall is not uncommon. In fact, Santiago experiences an average of four snow days per year.

Snow In Chile’s Southernmost Region

Torres del Paine, Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica, Chile
Torres del Paine, Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica, Chile

Chile’s landscape is incredibly varied, with everything from deserts to glaciers. The country straddles the Andes Mountains, which means that weather conditions can vary greatly from one region to another.

The southernmost region of Chile, where the city of Punta Arenas is located, is known for its cold, wet winters. Snow is not uncommon in this part of the country, and temperatures can drop below freezing.

The Andes-Chile’s Snowy Mountains

The Andes mountain range is one of the most iconic landscapes in South America. It stretches the length of the continent, from Venezuela all the way down to Tierra del Fuego. 

The Andes are also home to some of Chile’s most popular ski resorts, such as Portillo, Valle Nevado, and Farellones.

Although the Andes are known for their snow-capped peaks and glaciers, not all of them are permanently covered in snow. 

In fact, only about one-third of the Andes are permanently snow-capped. This is because the altitude of the mountains varies greatly, from about 3,000 meters (10,000 feet) above sea level to over 6,900 meters (22,600 feet).

Chile’s Diverse Landscape And How It Affects The Weather

Petrohué Waterfalls, Puerto Varas, Chile
Petrohué Waterfalls, Puerto Varas, Chile

Chile has a very diverse landscape that includes everything from coastal areas to mountains to deserts. This diversity means that the weather in Chile can vary greatly from one location to another.

The coastal areas of Chile are generally cooler and wetter than the inland areas. This is due to the fact that the coastal areas are affected by the cold waters of the Humboldt Current. 

The Humboldt Current is a cold ocean current that flows north along the coast of Chile. This current helps to keep the temperatures in the coastal areas of Chile cooler than they would otherwise be.

The mountains of Chile also have a significant impact on the weather in the country. The Andes Mountains are located in central and southern Chile and can reach heights of over 6,000 meters (20,000 feet). These mountains create a barrier that prevents moist air from reaching inland areas of Chile. This leads to drier conditions in inland areas.

The Atacama Desert is located in northern Chile and is one of the driest deserts in the world. The desert receives very little rainfall and has high daytime temperatures. However, at night, the temperatures can drop significantly due to the high altitude of the desert.

Overall, Chile has a wide range of different climates and weather conditions. The country’s diverse landscape means that there is something for everyone, whether you prefer cooler temperatures or warmer weather.

Skiing And Snowboarding In Chile

If you’re looking for a South American country with great skiing and snowboarding, Chile is the place to go. It has some of the best resorts in South America, and the Andes mountains provide plenty of opportunities for both alpine and cross-country skiing.

The ski season in Chile runs from June to October, with the peak months being July and August. The best time to go depends on what kind of skiing or snowboarding you want to do. For alpine skiing, the early part of the season (June and July) is better, as the snow is softer and more forgiving. 

However, if you’re looking to do some cross-country skiing or snowboarding, the later part of the season (September and October) is better, as the snow is harder and faster.

There are many different ski resorts in Chile, so it’s important to do your research before you decide which one to go to. Some of the most popular ski resorts include Valle Nevado, El Colorado, La Parva, Portillo, Puerto Varas, and Pucón.

Easter Island, Île de Pâques, Chili
Easter Island, Île de Pâques, Chili

The Best Time To Visit Chile

The best time to visit Chile is between November and March when the country experiences its summer season. This is also the peak tourist season, so you can expect accommodation and flight prices to be at their highest. 

If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, however, you can still find good deals during the shoulder seasons of April-May and September-October.

Things To Do In Chile

Chile is a South American country that has a lot to offer tourists. From the majestic Andes Mountains to the beautiful coastline, there is something for everyone in Chile.

If you are looking for things to do in Chile, here are some ideas:

  • Visit the Atacama Desert
  • Explore Chilean Patagonia
  • See the Moai statues on Easter Island
  • Ski or snowboard in the Andes Mountains
  • Visit a winery in the Colchagua Valley
  • Go hiking or camping in Torres del Paine National Park
  • See the volcanic lakes of Puerto Varas
  • Take a cruise around Chile’s fjords

Conclusion: Does It Snow In Chile?

In short, Yes—it does snow in Chile! With some of the best resort facilities in South America, along with reliable snowfall and a variety of terrain to explore, Chile should definitely be on your list of top snow destinations.