I have not been to South America yet, but the more I read about it the more I want to go. Maybe this year will be our year. Now which place should we choose?
As we all learn in school at some point, our planet has two different sides known as hemispheres. As well as serving to separate the Earth into top and bottom so to speak, there are also other ways in which the two hemispheres differ from each other, completely defining the phrase “polar opposites.”
The seasons and weather patterns of the northern and southern hemispheres are completely opposite. When those who live in the northern hemisphere are basking in the summer sun, our neighbors to the south are experiencing winter. Fortunately for most inhabited portions of the land south of the equator, their winters tend to be mild, but that’s not to say you can’t find snow and ice at elevation.
For savvy travelers considering the southern hemisphere during austral winter is not only a more inexpensive time to go, but in some areas you’ll beat all the crowds from the north who fly south for their winter. Consider one of these South American destinations for your next trip, and save money on your airfare by using hoarded points from your rewards credit cards.
Brazil is the hot spot for 2016 due to their role as host for this year’s Olympic Games. The various events will be held throughout the country, but the hub and the location for the opening and closing ceremonies is the exotic city of Rio de Janeiro.
Even if you’re not interested in visiting Brazil for the Olympics there are still many reasons to visit. The weather on the Atlantic coast is still pleasant during the winter months if you’d like a beach vacation, or head inland and visit the mighty Amazon River or Iguazu Falls.
Peru is one of the most attractive winter destinations in South America, mainly due to its mild weather. Peru is far enough north that its coastal regions remain pleasant throughout the year, and winter temperatures can still be nice enough for a tank top and shorts.
Head inland, however, and the situation is very different. The Andes Mountains rise to incredible heights, and temperatures there — including Machu Picchu — can be cold in the winter, and there may be snow. If you’ve already experienced Cusco and the surrounding ruins, head north for better weather and to experience the other ruins near Trujillo, Huanchaco, and Lambayeque.
As any geography buff knows Chile extends down the length of the western side of South America, and depending on what part of the country you choose winter temperatures can be moderate or downright cold. The northern coast shares a similar climate with Peru, and the southern tip of the country is the jumping-off point for some voyages to Antarctica, so expect cold weather.
Opportunities for skiing and snowboarding abound in Chile, and some ski areas are just outside the capital of Santiago. Ice climbing and snowshoeing expeditions are also a fantastic way to experience the Chilean Andes. Just make sure that you’re physically prepared and you go with an experienced, local guide.
Ecuador is one of the more tropical choices for a winter trip to South America, and since the equator runs right through this gorgeous country can have your pick of tropical coastline, rain forest, or high mountains. However, one of the most visited places in Ecuador lies far out into the Pacific Ocean.
The Galapagos Islands remain temperate throughout the year, but visiting during the winter involves more than just temperature. Winter conditions can make the ocean rougher, which is not appealing to all who’d like to visit. However, for these same reasons cruises can be much less expensive, so if your stomach can handle it, this is the perfect time for a trip.
Sitting on the south central portion of the continent, Argentina is a wonderfully diverse country. Buenos Aires in the north will be on the cool side during the winter months, but this also means that you’ll avoid the crowds. A winter break here is almost mandatory if you can handle the lower temperatures.
The inland part of Argentina is famous for its plains and cattle and wine grape farms, but you can also find ski areas to the south and milder climes to the north. The truly brave can head as far south as Ushuaia, also known as the End of the World. Another starting point for Antarctic cruises, you can stick closer to shore and visit the large penguin colonies that live there.
South America is wonderful at any time of the year, but a winter visit offers up some vastly different sights and experiences, as well as some savings for you. If you live in the northern hemisphere and want a unique summer getaway, you only have to look south.
Cher is a full time travel blogger and recently got a chance to visit South America. He is amazed by the South America sights and experiences. According to Cher, winter is the best time to visit South America.