Summer has reached Hamburg. Last weekend, the temperature was over 30 degrees Celsius. Perfect weather to think about winter travel, don’t you think? Bear with me, there’s a point to this. I’m specifically talking about winter travel in Chile. After all, that’s the season now on the Southern hemisphere.
Picture this: Empty tourist attractions, breath-taking landscapes, plenty of time to snuggle up next to the fireplace with a good book. That’s what Chile’s central and Southern regions look like in the South American winter.
To be clear, I’m talking not talking about Patagonia here. Not that Patagonia does not necessarily have those things in winter. But it also has biting cold, strong winds that sweep you off your feet (not in a good way) and lots of inaccessible tracks due to the horrific weather conditions. So unless you’re Elsa and the cold doesn’t bother you anyway, you may want to not take it quite that far South. At least not until spring.
However, the region between Santiago and the lake and volcano region around Pucon is an absolute winter paradise, especially for introverted travellers. Here’s why.
It’s empty of people
Chile is quite a big country with not too many people. However, in very touristy places such as Pucon, it can get very crowded during high season. In winter, though, most tourists flee to the warmer regions further North, meaning you’ve got all those National Parks, snow-covered mountains and rough beaches to yourself.
True, if your main goal is to go surfing in the Pacific, you may need a very warm wetsuit. But for many other activities, winter is just as great, and much less crowded than summer. I particularly recommend hiking and skiing in the mountains or walking along the dramatic cliffs and beautiful beaches of Chile’s coastline.
Admittedly, winter in Chile can be cold, especially in the mountains or on the windy coast. But in return, you get a winter wonderland that more likely than not you’ll have just to yourself. And if you need to warm up in between, there’s plenty of inside activities, too. Explore one of the many wineries in Chile and try some of their delicious products. Visit a museum and get up to date on your knowledge of Chilean history. Or just sit in a café and chill in the quiet of Chilean winter.
No-one looks weirdly at you for doing all those introvert things
Want to just stay inside, sit at the fireplace and drink a hot cup of tea, maybe while reading a good book or updating your travel journal? In Chilean winter, you can hardly do better. Due to the cold winter weather, no one will think any worse of you for spending a day inside rather than hustling about all the time.
Alternatively, you can go and warm up in one of the many cute cafès. Most Chilean towns have a few of these to offer. While sipping your hot beverage of choice, you enjoy the peace of being in such a beautiful place while recharging your introvert batteries.
Us introverts need some downtime now and again, even while travelling. Cold winter days in Chile are perfect for this.
Winter travel in Chile is cheaper
With winter being low season pretty much anywhere in Chile, prices are usually much lower than they are during the warmer months. That goes especially for accommodation but also applies to many tours and activities.
One caveat though: Some tours may not be running in winter, and public transport may not go as often as it does in summer. Still, I always managed to go everywhere I wanted to go. If high adrenaline sports are not your main reason to visit Chile, you should be perfectly fine going in winter.
So there you have it, all the reasons why winter in central and Southern Chile is such an amazing season for introvert travellers. I’d go back in a heartbeat!
Have you been to central and Southern Chile? What time of the year did you visit? Would you like to see it at a different season or do you think winter travel in Chile sounds perfect? Any other destinations that are great in winter? Share in the comments!