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South America: When to Go

Tours of South America

As the world's fourth largest continent, South America crosses both the Equator and Tropic of Cancer and contains many diverse regions and climates. This means in July, temperatures can hover just above freezing in the southern part of Argentina while it's humid and rainy in Venezuela.

Find a South America Tour

Much of the continent lies south of the Equator with winter from June through September and summer from December through March. The extensive Amazon Basin covers about 40% of the middle area of South America where it rains almost daily with hot, steamy conditions. In the Andean highlands, cities like La Paz and Quito have a consistently cool climate that is relatively dry throughout the year.

Generally, the peak tourist season lasts from June through September and from mid-December through mid-January. Ski season in Chile and Argentina also attracts big crowds during July and August. Numerous holidays and festivals in South America correspond to Catholic and indigenous celebrations. Carnival is one of the continent's major festivals, which occurs before the start of Lent (Ash Wednesday).

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