Chile in May: Travel Tips for Autumn

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With the summer long gone, autumn is in full play in Chile in May. Fall colors are everywhere and the weather feels fresh and cool. Travel to Chile in May and experience the country's well-known landmarks such as the Atacama Desert, the Torres del Paine National Park glaciers, and Patagonia. This is also a great time to explore the lesser-known gems like Marble Caves and enjoy the scenic vineyards.

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Chile Weather in May

Dark clouds in Torres del National Park in Chile during May.
If you intend to travel through Patagonia, be prepared for chilly, occasionally rainy weather.

Chile’s weather in May can vary depending on where you visit. The overall temperature of the country ranges between 17°C and 21°C during this month. In Santiago, the country’s capital city, the maximum daytime high is 18°C but the nights can get colder, with the mercury dropping to 5°C. Although it gets warmer and drier in the Atacama Desert, the coastal cities stay cool in May. If you are exploring Patagonia, expect chilly and somewhat wet conditions.

For a seasonal overview, check out our guide on the best time to visit Chile.

Weather in Chile in May - Rainfall and Temperatures

Apr May Jun
Avg Daily (°C) 23 18 15
Avg Nightly (°C) 7 5 3
Avg Daily (°F) 74 65 59
Avg Nightly (°F) 45 41 38
Avg Rainfall (mm) 10 50 40

Why Visit Chile in May

The harvested grape in the grape yard during May.
Witness the fresh grapes being harvested in the grape yard during your visit to Chile in May.
A female tourist observing the Moai statues in Easter Island.
Take advantage of fewer crowds and explore Easter Island at your own pace during May in Chile.

Chile is less busy and more relaxed in May, as the summer tourist crowds have long disappeared. This is a great month if you are looking for a quiet and relaxed holiday experience. Here are some more reasons to inspire you to visit Chile in May:

  • Festivals: Observed on May 21, Naval Day is a national holiday in Chile that honors the Battle of Iquique, which took place in 1879, during the War of the Pacific. Locals dress in their national costumes and military parades are held to mark the occasion.
  • Fewer crowds: May is part of Chile's shoulder season and tourist arrival is at its near lowest, and as a result, travelers can find the country's top attractions far less crowded during this month.
  • Affordable rates: As demand declines, package tours in Chile become more affordable in May. This is a fantastic opportunity to take advantage of the off-season rates in hotels and airlines.
  • Grape harvesting season: May is the time of year when grapes are harvested in Chile. Travel north of Santiago, near Valparaiso, to see the vineyards and sip some fine Chilean wine. You can also entertain yourself with traditional dances and music performances in the wine valleys.

Where to Go and What to Do

Santiago de Cuba's Cathedral Cuba in Chile.
The ornate Roman Catholic cathedral in Santiago de Cuba

Santiago, Valparaiso, Chiloe Island, and Puccoon are some of the best places to visit in Chile in May. Start your journey from Santiago, the vibrant capital city, and explore the National Museum of Fine Arts and the 18th-century Metropolitan Cathedral. Enjoy the panoramic views of the city from Sky Costanera, have fun at Fantasilandia amusement park and treat yourselves to some fresh seafood at the Central Market.

Head to Valparaiso, and discover eye-catching street murals and colorful houses. Do not forget to catch the world's most colorful sunsets in the Atacama.

Hike to the towering peaks of Torres del Paine National Park and get a clear view of the jade-green glacial waters. Next, bike along the Carretera Austral and make a stop en route to explore the marble caves.

And if you find yourself on Chiloe Island, greet the penguins and mingle with nature and wildlife at Tantauco Park. Craving an adrenaline rush? Climbing an active volcano, fly-fishing, and rafting in Pucon, the adventure capital of Chile, are among the many things to do in Chile in May.

What to Bring

A tourist posing in the Atacama Desert in Chile.
Choose lightweight, breathable clothing and pack your sunglasses and sunscreen if visiting the Atacama Desert and the northern regions is on your bucket list.

If the Atacama Desert and northern regions are on your bucket list, opt for light clothing made from breathable fabric and carry your shades and sunscreen. Layered clothing, gloves, and jackets will come in handy if you are visiting Patagonia and the southernmost regions in Chile. No matter where you go, remember to take a compass and a torch for safety.

The pleasant weather in Chile in May that is neither too warm nor too cold, coupled with displays of incredibly gorgeous autumnal foliage makes this month ideal for exploring every nook and corner of the country. As May is part of the shoulder season in Chile, you will have more room to explore at your own pace without the summer crowds. You will also get great off-season deals in hotel and transport.

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Published by Astha Joshi, updated on November 11, 2022

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