When to Go in ChileEdit This
When you are planning a trip to Punta Arenas, when to go will depend on what you are planning on doing once you arrive. There is plenty to enjoy during all seasons. This area is located at the southernmost tip of the country so it gets quite cold in the winter and is still fairly cool in the summer. Many people tend to visit Argentina as well as Chile when they travel to Punta Arenas as the two countries meet at the southern tip of the continent. In fact, you can easily drive from one to the other in a few hours.
During the Spring and Summer
The spring and summer months are the warmest times of the year. Punta Arenas is in the southern hemisphere so the summer months run from December to about May. The temperature ranges from 15 to 20 degrees C. This area is always rather rainy so you want to always bring rain gear. If you want to go hiking or visit any of the natural parks or nature areas, this is the season to visit. Keep in mind that travel can be expensive as the Christmas holidays fall into this period. If you are going to travel to Chile at this time then booking as far in advance as possible is your best bet to keep the price down.
The Winter Months
Winter is when the town puts on its carnival. Chileans from the region and many visitors flock to the town to see the many decorated floats, costume parade, music and dancing. There are fireworks down at the waterfront and many other festivities. This is also when the Magellan Penguin splash occurs as many people jump in to the Strait of Magellan for a swim in the middle of the winter. There are no mountains in or near Punta Arenas but you can view glaciers. The scenic cruises are particularly spectacular during the winter months. This is considered the low season with more affordable rates.
When to Cruise
Punta Arenas is a main stop for cruise ships from Argentina and Santiago on the way to the Antarctic, so working Antarctica into your itinerary is not hard. However, cruising is best done during the spring and fall months. No matter the season, it gets quite cold. Most sailings depart at the end of October and the last departures are in January.