The Countries of South America and When to Visit

Road to Mount Fitzroy, Patagonia

Adria Photography/Getty Images 

Capital: Buenos Aires

Argentina entices culture and dance enthusiasts with the tango, adventure travelers with its mountains and glaciers, and gourmands with its steak and renowned wines

When to go: 

High season is January and February.

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Bolivia

View of Uyuni Salt Flats
Chris VR / TripSavvy

Capital: Sucre

Bolivia is most famous for its photogenic salt flat landscape — the Salar de Uyuni — and for being inexpensive to visit. Expect colorful markets and colonial architecture, and don't miss the sprawling Lake Titicaca

When to go: 

  • Altiplano - Winter
  • Lowlands and rainforest - April to October

Avoid the rainy season in the lowlands between November to March.

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Brazil

Brazil, Bahia, Salvador, Pelourinho, old town
Slow Images/Getty Images

Capital: Brasilia

When to go:

  • Cities - Any time
  • Carnaval - In February
  • Amazon - Avoid rainy season between November to May

High season is​ from November to April.

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Chile

Tourists photographing Torres del Paine
Jami Tarris/Getty Images

Capital: Santiago ​

When to go:

  • Northern Chile - Any time, November is best
  • Middle Chile - September to February
  • Southern Chile - December to March
  • Easter Island and Juan Fernandez - March

High season is January to February and July and August for skiing.

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Colombia

Street with colonial architecture
Matthew Micah Wright/Getty Images

Capital: Bogotá 

When to go:

  • The dry season in December to March in the mountains
  • December to April and July to September on the coast

High season is December to February.

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Ecuador

Gothic Quito
John and Tina Reid/Getty Images

Capital: Quito

When to go:

  • Galapagos - January to April is hot and humid; tour boats docked in September and October
  • Coast - Avoid rainy season
  • Quito and highlands - Any time of year
  • Amazon - Avoid rainy season 

Rainy season is December to May. High season is December to February.

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Falkland Islands

Falkland Beach Scene
Mlenny/Getty Images

Capital: Stanley

When to go:

  • October to March
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French Guiana

Market of Saint Laurent du Maroni, French Guiana, Department of France, South America
Michael Runkel/Getty Images

Capital: Cayenne 

When to go:

  • Rainy season is January to June, heaviest rain in May
  • Travel between July to December
  • High season is February Carnival
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Guyana

Kaieteur waterfall, Potaro River
Johnny Haglund/Getty Images

Capital: Georgetown

When to go:

  • Travel in the interior is best in the dry season

Best time is mid-October to mid-May, after rainy seasons ending in late January and late August.

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Paraguay

City buildings, stalls, Ciudade del Este
Tom Cockrem/Getty Images

Capital: Asunción

When to go:

  • Rainy season in December to April with frequent flooding in the southeast
  • Very hot between October and March
  • Dry season travel (June to August) is easier
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Peru

Salt pans on a mountainside, Salinas de Maras salt pans, created by the Incas and still in operation, Pichingote, Cusco region, Andes, Peru, South America
Wigbert Röth/Getty Images

Capital: Lima

When to go:

  • Lima - Avoid foggy time from June to December
  • Coastal desert - Any time of year
  • Andes - Avoid rainy periods between October to April
  • Rainforest - Hot and humid all year; avoid January to April

High season is from May to September.

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Suriname

Fishing boats at sunset on the Suriname River near Paramaribo, Surinam, South America
Michael Runkel/Getty Images

Capital: Paramaribo

When to go:

  • Rainy season is April to July and December through January
  • Best times are mid-August to early December
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Uruguay

Typical street in Colonia, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Uruguay, South America
Peter Groenendijk/robertharding/Getty Images

Capital: Montevideo

When to go:

  • Best time to visit is mid-October to late March; be prepared for heat and humidity

High season is January and February.

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Venezuela

Brightly painted house facades in historic city centre.
Krzysztof Dydynski/Getty Images

Capital: Caracas

When to go:

  • The dry season is December to April but May to October is still nice and prices are lower

High season is Christmas, February Carnival, and Easter.

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