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: 

  • Buenos Aires - Any time
  • Iguazu Falls - Winter or spring
  • Patagonia - Summer
  • The Andes for skiing - Winter

High season is January and February.

01 of 13


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.

Continue to 2 of 13 below.
02 of 13


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.

Continue to 3 of 13 below.
03 of 13


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.

Continue to 4 of 13 below.
04 of 13


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.

Continue to 5 of 13 below.
05 of 13


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.

Continue to 6 of 13 below.
06 of 13

Falkland Islands

Falkland Beach Scene
Mlenny/Getty Images

Capital: Stanley

When to go:

  • October to March
Continue to 7 of 13 below.
07 of 13

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
Continue to 8 of 13 below.
08 of 13


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.

Continue to 9 of 13 below.
09 of 13


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
Continue to 10 of 13 below.
10 of 13


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.

Continue to 11 of 13 below.
11 of 13


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
Continue to 12 of 13 below.
12 of 13


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.

Continue to 13 of 13 below.
13 of 13


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.