The Countries of South America and When to Visit

Salvador, Brazil's Old Town
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    Argentina

    Road to Mount Fitzroy, Patagonia
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    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

    Salar de Uyuni at sunrise
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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.