South America’s best fall destinations

Because of the weather, scheduled events, and crowd levels, certain places around the world are best visited during specific seasons. Spring in the northern hemisphere corresponds to fall in South America, so the months of September, October, and November are ideal for planning a trip to many top South American destinations. Here are some seasonal recommendations for South America to help you get inspired and plan your next big trip.

Santiago, Chile

santiago chile

Santiago, Chile, is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts looking for a fall getaway. Many visitors begin their journeys here before continuing south to Patagonia. However, in the city itself, you can enjoy incredible cuisine and art. Because of the abundant sunshine and low flight prices, the fall shoulder season is an ideal time to visit Santiago. Fiestas Patrias, which celebrates Chilean independence in September, Oktoberfest in September, and the Feria Internacional de Artesania crafts fair in November are among the seasonal festivals and events held here.

Accommodations in Santiago

Buenos Aires, Argentina

buenos aires argentina

Buenos Aires is a popular destination for foodies and music fans. It has a European feel to it and plenty of cultural attractions to keep you entertained from day to day. The fall months are ideal for visiting Buenos Aires because it is a shoulder season with mild temperatures and fewer tourists. This is in contrast to the hot and crowded summer days and the rainy winter days. The World Tango Festival, the National Gay Pride Parade, and the Argentine Open Polo Championships are all fun events to attend in Buenos Aires in the fall.

Accommodations in Buenos Aires

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

view from bartolome island

Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy visiting the Galapagos Islands during this season to see wildlife and snorkel with local guide companies. This one-of-a-kind destination is located off the coast of Ecuador and is one of the most memorable places you will ever visit. The month of October is ideal for visiting the Galapagos because the temperatures are cooler, usually ranging between 66 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit, and rainfall and mist levels are low, providing excellent visibility. September and October are also considered low season, which means that prices are frequently lower at this time of year. You might be able to see fewer people, whales and dolphins, penguins when they’re active, and new sea lion pups being born.

Accommodations in Galapagos

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

rio de janeiro brazil

It’s also a good time to visit Rio de Janeiro to enjoy the nightlife, cultural hotspots, and significant religious sites. Plan your trip for October or November for moderate weather that isn’t too hot. During these months, temperatures in the 70s and 80s during the day and the 60s at night are common. In September, Rio hosts the Rock in Rio concert, the Dia de Independência do Brasil, and the Mondial de la Biere food and beer tasting event. Gay Pride Rio is held in October or November, and Rio’s international film festival takes place around the same time.

Accommodations in Rio de Janeiro

Amazon Rainforest, Brazil

amazon rainforest brazil

The Amazon Rainforest is, as one might expect, humid and rainy for much of the year, but certain seasons are still better to visit than others. For example, September is an excellent month to plan your Amazon adventure because it is dry and ideal for birdwatching. Manaus is Brazil’s rainforest gateway city and a popular tourist destination. You can fly or take a riverboat into the rainforest from here. The majority of first-time visitors to this region of South America hire a local guide to accompany them into the wilderness.

La Paz, Bolivia

la paz bolivia

Travelers frequently use La Paz as a base for exploring the Amazon basin and the Andes mountains. However, in town, you can visit the local markets, museums, and very affordable and delicious street food. It’s an excellent location for a September vacation. The Witches Market, Coca Museum, and a ride on the cable car are among the top attractions for your visit here. Traditional dishes to try here include silpancho and pique macho, as well as tasty empanadas. When you visit, you can attend the Virgen de Guadalupe Festival in Sucre and the Fiesta de San Roquein Tarija in September.

Cartagena, Colombia

cartagena colombia

Cartagena, with its horse-drawn carriages and colorful buildings, is a charming and romantic city. Explore historic forts, stroll along beautiful beaches, and shop for designer goods in the Bocagrande shopping district. It’s also fun to go on a street food tour and take a day trip to the Islas del Rosario while you’re here.

Montevideo, Uruguay

montevideo uruguay

Montevideo has emerged as a top South American fall getaway destination because this is when restaurants and bars open their outdoor seating and sightseeing excursions are pleasant. During this season, this is an affordable destination with reasonable prices. Plan your trip for October to enjoy low rainfall and pleasant temperatures. Then, in the Old City, you can visit the outdoor markets, live music performances at Teatro Solis, and Metropolitan Cathedral.

Bogota, Colombia

bogota colombia

Bogota is a vibrant city full of incredible food and regional wines. October is a good time to visit Colombia because the summer crowds have dispersed and it is not too rainy. Because it is the shoulder season, you may be able to find cheaper airfare. However, keep in mind that there aren’t as many festivals and holidays at this time of year, so if you want to participate in local events, you might want to visit during the summer instead.

Patagonia, Chile

patagonia chile

Patagonia, particularly Torres del Paine National Park in the country’s southernmost region, is a popular fall destination in South America. There is plenty of wildlife, breathtaking scenery, and endless hiking opportunities here. If you visit in September or October, you will most likely see colorful blooms. If you visit in November, expect more crowds as the local summer season begins, but you’ll also have great weather for exploring the national park. However, keep in mind that the winds in Patagonia are cold all year.

Asunción, Paraguay

asunción paraguay

Consider planning a trip to Asunción, Paraguay, for a more off-the-beaten-path South American fall adventure. This is a low-cost destination that is best explored on foot. There’s a lively nightlife here, as well as market stalls and a riverfront walkway. If you decide to visit Paraguay in September, Oktoberfest is a fun event to attend. Immigrant communities have shaped Paraguay, and it’s fun to join in the fun at this local festival in early September.

Seven Lakes, Argentina

seven lakes argentina

The Seven Lakes is a scenic road trip route that is especially beautiful in the fall. The route winds through the national parks of Lann and Nahuel Huapi, as well as around the lakes of Correntoso, Espejo, Escondido, Viallarino, Falkner, Machónico, and Lácar. These lakes are all surrounded by beautiful natural forests. Beautiful blossoming flowers may be seen between September and November. The drive allows you to experience the wild landscape from the comfort of your vehicle.

Cuenca, Ecuador

cuenca ecuador

When visiting Cuenca, Ecuador in the fall, you can visit the Cathedral de la Immaculada, shop for local goods at an outdoor market, and bike along the Rio Tomebamba Riverfront. If you visit in October rather than September, there are fewer tourists and generally lower prices. On October 9th, the locals celebrate their independence.

Lima, Peru

lima peru

Lima is well-known for its ancient archaeological sites and palaces, but it is also a beautiful place to visit in the fall. Lima is a top destination for foodie travelers guided by their taste buds, in addition to learning about history. Visit Peru in October to experience the Day of the Marinera, Piura Jubilee Week, or the Fiesta Patronal de Santa Úrsula, among many other local festivals and holidays.

Iguazu Falls, Argentina and Brazil

iguazu falls argentina and brazil

Iguazu Falls is a natural wonder of the world and a must-see attraction in South America. The region covers both Argentina and Brazil, and you can experience it by taking a boat ride to get as close to these breathtaking views as possible. You can stay on the Argentine side in Puerto Iguazu or on the Brazilian side in Foz do Iguacu.

Paramaribo, Suriname

paramaribo suriname

Suriname, a less popular South American destination, is also worth a visit in the fall. This small country has a distinct culture, and Paramaribo is a cosmopolitan city with plenty of delicious food to sample and history to discover. Suriname hosts a national art exhibition in Paramaribo at the end of October, which you can view at local galleries and showrooms.

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