April is considered a good time to take advantage of still-pleasant temperatures in Chile's northern regions. Santiago, for instance, sees average highs in the low 70s with little rain making sightseeing a pleasant experience, and it will only get warmer the further north you head.
In Patagonia, fall foliage brings out bright hues in the forests, as well as better chances to experience wildlife with dissipating crowds. The further south you go, the more likely you are to experience the onset of rains so it's best to come prepared with serious outdoor gear. Those who do, though, may find that they luck out with decent hiking weather. If you don't mind cooler temperatures (daily highs in the 40s or 50s) this can be a great time to visit, and winds are not as strong as they are in the summer.
Crowds & Costs
This is Chile's shoulder season and crowds clear out, especially in Southern Patagonia. You'll notice that both hotel rates and summer crowds begin to wane. Keep in mind though that Easter typically falls in April, and there may be an uptick in prices during this week as locals and international tourists take advantage of the holiday. In general, though, traveling in Chile in autumn shoulder season means better prices and fewer tourists.
Where to Go
You're still safe to travel everywhere in Chile before winter weather arrives in the mountains. Northern Patagonia offers great road trip options along the Carreterra Austral, including the Marble Caves in the unspoiled Aysén region. You can visit these geological formations, along with massive glaciers and marine life in Laguna San Rafael National Park.
This is also a good month to check out the Atacama Desert. This is the driest place on the planet with dramatic landscapes including red canyons, rocky valleys, gorges, thermal lakes, and geysers. This otherworldly region of Chile is gaining more attention each year, as more travelers search for ways to unplug. San Pedro de Atacama is a charming adobe town that is no secret to backpackers and bohemian types who discovered it long before the term “unplug” even existed.
Wine lovers can check out central Chile's famous vineyards. Lesser-known Colchagua, for instance, receives consistent heat that allows red wine grapes to flourish, thus creating an organic red wine industry known for berry and tobacco notes. And the valley offers endless sunny landscapes with bright green vegetation and mountain views.
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What to Do
Most outdoor activities are still available this time of year before thoughts turn to snow skiing in coming months. You can explore hiking trails with wildlife spotting during the day, and go stargazing at night. Beach weather is still possible, especially in the northern coastal towns, though those who plan to surf will find the best waves later in the year, starting in September.
Valparaiso and Santiago are two cities rising in terms of international popularity with a range of cool neighborhoods, street art, and trendy restaurants. As for the surrounding vineyards, keep an eye out for harvest festivals—a great option for a scenic day-trip from the capital.
Events in April
Campeonato Nacional de Rodeo. The National Rodeo Championship in Rancagua features entertaining Chilean cowboys and plenty of feasting as well as a fun handkerchief-waving dance that imitates the courtship of a rooster and hen.
Semana Santa (Easter). Since Chile is mostly Catholic, Holy Week is an important holiday week all over the country. This is when the streets are filled with parades, floats, food gatherings, and lots of people.
Fiesta de Cuasimodo. Following Semana Santa, this traditional Catholic event is meant to resemble the times when groups of knights would accompany priests from town to town to give the Eucharist to those that were dying.
Traveling to Chile in April? Check out these great itineraries.
Torres del Paine Relaxed Adventure. This itinerary covers a lot of ground in less than a week yet sticks to a relaxed pace. After a day exploring Santiago, fly south to Torres del Paine—one of the most famous national parks in the world. Here you'll stay two nights at a luxury eco-camp for a range of outdoor activities that capitalize on the views. As an added bonus, you'll visit a working Patagonian ranch for the ultimate taste of local culture.
Best of Chile. Explore two spectacular regions of Chile where few travelers venture on this 9-day itinerary. After checking out Santiago, you'll fly to the Atacama desert—an oasis in the driest part in the world known for geysers, salt flats, and starry skies. From here, head to Patagonia where you'll experience Torres del Paine National Park via a range of activities while staying in a fully sustainable EcoCamp.