Just before reaching Colombia we realized that we were heading into rainy season in the Andes (thanks to Andes by Bike for their informative post on seasons). We didn’t want flooded roads or washed-away dirt roads to hinder us to cycle where we wanted to cycle so we decided to leave our bikes in Bogotá, Colombia, and wait out the rainy season back home. We did a bit of weather research before we left initially but didn’t give it too much thought, particularly because we had no idea how long it would take us to cycle through Central America (it took us 3 months from Cancun to Bogotá, we thought it would take us longer). Long story short, inform yourself about the climates (in particular rainy/dry seasons) so you don’t get into our situation 😉
The weather in the Andes can be rather unpredictable; it can change from sunshine to rain within in minutes and you may even get all seasons in one day. Here a wee overview of the climate from Colombia to Argentina, and check out Andes by Bike for further details.
Dry season from December through March in the mountains.
Dry season from June through September, wet season from October to May, usually with a little dry season in December and January. During the wet season it typically only starts raining intensely in the afternoon.
Rainy season from September through April (peaks between January and March), dry season from May through August. (See this website for more details)
Rainy season from November through April (this is summer, expect mud and flooding). The best time travel the high mountains is April to October (winter, so cooler but dry).
Towards the end of Chile (and Argentina) you will be dealing less with rain and unpredictable mountain weather due to being at lower altitudes, but colder temperatures!
- Northern Chile (less windy than Argentinian counterparts) – any time, November is best
- Middle Chile – September to February
- Southern Chile – warmest December to March
The mildest and driest (yet windiest!) months are October to March (i.e. spring and summer). Winds are west/north-west (so cycling north-south is easier than south-north). Starting early in the day is advised as the winds build up strength during the day.