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Attention last minute travelers and methodical trip planners a like! Having just come back from a 5 week trip to South America, I wanted to take the time to say that I am happy to be back here at the Wildland office and I am equally excited to help spread the energy and enthusiasm I have rekindled for some of my favorite places in the world to our wild travelers.

As the weather is beginning to change and winter is starting to peak its grey, cold and rainy head around the bend, I would like to take a moment to talk about travel to Peru and trips to Patagonia and planning a last minute trip before winter really kicks in (for those last minute planners) or a trip that you can look forward to through the most bitter months and reward yourself with on the other side (for those more methodical planners). Though Christmas and New Years often present themselves as being an opportune time to travel- with more days off, a break in the middle winter, etc- I wanted to bring to light some of the benefits of traveling in October /November and March/ April in Patagonia and Peru.

Hiking in Torres Del Paine National Park

Travel to Patagonia is in peak season is between December and February and already, it is almost impossible to find space at the more prominent accommodations. But why go during peak season? The trails are more crowded, the weather is only a few degrees warmer than the shoulder months, and all accommodations are more expensive. In contrast, the shoulder seasons in Patagonia (October/November and March/April) offer cheaper rates, due to lower demand, and more stable weather. The air currents that intercept this austral region during the summer and winter months make for more wind and unpredictable weather, which is never great when you are trying to plan a hiking getaway. However, the shoulder seasons experience less western winds and therefore boast more stable conditions and a higher likelihood of weather predictability. As someone who cherishes solitude on hiking trails and while in nature, these month pairs will also delight visitors because the masses that appear December-February remarkably diminish to a mere trickle of hiking enthusiasts. For those trying to plan a last minute trip, there is plenty of space available in October and early November. For those who are more long-term planners, mark late March/early April on your calendar and let’s chat!

Peru, though without such extremes in weather when compared to Patagonia, also has its peak and shoulder seasons due to climate. The end of December to late February is the wet or rainy season in Peru, thus marking the low season, while June-early September mark the height of dry season and peak for tourism. October-December is an amazing time to plan a trip to Peru. For those impulsive travelers, there are numerous flight deals currently from the US to Peru and hiking trails and heritage sites are not nearly as inundated with tourists as seen during the northern hemisphere’s summer. Fast forward, and for those needing more time to plan, as the rain clouds of the wet season begin to dissipate, March through mid-May make for an excellent time to enjoy blue skies, mild temperatures and empty hiking trails as well.

Please feel free to contact me anytime at 800-345-4453 and let’s start working on that bucket list!

Your friendly South America travel expert,

Gretchen Traut

STAY TUNED: Having just spent nearly a month in Peru I am excited to announce that over the coming weeks I will be sharing my stories and pictures from the Andean highlands, to Peru’s bustling metropolises, to remote hiking paradises, the Amazon, Pacific Coast and more! 

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