South and Central America Climate guide for those in a hurry!
When I think of researching for a holiday, the last thing that gets me excited is looking at a climate guide. Yet it can be important for many reasons. One of these is obviously for those who are planning activities which are weather dependant. Another reason could be for those who prefer to avoid the peak season prices and travel in the low seasons.
Throughout the research process I consistently found that this subject was as boring as bat shit and I’d forget every single thing I read within minutes. I didn’t need the details such as rainfall, exact temperatures and tides. As with most guides, the South & Central America climate guide, is still a guide. It is a quick reference for those travelling long periods who may alter their routes accordingly, not so much made for those needing specific information.
All I wanted was a guide to look at, when’s the time to avoid for safety reasons such as poor infrastructure or storms? Also, when’s the peak season? Knowing this is great for knowing the best times to visit attractions, but it also brings higher prices.
Now this is a bit of a hard thing to really simplify, because these regions are large and span multiple different latitudes. Central America as a region is semi consistent and can have a rule of thumb applied to it. South America obviously is too big to definitively say what’s good and what’s bad because of the vastness of the continent.
So, here we are with a climate guide. The least interesting part about travel research but semi important. I’ll leave you to check out the table, hopefully it’s of some use to you!
If you’d like a more in depth country by country breakdown feel free to check out these links;
…so you must dig tables huh?
Feel free to have a gander at some other tables I’ve created. Tables are perfect for holding food and beverages, but also for displaying information for comparison.
Any table with coffee is a good table in my books.
*Disclaimers and other Handy Info:
Ok, so let’s be clear here. If you’re planning a specific journey, say a two week holiday for example, then looking into the specifics of your destination is DEFINITELY recommended. Especially if you’re scuba diving, snowboarding, surfing, hiking or mountaineering. Or basically doing any activity that is weather dependant.
If though, you’re travelling the world without a set itinerary, or are trying to decide a vague action plan, then this guide will help! Often you don’t know where you’ll be at any given point, but to travel regions you may want to know roughly what you’re getting in to before you set out.
With all that being said, here’s a few things to keep in mind;
- Central America will be quite consistent although it does span two coasts: The Caribbean Sea and The Pacific Ocean. Therefore little micro-climates can exist
- The changes from different regions within the same country can be huge! The Andes mountain range will seriously effect temparatures for the major cities that straddle it. Cities at altitude such as: La Paz, Cusco, Sucre and Quito can get very cool especially at night
- Contrast this to regions in the same countries that drop into the Amazon Jungle or its surrounds and you’ll find humidity and heat almost year round
- In Central America it can rain at any time of year, just because it’s the dry season don’t assume you’ll have perfect weather every day. This is typical of tropical climates near the equator
- Brazil, Argentina and Chile are obviously big countries and weather varies a lot, so do more specific research if need be depending on exaclty where you want to venture
- Argentina and Chile especially will change from North to South as both countries are very narrow yet tall. The winters in the south are some of the harshest conditions on earth and yet favourable conditions still exist in the same country at the northern ends
- Don’t avoid Central America because it’s “rainy season”. For the vast majority of the region the rains come in the afternoons, so wake up early and explore, then back to your hotel. Hurricanse are not a given every year but be careful with travel plans as big delays can happen in bad weather
- Wet season will also bring cheaper accommodation
Central America Rule of Thumb
A genreal rule of thumb that can be applied to Central American countries: Belize, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua;
Dry Season = November – May
Wet Season = June – October
It looks nice and warm to me!
Hurricane Season !!!
Hurricane season in Central America is quite uniform across all the countries. While it is possible anywhere from June – November, the higher risk months are August – October.
Travel is still possible during these times because hurricanes are not a given at all. However keep in mind that in some countries the roads are not well maintained and crashes do happen on buses. These are far more likely to occur in the poorer conditions during this period.