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Climate San Pedro de Atacama Chile
It is important to remember that San Pedro de Atacama is located in the heart of a dry desert and that it is at an altitude of 2, 443m as these factors influence the climate and local weather considerably.
Surrounded by sand (therefore no heat retention), with the Andes Mountains on one side, and located at high altitude means that the days are hot and the nights are cool to cold.
In some areas no rainfall has ever been recorded, making it the driest desert on Earth, although rain does fall in San Pedro de Atacama when, in the summer months, the thermal air currents above the Bolivian side of the Andes form large rain clouds that then drift down back into Chile and deposit heavy, but short, rain showers over the area, often accompanied by loud thunder and lighting. This phenomenon is called the Bolivian Winter, resulting in snow fall at higher elevations.
Generally speaking there is very little rain fall and most days of the year are filled with “wall-to-wall” sunshine. Days are hot, evenings cool to cold and nights are cold. Clear night skies are common on most nights – ideal for star gazing.
The Seasons
Summer: January, February and March
Autumn (not really reflected as a season): April and May
Winter: June, July and August
Spring: September, October, November and December
Average Temperatures are:
Winter (Jun, Jul and Aug)
Night: 9ºC (48ºF) / Day: 24ºC (75ºF)
Summer (Jan, Feb and Mar)
Night: 13ºC (55ºF) / Day: 25ºC (77ºF) - 32ºC (90ºF):
ºC         ºF         ºC         ºF
January             24.8 - 76.6        / 12.8 - 55.0
February           25.5 - 77.9        / 13.2 - 55.8
March               25.7 - 78.2         / 12.8 - 55.0
April                 26.0 - 78.8         / 11.9 - 53.4
May                  25.6 - 78.1         / 10.3 - 50.5
June                 23.5 - 74.3         / 8.3 - 47.0
July                  25.7 - 78.2         / 8.7 - 47.7
August              25.2 - 77.4         / 9.8 - 49.6
September        26.3 - 79.3         / 10.5 - 50.9
October            26.2 - 79.2         / 11.5 - 52.7
November         26.4 - 79.5         / 11.9 - 53.4
Suggested San Pedro de Atacama Clothing
Travel light, but pack sturdy, outdoor hiking boots. Take comfortable, layered clothing such as fleeces, t-shirts, swimming gear, long pants and long-sleeved shirts. Include an outdoor warm top for cold nights and cold altitudes as well as a warm hat and gloves (especially if you go to the Geysers). Lip balm, sun-screen cream and sun glasses.
Clothing Check List
       Fleece and windbreaker or parka.
       Short- and long-sleeved cotton shirts.
       Trekking pants (preferably ones that can be unzipped into shorts). We suggest thermal underwear for high ascents or to visit the geysers, especially during winter.
       Comfortable hiking boots with anti-slip rubber soles and sturdy ankle support to avoid possible sprains.
       Sneakers or sports shoes.
       Flip-flops for use at the Termas de Puritama hot springs or at lakes.
       Hat to protect yourself from the sun.
       Hat or headband to protect your ears from the wind or the cold when at the geysers.
       Sunscreen and lip protection.
       Backpack to carry sunscreen, camera, water, etc.
       For inside your hotel: light, informal clothing.
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