June marks the start of winter in most of Latin America and this month offers the most varied array of attractions and highlights. A month where you can really do it all: ski in the south, hike in the centre and snorkel in the north! And although this is also the start of the high tourist season in the continent, the first two weeks are actually quite ideal (as the climate is puuuurfect) yet since European school holidays don’t start until the middle of the month, the crowds have not yet arrived.
As June progresses you will find destinations getting progressively busier and more expensive, so booking ahead of time is certainly recommended.
Here are just some of THE bestest things to do in Latin America in JUNE:
Skiing and snowboarding in June
Fresh powder, clear skies and a truly resplendent backdrop of jagged and awe-inspiring white horizons. Yep. Patagonia in June is pretty spectacular. For a skiing and snowboarding adventure on freshly laid snow, June is perfect, and you’ll find the best ski lodges and resorts in southern Chile and Argentina opening their doors, waxing their boards and firing up their lifts this month. The best ski resorts are scattered throughout the region, from the north-eastern hub of Chapelco right near San Martin de los Andes, to nearby Cerro Bayo, uber-famous and recently refurbished Cerro Catedral towering above Bariloche and visually astonishing La Hoya, there are hundreds of kilometres to be covered at break-neck speed in Patagonia.
Hiking the Andes in June
The driest month of the year makes the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu absolutely sparkle, yet the lack of rains all across the now-verdant Andes spell sensational hiking possibilities all over. The magnificent range of the Andes Mountains – which dissect the continent in its entirety and stretch north from Venezuela and splash spectacularly into the frigid waters of the Southern Ocean in Patagonia – is one of the world’s most coveted high-altitude hiking destination. As the mountains cross no less than seven Latin American countries, hiking options are literally quite endless. We have an amazing collection of organized hiking trips in Peru, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador, so if hiking’s on your mind let it also be in your plans for June.
Lima to La Paz overland tours in June
This is the most popular time of year for extensive Lima to La Paz overland adventures, with road travel being hassle-free and very rewarding. From the Peruvian capital of Lima, you can head up into the clouds, visiting treasures like Arequipa and Cusco and tackling the mighty Inca Trail and all the amazing sights in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Include a visit to resplendent Titicaca Lake right on the border of Bolivia, and finish your tour in La Paz or, if you really want to squeeze the life out of your visit, continue on a crossing of breathtaking Salar Uyuni to the Atacama Desert hub of San Pedro. A three-week overland tour from Lima to La Paz, undoubtedly one of the most popular overland routes in the whole continent offers a little of everything that makes it so special, with an array of natural, historical and cultural highlights that’ll have you swooning at every turn.
Need another reason to tackle a Lima to La Paz tour this month? June will see the Inti Raymi Festival take Cusco by storm, in what is considered one of the year’s most prominent cultural celebrations in Latin America. Dating back to the days of the ancient Incas, the Festival of the Sun is a deeply spiritual celebration, one that was banned by the Spaniards for more than 400 years and one that nowadays includes a kaleidoscope of colour, music, dancing and lots of delicious food.
Valdes Peninsula in June
We have just two words for you wildlife-lovers who have been dreaming of visiting the Valdes Peninsula: whale season!
Southern Right whales begin their mating season in June and there’s no better place to spot the gentle giants than in wildlife-enriched Valdes Peninsula. UNESCO listed is a vast, tree-less protrusion that seems to barely hang on to the South American mainland as if by miracle. Yet the real miracle is the sheer concentration of wildlife that simply thrives in its nutrient rich waters. In June, whales are joined by impressive colonies of elephant seals, whilst on land, it’ll be guanacos and penguins that’ll vie for your attention. Accommodation choices abound here, with hotels in Puerto Madryn (the closest city) and wonderful estancias on the peninsula itself.
Los Glaciares National Park in June
Many dismiss the frozen ends of Patagonia and Los Glaciers NP in particular, in June. But we’d love to let you in on a secret: visiting at this time of year is OUT.OF.THIS.WORLD! Minimal crowds and ethereal snow cover make for insane photography and when you consider that the dreaded Patagonian winds will be at their weakest this month, it simply makes for unforgettable adventures. There may be fewer accommodation options but availability – as well as sense of relaxation and inspiration – will be at an all-time high. Perito Moreno glacier is a breathtaking sight at any time of year, but there’s something about seeing it in winter that makes it seriously astonishing. Temps will obviously be a tad on the nipple-freeze-side and daylight hours limited. But if you’re prepared for the cold and enjoy a visual feast like no other, then head to El Calafate where the roads, general infrastructure and amenities will be ‘business as usual’.
Rio de Janeiro in June
A city that can get a tad too steamy-hot in summer, Rio de Janeiro is actually best enjoyed in the first winter month of June. The megacity’s location (just inside the Tropics) means that daytime temps in June can still reach 28 degrees C, so beach-bumming days are always on the cards. However, cooling winds make for great sightseeing excursions. And heavens knows you’ll be doing a LOT of that in this Brazilian gem.
Our Travel Agent John, didn’t only visit the Iguazu Falls, but he also went to Rio. Get inspired and flow John, visit Rio de Janeiro!
Iguazu Falls in June
Dry clear skies make for superb photography in the continent’s greatest waterfalls and although water levels will be lower than at rain season, trust that the mighty Iguazu cascades will still impress you like no place else on earth.
Costa Rica in June
The cloud forests of Costa Rica are a dreamy place to explore at length, with June starving just enough rains to make extensive hiking trips totally idyllic. To be honest, though, the whole of Costa Rica is rather scrumptious to explore this month. The country’s Green Season is its own ‘calm before the storm’ and the next two months are enviably the very best of all for wonderful Costa Rican adventures. Green Seasons means that rains are short-lived and sporadic, drenching the revered wilderness enough to make it all sorts of fluorescent shades of green yet not disrupting infrastructure enough to make road travels difficult. Choose this month to travel to Costa Rica and you’ll discover dreamy beaches devoid of big crowds in Tamarindo, oodles of amazing eco-lodges on sale in Manuel Antonio and Arenal on sale and an abundance of raging waterfalls and cooler temps in Monteverde. If that’s not all, the usual afternoon-rains in June actually offer guilt-free siesta-indulging…one of Costa Rica’s most underrated highlight!
The Amazon in June
June marks the start of low-water season in the Amazon, although being the first month means you’ll enjoy the best of both worlds: enough water for extensive canoeing yet fewer downpours, overall. If you can’t decide between canoeing or trekking on your Amazon adventure then June is the one month which potentially offers you both. Potentially, of course, because yearly climatic variations mean the rain season could persist…or it could end even earlier.
But you know what? You’ll be in the AMAZING AMAZON! Who cares!? J Your trip will be a once-in-a-lifetime highlight nonetheless. You’ll still encounter a mind-blowing array of animals, still see plenty of unique birds, swim with rare pink dolphins, fish for piranhas, tackle anacondas (OK, maybe not this one!) and fall asleep, every night, to the unforgettable sounds of the world’s most important rainforest.
And what’s not to love about that?
We could keep waxing lyrical about June travels in Latin America but we think you get the point: a fabulous month to explore this most fabulous continent. Want to know more? Contact us right here.
Author: Laura Pattara
“Laura Pattara is a modern nomad who’s been vagabonding around the world, non-stop, for the past 13 years. She’s tour guided overland trips through South America and Africa, travelled independently through the Middle East and is now in the midst of a 5-year motorbike odyssey from Germany to Australia.”