PART I, AMERICA. When to travel where? A country’s best travel seasons guide

March 13, 2016

During the last couple of weeks I have been busy screening destinations for this year’s summer holidays. It turned out to be quite a time consuming research task regarding best travel seasons. Because when you have only 2 weeks of holidays you do not want to take any risk and get into an hurricane or typhoon season, right? Therefore I decided to put together an overview for all countries and their best travel seasons and share it with you in this post. Hope it supports you for your next journey planning.

In my first part I start off with information on North, Central and South America. Stay tuned with updates in the next couple of weeks to get the ultimate global overview.

NORTH AMERICA

USA

The recommended travel periods for the USA are depending on the specific destination as well as the planned activities. For instance November-April are prefect for skiing in the Rocky Mountains. At the same time temperatures in Florida are inviting for beach and swimming holidays. Spring and autumn are recommended for beach, hiking as well as city trips in the Southern States. Peak season in the USA is August, when prices are thus being raised at coast destination.

USA – West

Recommended: April-May and mid September-October are the recommended travel months for the Southern inland, like Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada etc. For the Northern States the preferred travel period reaches from June-September/October. Avoid: June-September are very hot in Southern California and the Southern States. Mid October-March are characterized with rainy, stormy, cloudy and cold temperatures along the Northern West coast and inland alike (cold, snow, rough winter).

USA – East

Recommended: May-June and September-October are the best months for New York, Chicago and North East of the US. December-April are recommended for Florida and the Southern Sates with temperatures between 20°C and 25°C despite winter time. Avoid: June-August are very hot (>30°C) for traveling the region of New York or Chicago. November-April are cold and rainy / snowy in the North East of the US. May-October in Florida and the Southern States are characterized with temperatures >35°C as well as heavy rains and storms.

Hawaii

Recommended: March-November with comfortable temperatures between 20°C and 30°C. Avoid: In the months December-February and June/July temperatures are only slightly below summer level, but Christmas holidays and semester breaks draw a lot of tourists on the island. Consequently prices are higher than in summer.

Alaska

Recommended: June-September have temperatures at about 25°C. Best autumn landscapes can be gazed at from September with possible first snow falls. Peak season with a lot of mosquitos is in July and August. Heavy rains and cold snaps are possible at any time – especially along the coast. January-March are recommended for skiing or ski touring. Avoid: October-May are characterized with heavy snow and cold winters with up to -30°C and short days.

CANADA

There is no best travel period for Canada in general as it is depending on the destinations and planned activities.

Canada

Recommended: June-September are the most popular months for traveling Canada with temperatures reaching up to 30°C. Traveling North Canada is recommended from July-August, whereas temperatures in South Canada can get already pretty warm from March-May. Avoid: During October-May Canada offers a cold, pretty autumn, followed by a snowy and cold winter with up to -30°C.

Canada – West

Recommended: June-September have temperatures at about 25°C. Best autumn landscapes can be gazed at from September with possible first snow falls. Peak season with a lot of mosquitos is in July and August. Heavy rains and cold snaps are possible at any time – especially along the coast. Rocky Mountains skiing season is from November-April. Avoid: October-May are characterized with heavy snow and cold winters with up to -30°C and short days.

CENTRAL AMERICA

Many countries in Central America can be traveled all year long depending on the region and type of activity you are planning.

Mexico

Recommended: October-April are the dry months with high temperature differences between sun and shadow as well as day and night with 0°C night temperatures in Mexico City. In the coastal ares you will find hot, muggy conditions with less rain than in summer. Avoid: May-September are very hot and muggy with 90% humidity and lots of rain. Baja Californa, the most Northern part of Mexico is also very hot but dry. Besides, tropical hurricanes may occur between June-November. The weather is especially unstable and bad in September / October.

Guatemala

Recommended: October-May are the dry months with comfortable warm temperatures also in the highlands, which is ideal for trekking or hiking tours. Avoid: June-September are the monsoon season, which on one hand can complicate your travels due to tropical hurricanes, flooding and landslides especially in the highlands. On the other hand these months are popular for suffering or rafting.

Belize

Recommended: February-May and August are the most dry months across the country.

Honduras

Even though February-March (dry and not too hot months) are the most recommended months, Honduras can be traveled all year. Rainfall during monsoon season (June-September) is pretty predictable with rain in the afternoons. March-April and September-December are also recommended for diving fans, who may spot whale sharks at that time.

El Salvador

Recommended: December-April are the most recommended travel months du to dry season. Day temperatures reach 27°C. During Christmas and Easter El Salvador is consequently pretty crowded. Avoid: May-November are the months during monsoon season with lots of rain, which can hinder especially trekking tours in the highlands due to lots of rain and landslides. Rain mainly falls during the night though. Temperature in these months can reach extremely hot 38°C degrees in the inland. Hurricanes will most likely occur in October-November

Nicaragua

Recommended: November-April are the most comfortable and dry travel months across the country, even though it can get very hot at the end of the dry period at the end of April / beginning of May. Also the rain forest shall be visited in the dry season with February-April being especially recommended. Avoid: June-November are the months during rainy season with higher risk of Hurricanes between July-October.

Costa Rica

Recommended: December-April are the most popular travel months for sunbathers and divers. During rainy season from May-November surfers enjoy great waves and also warm temperatures before midday. Tropical rainfalls can be expected on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica all year. Avoid: May-November is monsoon season on Costa Rica with July-August tending to more dry compared to September-October, when most rainfalls are expected. Some streets, hotels and restaurants are closed during rainy season.

Panama

Recommended: December-March is peak season on Panama, on the Pacific and Caribbean side for sunbathers, fishers and divers alike. Some trekking and hiking tours can only be done during these dry months. Avoid: April-November is monsoon season on Panama. Prices are significantly cheaper in these months and rafting trips are recommended during rainy season.

Caribbean

Recommended: December-June are warm to hot months, with colder temperatures in the highlands. Tourist peak season is from mid December until end of April. Avoid: July-November is rainy season with short, heavy rainfalls and likelihood of hurricanes. Hotels and restaurants in the tourist destinations are closed from mid September until mid of December.

SOUTH AMERICA

Like Central America, also South America is an attractive travel destination throughout the whole year. You should only watch out monsoon seasons, which can hinder the travel experience regarding transportation and accomodation availability. Besides South America is characterized by significant temperature differences between days and nights, which you want to consider for your packing list^^.

Colombia

Recommended: December-March and July-August are the most popular and dry travel months for Colombia. Traveling to Bogota or to the Caribbean coast can be recommended all year though. Rain during monsoon reason occurs in short, regularly and heavy time periods instead of raining nonstop for days long. Avoid: Mid December-mid January as well as Easter and mid June-July can get quite crowded due to Colombia’s holiday seasons.

Venezuela

Recommended: December-April are the most popular and dry travel months, especially for sunbather, who want to enjoy the Caribbean beaches. Besides also the other months offer comfortable humidity and warm water temperatures, suitable for diving, sailing, surfing or fishing. Also city trips can be done all year long. Avoid: May-August shall be avoided for excursions to the country’s inland and mountains. Especially the great waterfalls are after the monsoon period very impressive. Christmas, carnival and Easter are the peak seasons with lots of tourists and consequently raising prices.

Guyana

Recommended: February-April and August-November are the most dry months and popular for fishing, trekking or bird watching. Guyana is not part of an hurricane area. Avoid: November-January and May-July are the monsoon months with heavy rains hindering travels to the rainforests. However, you should expect rainfalls only in the late afternoon rather than nonstop rainfalls for days long.

Suriname

Recommended: February-April and August-November are the dry seasons and recommended months for traveling Suriname.

Brazil

Generally Brazil can be traveled all year long, depending on the country’s region. Recommend: The North coast has all year muggy temperatures from 25°C to 30°C, but is best to travel to from July-December due to less rain during these months compared to the other months, whereas the Amazon’s region is best to travel to from June-October. The South coast and Rio de Janeiro are recommended to travel from December-March with the carnival in February/March being a major attraction with a lot of tourists, overbooked hotels and high prices. Warm temperatures during the whole year make it possible to travel the Brazil’s famous beaches all year long. Avoid: June-September get pretty cold with only few sun hours in the South of Brazil. November-June are the rainy months in the Amazon’s region and March-August are rainy in the North East of Brazil.

Ecuador

Ecuador is an interesting travel destination all year long. There is no exact best travel period for the whole country due to significant height differences within the country. Recommended: January-February and July-August are the touristic peak seasons, oriented on the dry seasons. In the tropical flatland of Ecuador you will get into rainfalls all year long though. June-August are the recommended months if you plan mountain hikes. Best travel time sorted by different locations: Coast and West: May-November Central highlands (eg. Quito): June-September East rainforests: September-December Galapagos islands: January-June. Avoid: June-August are very rainy months in the Amazon’s region, complicating traveling in this area.

Peru

Recommended: December-April are the recommended travel months for the Pacific regions especially at the South coast. The other months are characterized by fog and clouds. May-September on the other hand are the preferred and dry months for trekkers and hikers in the Andes Mountains as well as for traveling the lowland of Peru. However, when traveling the rainforest of Peru rain needs to be expected throughout the whole year, which occurs short, heavy and pretty predictable though.

Bolivia

Recommended: May-October are the most favorite travel months for Bolivia with less rainfall compared to the rest of the year as well as comfortably warm temperatures. Avoid: November-April are the months of rainy season, when traveling to Bolivia is not recommended as transportation can be very limited.

Chile

Different regions within Chile can be traveled to throughout the whole year. Here are the recommended travel months for the single regions: North and Central: October-April Patagonia / Tierra del Fuego: December-February Anden Mountains: June-September Avoid: Due to low water temperatures Chile is not the number one destination for sunbathers and beach holiday makers.

Argentina

Argentina holds significantly different climate conditions. Therefore it can be traveled all year depending on the specific regions. Here are the recommended travel months for the single regions: North: all year, with best conditions in April/May-September South and Buenos Aires: March-June and September-November Patagonia / Tierra del Fuego: October-April Skiing season: June-October. Avoid: local tourist season is from December-February as well as July due to Argentina’s holiday seasons. Consequently accommodation prices are higher during those months.

Paraguay

Recommended: May-September due to the mild temperatures during the day, whereas night temperatures can get pretty cold. Avoid: November-March are very hot months with temperatures reaching up to 40°C.

Uruguay

Recommended: December-February are the recommended travel months for beach holidays at the Atlantic coast with water temperatures reaching 20°C to 22°C. Also March-June are suitable travel months especially for trekking and sightseeing trips.

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