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Q&A


By Ilona Kauremszky


Q: What’s the temperature like in Chile in July? And can you provide information on sites for the adventure traveller to visit and any mention of some festivals.

A: Depending on which part of Chile you venture to and of course altitude you can expect a wide range of weather but July overall is considered part of their winter season and as a result expect lots of winter activities you might usually associate with Canada.

For temperatures, in the north the average daily maximum temperatures hovers around 17 °C in July and in Santiago the average temperature is about 14 °C. In the Chilean Andes, May through October is the peak ski season with some tour operators offering helicopter skiing opportunities to boot.

One top spot for heliskiing is located about 60 km from Santiago’s international airport. Called Valle Nevado (http://www.vallenevado.com/), this complex serves up hotels, restaurants, bars, discos and has a heated pool with loads of other extras. You can also put your skiing skills to the test at Termas de Chillán (http://www.termaschillan.cl/). On the southern slope of the Volcán Chillán, this full-service resort with a hot spring even has snowmobiling and dog sledding. You can cap off the day in their hot springs or enjoy a swim in their indoor or outdoor pool.

For festivities, Chileans will be rolling out the red carpet during July 12 through 18 for the Festival de la Virgen del Carmen. The town of La Tirana in El Norte Grande hosts one of the country's most famous celebrations in honour of the Inca princess "The Tyrant" (La Tirana). More than 80,000 pilgrims converge on the religious shrine in the central square and pay homage to the Virgin in a Carnaval-like atmosphere of costumed dancing.

During the last week of July, get ready to party in the southernmost region of Chile. Carnaval de Invierno is the time when the town of Punta Arenas starts off their winter in a carnival atmosphere. Lots of floats, fireworks and fanfare.

For more travel information on heritage events log onto http://www.chileanheritage.com/. You can also visit your preferred travel agent for details.

Lastly, during your time in Chile don’t be surprised if you happen to see more kids than usual. Chile has a Family Week that runs July 7-28. Kids won’t be in school but they will most definitely be enjoying the great outdoors.

Q&A


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