A Guide to Our Destinations and Seasons
We've hand picked the greatest adventure destinations in the world
If you've ever considered throwing a pack over your shoulder and discovering the most wild and remote parts of New Zealand, South America, Europe or the Himalayas, then you'll know that one of the biggest decisions you'll face is choosing the best time to travel. Some people like the hottest weather, some people like it cooler, some don't mind a little bit of rain if it means having the hiking trails to themselves, and others would rather share the trail if it means they're more likely to stay dry.
As you'll already know, the Southern and Northern hemisphares have opposite seasons. North America's seasons are the opposite to New Zealand and Patagonia for example. But throw a few tropical destinations in the mix and there's no easy rule for when you should travel. So read on to see the best time to visit each of our amazing destinations. If you'd like to find out more, request your free travel brochure and we'll pop one straight in your inbox, or pop one in the mail to you today!
If you ask us, we’d say there’s never a bad time to visit New Zealand! That’s why we run trips here all year round.
During the warmer months of September through April we run trips on both Islands, exploring the absolute best parts of the great Kiwi countryside. The spring time (September through November) sees new lambs being born, wild purple Lupins blooming, longer days and warmer weather – which makes it the most popular time to visit us.
If you prefer the idea of seeing New Zealand under a blanket of fresh snow surrounded by snow-capped peaks, and under crisp blue skies, then check out our winter trips from May through September. We operate a winter ‘Kauri’ itinerary on the North Island, and two South Island adventures; New Zealand family adventure the ‘Kea’, and our wintery adaptation of our signature trip, the ‘Winter Rimu’.
Video: This is the 'Kauri' trip on New Zealand's tropical North Island.
South America is the world’s 4th biggest continent at 17.8 million square kilometres (6.9 million square miles). So the weather systems are drastically different across the continent. Because Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands are right on the equator, and Peru also close, their climates consist of wet and dry seasons. Whereas the lower halves of Chile and Argentina are on a similar latitude to New Zealand, and so have four distinct seasons.
If it’s Peru you’re itching to visit, then you’ll be glad to know we run trips all year round! But having said that, there are very distinct seasons to bear in mind. If you’d like to travel in the driest months, we’d recommend anytime from May to October. This is the most popular time to visit Peru.
April and November, either side of the dry season are also popular choices as you tend to get the best of both worlds with the weather, and trails tend to be a little quieter. You can hike the Classic or Lares Inca Trail’s with our ‘Jaguar’ trips run all year round, except for the month of February when the Classic Inca Trail is closed for maintenance. But our other Peru adventures, the Peru Family Adventure ‘Capybara’ and Peru and Galapagos Explorer ‘Iguana’ trips run all year round.
Patagonia is a region at the southern end of South America, shared by Chile and Argentina, and is sparsely populated. Patagonia’s climate consists of four distinct seasons, with winters being particularly harsh. Our ‘Condor’ trips run November through to March, taking advantage of the warmest, most enjoyable and photogenic weather in Patagonia. When winter arrives, the ‘W Trail’ (which is one of our favourite hikes in the world) in the spectacular Torres del Paine National Park, closes until the snow melts again in the springtime – in the month of November.
January through March is considered the hot/wet season. The islands are flourishing with plant life at this time, and the water temperatures are ideal for snorkelling and diving. The period from July to September is the drier/cooler season, where the water temperature drops to 21C/68F. It’s an ideal time to see the marine life as they love these cooler currents.
During the warmer months from January to June, the water is warmer and generally calmer and plant life on the islands is flourishing. However, the cooler waters and nutrient rich currents from July to December bring food and a flourish of activity to the underwater world of Galapagos. During this period, most of the animals which rely upon the ocean for their food will be breeding.
Temperatures range from 69°-84°F year-round, with January through March considered the hottest months of the year. Nevertheless, this is the wild, there is no off-season, expect to see anything, anywhere, any time!
Our Ecuador and Galapagos Islands trips run all year round. We’d recommend November through March for the Galapagos Islands, where you can expect to see sea lions having pups, the bird life is thriving, and of course you’ll see plenty of the famous Galapagos Tortoises! The weather is fairly stable this time of year - not too hot or humid, and the visibility for snorkelling is pretty good.
Ecuador’s weather generally varies based on the regional geography, but June to September tends to be warmest and driest, which is a great time for exploring the Amazon jungle, or biking down a volcano!
Video: Take a look at our 'Jaguar' trip in Peru - it's the ultimate Peru adventure.
Our Nepal adventures run August through November (which is the autumn, or fall in Nepal), and March through May (spring). In northern central Nepal we take adventurers to the Annapurna and Mustang regions. And further south we head to Everest Base Camp, near the border with China.
The months of December through February are the winter months, which are far too harsh for hiking in the Himalayas. But come March, things are warming up and the rhododendrons are blooming, then right through to May you’ll see climbers beginning their summiting attempts of Everest… which creates a real ‘buzz’ at base camp.
June, July and August are the monsoon months, meaning the Everest and Annapurna regions are too wet to enjoy hiking. But on the northern side of the Himalayas near the border of Tibet, the Mustang region sits in a dry weather pocket. So August is the best time to visit the Mustang region.
September sees the beginning of autumn (fall) which brings green, lush landscapes that are blooming from the recent rains, and crystal clear views of the mountains. From September right through to November you’ll be able to enjoy quieter hiking trails (quieter than the more popular spring months), and the local mountain villages are full of festivities.
Video: If you're a lover of the mountains, then Everest Base Camp (EBC) is surely on your radar!
The weather in our Europe destinations is relatively stable and warm during the dates we run our trips (June through to September). July and August are the peak summer months – so expect the warmest temperatures (comfortably 70s and 80s Fahrenheit), but you can still expect a bit of snow cover on the higher mountains – which makes for epic photography.
June and September are a little cooler (which actually make for the best hiking conditions) and generally the trails are less crowded.
The Active adventures we offer in Europe are the Tour du Mont Blanc, the Italian Dolomites, and the Italian Lakes District. Each itinerary takes in the best bits of Europe’s scenery and culture. From green meadows, to towering granite peaks, forests, fine food, and fine wine. You can’t choose the wrong time to visit Europe during the summer season we operate.
Photo: Hiking in the Italian Dolomites is one to tick off the bucket list!