Thankfully, no winter lasts forever. Spring has officially sprung in the southern hemisphere and all of us summer babies are eagerly awaiting those long summer days, infectious holiday vibes and non-stop adventure.
Spring … the very word itself just makes people happy. It evokes visions of colourful blossoms, lush grass, sprouting leaves and new life. After a dull (and, for some, chilly) winter, it’s time to get out of your winter woollies and get outdoors. Inhale the fresh air, take advantage of the extra daylight and bask like lizards in the warmer weather.
Each season brings about change and spring is all about renewal and rebirth. Think of it as your chance to start over and set new goals. It’s time to start afresh, try something new and step outside of your comfort zone.
While springtime encourages so many of us to exercise, eat well and transform our wardrobes, there’s also something to be said for travelling in springtime. It’s a glorious time to travel, with its comfortable climate, fresh blossoms, spring-like conditions, reduced rates and, of course, fewer crowds.
We all have a bucket list of things we long to do and places we long to see before we die. But for all of the travel addicts and compulsive listophiles out there, why not have seasonal bucket lists of places to visit and things to do in each season?
So, where to go in springtime? We recommend South America. Although it truly is a year-round destination, boasting something for absolutely everyone, no matter the season, take it from us, spring is a superb time to explore the countless wonders of Chile, Argentina, Peru and Ecuador.
It’s time to escape your winter rut and fall in love with South America.
1. The flowering desert
Spring showers bring flowers and this is the ideal time to see the pretty floral blooms in the southern reaches of Chile’s Atacama Desert. Celebrated as the driest place on earth, every now and then enough rain is received, which triggers the wildflowers to bloom en masse. Seeing is believing, as this rugged landscape is magically transformed into a colourful carpet of pink and purple petals.
2. Your own private wilderness
Springtime in Patagonia is one of South America’s best-kept secrets. The clear skies, mild climate, fewer crowds and considerably less wind make it the ideal time for nature enthusiasts to explore. Be among the first hikers to embark on untouched trails as they reopen after the winter months. Imagine having this untamed wilderness, not to mention the therapeutic peace and quiet, all to yourself. Keep an eye out for the unmistakable scarlet blaze of Chilean firebush set dramatically against snow-capped mountains in the distance.
3. Have a whale of a time
Spring is a great time for wildlife enthusiasts to flock to the Galápagos Islands when the archipelago is blessed with a comfortable climate, low rainfall and less crowds. Not only is it the best time to see dolphins and whales, but during the spring months the penguins are most active and the sea lions are in heat making for some highly entertaining courting displays.
4. Spring nights & city lights
Although Buenos Aires (the Paris of South America) is a year-round destination, always abuzz with activity and attitude, springtime does have its perks. In addition to lower prices, fewer crowds, sunny days and comfortable temperatures, the city bursts into purple bloom as its grand jacaranda trees start to flower. The parks spring to life, the locals come out of hibernation and the cafés spill out onto the sidewalks. Take a walk, ride a bike, pack a picnic, wander around the open-air markets and take in the electric ambience of this cosmopolitan city.
5. Chase waterfalls
Spring is a great time to explore the natural beauty of the world-famous Iguazu Falls in Argentina. With a better chance of clear skies and warm weather, the water levels (though not at their peak) also remain impressive in the spring months and the rock faces that peer through the cascading waterfalls provide a unique photographic opportunity.