What is the best time to visit Patagonia?… First of all, you should consider that the seasons of the year are reversed in the extreme south of the American continent. Therefore,when it is winter in the northern hemisphere, in Patagonia it is summer.
The best time to visit Patagonia is from September to Easter, which usually occurs between March and April. There are several reasons why this is the ideal period:
First of all,It is during this time that most of the fauna is found on the Atlantic coast., with the exception of whales, which are present from June to the first week of December.
The summer climate allows activities such as trekking in the mountains, and the warmer temperatures make the walks more pleasant.
The southern spring and summer are the best time to visit Patagonia, as the days are longer, warmer and there is less rainfall compared to other times of the year. Even so, those lucky few who visit in winter often experience less wind and more clear days.
From the logistics point of view, access to certain areas and roads in Patagonia, mainly in the Andes Mountains and the Glacier area, is more limited in winter.
In addition, many hotels and tourist service agencies only operate until Easter and then close until the following September.
Finally, spring and summer are the seasons in which most of the fauna in Patagonia can be seen.
Keep in mind the fauna calendar in Patagonia, particularly in the Valdes Peninsula. When planning your trip, it is essential to consider the wildlife season in the various reserves on the Atlantic coast of Argentine Patagonia. In different months you will be able to spot Right Whales, Magellanic Penguins, Sea Lions and Marine Elephants.
The Valdés Peninsula is the best-known wildlife reserve, but you can also see wildlife in Bustamante Bay, and even in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in Argentine Patagonia, where you can visit a penguin colony during your trip to Patagonia.
From June to early December is the whale watching season in the Valdés Peninsula, while from September to mid-April, you can find penguins in different reserves on the Atlantic Coast. Sea Lions and Elephant Seals settle throughout the year on the Patagonian coast, and Orcas usually appear in the months of February and March.
It is relevant to mention that, although the majestic Patagonian glaciers can be visited throughout the year, the possibilities of trekking in the surrounding mountain areas are significantly reduced during the coldest months, due to the intense cold and abundant snow.
In addition, some roads and highways may be closed during the winter due to the difficulties that their maintenance presents in this season, characterized by adverse weather conditions. Therefore, it is advisable to investigate the status of the routes beforehand, or even consider the option of hiring an organized tour, which guarantees a safe and smooth experience during the winter.
Another issue to take into account if you can only travel during the winter in Patagonia is that most of the destinations in the north of Argentina and Chile are at their best time to be visited since during the summer the influx can be massive and the temperatures very tall.
From May to September it is highly recommended to mix 1 destination from Patagonia with 1 or 2 from the north either Iguazú, Salta, Mendoza or Atacama in Northern Chile.
As you have already seen, every month has something special if you combine your trip with other destinations in Argentina, here I summarize the possibilities month by month:
Patagonia in January
See Patagonia at the height of the season in January, when you will have 18 hours of daylight and feel the infamous Patagonian wind at its strongest.
There are so many options open to you besides hiking, why not try glacier trekking, mountain biking, and whitewater rafting on the Futaleufu River?
Keep in mind that it is high season so you must have reservations for your services, here the key is to move quickly and book your flights and services in advance.
Availability in Chaltén shouldn’t be too difficult, but in Torres del Paine the shelters are likely to be full.
The good news is that in case you can’t get accommodation it’s warm enough to camp under the stars. If you are still in the planning stages of your trip It is a good idea book flights as soon as possible Since it is the first thing to sell out and the rates rise quickly, for the rest you have more time and options.
Patagonia in February
February is practically the same as January in terms of possibilities and you are also in high season.
I highlight that February is a good time to walk through the national parks of Patagonia; Torres del Paine, in particular that it calms down when Chilean visitors return to their cities ready to start the school year.
Mainly in the last 10 days of February.
In February you can expect temperatures between 5 and 19 degrees in Torres del Paine, a good time to tour Circuit W independently if you want to save some money to go kayaking, for example.
Patagonia in March
March is the end of the high season in Patagonia, so the infamous Patagonian wind will be about to die down a bit, there will be fewer people in the national parks, so generally quieter on the trails.
It’s even possible for prices to drop a bit as locals and tourists leave, but it’s harder to get a group together, so it might be harder if you’re traveling alone.
However, Patagonia is still open and you have practically the same available as in the High season but with fewer people and better prices.
Pay attention mainly if you want travel to Antarctica It is the month when you will find the best prices.
Patagonia in April
In April the season is already coming down, so try to arrive in the first half of the month to have more availability and better weather conditions.
If you hope to stay at the Eco Camp in Torres del Paine or do a australis cruise At Cape Horn you will find better prices.
Remember that many hostels and mountain ranches close at this time, which makes it difficult to do trekking circuits, for example.
Patagonia in May
This is for me one of the best months to mix the South and the North of Argentina.
From this month onwards it becomes very interesting to mix destinations from the south of Argentina and Chile with the north.
For example, you can visit the Valdés Peninsula, which still has fauna to see (except Penguins and Whales, the rest of the fauna is present all year) and Iguazú.
Patagonia in June and July
For the months of June and July I will insist on the idea of blending destinations from the south with the north, which is always very hot during the summer months. It is the ideal time to visit destinations such as jump It is iguazu because the weather is very nice.
As I mention in Patagonia in May, the Valdés Peninsula always has fauna and in these months the first whales arrive to populate the gulfs.
El Calafate always open and with accessible glaciers.
And you can complement with the vibrant city of Buenos Aires that offers you many cultural and gastronomic possibilities.
Patagonia in August
Low temperatures, snow and short days during August in Patagonia it will make your trip not develop 100% as planned in Patagonia.
If you haven’t been to Patagonia yet, I understand that you’re dying to get to know it and that you’re willing to enjoy it even with its limitations during these winter months.
But if you already know Patagonia and you want to return to Argentina or Chile, I recommend that you focus on the north of these wonderful countries and that you plan a route that travels in its breadth the areas of the waterfalls in the province of Misiones and that you jump from one country to another between Salta and Atacama and between Mendoza and Santiago de Chile.
Patagonia in September
In September It is still quite cold in Patagonia, but the panorama is already different… you may still find snow and temperatures of 5 degrees in El Calafate, for example.
But spring is just around the corner and the penguins also that they begin to return to the Atlantic coast to have young.
Patagonia fully reopens its doors, mainly to international tourism since the locals are in the middle of the school year.
Patagonia in October
Availability really starts to drop at October November since it is said that it is probably the best season to visit Patagonia.
Why is that said?
The thing is…
You have the complete fauna in Península Valdés
You don’t clash with the local holiday season in Argentina and Chile.
The weather is ideal for going for a walk and enjoying the mountains.
You have to take advantage of it…
Patagonia in November
Technically it is the same as October with the exception that the cruise season begins from Ushuaia and in the channels of Austral Chile.
In addition, all the fauna awaits you in the Valdés Peninsula and the glaciers are in full swing.
Patagonia in December
December can be an expensive month, beware.
Mainly because many Argentines who live abroad take the opportunity to travel to see family and spend the holidays together.
This means that as of December 10, international flights go up a lot in price.
Another date to keep in mind is that the beginning of this month is when the whales begin to leave and leave the new gulf. Although they do not all do it together… by the second week of December you may not find whales or at least see very few specimens.
But on the other hand, it is when many people want to take advantage of the Christmas holidays and the holidays of the first week of December. So you can perfectly travel alone, which will surely cost you more.
Now yes, with this information you can start to plan your trip to Patagonia and the rest of Argentina and Chile… We are waiting for you!