Best time to visit Patagonia

temperature & rainfall

Dec-Feb bring warmth and longer days, with southern nights lasting a scant six hours, though night frosts and sleet can occur in the highlands even in summer. Mid Nov-mid Dec are less crowded, with beautiful spring blooms. Mid-Mar - late Apr also allow you to avoid the tourist hordes, and photographers should come prepared to capture the wonderful autumn colours and spectacular sunsets.The best time to visit Patagonia also depends on the region; it is huge, and there are great variations, not just from north-south. Coastal regions are wetter and milder, while the inland steppe is chillier and arid.

When to visit Patagonia

a month by month guide

If you’re heading to Patagonia in January or February then be prepared for surprising heat in the north, in places like Peninsula Valdés, as well as rain in the south, Tierra del Fuego, for example.

Temperatures dip across the region pretty much from March through to October with nights, especially, proving particularly chilly.

April and May are both thought of as the best months to visit Patagonia due to the colourful autumn foliage and fewer crowds, with northern regions still retaining some warmth against the milder climes of the south.

May, June, July and August are cold and wet in and around Tierra del Fuego with many areas becoming frozen and often inaccessible to tourists.

That said, winter months in Patagonia have plenty of clear blue sky days and less wind but more southerly national parks, such as Torres del Paine National Park and Isla Magdalena, are usually shut.

September and October bring spring to Patagonia, and are also one of the best times to visit if you want to steer clear of the amassing crowds and don’t mind wrapping up against harsh winds.

As temperatures start to rise during November and December popular parks and natural landmarks start to get busy. However, this is a massive area and if you don’t mind sharing, booking well in advance or getting further off the beaten track there are a great many Patagonia adventures to go round.

Best time to visit Patagonia

Our recommendations

Megan Parkinson, from our supplier Chimu Adventures, shares with us her best time to visit Patagonia:
"The key season to go is Oct-April, because that’s when the weather is at its best. My personal tip is to go during the shoulder season though, because it’s very busy in Dec and Jan, but if you go earlier on in the season you’ll get cheaper hotels and it’ll be a lot quieter. A really lovely time to go is around the end of March, because you get a lot of the beautiful autumn colours and it’s quieter. So going at either end of the season is a really nice time to go."
Our nature pick:
Patagonia is the best place to spot penguins outside of Antarctica, and they’re here in the warmer months of October-April. Head to the beaches around Ushuaia and Peninsula Valdés – or to Punta Tombo if you want to walk amongst South America’s hugest colony of Magellan penguins.

Festivals & events in Patagonia

Our cultural pick from the Patagonian calendar

You can kayak with whales in the lagoons around Peninsula Valdes! Southern right whales travel to this nature reserve between late September and early December, and you can see them breaching, slapping their tails and tending to their babies from the shore – or from your kayak.
In impressive, South American style, the "National Festival for the Longest Night of the Year" actually lasts for nine nights. Held in Ushuaia, the festival begins with a torch light parade on 20th June, and there are fireworks and live music.

Did you know about...?

Pumas. While most travelers avoid the depths of winter, feline fans should head south for the season. It’s the best time to visit Patagonia if you want to spot big cats – including the elusive puma. The cold encourages them to descend from chilly mountaintops into warmer valleys – which are not longer filled with tourists who might scare them away.
Photo credits: [Chart background: strudelt ] [rt recommends background: Justin Vidamo] [Our nature pick: David] [Kayaking with whales: jbgeronimi] [Longest night festival: Anthony Cramp] [Puma: Gonzalo Baeza H]
Written by Vicki Brown
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