Get ready to be wowed because Patagonia isn’t just any old patch of land. This amazing area includes around 90% of Argentina and approximately 10% of Chile. Occupying 260,000 square miles of land, it’s a region of South America that includes everything from spectacular mountain ranges to interesting wildlife, as well as some of the world’s most amazing and enjoyable hiking trails.
If you have your heart set on a trip to Patagonia, we certainly don’t blame you. Incredible experiences await! Whether you’re drawn by Patagonia’s natural features, the hiking opportunities, scenic drives or activities like kayaking, skiing and horseback riding, you need to consider the best time for your trip.
Clearly, when planning any holiday, you want to avoid weather mishaps and other issues that could spoil the fun. Here, we’ll help you discover the best time to visit Patagonia in general, giving you a good starting point. From there, we’ll go even further, pinpointing the best times to visit for specific activities and experiences.
Best time to go to Patagonia
If you’re simply looking for the best time of year to visit Patagonia, we would recommend you visit in the months spanning from November to March. November, the early part of December and March all provide a good combination of pleasant weather and long daylight hours. Best of all, you won’t have to deal with the crowds seen at the absolute peak of tourist season.
Of course, some travellers don’t mind the crowds associated with the high season. So, if this applies to you, the period from late December to February is likely the best time to go to Patagonia. These months are the height of summer, attractions will be packed with other tourists, and you’ll experience awesome weather conditions.
It’s important to highlight that the true best time to travel to Patagonia will vary from person to person, depending on what you want to see, what you hope to do and your own personal preferences. However, as a starting point for planning your trip, unless you have specific requirements, anywhere from November to March should be a solid time to pack those bags and make some great memories!
When to visit Patagonia for skiing
A good example of a specific need that may require you to visit Patagonia outside the recommended November-to-March period is skiing. Naturally, winter is the best time for a skiing trip, and that means the best time to visit Patagonia for a skiing holiday would be the months of July, August and September.
The city of San Carlos de Bariloche, in the north of Patagonia, is a great base for your skiing needs, and August and September are perfect months to hit the slopes. If you’d prefer to focus on the south of the region, Tierra del Fuego is a great alternative. The ski season here lasts from June until late September or early October.
It is certainly possible to enjoy skiing outside of these periods, but July to September will provide you with the ideal experience and ensure that you and your travel mates have the greatest range of ski options to choose from.
Travel and photography
The Patagonia region is recognised for its jaw-dropping scenery and some of the most truly memorable views. But why keep these views solely in your memory when you can make sure they stay with you forever? Thankfully, the region is absolutely perfect for unleashing the inner photographer that lies within you.
So, when is the best time of year to visit Patagonia for photography? A good case can be made for various points of the year, and it’s certainly fair to say the summer and winter months provide great backdrops for photos. Yet, there is something special about the region in the autumn months, as the leaves start to fall.
For this reason, our recommendation for the best month to visit Patagonia for photography is April. It is sufficiently far into the autumn season to capture the amazing colours. As an added bonus, it’s outside of the peak tourist season, so you won’t have to worry about crowds ruining your snapshots or having to edit out photobombers.
Ideal time for trekking
Patagonia features some truly stunning hiking experiences, and these can be found in both the Chilean and Argentinian sections of the region. The best time to visit Patagonia for trekking or hiking may depend on precisely where you want to go, so we’ll provide a couple of different recommendations for this.
Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego National Park provides brilliant trekking potential and is best experienced in the months of March or April. This not only allows you to avoid the busiest period but also ensures you get to experience the region at a time when the weather is pleasant and reliable. If you’re worried about your endurance and stamina, the varied wildlife in the region can also provide added incentive to push harder and keep going.
Patagonia is home to the Andes Mountains, which are popular with hikers, climbers and gap year travellers. One of the most amazing things about this mountain range is the way it combines high elevations with relatively easy ascents. That means even inexperienced climbers and trekkers can reach the summits of some amazingly high peaks. Unless your main focus is skiing, it is generally agreed
that the best time to explore the Andes is from December to March.
Best time to visit Patagonian cities
The sheer thought of planning a trip to Patagonia is likely to encourage fantasies of exploring the wilderness, seeing animals in their natural habitat, viewing glaciers and climbing mountains. But did you know some of the Patagonia must see attractions are actually in or around the major cities and towns?
The city of Neuquén in Argentina is the largest settlement in Patagonia. It has a solid reputation for winemaking, so make sure you sample some. The best time to visit this city is from November to February. This is guaranteed to provide plenty of warm weather and little to no rainfall.
If you’re more interested in visiting Chile, the largest Chilean city in the Patagonia region is Temuco. This is another great destination, but it is recommended to avoid the winter and autumn months. During these periods, air pollution can be a significant issue, with much of it caused by the burning of wood to provide heat for residents.
Optimal time for Patagonia tours
Ultimately, the best trips to Patagonia combine elements of exploration, wildlife watching, sightseeing and city dwelling. That’s precisely why Patagonia tours can be so beneficial. When embarking on a tour that packs different experiences into one helpful package, the advice of timing your trip between November and March stands.
These months are the best time to visit Patagonia for touring because they maximise the amount of different experiences you can enjoy. At this time of the year, key facilities will not be closed for the winter offseason, and important areas of interest won’t be out of reach due to harsh weather conditions.
Are you planning to visit Patagonia? Then why not go on a tour with us? Our Chile and Argentina: trekking through Patagonia tour combines mountain trekking, glacier exploration, city-based recuperation, a hike in Torres del Paine, the opportunity to walk alongside penguins and a whole lot more. For maximum convenience, the tour also begins and ends in Buenos Aires.