Patagonia has a reputation for harboring extreme, variable weather systems – fittingly matching the dramatic and evocative scenery of the region. It’s difficult to give a definitive answer to the question, when is the best time to visit Patagonia, particularly given the vastness of the area and its range of climates. However, certain conditions can be expected during each season and should be considered before planning a trip.
So when is the best time to visit Patagonia?
The best time to visit Patagonia is normally agreed to be during the southern hemisphere’s summer months. Between the end of November and the end of February, warmer temperatures and longer hours of sunshine make exploring the major sights more pleasant. However, depending upon the type of activity you’re seeking, other times of the year are perfectly suited to visiting Patagonia.
Spring in Patagonia (September to November)
September, October and November are quiet months for travel in Patagonia as companies are starting to prepare for the summer rush of visitors. With a handful of overcast days but the majority sunny, mild and with up to 16 hour of daylight, spring in Patagonia is for those who wish to tour the region without the crowds.
Activities for springtime in Patagonia
- From the end of November, conditions are perfect for fly fishing.
- Spring is one of the best times to visit Patagonia for hiking and photography as the landscape transitions between bleak winter scenery to early spring blooms.
Summer in Patagonia (December to February)
Between December and February Patagonia transforms, with visitors piling into the region – including the local Chilean tourists who holiday during the months of January and February. Accommodations book up fast, so make reservations at least three months in advance. Unsurprisingly, summer in Patagonia is when the finest weather is experienced: temperatures reach up to 72°F (22°C), daylight last for up to 17 hours and sunny days are the norm in some regions.
Activities for summertime in Patagonia
- This is the best time to visit Patagonia for activities such as hiking, kayaking and rafting, horse-riding and fly fishing.
- Camping is also possible at this time of the year thanks to warmer average nighttime temperatures.
- Cruise ship tours around southern Patagonia and to Antarctica make the most of the wamer summer months.
Fall in Patagonia (March to May)
Patagonia in March, April and May is a much calmer time to visit, as the high season’s crowds have diminished and the region returns to a more peaceful state. Prices and visitor number fall, but the region still experiences good weather for outdoor activities, with highs reaching 50°F (10°C) and sunny, clear skies prevailing.
Activities for fall in Patagonia
- Conditions are favorable for photography as the golden hues of fall make the countryside even more splendid through a lens.
- Hiking, fly fishing, horse riding, kayaking, rafting and camping can also be organized, particularly at the beginning of the season before the colder weather sets in.
Winter in Patagonia (June to August)
June, July and August are the least popular months for visiting Patagonia, due to snowfall in the south and the closure of many tourism companies for the duration of the winter. Temperatures that reach as low as 28°F (-2°C) and shorter daylight hours also make this season less than appealing for many tourists.
However, winter is considered by many to be the best time to visit Patagonia as the region comes into its own with ski resorts and the landscapes – if you can cope with the chill – become even more spectacular when coated in white.
Activities for winter in Patagonia
- Ski resorts, such as Cerro Catedral in Bariloche and the world’s southernmost ski center, Cerro Castor combine modern chair lifts, extensive ski runs and comfortable accommodations.
- Hiking is still possible and Torres del Paine National Park is transformed by a breathtaking layer of snow.