By Allie Almario
For many travelers, going to southern Patagonia is a once-in-a-lifetime journey. With a nickname like “The End Of The World”, Patagonia beckons visitors with thoughts of passing through one of the most beautiful but remote corners of the world. Picking the right time to go to Patagonia, whether it’s on the Chilean or Argentinean side, is very important so you can best enjoy the majestic mountains, emerald waterways and stunning trails. Good weather and crowds are important criteria to consider when planning your Patagonia adventure to national parks like Torres del Paine in Chile, or Los Glaciares, Perito Moreno or Tierra del Fuego in Argentina.
This area, which is considered semi-arid scrub plateau, is located in high plains and has few trees. Patagonia is well known for its wind currents which can whip across the mountains. Due to its location, the unpredictable weather can make or break your trip, but the most important Patagonia weather tip may just be as simple as being prepared to layer your clothes no matter when you go.
In the meantime, keep these important Patagonia weather tips in mind when planning ahead for your adventure:
Short High Season
Summer in the Southern Hemisphere is opposite to ours here in North America and Europe. Therefore, November to March promises the most pleasant weather. Expect temperatures to hover in the 50s to 60s, mild enough for hiking or trekking excursions.
With the above caveat, however, prepare for what in Patagonia passes for large crowds. Fortunately, with such massive national parks stretched between Chile and Argentina, it’ll never quite feel like you are in Disneyland. You’ll most likely notice more people at hotels, visitor’s centers and restaurants within the parks than at any other time of the year.
Consider Shoulder Season
Looking for less crowds? Then think about September, October, April and May. These are less popular months in the national parks, but you’ll still tend to get quite good weather without too many temperature extremes. It’ll be easier to find spaces at some of the small but better known hotels, such as the Explora Lodge in Torres del Paine National Park, Chile. During “their” spring, you’ll be surprised by the beautiful flowers found on trails. Look for the bright yellow Lady’s Slipper, the reddish sundew (one of the few carnivorous plants in Patagonia) or the hard-to-find Magellan orchid, usually found in the coldest regions in the south.
When NOT To Go To Patgonia
You’ll have a tougher time visiting during their winter, which is June, July and August. For most travelers, the prevailing winds and bone-chilling temperatures will make daily excursions a lot less pleasant. In addition, many of the hotels shut down due to lack of bookings or take this opportunity to renovate or repair their properties.
There really isn’t a rainy season in Patagonia, with most months averaging no more than 1.5 inches of precipitation each month.
Nonetheless, it’s important to book ahead for these high season months in Patagonia to make sure you have your top choice between the different types of accommodations. For private trips, especially if you want to travel with the top guides, we recommend booking at least six to eight months in advance.
Up To Date Weather Reports
We highly recommend checking websites like www.wunderground.com for up-to-date weather tracking: