Patagonia weather is infamous. It's the definition of unpredictable and Patagonia's display of raw natural power is part of what draws people to this remote and rugged area. A question we often get is:
"when is the best time to travel to Patagonia? What time of year is the weather best?"
The summer months are often touted as the best time of year to visit (December – February). The comfortable temperatures, long days, and (mostly) clear skies of Patagonia in December through February have made the southern summer the most popular season for travelers.
Below are 5 reasons why you should buck the trend and visit Patagonia in its Spring (October – November) or Autumn (March – April) season:
1. Fewer crowds. Read the statement above closer and you'll realize that most popular inevitably turns into most crowded. The draw of Patagonia is its natural beauty and too any people can detract from that feeling of isolation and serenity. Visiting Patagonia in the shoulder season offers fewer crowds and less distractions. It's easier to wander off the more popular trails and find complete solitude (except for a guanaco here or there) in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
2. Better deals. Fewer crowds mean the lodges have space to fill. Prices drop and you can get more bang for your buck.
3. Weather. Ask anyone from locals to past visitors to travel experts like ourselves and you'll find the same answer: there is no perfect season in Patagonia. Each has its advantages and drawbacks. The tempestuous winds of Patagonia can really whip and are strongest in the summer months when the warm air from the pampas collides with the cold air from the Pacific. As the temperatures cool in Spring and Fall the winds die down.
4. Colors. The vistas of epic blue glacial lakes set against the imposing grey & black spires are even more beautiful when combined with the wildflowers in the spring or the fall colors of the Autumn foliage. The lenga trees, native to Patagonia, are famous for their changing foliage – transitioning from a mellow yellow to a vibrant red that ignites the hillsides below the towering rock above.
5. Wildlife. When the parks are more crowded, the wildlife tends to retreat to more isolated areas. Guanacos, rheas, and condors will always make an appearance but the rarer gems such as puma, fox, and huemul deer (featured on Chile's flag) are hard to see under usual circumstances let alone when there are more people, cars, and noise. Traveling during the shoulder season will give you a much higher chance of a once in a lifetime sighting. Want to learn more about the wildlife of Patagonia? Read our blog, iconic creatures of Patagonia: what, when and where to see them.