Spanning 30 degrees of latitude and encompassing everything from the balmy lowlands of Iguazu to the towering heights of Aconcagua, Argentina is a year-round destination if ever there was one.
You can visit Argentina at any time of the year and have a brilliant vacation. Buenos Aires is fantastic 24-seven, 365 days a year; Patagonia offers splendid skiing in the winter months and spectacular vistas in summer; and the Iguazu Falls will blow your mind regardless of when you visit. That said, some months do lend themselves to particular destinations and activities. Read on to find out more…
First things first
Readers from North America and Europe must remember that the seasons in South America are ‘back to front’. Summer in Argentina runs from November to mid-March and Fall from the second half of March till the end of May. The southern Winter falls between June and August, while Spring starts in September and continues until mid-November.
When to visit: Buenos Aires
The ‘Paris of South America’ is a delight throughout the year, but it can get rather hot and sticky November thru February. Both Fall and Spring can be wonderful in the capital, but if we had to pick a favorite time to visit it would probably be in July and August when temperatures are cool enough to allow easy exploration on foot and there’s less rain to boot.
When to visit: Iguazu Falls
‘Poor Niagara,’ exclaimed Eleanor Roosevelt when she first clapped eyes on Iguazu, and with good reason. Not only is Iguazu the world’s most beautiful waterfall, but it can be visited all year round. The falls are at their most thunderous from November to February, but temperatures, rainfall and tourist pressure are all high during this period. The dry season, which runs April thru June, is lovely: the islands are more accessible, there are fewer tourists and the unobstructed sunlight brings butterflies and rainbows in the spray. August and September are also dry but much cooler making these Spring months the perfect time for hikers and bikers to visit.
When to visit: Patagonia
‘The Whispering Land’ needs little introduction. Encompassing the picture-postcard perfection of the Lake District, the wildlife marvel that is Peninsula Valdes and the jaw-dropping magnificence of the Perito Moreno Glacier, it’s a bucket list destination if ever there was one. Unless you’re a skiing enthusiast you’re probably best steering clear of the Patagonian winter which runs June thru August. Temperatures are warmest from December to February but this is also when local tourism is at its peak. That said, Patagonia is vast and there’s more than enough to go around. If you can pick any time of year we’d advise going during the Fall (April – May) when the crowds have thinned, the leaves are burnished amber and the temperatures, especially in the North, are still mild. September and October are also great: the Spring flowers in and around Bariloche are something to behold and the calving whales are very much in residence at Peninsula Valdes.
When to visit: Mendoza and the Wine Country
Mendoza is dry and clear most of the year and wine is never in short supply. If you visit between November and March be sure to pack a swimsuit as it can get very hot. April and May are lovely months to visit Mendoza: the Vendimia (harvest festival) crowds have dissipated and the wine-making process is in full swing. Winter is also a great time to visit: temperatures are on the chilly side, but it’s dry and sunny and there aren’t as many tourists. It’s also a spectacular time to take a day trip to the base of Aconcagua as the foothills of the Andes’ highest peak are bathed in snow.
Has this blog left you itching to dance the tango in Buenos Aires or wipe the spray from your face in Iguazu? Contact one of our Destination Experts or check out our most popular Argentina itineraries here and here.
Credit to Justin Vidamo for this photo taken near El Chalten (Patagonia) in the Fall.