Best Time To Visit Patagonia

best time to visit Patagonia

Unlike other South American itineraries such as the Amazon or the Galapagos, Patagonia can only be cruised in the Summer from November through to March. The best time to visit Patagonia during the Summer is really a matter of choice. 

This is not to say that Patagonia cannot be visited in Winter, you just can't take a cruise. For those wishing to hike the epic landscape, then Winter throws up many excellent (and cold) options. 

Seeing Patagonia by cruise is one of the best options available as you can reach parts of the landscape, including several glaciers, that are otherwise inaccessible to hikers. 

Thanks to the infamous weather around the cape, and the thick glacial ice, cruising in Winter is simply not possible. Similar to Antarctica, the weather in the far south of America is not dictated by anyone and you're itinerary is often changed by its whims. 

Even during Summer the wind can be vicious. Once in the beautiful fjords, the weather is far calmer and you'll be able to take numerous zodiac trips and shore excursions to see wildlife and incredible landscapes of ice and rock. 

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Best Time To Visit Patagonia

Below we have provided a seasonal description for further information the best time to visit Patagonia. Please note that Patagonia is often called, even in Summer, and you'll need to pack the appropriate gear

Seasonal Breakdown


Spring in Patagonia is one of the loveliest times of year to visit. Although the cruise season does not kick off till November, the weather begins to warm during this period, making trekking ideal. 

If you can make it to the coastal region, October is by far the best month of year to witness the great whale migration. Spring is also a great time to see the huge colonies of elephant seals on the Península Valdés. 

During Spring you'll see an average of 12-16 days of sunlight each day with high winds and frequent overcast days. However, during this period the flowers begin to bloom, making the landscape stunning for photographers.

Whilst cruises are not in full swing yet, there are a number of itineraries on offer within Tierra Del Fuego and the Chilean fjords. Whilst you won't be able to push as deep into glacier territory because of the ice, you'll still witness incredible landscapes and wildlife.

Magellanic penguins nest from November through to February and late Spring is a great time to see them arriving at the rookeries. Spring is also the best time to see birds such as finches, condors, sparrows, and albatrosses begin nesting.   


Summer, running from December to February, is the most popular period in Patagonia for both trekkers and cruise goers.

Because the ice has melted by Summer, all of the cruise itineraries open up, allowing visitors more choice and which cruises to take. This is also the warmest period and trekkers take full advantage of this. Because Patagonia is so far south, temperatures are still not hot with the average Summer temperature being less than 70 degrees fahrenheit. Daylight hours increase from 15 - 18 per day whist the winds continue to be strong. 

Although cruises will not feel the effect of the crowds so much, popular destinations and trekking sites will. The Chilean holidays coincide with the Summer period, making the hotspots quite crowded sometimes. However, more activities become available during this period such as horse back riding, mountaineering, mountain bike riding, and white water rafting. 

The long daylight hours makes this period great for photographers, as do the fabulous sunsets and sunrises. Wildlife lovers will get to witness the penguin chicks hatching in Tierra Del Fuego during the high Summer months. 

It's important to note that, because of popularity, prices are at their peak during Summer. For people wishing to take a cruise, you should book at least 6 months in advance, if not more. 


The Fall, which runs from March through to May, is a one of the best times to visit Patagonia. The days are at their clearest and sun is still quite warm. 

Saying this, daylight hours are shorter with the average being around 11 per day. The clear skies make up for this though, especially with their dramatic sunrise and sunsets. 

The penguin colonies are in full swing during the Fall with adult penguins rushing back and forth to feed their growing chicks. March and April is also a great time for whale watching, especially during cruises. 

For trekkers, this is a peaceful, although colder, time to explore the landscape. The landscape comes alive in vivd Fall colours, making for some excellent photos!


Thanks to rough seas and thick, pack ice, cruises in Patagonia do not operate in Winter. However, you can still visit by land, as long as you are prepared for colder temperatures. 

Although the weather will be more chilly, the wind actually drops considerably during winter, providing more clear skies, especially early in the season. 

Trekkers need to pick their routes carefully as many close for the inter due to snow. Torres del Paine is probably the most accessible hiking region in Patagonia during Winter, but other regions offer excellent skiing opportunities. 

Although temperatures frequently reach freezing during the day, you'll pretty much have the trails to yourself! The hostels and tours are also much cheaper during this period. 

For wildlife lovers, we suggest heading to the Valdes Peninsula during Winter. Whales, elephant seals, penguins and sea lions can all be seen here through the Winter. Of course, the most famous phenomenon of the region is the orca that swim right up onto the beach to catch seal pups. This happens between March and April and is truly one of the most epic things you can witness. 

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Get a Cruise Quote!

Expedition Cruise do not sell tours, we simply provide impartial advice. If you would like an exact quote with our recommended specialist click Get a Quote.


Below is a short video by Australis demonstrating the delights to be had on a Patagonia cruise. 


If you have any queries or questions regarding the best time to visit Patagonia, please feel free to contact us or leave a comment below.

Thank you and happy travels!

Expedition Cruise Team

About the Author Expedition Cruise is the web’s most authoritative information portal on adventure and expedition cruising. Our mission is to provide up to date and comprehensive information on traveling to the Arctic, Antarctica and further afield, so that your experience is as fulfilling and safe as possible.

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