Best Time To Visit Argentina

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Argentina on the South Atlantic Coast of South America stretches 3800 km (2360 miles) north to south. Its shape is like an inverted triangle, 1420 km (880 miles) at its widest point, with the tip of the triangle at the bottom of the continent. Because of this unusual shape, the deep south is subantarctic with northerly regions subtropical. If you want to visit the wonderful landscapes in the southern regions, the best time to visit Argentina is between December and February. However, it is spring or autumn that gets most overseas visitors.

Argentina is a country of great contrasts. Its population of almost 50 million is one example, a mix of Spanish, other European races, and indigenous people. Spanish is the official language because Spain was its colonial conqueror. Other contrasts involve the terrain, the Andes as the western spine bordering Chile, Patagonia and the Pampas. Its agricultural sector is important, and Argentina takes an increasing percentage of the world’s wine market. It is a huge country, and visiting its extremes involves domestic flights.

Best Time To Visit Argentina

Argentina in Winter

best time to visit argentina patagonia
The best time to visit Argentina to see Perito Moreno in Patagonia is between November and March.

While this is the coldest time of the year in this Southern Hemisphere country, there is still much to see and do, as well as enjoy winter sports.

Buenos Aires is full of iconic landmarks, wonderful bars and restaurants. Many visitors arrive from overseas at the capital’s airport, and it is worth spending a little time as a minimum before taking domestic flights to other destinations.

The Andes are the highest range in the west, but other alternatives for skiing and winter activities exist. The south of Argentina is cold at this time, and some places may not even be accessible. It is best to stay in the northern areas unless you want to ski.

Here are some guideline stats but remember there are regional variations:

  • June (Sunrise 0800, Sunset 1750, Average Low Temperature 9C(48F), Average High Temperature Average High 15C (59F))
  • July (Sunrise 0800, Sunset 1805, Average Low Temperature 8C(46F), Average High Temperature 14C (57F)
  • August (Sunrise 0730, Sunset 1830, Average Low Temperature 11C(52F), Average High Temperature 18C (64F)

Five Things to Do in Argentina in Winter

best time to visit chile and argentina
Winter is one of the best times to visit Buenos Aires in Argentina. Pictured here is the colourful precinct of La Boca.
1- Go Skiing

This is the skiing season in Argentina, with Bariloche in Nahuel Huapi National Park a good option.

Bariloche is in the heart of Argentina’s Lake District, and the highest peak locally, Cerro Catedral, has several established skiing runs.

The views from any of them are outstanding, yet there is far more than just skiing to pass the time: waterfalls, glaciers, lakes and extinct volcanoes are other local features.

2- Explore Buenos Aires
best time to visit argentina buenos aires
Exploring Plaza de Mayo is fun at any time of the year.

Buenos Aires is a stunning city, and you should plan for a minimum of three days to see its many highlights.

They range from vibrant Boca, the Recoleta Cemetery, where Eva Peron was interned, to the Playa de Mayo with its Presidential Palace, Casa Rosada.

You can watch couples tango in some districts and even try this exotic dance.

3- Admire the Splendour of Iguazu Falls
best time to visit iguazu falls argentina
One of the best times to visit Argentina’s Iguazu Falls for cooler weather in winter.

Iguazu Falls borders Brazil, a subtropical region and over 270 cataracts on the falls themselves.

Your eyes will fill with the wonder of the setting, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with few equals anywhere on the continent, if not the world.

There is a small airport with regular domestic flights and accommodation both in the small town and overlooking the falls.

4- Discover Cordoba
best time to visit cordoba argentina
For a snowy landscape in Cordoba’s Calamuchita Valley, the best time to go to Argentina is during winter.

Cordoba in central Argentina is an amazing city with an equally impressive landmark, its cathedral, which is in Plaza San Martin, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Some buildings are from the 16th century, with the original church built late that century.

Today’s structure is from the 18th century with lovely frescoes added last century.

5- Visit Salta

Salta is the provincial capital of northwest Argentina.

Its origins date back to the Spanish in the 16th century but also represent Andean heritage and the Incas.

You can take a train from the city up into the mountains, an experience not to miss and ti includes snacks though if you want to use the bar and restaurant, you will have to pay.

It is a long day, but your photos will be proof that it was worth it.

Top tips:

  • Low season means fewer visitors and more flexibility without booking in advance.
  • Cold nights mean you need to pack appropriately.
  • Discounts should be able wherever you go.

Argentina in Spring

best time to visit los glaciares national park argentina
An elevated footpath in the Los Glaciares National Park, in southwest Santa Cruz province. Summer is the best time to visit Argentina to explore this region.

Once the coldest weather starts to disappear, it is time to enjoy more of this wonderful country. Spring is a popular time for tourism, with Buenos Aires still a highlight. However, if you have time to go further, there are many choices. The coastline heading south is an attractive option as the South Atlantic has abundant marine life, often visible even from the shore.

You should book some things on a typical itinerary in advance because popular activities can be busy. Golfers should certainly ask if tee times are available at the courses they would like to play.

The north still has plenty to think about, ranging from the salt flats, Salinas Grandes, to Iguazu Falls, which attracts people all year around. Later in the spring, tourist numbers will grow as average temperatures climb. You will still need to pack to cater for both rain and cold nights, especially the further south you intend to travel.

Here are some guideline stats but remember there are regional variations:

  • September (Sunrise 0655, Sunset 1840, Average Low Temperature 11C (52F), Average High Temperature Average High 18C (64F))
  • October (Sunrise 0620, Sunset 1900, Average Low Temperature 14C (57F), Average High Temperature 21C (70F)
  • November (Sunrise 0540, Sunset 1940, Average Low Temperature 17C (62F), Average High Temperature 24C (75F)

Five Things to do in Argentina in Spring

1- Explore Rosario
best time to visit rosario argentina
Spring is one of the best times of the year to visit Argentina’s Rosario. Pictured here is the Monumento a la Bandera.

Rosario, in these weeks with warm days and cool nights, is a great city to experience in Santa Fe Province in central Argentina on the Parana River.

Its art nouveau and art deco architecture features significantly.

The river is navigable, so Rosario is a commercial port important for exporting agricultural produce.

Its museums cover every subject imaginable, and you should do your research to select the ones of most interest.

2- See Marine Life On The Valdes Peninsula
the best time to visit argentina three penguins
The best time to visit Argentina for wildlife is in spring.

Valdes Peninsula has a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a nature reserve with abundant fauna.

Orcas, right whales, penguins, seals and sea lions make their homes in the waters.

Puerto Madryn, founded by Welsh settlers in the late 19th century, is well-sheltered and has a museum to teach you more about the history of this great natural environment.

3- Play Golf

Argentina is the home of several quality golfers boasting a few “Majors” on the professional tours.

Several excellent golf courses welcome visitors while hiring clubs, and you will find courses in all the major cities.

If you need a suggested itinerary, plenty of tour companies will be happy to help.

4- Drink Beer At Oktober Beer Festival

The annual Oktober Beer Festival (Festival National de la Cerveza) reflects the number of German people who settled in Argentina in years gone by.

This has been an annual event in Cordoba for almost 60 years and takes place over two weekends.

5- See The Salt Flats
best time to visit salinas grandes argentina
Spring is one of the best times to visit Argentina’s salt planes of Salina Grandes.

Salinas Grandes in central-north Argentina are 4,700 square metres (50,000 square feet) of salt flats, the third largest in the world.

If you visit, you can expect to see walnut plantations, red sandstone mountains, and a small town, Purmamarca, where the locals work on the flats or sell handicrafts to tourists.

The whole setting is stunning.

Top tips:

  • Pack appropriately, knowing there will be rain and cool nights.
  • Always wear comfortable and suitable footwear.
  • Book in advance but look for discounts because this is still low season.

Argentina in Summer

best time of year to visit brazil and argentina
Dramatic aerial view of Iguazu waterfalls in Argentina. No matter what time of year you’re visiting, it is stunning.

Christmas is a significant holiday that corresponds to when tourism reaches its peak. There is a holiday atmosphere, especially in the cities with local markets full of colour.

If you have the time, think seriously about flying across to the foothills of the Andes, the city of Mendoza, famous for its wine, especially Malbec.

If you hire a car for the day from there, you can head into the Andes on a road that ultimately crosses the border into Chile. You will see the highest mountain in South America, Aconcagua and the old Inca bridge, Punta del Ince, created by natural erosion.

Aconcagua is almost 7.000 metres (almost 23,000 feet). Its national park attracts mountaineers but also hikers who will enjoy just getting to base camp along a 14-kilometre (8.7 miles) trail that rises 538 metres (1765 feet).

The best time to visit Argentina’s far south is during these weeks. The stunning natural environment at the bottom end of the continent will amaze you. If you’re keen on hiking, you can walk in these wonderful places with guides to help you. It is possible to enjoy this region without being an experienced hiker.

Here are some guideline stats but remember there are regional variations:

  • December (Sunrise 0540, Sunset 2000, Average Low Temperature 19C (66F), Average High Temperature Average High 27C (81F))
  • January (Sunrise 0600, Sunset 2005, Average Low Temperature 21C (70F), Average High Temperature 28C (83F)
  • February (Sunrise 0620, Sunset 1950, Average Low Temperature 20C (68F), Average High Temperature 27C (81F)

Five Things to do in Argentina in Summer

1- Celebrate A Catholic Christmas

Christmas in a catholic country tends to start early, which is the case in Argentina.

The atmosphere begins to build early in December, so even if you are not in Argentina on 25 December, you will still feel the holiday atmosphere and see the colour associated with decorations and markets.

2- Drink Wine In Mendoza
best time to visit argentina wine country green vineyard
The best time to visit Argentina to tour its wineries is in summer. The Mendoza Region is one of the best.

Mendoza is famous for its vineyards and art deco architecture at the Andes foothills.

Olive oil production is also important, while if you head to the market, you will find many stalls selling everything from fish and meat to local produce.

3- Eat Beef
when is best time to visit argentina
A typical Argentine Asado of meat with vegetables.

Argentina is famous for its beef; unless you’re a vegan or vegetarian, beef should be something you should seek out on restaurant menus.

Look for filet mignon, which is one of the most popular cuts. Its quality comes from natural rearing without growth hormones.

4- Hike Tierra del Fuego National Park
best time of year to visit argentina
The best time to explore Argentina for hiking in Tierra del Fuego National Park, Ushuaia, is in summer when the weather is more comfortable.

Tierra del Fuego National Park covers 156,000 acres (63,000 ha) in the far south, attracting hikers who head down there in significant numbers to walk among its lovely landscapes.

You should not leave the park off your itinerary if you enjoy hiking.

The South Fuegian Railway is a comfortable way to enjoy the landscape.

One of the chances you have to see the iconic condor is while you are here.

5- Gaze At Icebergs
best time of the year to visit argentina glaciers
National Park Los Glaciares, Patagonia, Argentina.

Los Glaciares National Park in Santa Cruz in southwest Argentina includes Lake Argentina, 160 km (100 miles) long.

Three glaciers feed into the lake, and if you are lucky, you may see a huge iceberg drop into the waters.

Top tips:

  • Ensure you pack everything you need for visiting the natural environment
  • Daytime temperatures are often high, so wear light clothing and carry water.
  • It is high season, and you will find high prices and limited accommodation alternatives in some places unless you have booked in advance.

Argentina in Autumn

when is the best time to visit patagonia argentina
The best time to visit Argentina for ethereal views is in autumn. Fitz Roy Moutain in Patagonia’s El Chalten is simply stunning.

Tourists often pick these months to visit Argentina as it’s a transitional period between high season and the coldest weeks of the year.

The south is still worth a visit before really cold weather sets in. The Atlantic coastline is also still appealing, with the pampas at a similar latitude.

The cities in the north, and Buenos Aires, are particularly appealing as tourist numbers start to fall. Mild weather and competitive prices are good reasons to visit Argentina in autumn.

If you are in Buenos Aires or any large city, it may be worth your enquiring about going to a soccer match as the season comes towards a close. Few nations are as passionate about soccer as Argentina, and the atmosphere is sure to be electric.

Here are some guideline stats but remember there are regional variations:

  • March (Sunrise 0650, Sunset 1910, Average Low Temperature 19C (66F), Average High Temperature Average High 25C (77F))
  • April (Sunrise 0720, Sunset 1820, Average Low Temperature 15C (59F), Average High Temperature 22C (72F)
  • May (Sunrise 0740, Sunset 1800, Average Low Temperature 12C (54F), Average High Temperature 18C (64F)

Five Things to do in Argentina in Autumn

1- Enjoy The Beach

Mar del Plata Beaches, 400 km (250 miles) south of Buenos Aires, are popular locally.

Long stretches of sand, dunes and cliffs are what will greet you if you visit.

Juan Manuel Fangio Museum in the town records the life of Argentina’s most famous racing driver, a five-time champion.

Families will enjoy the aquarium with dolphins, seals, penguins and even flamingos.

2- Have Fun At Festival International de Ushuaia

The Festival International de Ushuaia is an important event. Ushuaia is the world’s southernmost city and was originally a penal colony.

The festival is cultural and educational, with plenty of emphasis on films and the environment.

3- Explore San Ignacio
best time to visit brazil and argentina
The ruins of the Jesuit mission of San Ignacio Mini are one of the best preserved UNESCO World Heritage ruins. The best time to visit Argentina to explore these ruins is autumn.

San Ignacio Mini Ruins near the border with Brazil are interesting.

In the 17th Century, Jesuit missions housed a significant indigenous population.

San Ignacio is the best-preserved of those missions, deservedly earning the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The best ruins are those of the church, whose dimensions are 74 m (240 feet) by 24 m (79 feet).

4- Discover Quebrada de Humahuaca
what is the best time to visit argentina
Colourful walls of the canyon in Quebrada de Humahuaca in Jujuy province. The best time to visit Argentina to see this landmark is in May.

Quebrada de Humahuaca is a deep ravine in Argentina’s northwest, and rivers begin to run again after being dry.

The rocks vary from red to pink and orange, almost giving the appearance of being painted.

This UNESCO World Heritage region is at altitude, the small town of Iruya at 2700 m (8860 ft)

5- Be A Gaucho in The Pampas

The pampas, the home of the Argentinian cowboy, the gaucho, is the fertile region inland from the Atlantic coast, south of Buenos Aires.

This is when the flowers blossom, with the temperature pleasant for touring around and visiting a ranch.

Top tips:

  • Don’t take any chances if you are hiking or climbing; always have a guide.
  • Researching in advance of your trip will help you make the most of your travels in Argentina.
  • Prepare for cool nights, especially at altitude.

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Steve Smith is a widely travelled man who has lived on the South West Coast of Turkey since 2008. He hails from North East England where he lived most of his life but has been to every continent of the world, with a particular love for Southern Africa and its wildlife. He lists Argentina, India, and Vietnam as other favourite places that he enjoyed greatly while sport is also a passion, cricket and golf as a participant, rugby union and soccer as a spectator.