The best time to visit Argentina is in summer, from December to March. Argentina is a vast country, extending 2,360 miles from the tropical north to Patagonia in the subantarctic south, so summer is the ideal time to enjoy everything from street tango performances in Buenos Aires to colonies of penguins in Patagonia.
Argentina’s Southern Hemisphere setting means the seasons are flipped, so visitors from the north can conveniently escape their own winters to explore the country’s famed vineyards, soaring mountains, unusual wildlife, and buzzing cities.
Visiting Argentina By Season
In such a vast country as Argentina, seasons are variable by region. Summers are hot and humid in the north, but much milder and drier in the south. Southern winters are harsh, but the north remains dry and warm. The central part is, well, somewhere in the middle.
Peak summer is from December through February, although the warm weather runs nearly into April. Christmas and New Year’s are the busiest holiday times, and February’s Carnival is a major event.
December is penguin season in Patagonia, as well as a key time for hiking and glacier walks. The penguin colonies near Puerto Madryn start filling later in September, but reach their greatest numbers (up to a million) by March.
This is the best time to explore the natural wonders around Ushuaia in the extreme south of the country. The country’s northern beaches are also booming.
April to June is the best time to visit Buenos Aires in terms of weather. The summer rain showers ease off, but the weather is still warm and nights mild.
The penguin colonies of Puerto Madryn, and the Valdes Peninsula, leave by early autumn. However, bird-watchers will still enjoy seeing other migrating birds such as the record-breaking red knot, a sandpiper species.
Even in winter, from July through August, Buenos Aires’ temperatures remain mild, albeit chilly, at night. This is a season for indoor events such as the Buenos Aires Tango Festival, Jazz Festival, and Fashion Week.
In Patagonia, the ski season also kicks off in July. However, the surrounding oceans keep winters milder than in latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere
Spring is arguably the best time to go to Argentina. From September to November, the Lake District blooms with wildflowers. Buenos Aires also sees the jacaranda trees lining its streets burst into shades of violet and purple, while colorful roses fill the city’s parks.
Temperatures in the capital start to reach highs of 71°F (21°C), and even Patagonia throws off its winter lows for some pleasant hiking weather. The wildlife of Puerto Madryn is also appearing, particularly migratory whales and penguins.
When Is Rainy Season?
The rainy season in Argentina coincides with summer, except in Patagonia, which is at its driest. You can expect thunderstorms in the country’s central belt and across the pampas.
These storms are at their strongest along the base of the Andes, where cold, dry winds (“pamperos”) blow from the southwest, hitting warmer, wetter winds from the north to create heavy rainstorms.
The pampero is much more welcome when it reaches Buenos Aires, where it can ease the hot summer weather with a pleasant breeze. Its rival is the sudestada, a southeasterly wind that brings sudden heavy rains to the capital from April into December.
When Is High Season?
High season in Argentina is from December to March. This is the southern summer, so it’s a good time to escape northern winter. Temperatures peak in January/February, and this is when the beaches are at their best.
While some days in the north can be too hot for some, with Buenos Aires enjoying average highs of 84°F (29°C) in January, the Argentine Lake District’s summer is ideal for hiking or golfing. This is also peak hiking and penguin viewing season in Patagonia, where temperatures peak at around 71°F (21°C) in February.
When Is Shoulder Season?
The months from September to November (spring), and March through May (fall) are the shoulder seasons in Argentina. These are great months to visit Buenos Aires for fewer crowds and mild weather.
They are also a good time to enjoy the Lake District or northern Patagonia, for spring flowers, and autumn leaf displays.
When Is Low Season?
June to August, winter, is the low season in Argentina, and the best time to visit the northern regions.