While it might be true that Argentina’s Patagonia region is known for its cold climate, glaciers and close proximity to Antarctica, a common misconception of Patagonia is that it is too cold to visit during the winter. Many people assume that the summer is the only time of year for visiting Patagonia, but in reality Patagonia is a great place to visit all year around. The truth of the matter is, while it is certainly cold in the winter, there are many other popular destinations, particularly places like New York and Chicago, that have similar winter climates. Additionally, Patagonia has many features that make it a very desirable destination to visit in the winter, including arctic wildlife, skiing and ice skating.
One of the most popular destinations in Patagonia is Bariloche. Located adjacent to the Andes mountain range that separates Argentina from Chile, Bariloche has many features that make it an ideal destination for a winter vacation. As one of the premier skiing destinations in the country, you will find one of Argentina’s most visited ski resorts here. No matter what level of experience you have with skiing, there are opportunities for everyone. In addition, Bariloche is also known for its production of chocolate. In the winter, this becomes an especially attractive feature as visitors take advantage of the hot chocolate to stay warm after a day on the slopes. For these reasons, winter is not an obstacle for Bariloche, but rather an added benefit.
Further south from Bariloche is El Calafate, another popular Patagonian destination. Most famous for its close proximity to Argentina’s Perito Moreno Glacier, Calafate is a popular tourist destination throughout all seasons of the year. Unlike Bariloche, Calafate lacks skiing resorts, but instead offers visitors a unique chance to see a myriad of glaciers. Guests can travel by land to the largest of the glaciers, Perito Moreno, and from there can get on a boat to tour the rest of the area’s glaciers. This experience promises to be unique and unforgettable, regardless of the season. In addition, if you’re in Calafate during the winter, you will have the opportunity to ice skate on a portion of Lake Argentino that freezes over and becomes a natural ice rink.
Another famous Patagonian treasure is Puerto Madryn. Unique from Bariloche and Calafate, Puerto Madryn is located on Argentina’s Atlantic coast and because of this offers visitors a chance to see a great selection of arctic wildlife, including whales and penguins. While the other destinations are popular tourist spots all year around, Puerto Madryn is particularly special in the winter as whales migrate to its coastal waters to give birth to their young beginning in the winter months. Visitors can take a guided boat tour to see these majestic creatures and experience this phenomenon up close. A truly unrivaled opportunity, winter is the prime time of the year to visit Puerto Madryn.
If you are interested in planning a trip to Argentina’s Patagonia region, don’t hesitate to do so during the winter months. While the temperatures will be colder than those of the summer, this will not prevent you from enjoying the unique sights that Patagonia offers. From the beautiful lakes and mountains of Bariloche to the glaciers of Calafate and the whales of Puerto Madryn, visiting Patagonia will be an unforgettable experience no matter what season.
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Written by Will Collier