Perhaps it was a picture of glacially fed lakes amidst snow-peaked mountains or hearing the travel tales of a friend that first sparked your interest to this place. For whatever reason that initially attracted you here, you’re excited about your upcoming travel agenda to Patagonia, but you’re still not sure what to pack. To get an idea of the different Patagonia seasons and what to bring, check out our advice for a first time Patagonia traveler so that you travel prepared.
From the glacially-fed lakes in Chile’s Torres del Paine national park to the Andean peaks of Argentina, Patagonia is a wonderland for adventure seekers and outdoor lovers. However, the weather in Patagonia is very unpredictable and it’s best go prepared.
The seasons and climate in South America are opposite to that in the northern hemisphere. While its winter in North America, people in South America enjoy summer and vice-versa. Most travelers come to Patagonia during the summer months from November through January when the daily temperature is typically 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a great time to check out the Perito Moreno Glacier or explore Argentina’s trekking capital of El Chalten, so be sure to pack comfortable hiking shoes and a daypack for your outdoor excursions. Sunglasses, sunblock and a hat are also a must because the sun in Patagonia is extremely strong, even on cloudy days.
Temperatures are cooler at higher altitudes and drop at night, but there’s really no telling what weather conditions you may encounter on your trip to Patagonia. Rain, snow and strong winds, even during the summer months, are a possibility in Patagonia and it’s best to wear layers. Pack a few long-sleeve shirts and a heavier, water-resistant jacket to wear over your short sleeve t-shirts. This will allow you to add or shed layers to stay comfortable. A scarf, ear muffs and gloves can always provide extra warmth.
You’ll definitely want to take pictures of the stunning landscapes while you’re traveling through Patagonia. Don’t forget to pack a camera along with any charging devices, batteries and extra memory cards so that you can share your experience with people back home!
Wifi or dial-up? What’s the voltage like? Read our tips and advice about charging, using, and taking care of your electronic devices while traveling through Patagonia in Argentina.
Specific packing details will depend on what activities your have planned during your trip and what time of the year you come to Patagonia. Beyond socks and underwear, here’s a list to get you started:
- sun protection (sunglasses, a hat and sunscreen)
- scarf and gloves
- reusable water bottle
- headlamp (optional, but good to have)
- binoculars (optional, but good for seeing nature up-close)
- hiking shoes (water-proof or water resistant)
- light, warm fleece or jacket
- wind and/or water-resistant jacket
- jeans and hiking pants
- any personal medications and toiletries
- international outlet converter
- credit/debit cards
- passport and visa
Summer-specific Patagonia checklist:
- insect repellent
- bathing suit
- trekking poles (optional)
Winter Patagonia-goers should pack for very cold temperatures and stormy conditions. The town of Bariloche is a popular winter destination that offers the region’s best skiing and snowboarding. If you’re planning a trip to Patagonia from June through September, pack your long underwear, a few extra wool sweaters, and an extra warm winter coat to wear over your other layers.
When are you going to visit Patagonia? The summer months of Patagonia are here and there are a lot of different travel options. For help planning your own adventure, chat with one of our travel advisors to create a customized trip to Patagonia.
Britt is a California native who left her home to explore South America in 2013 and now lives in Peru. She’s just a little obsessed about planning getaways with her family, scuba diving, and trekking.