El Calafate is one of the most popular destinations in Argentine Patagonia. The important thing when planning a trip to Patagonia is to check if there are enough flight offers, and if the natural highlights you want to see are available (during winter, some national parks closed) which is not the case for Glacier National Park, home of Perito Moreno Glacier.
1. Why is summer the best time to visit El Calafate?
- Patagonia doesn’t characterize as being exactly warm… but during summer you can enjoy a tolerable 13°C during your outdoor activities.
- As El Calafate is located in the far southern hemisphere, during summer you can enjoy up to 17 hours of daylight (during winter, sunlight is far less generous…).
- Rains are unusual during summer.
- If you go in February you’ll enjoy the 2-week Festival del Lago Argentino where cultural and sports events are held.
- A bad one: the wind blows still like hell in summer (not much to do about the win in Patagonia…)
Now that you know when is the best time to visit El Calafate, you have to know that, probably, many others have read this helpful article too. This leads to an inevitable fact: during summer El Calafate and the walkways of Perito Moreno Glacier will be crowded. So, “Is summer the best time to visit El Calafate, if I want to be alone with the mighty glaciers?”. The answer is no.
2. Spring: not THE BEST but a good time to visit El Calafate
The best time to visit El Calafate and Patagonia, in general, is summer (from December to February). However, you can try to visit the Perito Moreno Glacier, the main attraction in El Calafate during spring or at the end of the beginning of winter too. Spring in Argentina goes from September to November and many travelers choose it too to visit the country, because:
- Temperatures rise to 11°C and down to 5°C.
- Daylight is still generous: from 12 to 16 hours.
- It won’t probably rain (4 times a month is the average in spring)
- A bad one: November is the windiest month….
3. Can I visit El Calafate in winter?
Yes, you can, but you need to take into account that many places can be closed due to the heavy weather (it usually snows in Patagonia), days will be shorter and temperatures can drop to -2°C. But the good news is that you’ll have a few windy days and you’ll be practically alone with the Perito Moreno to take your best shot.
So… when is really the best time to visit El Calafate?
Well, spring and autumn (from March to August) are probably the best options for the weather and the affluent of visitors. Though Autumn is still a bit rainy, winds are calm and you’ll have enough daylight to explore.
All this being said, the best time to visit El Calafate, in fact, is whenever your heart wants, since in each season you’ll have advantages and disadvantages. The important thing when planning a trip to Patagonia is to check if there is there are enough flight offers, and if the natural highlights you want to see are available (during winter, some national parks close) which is not the case with Glaciers National Park where sits the Perito Moreno.