Patagonia in December: Weather, Tips and More

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With an abundance of sunshine, pleasant weather, and longer daylight hours, Patagonia in December provides a perfect trifecta for endless outdoor fun. The shoulder season between spring and summer is a wonderful time to travel to Patagonia. If you are considering visiting Patagonia in December, you are in for a treat. But do make sure to book your tour ahead of time and try to arrange your holiday in the first half of the month before the holiday tour groups arrive. That way, you will have the best chance of enjoying a crowd-free tour and avoiding price hikes.

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Patagonia Weather in December

An aerial view of Nahuel Huapi Lake in a lake district In Patagonia.
Although the south may be colder than the north and central regions, Patagonia in December is normally pleasant and warm with plenty of sunshine.

The weather in Patagonia in December is mostly pleasant, with the average temperature hovering between 10°C and 21°C. All the regions are typically warm with abundant sunshine, although the south may be cooler than the north and central areas. As with all seasons, December weather in Patagonia can be slightly erratic. Plus, the infamous Patagonia winds tend to be strongest during the summer months. We advise you to prepare for a variety of microclimates.

For a more seasonal overview, check out our guide on the best time to visit Patagonia.

  Torres del Paine Ushuaia El Calafate El Chalten
Avg high 18°C 15°C 20°C 22°C
Avg low 7°C 5°C 8°C 9°C
Rainfall (mm) 50 55 40 35

Why Visit Patagonia in December

Sea lion at the beach during December in Patagonia.
Spot sea lions that migrate closer to the shore during the summer breeding season.
Crowd watching fireworks during New Year's eve in Patagonia.
Take in the breathtaking show of fireworks while celebrating New Year's eve in Patagonia.

Below are a few other reasons that explain why visiting Patagonia in December is an excellent idea:

  • Outdoor fun: December is one of the best periods for outdoor fun in Patagonia. The weather is as pleasant as it gets, and all the tourist attractions would be open, giving you an unlimited range of activities to choose from.
  • Wildlife adventure: December is one of the best months for hybrid wildlife spotting in Patagonia. In one land, rare species like guanacos and pumas come out to enjoy the warmth after hibernation for most of the Spring. And on the coast, elephant seals, sea lions, and penguins move closer to the beaches over the summer breeding period.
  • Street parties and fireworks: Celebratory fireworks on New Year's Eve and held virtually everywhere in the world, but Patagonia takes the celebration to the next level. The mood in the region heightens well before the eve. You can head to Argentina's Puerto Madero to enjoy the breathtaking sight of the fireworks shooting over the river.

Where to Go and What to Do

Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia, Chile
Torres del Paine National Park, a national park encompassing mountains, glaciers, lakes, and rivers in southern Chilean Patagonia.

December in Patagonia offers a diverse range of places to visit and activities, from hiking in Chile's Torres del Paine to kayaking in the Eberhard Fjord to wildlife spotting in Los Glaciares National Park.

The world-famous Perito Moreno Glacier is at the top of the list of things to enjoy in Argentina's Los Glaciares National Park. We recommend booking a boat tour to view this glacier and many other lesser-known ones up close.

There are also plenty of spectacularly-preserved landscapes that are worth your time when traveling in Patagonia in December. You can explore Lake District on horseback or on foot. We highly recommend that you take a stroll through the streets of Bariloche to enjoy some of the best chocolate in the world.

If you wish to learn more about South America's cowboy culture, you will be glad to know that Patagonia is home to some of the most famous estancias on the continent. Learn about ranch life while taking part in horseback riding, boating, traditional BBQ, and magnificent vistas at Estancia La Peninsula or Estancia Cristina.

Moving to Chile, the period is perfect for a multi-day hike in Torres del Paine, and the popular "W" circuit comes highly recommended. You will enjoy spectacular views of vast ice fields, sharply-defined peaks, and azure lakes. If you are feeling up to it, you can attempt the more challenging "O" circuit and enjoy even more spectacular views.

Still, on the Chilean side, you can take a break from touristy activities by enjoying the little pleasures on offer in the small town of Puerto Natales. Consider taking a leisurely stroll past the colorfully painted homes and seeing how their tin roofs light up in the setting sun or wandering the waterfront promenade for breathtaking views of Cerro Toro's top.

What to Bring

A tourist standing on a mighty stream in Patagonia.
Since the weather in Patagonia is notoriously erratic throughout the year, you should pack some warm clothing with you, such as a winter jacket and gloves.

If you are not sure what to pack for Patagonia in December, we recommend packing everything because Patagonia weather is notoriously unpredictable all year. During this time, the winds can be very brisk and the evenings can get chilly. You should thus bring some warm gear with you, such as a winter jacket, thermal underwear, and gloves. And, do not forget some waterproof gear too, as summer rains are somewhat frequent in Patagonia.

Patagonia in December is the dream for adventure lovers. The weather is mostly warm and pleasant, and all the region's tourist highlights will be fully open and ready for exploration. However, we advise making your reservations at least a few months ahead because crowds and costs are their highest during this period.

If you have managed to snag a trip to Patagonia in December, you have most certainly made the right decision. For ideas on what you can do on your trip to Patagonia in December, see our guide on the things to do in Patagonia.

Other related articles:
Patagonia in November
Patagonia in January

Published by Astha Joshi, updated on June 21, 2023

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