Patagonia in January: A Sneak Peak Into Summer


A trip to Patagonia in January places you right in the middle of the peak tourist season. Its summertime climate is ideal for a wide range of outdoor activities, making January one of the best months to visit the region. Take a road trip to Bariloche, a trek to El Chaltén, or hop on a boat expedition to Puerto Rio Tranquilo. You can also go on a kayaking adventure in Torres del Paine, or enjoy a thrilling white water rafting experience in Futaleufu River in northern Patagonia. With a long list of activities to do and sights to see, Patagonia in January is in a hospitable mood to entertain visitors. 

Patagonia Weather in January

A clear sky during January in Bariloche, Patagonia
The daytime temperature rises, making it the ideal time to practice lake sports in Bariloche.

Patagonia experiences its warmest weather throughout January. Nevertheless, given its sheer size that straddles Chile and Argentina, temperatures vary considerably depending on where you visit. The average high temperature in January ranges between 5°C and 16°C. In the northern part of Patagonia, it is warmer, with the daytime high reaching well over 20°C. This is a perfect time to go hiking and engage in lake sports in Bariloche or Puerto Mont. Places like Peninsula Valdés in northern Patagonia do tend to get unexpectedly hot around this time. It is much cooler in southern Patagonia, but expect rain showers in places like Tierra del Fuego.

Get the seasonal outline of the country, by reading our travel guide on the best time to visit Patagonia.

Why Visit Patagonia in January

A group of people trekking in the mountains of Patagonia.
You will enjoy trekking on the clear trails and the perfect summer weather in Patagonia.
Puma walking in the mountain environment in Torres del Paine National Park.
Spot Pumas in the National Parks of Patagonia during your visit in January.

January is among the busiest times of the year in terms of tourism. Travelers from around the world come to explore the region’s glaciers, national parks, and wildlife. Here are some reasons why visiting Patagonia in January is a good idea:

  • Events and festivals: January is a great time to see sheep-shearing festivals in Villa Tehuelches and attend the greatest rodeo in northern Patagonia at Puerto Ibáez. You can also join a pilgrimage to the Virgin of Montserrat, where locals rekindle their faith and renew their bonds with family by enjoying intimate picnics. In January, Frutillar, a village in Chile's Lake District, hosts a musical performance at its Teatro de Frutillar, featuring artists ranging from classical to hip-hop genres. You can also take part in Muestra Cultural Mapuche to enjoy native music and ceremonial dance.
  • City sightseeing: The Patagonia weather in January is mild and pleasant, allowing you to enjoy its many natural wonders in all their glory, including the must-see Patagonia glaciers.
  • Outdoor fun: The summer weather, coupled with clear trails and gushing waters, creates the optimum conditions for trekking and adventure sports like white water rafting and mountain biking. Check out our article on the best treks in Patagonia.
  • Wildlife adventure: January is a great time for wildlife sightings in Patagonia. If you are lucky, you will be able to spot some rare animals like nandus, guanacos, pumas, pudus, and condors.

Where to Go and What to Do

Lake Nahuel Huapi during clear weather in Patagonia.
Lake Nahuel Huapi's crystal clear are very susceptible to climate changes which makes it both beautiful and treacherous.

Bariloche, Puerto Varas, Punta Arenas, and El Calafate are some of the best places to explore in Patagonia in January. Start your journey from Bariloche, driving along Nahuel Huapi Lake's edge, visiting gorgeous Baha López or López Bay. Sample some of Bariloche's world-famous chocolate while you are there.

In the Lake District, enjoy mountain biking and white water rafting before taking a catamaran trip through Nahuel Huapi, Lago Frias, and Todos Los Santos lakes to one of the most spectacular border crossings in the world, the Andean Lakes Crossing. Next, take a ferry ride from Puerto Varas to the popular fishing island of Chiloé, known for its brightly painted wooden stilt houses. While there, visit the nearby penguin colony.

Then, hike the Desolation Pass trail in Chile's oldest national park, Vicente Pérez Rosales. Fly to Punta Arenas before transferring to Torres del Paine National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and home to native species of ostrich, eagles, foxes, and armadillos. Head to El Calafate, the starting point for your exploration of Los Glaciares National Park. Then take a boat ride around the Perito Moreno Glacier's front wall. Whether you are exploring the Chilean or the Argentine side, the things to do in Patagonia are endless.

What to Bring

A man hiking through the beautiful mountains of Patagonia.
Patagonia is known for its unpredictable weather, and you might experience all four seasons in a single day, so pack a windbreaker and lots of layers.

Pack a windbreaker and many layers while traveling to Patagonia because the weather there is notoriously unpredictable and you could experience all four seasons in a single day, even during the hottest time of the year. 

Travelers from all over the world have always been mesmerized by Patagonia's untamed, arid, yet stunning landscape. Patagonia in January is when the weather is at its best for a wide range of outdoor activities, from wildlife spotting and trekking to white water rafting, glacier hiking, and kayaking. Even though traveling to Patagonia in January might be on the pricier side, there is no better time to explore the region.

You have undoubtedly chosen wisely if you were able to book a trip to Patagonia in January. For ideas on planning a trip to Patagonia, see our guide on how to plan a trip to Patagonia.

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