Patagonia in May: End of the Shoulder Season


With shorter days and chilly weather, Patagonia in May experiences the end of the shoulder season. Although a lot of hotels, attractions, and restaurants close when the first winter snow starts falling, northern Patagonia is still warm enough for trekking, and further south, ski resorts are just getting started for the upcoming winter fun. Travelers will enjoy Patagonia with fewer tourists than at any other time of year. From endless pampas to soaring peaks, to glacial rivers, visiting Patagonia in May is as good a month as any.

Patagonia Weather in May

Path between snowy autumn trees in a park of Patagonia in Argentina.
Patagonia in May is a place where you can experience four seasons in a single day, from dry, arid wind to snow flurries and sunshine.

From dry and arid wind to snow flurries and sunshine, Patagonia in May is a place where you can experience four seasons in one day. South of the equator, with only the cold Southern Ocean between you and Antarctica, expect the weather to be generally cold, wet, and snowy. Temperatures across the region range from 5°C to 15°C. Due to the vast area that Patagonia covers, however, you can expect a variation in climate across the continent. The average rainfall in the subantarctic city, Ushuaia, is 53mm, while northern Patagonia sees an average rainfall of only 23mm across May.

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

Why Visit Patagonia in May

Traditional style grilled meat barbeque in Descent of the Muleteers.
Try out some local cuisine in Descent of the Muleteers Festival during your visit to Patagonia in May.

Do not let the cold weather stop you from visiting Patagonia in May. In fact, the assortment of alluring outdoor areas you can explore in May is unmatched by any other place. Here are some reasons why you shouldvisit Patagonia in May:

Rosehip Binational festival: Bariloche is a vibrant town that welcomes many people on their winter holidays. In May, the town hosts the Rosehip Binational festival, which brings Chileans and Argentinians together to elect ‘the Queen of the Rosehip’.

The descent of the Muleteers festival: Visit Lonopué, in Argentinian Patagonia, during the second week of May for the festival of the Muleteers. Learn about the folk traditions and sample some regional food and wine.

May day of the revolution: Throughout Argentina in May, you can expect to be swept up in there. Most patriotic week of the year, as Argentinians celebrate their Independence Day. Enjoy music, art, and food whilst sipping a hot mate.

Where to Go and What to Do

Martial Glacier in Ushuaia
Martial Glacier, one of the most important tourist attractions situated a few kilometers to the northeast of the city of Ushuaia.

As the weather in Patagonia gets colder in May, travel to Torres del Paine where you will find it less crowded with tourists. Although some roads may be closed due to bad weather, even in the winter there is no shortage of walking routes that wind along glacial river valleys with craggy peaks on either side. After a day out amongst the awe-inspiring vistas, settle in for a cozy evening by the fire with a glass or two of Argentinian Malbec.

Wildlife lovers will have a chance to spot the likes of skunks, armadillos, and the quirky cousin of the llama - the guanaco. If you are lucky, you might even get to see the famous Puma or a majestic Andean condor. For those who like a slice of culture, Patagonia is known for activities such as sheep shearing, rodeo, and horsemanship.

If the winter snow holds off throughout May, consider a kayaking adventure through Patagonia’s fjords, learning about the fascinating ecology as you go. Glide up to the foot of a glacier and be inspired by the frontier-like feel of the place. If the snow comes early, get your skis on and head for Ushuaia or Bariloche for fun winter sports.

The weather in Patagonia in May is just beginning to reach winter temperatures, so it is advisable to take warm clothes, a rain jacket, and boots - especially if you’re planning on trekking. You will also want to make sure that you plan and book your adventure in advance to ensure you do not get caught short by low-season attraction closures.

Patagonia is beautiful at any time of year. Take your time to explore the rugged coastlines and towering peaks of this vast and wild part of the world by visiting Patagonia in May. While the weather will not be up to par, you will get to take advantage of low tourist crowds and off-season deals.

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

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