Argentina – when to go
Argentina is a big country, so the best time to go varies depending on where you're heading.
Apart from the subtropical Mesopotamia region in the country's northeast, Argentina is in the temperate zone, meaning it has cool, dry weather in the south and is warmer and humid in the centre. January and February are the hottest months in much of the country, when temperatures can reach the high 30s. The winter months, between about July and October, can get quite cool.
This guide will give you information on:
Best time to visit
- Buenos Aires and the grassland plains known as the Pampas are at their best in the autumn and spring. In the Pampas, you can visit and stay at cattle and sheep ranches (known locally as estancias) and trail ride with the gauchos (Argentine cowboys).
- Resorts and beaches fill up over the summer, particularly between late December and January, and remain busy through to March. During winter, many beach towns and resorts close down. The most popular beach destinations are Mar del Plata (a city approximately five hours from Buenos Aires), and a number of less popular ones such as Pinamar, Villa Gesell, Carilo and Mar de las Pampas on the Atlantic coast.
- Patagonia, the plateau at the bottom of South America, is most appealing (and expensive) in the warmer and longer days of summer, December to February. The area is known for wildlife watching – you can see whales from Puerto Madryn beaches and on boat tours from June to December, penguins from September to April, and elephant seals and sea lions any time of the year. The area is home to three national parks: Los Glaciares (where you will find the famed Perito Moreno Glacier), Nahuel Huapi and Tierra del Fuego.
- The Andes Mountains in the country's northwest, known for outdoor and adventure activities such as trekking, fishing, hiking, rafting and rappelling, get very cold in winter, so are best seen from December to February. May to September is ski season, with ski resorts at their busiest from June to August.
- Argentina's northwest is also home to Salta where you can ascend 3000 metres into the Andes on the "Train to the Clouds", see the stunning Hill of Seven Colours (Cerro de los Siete Colores) in Purmamarca, and the Salinas Grandes salt plain. This part of the country tends to be relatively mild year-round, yet rainy in summer. Spring and early summer (September to December) are a good time of year, with warm weather and lush landscapes.
- The Iguazu Falls are best viewed in winter, when the region tends to be dryer, or spring. In the wet season, the area can suffer from flooding, which may disrupt your trip.
- Mendoza, Argentina's famed wine region, hosts the National Grape Harvest Festival of Argentina in the first week of March. From Mendoza you can take day trips to the Andes, bike ride through vineyards or go whitewater rafting.
Peak and off-peak seasons
Low season: June-August.
Shoulder season: September-November and March-May.
High season: November-February and July.
- 1 January – New Year's Day
- February/March – Monday and Tuesday, Carnaval and Shrove Tuesday
- 24 March – Day of Remembrance for Truth and Justice
- March/April – Easter holidays (Maundy Thursday and Good Friday)
- 2 April – Malvinas Day (Day of the Veterans and Fallen of the Malvinas War)
- 1 May – Labor Day
- 25 May – May Day Revolution
- 17 June – Commemoration of General Don Martín Miguel de Güemes
- 20 June – National Flag Day
- 9 July – Independence Day
- Third Monday in August – San Martin's Day
- Second Monday in October – Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity
- Fourth Monday in November – National Sovereignty Day
- 8 December – Immaculate Conception Day
- 25 December – Christmas Day