In the southern reaches of South America stands Patagonia – a region steeped in history, culture and tradition.
However, if you look a little closer, you’ll find that Patagonia also supports a number of different environments. From mountainous terrain to sea-level lakes, this means there can be extreme variations in temperature during your summer Patagonia trek with Aurora Expeditions.
To ensure you have all the right clothing to stay nice and warm, take a look at our Patagonia climate guide and familiarise yourself with what to expect on tour!
Influences on Patagonia weather
Firstly, it is important to consider the various factors that impact Patagonia in comparison to the rest of South America. Generally, Patagonia is much cooler and drier due to its positioning with the South Pacific Ocean, Southern Ocean and the Andes – all combining to produce colder, stronger winds which in turn reduces the overall temperature of the region.
Even during the summer, when we host our Patagonian adventures, temperatures will most likely peak around 22°C – with the wind-chill making it feel a lot colder than this.
Unpredictability is certainly one of the facets of the Patagonian climate – the weather can change on a dime with the region able to get all four seasons at once. For example, you could be comfortably trekking in around 20°C before a fresh breeze brings a cool change. Night time is also much colder during the Patagonian summer than we experience here in Australia.
Using the itinerary for the Patagonia Discovery, we’ll discuss the various types of climate that you could experience with Aurora Expeditions. Of course, a reversed tour schedule is also available.
El Calafate (Los Glaciares National Park)
El Calafate is known as the gateway to Los Glaciares National Park and is on the edge of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field in the Andes. Both locations have a cool and moist temperate climate and the temperature is often affected by the altitude. In the summer, this part of Patagonia can reach around 13°C with the mercury dropping the higher you climb.
Rainfall across El Calafate and Los Glaciares National Park is quite consistent throughout the year so be prepared with a good rain jacket and umbrella when exploring the Perito Moreno Glacier!
Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre base camps
As the trip continues, we head higher through the beech forests and orchards to the climbers’ base camps of Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre. In this environment, the temperatures can get quite cold even during the summer, with high winds possible in exposed areas. The rain in Patagonia also gets caught in the Andes – falling as snow in the winter – so be alert for sudden slips and flooding.
This highlights the importance of having the right clothing with you during your journey with Aurora Expeditions. The higher the altitude, the more chance of a change in the weather so it pays to be aware of your environment.
Back down from the altitude on the shores of Seno Ultima Esperanza near Puerto Natales, it is possible to catch your breath and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Particularly during the summer, the climate is warm and temperature with the warmest month being January (around 18°C).
However, it is worth noting that the rainfall in Puerto Natales is significant even throughout the summer. As the clouds roll over the Andes and onto the steppe, there is the chance for sudden showers, so you’ll need to have that rain jacket and umbrella ready.
Torres Del Paine National Park
With its pale blue glacial lakes and icebergs, the Torres Del Paine National Park is certainly a sight to be seen. Back at a reasonable altitude, the summer average temperature is only around 11°C – with changeable conditions, this can quickly rise or drop depending on the weather gods.
The wind can also be a bit of a challenge in Torres Del Paine National Park. There is a saying that the wind will decrease, but always be there – increasing the wind-chill in the process.
Your Patagonia Discovery Trek will also stop by Punta Arenas, an urban centre in the extreme south of Patagonia. The part of the region is arguably the coldest, with temperatures often not reaching higher than 6 degrees. During the summer, it could get to 24°C, but this is in extreme conditions.
It can also rain substantially in Punta Arenas. Meteorologists record an annual rainfall of around 425mm – falling as snow during the winter.
Understanding Patagonian conditions
The climate in Patagonia changes from day to day and even place to place. As such, it’s important to adhere to the information provided by Aurora Expeditions before heading off on your adventure!