Planning a trip to Argentina this winter? You could do worse than visiting Patagonia, for although it may be cold, this part of the country is home to some unique landscapes which dazzle in the snow. Below we’ve listed the key destinations in the Argentinean Patagonia, along with the best winter activities in Patagonia to carry out in each one.
Winter activities in Bariloche
Skiing in Bariloche
Cerro Catedral, located around half an hour from the city centre, is probably the most popular destination during winter in Bariloche, primarily due to the fantastic skiing available. Likewise, Cerro Chapelco, located just outside of San Martin de Los Andes, is another famous ski centre of the region of the region thanks to its artificial ski slopes.
If you are a beginner or that you have never skied before, do not worry! You can take a first ski or snowboard lesson with professional instructors, and there are even ski lessons available for children and a ski excursion to Piedras Blancas, one of the top ski centres of Patagonia where you can glide using a sledge in its 3 km of slopes.
Looking to warm up after a day in the snow? You’ll also find hot springs here, one of which is in the in Llao Llao Hotel, and the others in Apart y Spa Costa Serena and La Posada Spa, both located near Villa La Angostura. Caviahue, a ski resort slightly further north of the city, also offers a ski in-out option that will enable you to get out of the hotel with your skis on so that you can immediately begin a fun day in the snow!
Hot springs lovers can go as far as Chile, very close to the Argentinian border where you will find the Hot Springs Route: the hot water comes from the bottom of the volcanos there. You can choose amongst more than 15 establishments in the circuit between Liquiñe and Coñaripe. You can access it easily enough from Bariloche and they have top-notch hotels and installations such as the Puyehue Wellness and Spa Resort.
Be sure to check the weather forecast before booking your tour, as you may experience problems with some services when there is snow. The 7 Lakes Route, for example, takes you down one road which isn’t a highway and becomes dangerous to drive along in snowy conditions.
Winter activities in Puerto MadrynIt’s whale-watching season in Puerto Madryn! / Source
The main reason people visit Puerto Madryn is for the chance to spot the famous Southern right whale, anytime between June and December. Click here to see the maritime wildlife calendar in Puerto Madryn.
Whales and sea lions watching
There is a wide range of watching activities in Puerto Madryn, from a boat ride where you can sight the whales from a distance or the yellow submarine whale watching tour that offers a magical watching experience if you are into the maritime wildlife.
Another activity nature lovers cannot get enough of is the snorkelling with sea lions activity. It offers a wonderful experience that enables you to directly interact with those wonderful mamifers. This snorkelling tour does not require any kind of experience in diving or snorkelling; only the will to go on an adventure below water. Experienced guides will be here to help you as you dive with the sea lions!
Madryn al Plato
One event that takes place every winter in Puerto Madryn is Madryn al Plato, a gastronomic event which features tastings, cooking classes and promotions in various restaurants across the town. Visit the Puerto Madryn website for more information.
You can combine several watching activities. Check with the Customer Service as soon as you can, that way you will be able to plan your trip to the South of Argentina and make the most of your trip according to your disponibility.
Winter activities in El Calafate
Due to the difficult climatic conditions of the area and the strong Patagonian winds, the classical activities and excursions in El Calafate such as the Minitrekking in Perito Moreno, the one-day tour in Torres del Plaine or Estancia Cristina Day Tour are closed almost all winter (from the end of the until Septembre).
Snow day and 4×4 excursion
If you wish to admire the magical landscapes of El Calafate as you are comfortably sitting in a 4×4 truck, the Rivera del Lago 4×4 Tour is just what you need. Do not forget to bring your camera since this experience will enable you to bring back home the most amazing of shots! Another fun option is to witness the dazzling sights of El Calafate is the Balcony Winter Tour. Aboard a 4×4 Landrover, you will be taken to viewpoints 900 meters high. The frozen ground of the winter makes for an interesting challenge if you are feeling adventurous. Since the disponibility of the activities depends on the climatic conditions, you should first check if those activities are available during your trip in Patagonia and what are the prices.
Ice-skating & Ice Festival
Bahía Redonda, a shallow part of Lago Argentino, freezes during the winter and becomes the largest natural ice-skating rink on the continent. The El Calafate Ice Festival is held here over a three-week period in July and August when skating, ice hockey and sledging take place, as well as Chueca, a popular regional sport. At the eastern edge of the bay, there’s a pretty impressive bird reserve, which is also worth visiting.
The Ice River Express tour is available all year round, but weather close to the glacier can make it unpleasant. Make sure you bring plenty of warm clothing as well as food since meals are not included.You can carry out a wide range of activities in Calafate Mountain Park.
One of the most famous destinations of El Calafate is the Moutain Park. Unfortunately, those activities are no longer available.
Winter activities in Ushuaia
Ushuaia offers may activities all year long. The city has developed its infrastructure and services in order to adapt to all climatic conditions and its ski centre, the Cerro Castor is one of the most exclusive sites for ski lovers such as the ski season is the longest – more than 100 days of constant snow.
Dog-sledding with Huskies
One extremely unique and unmissable activity in Ushuaia during winter is riding on a sledge pulled by huskies in Tierra Mayor. There are two versions of this tour: one is the sledging and hiking with huskies and the other is known as the Huskies Experience that will begin with an overview of sledge dogs and you’ll be taught how to manage the sledges, from putting them together to driving. You’ll then go sledging through the snowy valley, before arriving at a mountain refuge to escape the cold and top up your energy levels with some tasty refreshments. There is also a Huskies nocturnal tour that includes a fire and dinner in the Tierra Mayor Valley. Adventure and snow lovers cannot miss this activity!
Winter excursions in Ushuaia
The Ushuaia Maritime Excursion is the only one of our sailing tours that are available during the winter months. During the trip, you’ll be able to enjoy stunning views over Ushuaia’s famous Beagle Channel and the mountains that tower above the shoreline. However, if the weather is really bad, or if there isn’t enough wind, this tour will not be able to go ahead so be sure to check in advance.
The Complete Winter Tour in Ushuaia is a mega tour that includes the main attractions of the area in a single day. It includes the visit of the National Park Tierra del Fuego, the visit of the Martial Glacier and ice skating. This day will be filled with adventures as you travel around the most authentic landscapes of the region. If you are the adventurer type and are looking for nature and a break from the winter centre, a visit to the Fuegunia Estancia will enable you to enjoy the Patagonian landscapes with a horse ride and a quad ride – contemplate the most dazzling sights Patagonia has to offer and taste typicical Patagonian meals!
Wake up early! This is the only way you’ll get to make the best of your time in Ushuaia, as it gets dark extremely early here in winter (around 4 or 5).
Discover the magic of Patagonia during the Austral Winter. Be informed about the best winter activities in Patagonia and plan your trip and it will doubtlessly be an experience you will never forget!