Our visit to Argentina was a bit like the children’s tale about Goldilocks. In the North we were a bit too late- the melting had begun and the rivers were swollen and in the South we were alittle too early- the show hadn’t yet melted. Somewhere in between things were just right.
We arrived in Argentina just as spring broke across the continent, or the period of time that the guidebooks refer to as “shoulder season”. For Argentina, that meant that most of the cities and sites we visited were without the summer crowds, but it also meant that in the upper altitudes and to the far south, heavy snow still remained and trails, roads and even sites were still closed. Patagonia to us, lived up to it’s stereotype- cold, windy and inhospitable. To the far south, the nights in Ushuaia were frigid and the hiking trails through Tierra del Fuego National Park required waterproof snow boots.
On the other hand, in the north, the weather was a bit balmy still and the summer’s rains had increased the water level at Iguazu Falls so much that the river had reached historic flood stages and some of the walking paths and overlooks were closed. We were probably a bit too late on the scene, but thankfully we avoided the summer mosquitoes and crowds.
Too early, and too late and yet ironically at the same time– just right. The seasonal weather change had a tremendous impact on our month in Argentina, but in true Goldilocks fashion somethings we caught just right. Like the penguins, who were still nesting on the beaches of Punto Tumbo and Puerto Madryn- the oceans not yet warm enough for their chicks to continue south.
The boats to Antarctica were just starting to leave Ushuaia, so the hotels and restaurants were open for the season. And Bariloche still had plenty of chocolate! The weather was perfect for biking through Argentina’s wine country and we were able to spend time at Perito Moreno without hordes of tour buses.
It’s hard to not have a good time in Argentina. There’s no short supply of Alfajores, chocolate, good wine, and carne asada. No matter where you are in the country the people are hospitable and there’s enough to do to keep you occupied for more than a month, no matter the season. So what can I say, it was the definition of shoulder season and for us, and things were just right. Check out our guide to traveling in Argentina for more details!