December is a magnificent time to visit Argentina when spring transitions to the summer season. This is the best weather month to take advantage of beach resorts and outdoor activities in the Lakes District and Patagonia before the peak crowds arrive. Find out what to do and where to go with this December guide.

Weather

Summer brings spectacular weather for experiencing Argentina, particularly the southern portion. As spring transitions to summer, you'll start to see the warmest temperatures of the year in the country, though this varies due to the country’s large size.

In Buenos Aires, temps crawl into the low 80s Fahrenheit during the day. Northwest in Salta, temps hover in the mid-80s and rain starts to increase for summer. Mendoza and the Malbec vineyards are dry and hot this time of year, and Iguazú Falls offer a tropical environment with heat and humidity—perfect for cooling off with a spray from one of the many waterfalls on either side of the Brazilian border.

In the south, daily highs typically linger in the mid-50s and 60s, making this an ideal time to head to popular Patagonian spots in national parks and the Lake District. Keep in mind that summer is when Patagonia's infamous winds pick up. No matter where you travel in Argentina in December, it's best to bring some warm layers and light outdoor gear in case of a little rain.

Crowds & Costs

Argentina enters high season this month. Typically, international tourists tend to wait until summer to travel to Patagonia to experience the best weather for outdoor activities, so you'll start to see more people this time of year. During this sweet season, visitors begin to arrive in droves to Mt. Fitz Roy, Perito Moreno, Tierra del Fuego, and Cape Horn in Southern Patagonia, which held off a lot of tourism during chillier and wetter winter months.

You'll want to make your travel arrangements for December anywhere in Argentina several months before your trip to beat the rush of tourist groups, especially if traveling over the holidays. Your best bet for avoiding crowds and high season prices is to come at the beginning of December when weather is still spectacular.

Where to Go

With over 3,000 miles of coastline, Argentina is the second-largest country in South America. This is a place of varying landscapes including waterfalls and deserts in the north, glacial fields in the south, as well as mountains, beaches, lakes and wine valleys in between. To put it simply, this is a great month of the year to travel anywhere in Argentina.

Now that Patagonia is up and running for the summer, this is your chance to get here before the holiday crowds begin showing up. Los Glaciares—a UNESCO-listed park—usually ranks high on the list for travelers to Argentina with staggering peaks, glaciers, and turquoise lakes. This is one of the most popular natural attractions in South America, yet thanks to its remote Patagonian location, it receives only a fraction of the Machu Picchu crowds.

In addition to this famous park, there are lesser-known parks, channels, and islands to explore on the southern tip of the continent. This is where the Andean mountains meet the sea for truly unspoiled surroundings like no other place in the world—a great option for unplugging. 

What to Do

For outdoor enthusiasts, there are plenty of things to do and see this time of year including a range of hikes in the Andes, wine tastings in Mendoza, and freshly caught seafood and wildlife spotting along the Atlantic coast, to name a few.

In the Lakes District, Villa La Angostura and San Martin de Los Andes offer a slow pace and small-town charm with plenty of unspoiled natural landscapes for hiking and horseback riding. Also, make sure to take a short stroll through the streets of Bariloche for several famous chocolatiers.

The hiking and rock-climbing opportunities around El Chaltén but don’t miss the chance to view the awe-inspiring glacier field outside El Calafate in Los Glaciares National park. Book an ice-trekking tour for a unique adventure, or a more relaxing boat tour that allows you to view several glaciers at close range.

This is also a great month to tackle a multi-day trek like the Huemul Circuit with spectacular panoramas including Viedma Glacier, four times the size of Perito Moreno. You’ll enjoy a remote trekking and camping experience while getting closer to lesser-known glaciers and peaks.

You can also cool off at one of many beach towns along Argentina’s central coast—now in full swing in preparation for summer. Wooded seaside resorts like Cariló and Villa Gesell have forested parks, old fishing piers, and an elevated boardwalk stretching along the coast. Further south, Mar del Plata has a clifftop promenade and a charming harbor with seafood shacks selling fried fish and other local delicacies.

Events in December

Buenos Aires Jazz Festival. This huge jazz festival takes place over five days across venues all over the city attracting tens of thousands of spectators.

New Years Eve Fireworks & Street Parties. A staple of New Year’s Eve pretty much anywhere in the world, celebratory fireworks are popular here. In Buenos Aires, get up high on a roof terrace to watch the sky light up when the clock strikes midnight, and say “Feliz Año!” to those around you. Or head to Puerto Madero on the banks of the Rio de la Plata to see fireworks shoot over the river. 

Traveling to Argentina in December? Check out these great itineraries.

Hiking in Patagonia. This self-guided and incredibly scenic trip highlights Patagonia's best trails on both sides of the border. Kick off in Argentina's Los Glaciares National Park, home of 13 glaciers and the iconic Mt. Fitz Roy. Next is Chile's Torres del Paine National Park for more jaw-dropping peaks, turquoise lakes, and rare wildlife. Finish back in Argentina for coastal trails and a taste of the world's 'southernmost city'.

Highlights of Argentina & Rio de Janeiro. After a taste of Buenos Aires with a tour and tango performance, you'll fly south to Patagonia to experience massive glaciers. Then, fly to the Brazilian border to hike around hundreds of waterfalls before finishing in Rio de Janeiro for its iconic views and nearby tropical islands.

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