July is Argentina's peak winter month when ski resorts heat up in Patagonia and Mendoza. This is also a great month to visit Buenos Aires, go whale-watching along the Atlantic coast, and explore desert landscapes, salt flats, waterfalls, and starry skies in the north. Read on for more tips on where to go and what to expect in Argentina this month.

Weather

Argentina's climate this time of year tends to be cooler overall but weather can vary depending on where you travel. In Buenos Aires, you'll find cloudy, temperate air moderated by its coastal location with daily averages in the 50s Fahrenheit range. North at the Brazilian border at the Iguazú Falls, you can expect a more tropical environment with higher humidity and temperatures in the mid-70s. The high Andean region of northern Chile and Argentina (Salta-Juyjuy Provinces) is typically dry and clear, especially this time of year.

If planning on traveling south, Patagonia typically stays in the 30s with a range of microclimates depending on where you travel. With the exception of skiing, this province is not really a draw for tourists this time of year due to wet and cold conditions. Plus there are fewer hours of daylight, which means outdoor activities are rather limited.

Crowds & Costs

Winter sees relatively few foreign visitors compared to other seasons, but mountain resorts in Patagonia and Mendoza tend to bustle with skiers and snowboarders, especially during Argentina's winter holidays in mid-July, called receso. Schools also schedule week-long, half-term breaks during terms, though the exact dates for these are decided by the school itself. Thus, this is a more expensive month to hit the slopes. 

If you plan to visit Northern Argentina, however, you'll find excellent deals and few crowds. Southern Patagonia is devoid of tourists, though temperatures, rain, and shorter days deter people for a reason (plus many lodgings close for the season so there are fewer options). Still, those who brave Patagonia can luck out with gorgeous winter landscapes without the infamous wind of summer, though transport services tend to run at a minimum. 

Where to Go

For travelers interested in snow sports, Argentina has several great ski resorts sprinkled around Patagonia and near the wine region of Mendoza. Argentina's ski scene has been gaining press in recent years and might be less crowded since Chile typically draws the foreigners interested in hitting the slopes. While there are many options to choose from, you can start by looking at Argentine resorts like Chapelco (near San Martín de Los Andes) as well as La Hoya (an excellent choice for families). Another option near Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, is the world-class ski area around Cerro Castor. 

Other non-ski areas of Patagonia typically empty out and/or close for the season, making July the perfect time of year to visit Argentina's north, where sunshine and comfortable temperatures make Salta and the nearby wine region of Cafayate particularly welcoming. This is also a great time to explore Iguazú Falls, the largest waterfall system in the world, straddling the border of Brazil and Argentina. Peninsula Valdes along the Atlantic coast is also entering its annual whale-watching season. 

What to Do

For marine life, you can spot the southern right whale species that is seen in the two main bays of the Peninsula Valdes. These whales can grow up to 65 feet (20 m) in length, and during Argentina's winter months, the whales in the bay can be seen breaching and showing off their skills which can be an exciting experience to witness.

While in the area, consider hanging with the penguins. They can be found in three different colonies (Punta Tombo, Punta Norte and Punta Delgada) along the coast of Peninsula Valdes. The largest colony is found in the Punta Tombo Rookery—home to more than 500,000 Magellan penguins. Learn more about the peninsula in this guide to Puerto Madryn, its gateway city. 

Further north is Iguazú Falls, where you can spend time exploring hundreds of waterfalls along the Three Borders Landmark in the tri-border area between Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay, and enjoy a panoramic view of Iguazú Falls from the walking paths surrounding the cascades. You can see the falls by way of hiking, boating, and biking depending on whether you want more or less activity. 

Another highlight this time of year is the city of Salta 'La Linda' (meaning Salta the beautiful) due to its well-preserved colonial architecture, circa 16th century. Take a guided city tour visiting Salta's most important buildings and churches, or just relax on the gondola ride for a birds-eye view of the city. There are many noteworthy day-trips from here to massive salt flats, canyons, wineries, and gorges for a range of outdoor activities including hiking, biking, and horseback riding. 

As we mentioned, July means winter and you can take advantage of the slopes at the ski resorts, or enjoy relaxing cross country skiing and dog sledding excursions that depart from Ushuaia at the bottom tip of the country. 

Events in July

Día de la Independencia. Argentina's Independence Day is July 9, and celebrations are especially strong in Tucumán, where the country's independence was first declared. This celebration takes place all over Argentina and celebrates the date when Argentina was granted independence in 1861.

Snow Festival in Bariloche. This event has become a classic in Bariloche for two reasons: it is suitable for the entire family and it generates optimism and good vibes when the winter comes.

The Alpine Chocolate Festival. During the month of July, the village of Villa General Belgrano offers hand-crafted chocolate in all its forms and presentations. 

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

Argentina's Salta & Jujuy Province. Discover why Salta is called 'La Linda' (the beautiful) on this 5-day tour of northwest Argentina. After arriving in Buenos Aires, you'll fly here and explore one of the best preserved colonial cities in South America. Then hit the road with an experienced guide and visit the giant salt flats and Humahuaca Gorge, as well as traditional Andean towns known for pre-Colombian history in the Jujuy Province.

Wildlife & Nature in Argentina Patagonia. This 15-day tour in Argentine Patagonia hits the highlights between Puerto Madryn in the north to Ushuaia in the south for a range of outdoor activities and wildlife. On the itinerary are two national parks: Tierra del Fuego (rivers and ancient settlements) and Los Glaciares (glaciers and iconic hikes). There's also whale watching, snorkeling with sea lions, and a visit to South America's largest Magellanic Penguin colony.

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