The onset of autumn in Argentina introduces slightly cooler temperatures and the start of fall foliage, though this varies according to the geographic location. The northern part of the country is still warm, while the central part of the country is more temperate—a great time to see wildflowers, changing fall leaves, and the start of harvest festivals in Argentina's wine country. Buenos Aires, for instance, sees average highs in the upper 70s Fahrenheit and lows in the mid-60s with slightly more rain in March.
The further south you travel, the more extreme the weather conditions become. Some areas of Patagonia become totally inaccessible in winter months, so going now—during the beginning of shoulder season—is a smart move, especially after the summer winds die down. Ushuaia, Patagonia's southernmost city, sees highs in the mid-50s and lows in the 40s during March. Wherever you go, it's best to pack plenty of layers and outdoor weather gear in case of rain.
Crowds & Costs
March is a bit of a transitional month, with summertime tourists thinning out by mid-month. Traveling during the beginning of this autumn shoulder season means better prices and fewer international tourists in places like Buenos Aires and Patagonia. Locals also get back into their routines after taking vacations in February making the beaches and Bariloche (Lake District) less crowded, as well. Mendoza, however, will see a spike in crowds and prices at the annual Grape Harvest Festival (more below).
Where to Go
You can't go wrong this time of year when picking destinations in Argentina. This is still a good month for hiking in Patagonia's Los Glaciares National Park (if you don't mind the occasional bout of rain), and it's also the best season to visit Argentina's famous wine-growing region. Mendoza is ground zero for wine tasting, wine festivals, and winery tours, plus outdoor activities from cycling to horseback riding in the foothills of the Andes. Consider driving north from Mendoza to the neighboring province of San Juan—it's less touristy, and the regional specialty is (perfectly chilled) sparkling wine.
This is also a great time to head to Iguazú National Park where hundreds of cascading waterfalls make up the park's main attraction: crowding out to the end of the viewing platforms to get a look at one of the largest, widest, and mightiest series of cascades anywhere in the world, and then returning. Shoulder season is also a great time to visit Buenos Aires. You can count on changing nice early autumn weather for full days of walking and sightseeing.
What to Do
There's plenty of activities, both relaxing and active, to consider in Argentina during March. Los Glaciares offers spectacular day-hikes in and around Mt. Fitz Roy that are accessible from El Chaltén. The national park also offers a number of guided multi-day trekking opportunities while camping overnight. You'll also have access to Perito Moreno, one of the few advancing (versus retreating) glaciers in the world where you can choose between a number of scenic boat tours; better yet, go ice trekking with a guide while avoiding the tourists.
While in Patagonia, consider a visit to Península Valdés, a peninsula near Puerto Madryn. Nearly 100,000 visitors make their way here each year to experience South America's most varied marine life including the southern right whales, Magellanic penguins, sea lions, and elephant seals.
North in Iguazú Falls, you can get up to the waterfalls by bike instead of boat. In fact, Puerto Iguazú is renowned for having almost exclusively off-road red dirt tracks that travel through the jungle towards the waterfalls for a unique experience often missed by tourists.
Events in March
Grape Harvest Festival. In honor of wines throughout the region, Mendoza holds a weeklong Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia in March, which kicks off with parades, folk events, and a royal coronation of the queens, chosen by the different districts of Mendoza. For wine enthusiasts, this is the biggest party of the year in Argentina's most prestigious wine-making region.
Holy Week Celebrations. Easter week tends to fall in April so check out next month's "Events in April" for more information about festivities in Argentina.
Traveling to Argentina in March? Check out these great itineraries.
Patagonia Wilderness Excursion. Starting in Buenos Aires, you'll get up close to massive glaciers, sail the pristine channels and fjords on a multi-day cruise, and enjoy the magnitude of Patagonia's most famous—and therefore scenic—national parks. Mixing relaxation and adrenaline, the tours are flexible for those who prefer more (or less) challenging activities.
Buenos Aires & Iguazú Falls. Kick off in Buenos Aires where you'll explore neoclassical architecture, buzzing neighborhoods, and urban escapes by foot, boat, and bicycle. Next, fly north to the Brazilian border to experience hundreds of waterfalls in both countries. Circle back to the big city for a tango performance to complete the adventure.