Patagonia is in early spring mode by October and a decent time to visit, weather-wise, especially the further north you travel. As for Southern Patagonia, spring doesn’t really arrive until November, since daily highs remain the low 50s this month, though you'll start to see less rain and longer daylight hours for more outdoor adventures.
No matter where you travel, still bring plenty of warm clothing for chilly evenings (after the sun goes down) and those prevailing Chilean winds. It's also not unusual to experience multiple seasons in the same day in Patagonia. You can catch stunning wildflowers in Chile's Lakes District this month, and some travelers even plan their trips around these spectacular blooms.
Crowds & Costs
Those who know Patagonia know that this (along with November) are arguably the two best months to travel. October falls within the pre-summer shoulder season, which means you'll find lower prices and not-overwhelming crowds in most popular areas. If you can handle the cooler weather, you'll beat the flood of international tourists (and pricey accommodation costs) of the peak summer months. Wherever you travel, it's still a good idea to make your reservations at least three months in advance.
Where to Go
Good news for travelers in October: services and lodgings that closed during winter months are up and running again. When planning your spring-time adventure you'll want to consider the most well-known symbol of Patagonia—the granite peaks in Chile's Torres del Paine National Park, which jut out from the surrounding plains to the north of the main town, Punta Arenas. This national park is a must if you are an avid hiker who loves rare wildlife and stunning views.
You'll also want to consider Argentina's Northern Patagonia, specifically Bariloche for spring-time blossoms, and Peninsula Valdes for whale watching. If you are game for cooler temperatures, Los Glaciares National Park is a must for those interested in hiking near Mt. Fitz Roy and seeing massive glaciers like Perito Moreno.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
What to Do
Patagonia offers a number of outdoor activities by mid-spring. You'll find some of the best hiking and biking trails available in South America for all levels and abilities thanks to the spectacular Andes mountain range. This time of year it's best to stick to the northern part of the region including the Lakes District where the wildflowers are also in bloom.
Since spring comes late to southern Patagonia, it may be best to wait another month before attempting multi-day treks in Torres del Paine National Park and Los Glaciares National Park. That said, those who come prepared with proper gear will find few crowds to see the glaciers and famous peaks, as well as wildlife up close.
Events in October
Oktoberfest. Join the beer drinkers in Puerto Varas and Valdivia for live music in lederhosen with these annual German-themed festivals. There's also a celebration held in Malloco, just outside of Santiago.
The Penguin Provincial Festival. Each October, the Penguin Provincial Festival is celebrated in Argentina's Trelew with cultural and recreational activities, official events, parades and the election of the queen.
Bariloche a la Carta. This weeklong food festival represents the Lake District’s best culinary offerings. Dozens of restaurants take part, showcasing special menus, and numerous food stalls and microbreweries set up shop in the main square.
Festival Internacional de Ushuaia. Each October, the city of Ushuaia puts on an annual International Festival of Classical Music.
Traveling to Patagonia in October? Check out these great itineraries.
Wonders of Chilean Patagonia. This 10-day tour combines Chile's most picturesque attractions with a nice mix of relaxation and physical exertion. After starting in the cosmopolitan capital, you'll head to a lakeside village (adorned with a snowcapped volcano) before continuing south to Patagonia. Then it's time for the "W Trek" in Torres del Paine, one of the most scenic national parks in the world.
Hiking in Patagonia. 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'.