- When is the best time to visit Patagonia?
I think the first thing you have to do is get your mind into climate of the Southern Hemisphere. While we may associate December as a cold wintry month and July as a month with soaring temperatures, it is completely the opposite for Patagonia. Being so close to Antarctica, it enjoys cooler temperatures while also having the seasons in reverse to what we are familiar with. Summer in Patagonia occurs in December – February and winter occurs in July – August. There are many activities that can keep you occupied but it should be kept in mind that many locations and sightseeing stops are closed for the winter from May onwards or even earlier. The summer months are the preferred time for many tourists, but winter has its own appeal as well. If you want to get great deals, then Spring and Autumn are the best times to travel.
- What clothes should I carry with me?
The weather can change dramatically any moment so you should be prepared for cold winds or even soaring temperatures. It can get hot and cold within the same day so it is best to layer up if you are planning a holiday to Patagonia. Layering will help you keep warm when it gets cold and you can always remove a few layers when the weather becomes warmer.
- What are the best places to see in Chilean Patagonia?
The National Park of Torres del Paine should definitely feature on your list as well as taking a trip to see the penguins. If you have the time, you should go for a hike in one of the many trails that can be found all over Patagonia. There is a lot to do here, read my article on things to do to know more in detail.
- Is a passport required for my Patagonian holiday?
As of now, you are not required to get a visa in advance for visiting Patagonia either from Argentina or Chile. If you are a citizen of the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and many European countries, you can get entry for up to 90 days from the time of your arrival. However, you should carry your passport with you. If you are planning to stay longer than 90 days in Patagonia, obtaining a visa may take long as well as cost you a pretty penny. Just hop over to the neighboring country (which is not hard considering that Patagonia lies within Argentina and Chile) and re-enter which will give you a further 90 days.
- Which airports would you recommend for first time visitors to fly into?
If you are flying from outside Chile, you would take a flight to Santiago de Chile. From here, you can fly to Punta Arenas to head to the Southern part of the region to start your explorations into the area. There is a lot to do, and flights will make your life easier and save you a lot of time. But if time is not an issue, then you can try out the local transport or even rent a car to get around.