From the world’s greatest Carnivals to superb snorkelling and hiking, as well as fantastic shopping and sightseeing: Latin America absolutely sparkles with possibilities in February. As end-of-year crowds begin to diminish, you’ll find favourite southern destinations blessed by still-perfect summer temperatures. For extensive hiking, snorkelling and overall active pursuits, this is also an idyllic month to explore the best known and the most hidden treasures of Central America. Check out this Latin America Guide!
Here are just a few of the amazing highlights of Latin America in February.
Brazil in February
Temperatures hit fever-pitch levels in Brazil in February and not only because the country is enjoying the height of its summer season. It’s Carnival time and the country is HOT, HOT, HOT! Whether you dream of a night bewildered by a cacophony of sounds and sights in the Sambadrome of Rio de Janeiro or wish to experience a slightly more subdued but equally vibrant fiesta in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil is THE place to be in February. And, since you’re there, why not include a few of the country’s most unmissable sights?
The whole stretch of coastline from Rio to Sao Paulo is perfect to explore in February, with seaside hubs beckoning visitors with their enticement of warm sea waters and startling beaches.
In February, one of Brazil’s secret wonders, the Pantanal, will be receiving quite a bit of rain but if you concentrate your visit on the northern section –from Cuiaba – then your wildlife-spotting chances, especially on canoe adventures, will be enhanced. Likewise in the Brazilian Amazon, where river cruises – during these wetter months – offer great chances to explore further inland than at any other time of year.
Being such a sprawling country and offering so many different ecosystems, climates and attractions, Brazil is one of Latin America’s best year-round destinations of all. Choosing Carnival time to add a unique angle on your visit to Brazil in February.
Buenos Aires in February
As far as vibrant South American cities are concerned, Rio and Buenos Aires seem to be joined at the hips and are often visited together thanks to the ease and availability of flights between the two hubs. So…what is BA like in February? Well, first of all, Buenos Aires is a dream at ANY time of year! Where else can you enjoy exceptional cuisine, fantastic shopping, amazing architecture and the kind of impromptu dancing on the street that doesn’t elicit weird looks from passers-by?!
In February, you’ll find Buenos Aires drenched in a blanket of summer heat yet average daytime temps only reach about 25 degree Celsius. In February, you’ll also enjoy the longest days of the whole year (9 hours of sunshine) and the chance to join the locals for a little seaside escape in nearby Mar de Plata. A wonderful add-on to a visit to Rio, Buenos Aires – with her history, culture, cuisine and incredible charm – is a muy bueno idea indeed.
Honduras in February
Honduras is starting to dry up in February and, after a refreshing rain season, you’ll find the whole country soaked in a luscious shade of emerald green. This is an ideal month for discovering one of Latin America’s so-called rough diamonds: destinations that have yet to be commercialised and still offer a very authentic Latino travel-experience.
For the discerning explorer, Honduras could not be more ideal. The wilderness here is unspoiled, enticing nature-lovers who search for reserves to explore and wildlife to encounter. The Bay Islands, of course, are everyone’s cup of tropical tea. Stunning and developed Roatan is the epicentre of the country’s island treasures, with sea life-brimming coral reefs, idyllic palm-fringed beaches and dreamy turquoise seas making it impossible to move on. History enthusiasts may want to include a visit to Copan as well, a UNESCO-listed gem left behind by one of the most prominent Mayan cultures that ever lived.
If you’re a veteran South-America visitor and are on the lookout for a totally unique destination to add to your travel-repertoire, then go ahead and let Honduras seduce you.
Costa Rica in February
Costa Rica’s biodiversity and eclectic landscapes makes it an ideal nature-lover’s paradise and in February you’ll find the country’s gorgeous beaches, in particular, at their absolute best.
The western Pacific coast, from the northern reaches of Tamarindo through the central Nicoya peninsula and further south to Drake Bay, are perfect to visit at the height of dry season, especially if you’re an avid snorkeler and SCUBA diver. February brings about more dry days than any other month even in the eastern Caribbean side, a notoriously rainy region of the country. If you’ve been itching to explore the Tortuguero National Park, for example, now would be an ideal time to visit.
Include jaunts to the cloud forests of Monteverde, the breathtaking volcanos of the central highlands and the spellbinding wilderness of Corcovado in any trip to Costa Rica, and you’ll enjoy a truly comprehensive and rewarding Central American adventure.
Guatemala in February
On the opposite end of the Central America spectrum lies Guatemala, one of the least visited destinations in the region and one that seems to be still shrouded in mystery. A county that has battled fervently to rid itself of a long-held reputation as an unstable and unsafe destination, Guatemala is a land of warm and hospitable people, of incredible history and culture and simply outrageous natural beauty.
Prominent archaeological sites notwithstanding, Guatemala entices with its exotic wildlife, colourful shopping and a delectable cuisine infused by African and Caribbean flavours. Why is February so perfect for visit Guatemala? Because this is the height of dry season here too and, since you’ll want to discover several destination within the country, this is the easiest month in which to do that. During rainy season, the country’s lesser-developed infrastructure presents a few challenges, so overlanding through Guatemala, during the dry months, makes perfect sense to us.
Torres del Paine in February
One of Patagonia’s most popular destinations is a maze of hiking trails and stupendous landscapes, and if you want to explore it thoroughly you’ll want to do so in the warmest month of the year. And February is it. This immense UNESO Biosphere Reserve is one of the most magnificent reserves in the whole continent. One of the best in the world, in fact.
Torres del Paine brims with astounding wildlife and is littered with awe-inspiring mountains, lakes and rivers. The posterchild for Patagonia, the imposing Paine Towers, would have to be the most iconic sight – and site – in this entire southern region, yet the whole park is one wondrous highlight after the next. You’ll find luxury lodges if you don’t want to give up on creature comforts and plenty of activities on offer for the whole family. Don’t fear taking your children to this desolate yet untouched paradise. There are still plenty of comforts here and the spectacles – from gargantuan glaciers to adorable creatures and accommodation options in eco-lodges – will make for unforgettable family memories.
Whether on a bespoke small group tour or as a fly-drive vacation, a visit to Torres (and Patagonia in general) is ideal in February. Even though this is still the ‘height’ of tourist season here, crowd sizes are immensely relative. With so much space to roam and so few tourists anyhow, Patagonia is always heavenly.
From the southernmost tip of Latin America to its northernmost reaches, there is an array of highlights which are perfect to explore in February. And don’t forget that Antarctica cruises are still casting off full steam this month, except with fewer tourists and cheaper prices. Win-win!
For itinerary advice and logistical support to discover these destinations – and beyond – we’re here to help. We are your Latin American specialists, offering small group tours that are aimed at budget-conscious travellers, and tailor-made journeys for those who deem independence, flexibility and freedom the most important travel-factors of all. Contact us for more info.