Where to go in February |

Where to go in February

Find out our pick of the best sights in February.

CHILE & BOLIVIA: salt flats & flowering deserts

If it ever rains in Chile’s Atacama Desert, it will probably happen in February. On these rare occasions, flowers appear overnight and you are treated to the spectacle of a ‘coloured desert,’ with the usually dry-as-a-bone, surreal landscapes carpeted in a riot of pretty flowers. The February rains are more predictable across the border in Bolivia, when the salt pans of Uyuni are covered in several centimetres of water. Although this means your 4×4 won’t be able to access the more remote parts of the salt flats, the mirror-like effect created is astonishing, and creates some of the most incredible photography, as the sky melds into the earth.

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BRAZIL: carnival & hiking

More often than not, Brazil’s most famous festival – Carnaval – lands in February. Visiting this nation renowned for its music and party spirit at any time is exhilarating; to do so during the week of the year when they take the party seriously is something else entirely. If you’re going to ‘do Carnaval’ though, look past the obvious destination of Rio, where prices rocket to stratospheric levels, and you are in any case well removed from the action. Head instead for somewhere like Salvador, where the fiesta fever is open to all, and immerse yourself in the world’s biggest party. From Salvador you can head inland to the Chapada Diamantina for some of South America’s finest hiking with the daily treat of a shower under a waterfall.

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ANTARCTICA: feathers and flukes

Another fantastic month for wildlife down at the bottom of the world. As the penguin chicks have grown, they’re now taking to the water, while the moulting begins, making for some hilarious feather/fluff outfits. Fur seals are in abundance all along the shores of the peninsula, and this is the month when the whales arrive in force. Humpbacks, minkes, orcas – and if you’re very, very lucky – perhaps even a blue whale.

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