While we’ve thoroughly enjoyed the festive spirit of recent weeks, we’re ready to start dreaming about sunnier weather now that Christmas day is behind us and the New Year has begun. If you’re also compiling your 2022 travel bucket list and in search of some winter sun, we’ve got you covered with a roundup of our top destinations for the start of the year. Read on to find out where’s hot in February…
Located in the intertropical zone, between Nicaragua and Panama, Costa Rica has two distinct seasons and a predominantly tropical climate. The dry season runs from December to April, with wonderfully warm temperatures that range from 25°C to 32°C, and sometimes go as high as 35°C, but showers can still occur across the country during the first months of the year, so it’s worth packing a waterproof for unexpected showers. The temperature in the mountains is a lot cooler thanks to the altitude, so warmer layers will be required at night if you plan on visiting these areas. Costa Rica is the ideal eco-tourism destination, embodied by their concept of ‘Pura Vida’ (pure life). Experience incredible wildlife in Tortuguero National Park, one of the largest remaining tropical rainforests in Central America, or visit one of the two incredible coastlines for beautiful beaches and excellent surf spots.
This ribbon-shaped country , located along the western ‘spine’ of South America, is home to a huge variety of geographical features and landscapes. Stretching over 2,500 miles long, the climate in Chile varies considerably depending on the region, however the southern summer runs from December to March (making February an ideal time to visit). Travelling to the coast is an excellent option, with sunshine-filled days and non-existent rainfall; the port city of Valparaíso is known for its vibrant, cliffside houses and winding alleyways. In Santiago, the country’s eclectic capital, you’ll find highs of 30°C, the perfect weather for alfresco meals accompanied by some of the country’s excellent wine. At higher altitudes, temperatures are cooler but rainfall is minimal and for those wishing to venture to Patagonia, this is a good time to do so. To experience a quirkier side of Chile, head to the remote Easter Island where you can see the iconic moai statues that dot the hills. The island is superb at any time of the year, and with temperatures averaging around 24°C in February, it is a prime spot for some winter sun.
Guatemala may be one of the smaller Central American countries, but the holiday experience here is one of the most authentic, with the largest local indigenous population of any Latin American country. The country’s rich cultural heritage is impossible to miss, from the traditional dress to the annual harvest celebrations and intriguing culinary offerings. During February, there’s little to no rainfall and warm dry days, with temperatures averaging around 25°C. While it can get chillier in the Highlands and mountains, this is the perfect month to visit, with the tropical weather of peak season but only a fraction of the crowds. The pleasant February weather extends throughout the country so you’re pretty much guaranteed some winter sun wherever you wind up. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage site of Antigua Guatemala – one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in Central America – or head to Lake Atitlan which is a popular spot for hiking, mountain biking and kayaking and is so large that it takes half an hour to cross by motorboat. If it’s a taste of the great outdoors you’re after, venture to Tikal National Park where you’ll find an unforgettable array of ancient temples and extraordinary wildlife, with howler monkeys and melodic birds providing the soundtrack to your adventure.
Another pocket-sized Central American gem, Belize is a treasure-trove of Mayan ruins, incredible wildlife and palm-fringed ‘Cayes’ (stunning islands located off the coast). February is the beginning of the dry season in Belize and temperatures remain between 21°C and 29°C throughout the month, with moderate heat and humidity. Along the coast, you’ll find sunshine-soaked sandy beaches and gin-clear waters, making for an idyllic winter sun retreat. The Lighthouse Reef - the longest barrier reef in the Western hemisphere - is one of the country’s most remarkable features and an excellent location for divers and snorkellers. Head away from the coast and you’ll discover a lot to love about inland Belize which is characterised by dense rainforest and an abundance of wildlife, as well as fascinating Mayan sites, making it an ideal spot for history lovers and adventurers alike.
India’s size means that it is subject to a huge range of climactic conditions meaning you’ll be able to track down some great weather at any time of year. In February, Gujarat and Rajasthan are two of the best regions to travel to, with mild, dry weather and average daytime temperatures of 29°C and 20°C respectively. In Rajasthan, located in North India, you’ll find an alluring combination of opulent palaces, colourful cities and iconic monuments, including the world-famous Taj Mahal. This is an excellent region for first-time travellers to the country with more than a few bucket list sites to tick off and plenty of vestiges of its captivating past. Gujarat, a region which sits on India’s western coast, also boasts some remarkable architecture and vibrant temples, along with the natural wonders of Gir National Park, where the last remaining Asian lions exist. By travelling to these regions in February, you’ll avoid the relentless rains of monsoon season, as well as the more extreme heat of the summer months.
Last, but not least, on our list of where’s hot in February is Cambodia, a dream destination if you’re after a blend of culture and adventure with its delicious cuisine, rich history and breath-taking landscapes. The dry season varies depending on the region: in the south-west, it runs from December to April, while in the north-west (where you’ll find Angkor, Cambodia’s most famous city and one of the most significant archaeological sites in Southeast Asia) it runs from November to April which are typically the sunniest months. The country’s capital, Phnom Penh, also experiences its dry season during this period, so February is a great time to visit with comfortable temperatures ranging from 23°C to 32°C. If you’re after a luxurious beach holiday, Cambodia’s south-west coastline is the place to stay and the coastal city of Sihanoukville is a popular choice. February is the driest month along this tropical coastline, with average temperatures of 28°C, perfect weather for exploring the country’s cultural treasures before indulging in some serious relaxation.