Given Chile's great summer weather, visitors like to come in February from all over the world. Most tourists fly in and out of Santiago—a great stop for a night or two. You'll find hot temperatures here and even hotter further north. This is why many escape the heat and head for the coast, where you’ll enjoy milder temperatures and cool Pacific breezes.
The Atacama Desert may experience what is called the Altiplanic Winter, which can bring moist air comes from the east with occasional bouts of unsettled weather including heavy rains, thunderstorms, and even snow.
If interested in visiting Patagonia, this is one of the best months to do so if you don't mind the region's summer winds. In fact, weather here is famously unpredictable with distinct microclimates but you can expect highs to linger in the 50s, which is great for trekking in places like Torres del Paine and Tierra del Fuego. No matter where you travel in Chile, it's best to bring layers and outdoor gear suitable for rain and wind.
Crowds & Costs
This is the most popular time to visit Chile when long summer days offer the best climate for outdoor adventures, surfing, or chilling on a beach. This is also when crowds are bigger and prices are higher. In other words, make your bookings far in advance for getting decent prices and for snagging rooms in places with limited lodging options like Torres del Paine National Park and Easter Island. One exception is Santiago when hotel prices tend to drop during summer months when locals take their vacations.
Where to Go
You'll want to take advantage of Chile's gorgeous scenery and solid weather in February; from surf towns to the north to penguin sightings in the south—you really can't go wrong this time of year. For a unique Chilean option, consider Easter Island, halfway between Tahiti and Chile, which offers a cultural festival (more below) in February. The island is graced with white sand beaches and 600+ mysterious statues carved from volcanic rock that dot the island’s green hillsides.
A unique idea on Chile's mainland is taking a road trip from Puerto Varas to Chiloé Island—a booming food destination with coastal trails in a national park of the same name. The region is notable for its vast Valdivian forest comprised of southern beech and alerce trees, pastoral landscapes, and iconic wooden churches built by Jesuit missionaries in the 17th and 18th centuries. There's also a stunning and extremely peaceful beach called Cole Cole with golden sand surrounded by native shrubbery.
What to Do
This is an excellent weather month for taking advantage of a range of outdoor adventures in Patagonia including spectacular day hikes, challenging multi-day treks, glacier boat tours, and chances to observe wildlife, even if there are more crowds than other times of the year. Adrenaline junkies who seek activities such as white-water rafting, zip-lining, skydiving, and horseback riding will want to check out the Lake District with its mighty parks, volcanoes, and rushing waterfalls.
Under two hours from Santiago, Viña del Mar offers buzzing nightlife and fun beaches for sunbathing in February, while excellent surf breaks can be found in Chile’s northern coast all the way up to Arica practically at the border of Peru. Elqui Valley, and the Atacama Desert, despite daytime heat, also offer otherworldly landscapes including geysers, sand dunes, and health and wellness activities like ayurvedic treatments and yoga classes.
Events in February
Viña del Mar International Song Festival. This music festival is held annually during the 3rd week of February in the coastal town of Viña del Mar. Started in 1960, it is the oldest and largest music festival in Latin America.
Tapati Rapa Nui. During the first two weeks of February on Easter Island, you can get your fill of Polynesian culture with numerous dancing and singing competitions, as well as traditional sporting events such as swimming, canoeing, and horse racing.
Carnaval. Chile isn't known for celebrating Carnaval the way other South American countries do, but the town of Putre gets in the spirit with merriment, balloon bombs filled with flour, clouds of chaya, music, and dancing.
Semana Valdiviana. Check out this festival in Valdivia for maritime competitions and activities, culminating with candlelit boats and impressive fireworks from the river.
Festival Costumbrista Chilote. This weeklong festival in mid-February on Chiloe Island showcases the island's impressive traditional culture with distinctive folk music and dance, hot potato juggling, and lots of traditional food and drink.
Traveling to Chile in February? 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. Here you'll hike past turquoise lakes, emerald forests, roaring rivers, and a massive glacier to get to the best view in the house: Paine Massif.
Atacama Desert & Easter Island. This 13-day trip combines two bucket-list items in Chile rarely visited by tourists. Kick off with a day in Santiago before you’re jetting off again—this time to the South Pacific. Halfway between Tahiti and Chile, Easter Island is graced with white sand beaches and 600+ mysterious statues carved from volcanic rock. The second half of the trip takes place in a high-altitude desert on the mainland for sand dunes, geysers, hot springs, and starry skies—perfect for sipping Chilean wine.