This is one of the warmest months of the year to take advantage of Patagonia's nice summer weather if you don't mind the region's seasonal winds and somewhat erratic behavior varying from warm sunshine to drizzle, rain or sleet, and returning to warm sunshine just as quickly. In fact, weather here is famously unpredictable with distinct microclimates.
That being said, in February you can expect highs in Northern Patagonia to linger in the upper 60s and low 70s Fahrenheit, while Southern Patagonia tends to be cooler with highs in the mid-50s. Either way, this is one of the best months for experiencing places like Torres del Paine, Los Glaciares, and Tierra del Fuego. You'll want to pack warm layers for chilly nights after the sun goes down, and outdoor gear suitable for rain and wind.
Crowds & Costs
With long days of summer, this is one of the most popular months to visit Patagonia, therefore, you should expect a flood of international tourists and some of the most expensive prices of the year. In other words, make your bookings for accommodations and flights far in advance in order to snag the most desirable rates, as well as rooms in general before they're snatched up. This is especially true for places with limited lodging options like Torres del Paine, El Calafate, and El Chalten.
Where to Go
Since the entire southern tip of South America is open and ready for travelers this time of year, you'll have a dizzying array of options for experiencing Patagonia's magnificent vistas and famous national parks. Many travelers choose to head south since this area tends to close up during the offseason.
For instance, you can visit Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world and point of entry to off-the-beaten-path hiking trails in the quiet mountains, as well as boat excursions to penguin colonies and the famous lighthouse in the Strait of Magellan. With excellent seafood and interesting museums dedicated to maritime history, it's a cultural hub at the bottom of Argentina.
A unique alternative for those looking to skip the crowds is a road trip along Chile's Carreterra Austral , or Route 7, allowing you to explore lesser-known stops like Queulat National Park and its mesmerizing hanging glacier. For a shorter drive, consider driving 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.
Customize your trip with help from a local travel specialist.
What to Do
This is the time of year that you'll benefit from sunny weather and optimal conditions for trekking, biking, camping, rafting, and wildlife viewing in Patagonia—all suitable for day-trips. For a multi-day excursion, Argentina's Los Glaciares National Park encompasses thousands of miles of wilderness and a number of guided trekking opportunities. One route that is getting attention with hardcore adventurers is the four-day Huemul Circuit that includes camping every night. Chile's Torres del Paine National Park, for its part, offers a roster of multi-day treks, as well.
Adrenaline junkies who seek activities such as white-water rafting, zip-lining, skydiving, and horseback riding will want to check out Chile's Lake District with its mighty parks, volcanoes, and rushing waterfalls.
Events in February
Apples National Festival. Every year, the residents of Argentina's Río Negro Valley (having General Roca as a venue) get in the spirit to honor one of the most perfect fruits created by nature: the apple.
Fiesta Nacional del Salmón. Take part in a weekend of deep-sea-fishing competitions featuring a free Sunday seafood lunch and the crowning of Miss Salmoncito in Camarones, Argentina.
Festival Costumbrista Chilote. This weeklong festival in mid-February on Chile's 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.
Festival Nacional del Lúpulo. Beer swillers in Argentina will love El Bolsón's hop festival, which honors the key ingredient for its artisanal craft beers. Expect musical performances, activities, food and, of course, plenty of beer tasting.
Traveling to Patagonia in February? Check out these great itineraries.
Patagonia Highlights in Argentina & Chile. This 11-day tour dives into Argentina and Chilean Patagonia with a slew of moderate, yet incredibly scenic day trips. Starting in Buenos Aires, you'll get a taste of mind-boggling glaciers, sail the ice rivers in El Calafate, and enjoy the magnitude of Chile's most famous national park. Mixing relaxation and adrenaline, the tours (many by boat) are flexible for those who prefer more challenging activities.
Los Glaciares & Torres del Paine. This active trip highlights two UNESCO-listed parks in South America with some of the most magnificent scenery in the world. Start off in Argentine Patagonia for several days in Los Glaciares National Park—home to a whopping 13 major glaciers and the iconic Mt. Fitz Roy. Next is Torres del Paine National Park in Chilean Patagonia for snow-capped peaks, thundering waterfalls, and turquoise lakes. Kick off the adventure in Buenos Aires for a taste of big-city culture.