Travelling in February has its pros and cons, like any month in any destination. The Pantanal is still in the rainy season, so wildlife spotting can be tough and quite wet (although the Pantanal is wetlands, so it can be wet at any time). With higher water levels, this season can be more suited to spotting caiman, anaconda and piranhas. This not the best time to see jaguars, anteaters and the like in the Pantanal, but it can be an exciting time to travel to the Amazon. The floods from the rainy season bring with them higher water levels, which means ‘varzeas’ are created; these are windy waterways that can be navigated by canoe or small boat, giving you a unique insight into the Amazonian ecosystem. We love Amazon cruises on the luxurious Premium Clipper at this time. You can embark on some amazing activities, from kayaking and paddle boarding (on the Amazon itself!), to birding, swimming near Amazon pink dolphins, and some thrilling night time expeditions. Due to the flooding on the amazon floor, jaguars can stick to the tree tops, and you may get to spot them above you, a real natural phenomena.
If you want to work some beach time into your itinerary, this can easily be done in February. Note though that this is one of the busiest times to travel, so you may want to find somewhere a little more secluded to travel to. On the other hand, this is carnival season, so if you want to get in the swing of things, why not head to Copacabana or Ipanema?!
The cities will also be reflecting the carnival season in their own way, some more than others. Rio de Janeiro will be very busy, and you can expect parades (date dependent!), fireworks and lots of colour. Other smaller cities and towns will be celebrating too. In fact, sometimes people prefer to head to the smaller, less well known areas to avoid the more tourist aspects of the season, and get a feel for the country and how the local people celebrating this important time of year.
Note that Carnival starts on the Friday before Ash Wednesday, then ends at noon on Ash Wednesday, the start of lent.
Bit of a catch 22 with Iguassu Falls at this time; on the one hand, the water is at its most powerful and impressive. On the other, some trails may be closed off, and the sky can be cloudy and rainy. This is one of the best months to board a boat and drive into the falls and get a bit wet!