Updated: Fri, 17 Dec 2010 17:54:47 GMT | By Alf Alderson, contributor, MSN Travel
Some like it hot

Villa De Maria Del Rio Seco, Argentina



Road sign in the desert, Argentina (© LP, Michael Taylor)
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Hot heights: 49.1°C (120.4 °F)

The scorching summer temperatures in this small town of almost 4,000 people led to it recording the hottest temperature ever in South America on 2 January 1920. It's rather off the tourist trail, although you'll pass through it on National Route 9 on your way from the capital, Buenos Aires, to the beautiful colonial university town of Córdoba.

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Some like it hotFeeling chilly? Forget the frost for a while as we reveal the hottest places on the planet – and we mean sizzling!Alf Aldersoncontributor, MSN Travel2010-12-16T17:18:092010-12-17T17:54:47As the UK's big freeze reaches a new low, many of us will be dreaming of hot sunshine on our backs and warm sand between our toes. When you're being blasted by a nice, sodden, icy British wind, it's hard to imagine that anywhere could be, by contrast, just too hot.But could it be? In this chilliest of winters, we've scoured the planet for the places with the highest temperatures recorded anywhere and, at the moment, they sound rather tempting. If you haven't got a sunbed, here's the next best thing. Lie back for our guide to the positively toastiest places (complete with chart-topping degrees celsius) on Earth.trueColdest inhabited places on the planetThe world's 50 most beautiful thingsIn pictures: world's most spectacular swimming poolsIn pictures: world's oddest airports50 places to see before you dieLut desert, IranHot heights: 70.7°C (159.2°F)This improbably high temperature was recorded by a Nasa satellite flying over the searingly hot sands of the Lut desert in 2005. However, the reading taken was of the surface temperature of the desert, which doesn't really count - official temperature readings must be taken out of direct sunlight so they record air temperature.That said, had you been wandering through the desert that day you would have been subject to that same surface temperature unless you were carrying a parasol.topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)Ancient mud dwellings in the Lut desert, Iran(©Marion Bull/Alamy)El Azizia, LibyaHot heights: 57.8°C (136°F)The town of El Azizia, near Tripoli, supposedly experienced this scorching temperature in September 1922. There is, however, some doubt about the reading since it was recorded on a cheap, uncalibrated thermometer after the weather station's official thermometer had broken.The more normal, but already scorching, temperatures in El Azizia can rise by 20C in the space of a few hours due to a hot, sandy wind from the Sahara called the ghibli.topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2Libyan Sahara(©PA)Libyan Sahara(©PA)Libyan Sahara(©PA)Libyan Sahara(©PA)Libyan Sahara(©PA)Libyan Sahara(©PA)Libyan Sahara(©PA)Libyan Sahara(©PA)Libyan Sahara(©PA)Death Valley, CaliforniaHot heights: 57.0°C (134°F)The appropriately named village of Furnace Creek recorded this bakingly hot temperature in July 1913, but Death Valley, the region that surrounds it, also holds two other records: it is home to the driest and lowest points in North America. The annual rainfall average is 1.58 inches (40 mm) - although in some years there's no rain at all - and at its lowest point the valley is 86 metres below sea level.In the summer of 2001 the temperature climbed to over 100°F (37.8°C) for 154 consecutive days.topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2Death Valley(©LP, Witold Skrypczak)Death Valley(©LP, Witold Skrypczak)Death Valley(©LP, Witold Skrypczak)Death Valley(©LP, Witold Skrypczak)Death Valley(©LP, Witold Skrypczak)Death Valley(©LP, Witold Skrypczak)Death Valley(©LP, Witold Skrypczak)Death Valley(©LP, Witold Skrypczak)Death Valley(©LP, Witold Skrypczak)Tirat Zvi, IsraelHot heights: 53.7ºC (128.7ºF)Perched between the Asian and European land masses, Israel holds the record for both, set in June 1942. Despite the typically sweltering surrounding heat, the religious kibbutz of Tirat Zvi, situated over 200 metres below sea level, is the largest date grower in Israel. When it all gets a bit too much residents can at least cool off in the nearby River Jordan.topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2Satellite image of Israel and the Middle East(©PA)Satellite image of Israel and the Middle East(©PA)Satellite image of Israel and the Middle East(©PA)Satellite image of Israel and the Middle East(©PA)Satellite image of Israel and the Middle East(©PA)Satellite image of Israel and the Middle East(©PA)Satellite image of Israel and the Middle East(©PA)Satellite image of Israel and the Middle East(©PA)Satellite image of Israel and the Middle East(©PA)Cloncurry, QueenslandHot heights: 53.1°C (127.5°F)Located in north-west Queensland, the town of Cloncurry's claim to have recorded the highest temperature in Australia - in January 1889 - is disputed because, in true Aussie fashion, the thermometer was situated inside an improvised screen made from an old beer crate.Nonetheless, there's so much sun hereabouts that Cloncurry aims to be the first town in Oz to be powered entirely by solar energy. Marble Bar, in Western Australia, could consider that option, too, since the temperature here stayed above 100°F (37.8°C) for a record 161 days in the summer of 1923/24.topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2`A sign outside boiling Cloncurry(©LP, Holger Leue)A sign outside boiling Cloncurry(©LP, Holger Leue)A sign outside boiling Cloncurry(©LP, Holger Leue)A sign outside boiling Cloncurry(©LP, Holger Leue)A sign outside boiling Cloncurry(©LP, Holger Leue)A sign outside boiling Cloncurry(©LP, Holger Leue)A sign outside boiling Cloncurry(©LP, Holger Leue)A sign outside boiling Cloncurry(©LP, Holger Leue)A sign outside boiling Cloncurry(©LP, Holger Leue)QatarHot heights: 53°C (127.4°F)Temperatures in the somewhat unexpected location for the 2022 World Cup rose to 53°C in the week of this year's World Cup final, hardly conducive to a 90-minute workout on a football pitch. Fortunately the Qatar matches will be held at night, when on especially chilly days the temperature can fall as low as a mere 30°C - which is still easily as warm as the hottest of summer afternoons at Wembley.topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2Wild camels in sand dunes of the Empty Quarter, Qatar(©LP)Wild camels in sand dunes of the Empty Quarter, Qatar(©LP)Wild camels in sand dunes of the Empty Quarter, Qatar(©LP)Wild camels in sand dunes of the Empty Quarter, Qatar(©LP)Wild camels in sand dunes of the Empty Quarter, Qatar(©LP)Wild camels in sand dunes of the Empty Quarter, Qatar(©LP)Wild camels in sand dunes of the Empty Quarter, Qatar(©LP)Wild camels in sand dunes of the Empty Quarter, Qatar(©LP)Wild camels in sand dunes of the Empty Quarter, Qatar(©LP)Jacobabad, PakistanHot heights: 52°C (125.6°F)In this subcontinental former colonial town - presumably never a plum posting for imperial officers - temperatures regularly exceed 50°C, but this year it made the news not for the heat but for being submerged by the country's terrible floods. For some time the settlement was accessible only by boat; many of its inhabitants have now abandoned the swamped, sweltering place permanently.topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2Helicopter over flooded Jacobabad(©Getty/RIZWAN TABASSUM)Helicopter over flooded Jacobabad(©Getty/RIZWAN TABASSUM)Helicopter over flooded Jacobabad(©Getty/RIZWAN TABASSUM)Helicopter over flooded Jacobabad(©Getty/RIZWAN TABASSUM)Helicopter over flooded Jacobabad(©Getty/RIZWAN TABASSUM)Helicopter over flooded Jacobabad(©Getty/RIZWAN TABASSUM)Helicopter over flooded Jacobabad(©Getty/RIZWAN TABASSUM)Helicopter over flooded Jacobabad(©Getty/RIZWAN TABASSUM)Helicopter over flooded Jacobabad(©Getty/RIZWAN TABASSUM)Villa De Maria Del Rio Seco, ArgentinaHot heights: 49.1°C (120.4 °F)The scorching summer temperatures in this small town of almost 4,000 people led to it recording the hottest temperature ever in South America on 2 January 1920. It's rather off the tourist trail, although you'll pass through it on National Route 9 on your way from the capital, Buenos Aires, to the beautiful colonial university town of Córdoba.topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2Road sign in the desert, Argentina(©LP, Michael Taylor)Road sign in the desert, Argentina(©LP, Michael Taylor)Road sign in the desert, Argentina(©LP, Michael Taylor)Road sign in the desert, Argentina(©LP, Michael Taylor)Road sign in the desert, Argentina(©LP, Michael Taylor)Road sign in the desert, Argentina(©LP, Michael Taylor)Road sign in the desert, Argentina(©LP, Michael Taylor)Road sign in the desert, Argentina(©LP, Michael Taylor)Road sign in the desert, Argentina(©LP, Michael Taylor)Athens/Eleusina, GreeceHot heights: 48.0ºC (118.4ºF)The centre of Greece's ancient (and stiflingly hot) capital city shares the European heat record with the suburb of Eleusina, located on the city's north-west fringes. Both recorded their "Phew, it's a scorcher!" moment on 11 July 1977, which was not the best time to be wandering around tourist attractions such as the Parthenon. However, both locations are on the coast so you can at least dive into the Aegean to cool off when the mercury starts bubbling.topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2Locals in an almost deserted Athens in summerLocals in an almost deserted Athens in summerLocals in an almost deserted Athens in summerLocals in an almost deserted Athens in summerLocals in an almost deserted Athens in summerLocals in an almost deserted Athens in summerLocals in an almost deserted Athens in summerLocals in an almost deserted Athens in summerLocals in an almost deserted Athens in summerGravesend, KentHot heights: 38.1ºC (100.6ºF)10 August 2003 was one of the first times the temperature in the UK topped the magic 100°F (37.8°C) mark since records began in 1875. As with the current cold, this extreme weather event threw the country into turmoil. Roads to the coast were jammed, seaside hotels booked to bursting and previously unthrilling Bournemouth beach was so busy there was reportedly "no spare sand".topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2The high street in boiling (for Britain!) Gravesend(©PA)The high street in boiling (for Britain!) Gravesend(©PA)The high street in boiling (for Britain!) Gravesend(©PA)The high street in boiling (for Britain!) Gravesend(©PA)The high street in boiling (for Britain!) Gravesend(©PA)The high street in boiling (for Britain!) Gravesend(©PA)The high street in boiling (for Britain!) Gravesend(©PA)The high street in boiling (for Britain!) Gravesend(©PA)The high street in boiling (for Britain!) Gravesend(©PA)Dallol, EthiopiaHot heights: 34.4°C (94°F)OK, so 34°C isn't actually that hot - it has been that warm in Britain - but this is the annual mean temperature in Dallol, ie the average temperature throughout the year. The average daily maximum is 41.1°C (106°F). If the thought of life in shorts and flip-flops year round in Dallol sounds appealing, don't get too excited - the place is pretty much a ghost town with no proper roads, and the only regular visitors are camel caravans collecting salt.topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2Landscape around Dallol, Ethiopia(©LP/Ariadne Van Zandbergen)Landscape around Dallol, Ethiopia(©LP/Ariadne Van Zandbergen)Landscape around Dallol, Ethiopia(©LP/Ariadne Van Zandbergen)Landscape around Dallol, Ethiopia(©LP/Ariadne Van Zandbergen)Landscape around Dallol, Ethiopia(©LP/Ariadne Van Zandbergen)Landscape around Dallol, Ethiopia(©LP/Ariadne Van Zandbergen)Landscape around Dallol, Ethiopia(©LP/Ariadne Van Zandbergen)Landscape around Dallol, Ethiopia(©LP/Ariadne Van Zandbergen)Landscape around Dallol, Ethiopia(©LP/Ariadne Van Zandbergen)Vanda station, AntarcticaHot heights: 15.0°C (59.0°F)The warmest coolest place on Earth is Vanda station, a research base formerly located in the western highlands of the Ross Dependency Antarctic region, which recorded the continent's highest ever temperature in January 1974. The base was closed down in 1995, but Kiwi research scientists still stay at the Lake Vanda Hut in summer, next to an automatic weather station on the site of the original base.topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2Parts of Antarctica can get (relatively) warm(©PA)Parts of Antarctica can get (relatively) warm(©PA)Parts of Antarctica can get (relatively) warm(©PA)Parts of Antarctica can get (relatively) warm(©PA)Parts of Antarctica can get (relatively) warm(©PA)Parts of Antarctica can get (relatively) warm(©PA)Parts of Antarctica can get (relatively) warm(©PA)Parts of Antarctica can get (relatively) warm(©PA)Parts of Antarctica can get (relatively) warm(©PA)Ethiopian desert landscape(LP)Ethiopian desert landscape(LP)Ethiopian desert landscape(LP)Ethiopian desert landscape(LP)Ethiopian desert landscape(LP)Ethiopian desert landscape(LP)Ethiopian desert landscape(LP)Ethiopian desert landscape(LP)Ethiopian desert landscape(LP)Ethiopian desert landscape(LP)Ethiopian desert landscape(LP)Ethiopian desert landscape(LP)Ethiopian desert landscape(LP)Ethiopian desert landscape(LP)Ethiopian desert landscape(LP)Ethiopian desert landscape(LP)Ethiopian desert landscape(LP)Ethiopian desert landscape(LP)Ethiopian desert landscape(LP)Ethiopian desert landscape(LP)Ethiopian desert landscape(LP)Ethiopian desert landscape(LP)Ethiopian desert landscape(LP)Ethiopian desert landscape(LP)Ethiopian desert landscape(LP)Ethiopian desert landscape(LP)Ethiopian desert landscape(LP)Ethiopian desert landscape(LP)Ethiopian desert landscape(LP)Ethiopian desert landscape(LP)Ethiopian desert landscape(LP)Ethiopian desert landscape(LP)

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