As the summer sun slowly drops below the horizon the entry into winter can be a brutal one. The days get shorter, colder and generally less exciting as people start to bunker down for the winter months. Sure there’s the excitement around the holidays. Carving a pumpkin, maybe decorating a tree, but let’s be honest, after a few winter weeks the novelty starts to wear off.
And while summer might feel like a lifetime away, there is an escape… find a warm place to visit during the winter. That’s right! Dig out those bikinis and board shorts and head off to one of the many places around the world that experience beautiful weather while the rest of North America and Europe suffer the dark days.
Here are our top four warm destinations to visit during winter if you need a break from the cold:
The Land Down Under isn’t just a popular song about Australia from the early 1980s, it’s the whole reason to visit Australia during a North American / European winter. Located in the Southern Hemisphere, Australia has the exact opposite in seasons compared to the US and anyone else located in the Northern Hemisphere.
While the rest of the world approaches its darkest days in December, Australia is getting ready to embrace the summer sun. And not only is the weather getting better in Australia come late December, but it’s also a great time to visit. In the week leading up to Christmas the country comes alive, as everyone takes summer holiday time off.
Unlike a lot of places around the world, Australians have quite a lot of holiday vacation time in their work. And they’re not afraid to use it to enjoy this time of year that includes Christmas, New Years Eve and any other excuse for Aussies to have a party. Expect bars to buzz with excitement, beaches full of good times, parks busy grilling up sausages (and maybe a few shrimps on the barbie) and lots of energy around social events.
If you’re looking to avoid the busy vacation crowds of Australia your best bet is to visit towards the end of January or early February. In Melbourne and Sydney, arguably the best cities to visit on the eastern coast, the hottest weather tends to come towards the end of January. Although Melbourne is infamously called the city with ‘four seasons in a day’ so take the weather predictions with a grain of salt.
A personal favorite of ours to visit. Not just because we spent a year volunteering in Peru, but because Peru is such a historically rich and diverse country with so many different cultures and terrains to visit.
Lima in particular is an awesome spot to visit during winter because between January and March the weather sits at a perfect 80F with no days of rain. Start your winter escape in Peru’s capital with some world class, fine dining. Lima restaurants are famous for a reason! The unique blends of Peruvian cuisine, along with influences from Asia and Europe, make it a culinary heaven for foodies. If you’re looking to visit Lima this winter be sure to check out Iberostar’s early bird Black Friday vacation deals to find a great value stay at their Miraflores location in Lima.
Lima is also the perfect jumping off point for many other Peruvian adventures. Venture east into the Amazon jungle to experience the wildly isolated city of Iquitos, the largest city in the world inaccessible by land. The only way to explore it is via flight, or the tranquil trip down the Amazon river in an overnight ferry.
Head north for the beautiful beaches of the Peruvian coastline at places like Mancora and its surrounding beaches. For a different change of pace, and altitude, head south to Cusco to explore the ancient Incan cities and the wondrous Machu Picchu.
Just a quick fight south from North America, and relatively close from western Europe, is a perfect winter escape in Mexico. January is right in the middle of the dry season, so along with perfect warm weather you won’t have to worry about the downpours.
Mexico is a massive country, with the two main beach vacation locations situated on the north west or south east coasts. On the west you have destinations like Cabo and Puerto Vallarta, on the east you have a plethora of options dotted throughout the Yucatan peninsula.
If you’re on the west coast of North America it’s a very easy flight down to our personal favorite spot Sayulita. Fly into Puerto Vallarta and then take a 30min taxi ride north to this rustic little beach town. Days are spent lounging around on the beach, bouncing between different taco stands as you eat your way through the town.
On the other side of the country is the Yucatan Peninsula, which is well known for its high rise resorts and turquoise waters. Merida, Cancun, Tulum and Playa del Carmen are all top destinations to visit if you’re looking for warm places to stay in winter.
Whichever place you decide you’re bound to have a good time in Mexico during the winter. Swap out warm soups, cuddled up in blankets for ice cold beers and $1 street tacos on the beach. Now that sounds like the perfect way to spend a winter escape to me!