The weather is getting colder, and that means many of us might be dreaming of a winter getaway. Sure, you can pack up your snow gear and head toward the ski slopes, but sometimes the better option for a winter getaway is somewhere warm and tropical.
You may want to bring a few chic swimsuits, your favorite sunglasses, and some sundresses and escape the winter doldrums. If so, where should you go?
The following are some ideas for a winter getaway.
Aruba is a beautiful, friendly, and relatively budget-friendly island in the Caribbean.
Aruba is located off the coast of Venezuela, and it’s fairly easy to get to with many nonstop flights offered from U.S. cities, including Fort Lauderdale.
Aruba has wonderful weather pretty much year-round, and it’s outside of the hurricane belt, a rarity among Caribbean islands. The average year-round temperatures are in the low 80s, and this desert island receives only 16 inches of rain on average a year.
While you’re there, visit Palm Beach, which is more commercialized, or Eagle Beach if you want to see sea turtles and white sands. You can also go to Arikok National Park, which features desert landscapes and takes up almost 20% of the island.
Costa Rica is a travel destination for people who love nature and often have a sense of adventure, but the capital city of San Jose is also great if you love food and shopping. Costa Rica is home to 27 national parks and a plethora of diverse habitats and natural landscapes, including jungles, cloud forests, dry forests, rain forests, and coral reefs.
There are six active volcanoes in Costa Rica and 60 dormant, and there are more than 800 miles of beaches on the Caribbean and Pacific sides of the country.
If Tulum, located in Mexico, isn’t already on your travel bucket list, there are some pretty good reasons it should be. Tulum is around an hour’s drive from Playa del Carmen, and there are three main parts of the Tulum.
There is Tulum town, which is sleepy and not very developed. There is the Tulum Beach strip, and then there’s also the Tulum ruins that are accessible by taxi, walking, or biking.
As far as accommodations go, you can find everything from campsites in Tulum to luxury hotels. Tulum is a major yoga destination, and there are also plenty of spas if you’d like to relax.
U.S. Virgin Islands
The U.S. Virgin Islands makes for a pretty affordable vacation, and the hilly scenery makes for an amazing juxtaposition to the turquoise waters. The water is warm year-round so you can enjoy swimming and snorkeling. The temperatures, in general, are rarely outside of the 80s during the day and the 70s at night, no matter what time of year.
Since the U.S. Virgin Islands is a U.S. territory, you don’t even need a passport to go.
Tourism rates have declined in the U.S. Virgin Islands in recent years, which means you can find great deals.
Not all of the best winter destinations are Caribbean-based. San Diego is great for a winter escape. Located on the southern California coast, San Diego tends to have mild weather year-round. It never gets incredibly hot or cold in the area, at least not for the most part.
Coronado Beach holds appeal for visitors where you can admire the historic Hotel del Coronado. Black’s Beach is a popular surfer destination, and Pacific Beach has a decidedly young crowd. There’s also Ocean Beach if you’re traveling with your pet, which is home to Dog Beach.
For foodies San Diego can be the perfect destination anytime of the year, including in winter, and there’s an active nightlife scene in the city.
St. Martin is a Caribbean jewel that’s next door to the playground for the rich and famous—St. Barth’s. If St. Barth’s isn’t in your winter getaway budget, St. Martin might be, and it will offer you the same island beautiful and warm weather.
St. Martin is only 37 square miles, and the island is divided between being French and Dutch so you can get elements of both cultures. The French and Dutch cultures are brought together with Caribbean influences, as well.
You can snorkel at Coconut Reef where you will see turtles and tropical fish, and you can shop in the French capital of Marigot. On the Dutch side of the island, you’ll find many casinos, and there is duty-free shopping in Phillipsburg.