For a lot of people in the Northern hemisphere, the chill of winter is really setting in. I asked some top travel bloggers to recommend their favourite hot winter destinations. Escape for a part-time break to hotter climates by going to these great places.
Chris Backe from One Weird Globe – Southern Thailand
Ao Nam Mao, Southern Thailand
Southern Thailand has plenty of those beautiful, idyllic beaches plenty of people escape to in order to avoid the cold and snow. While living in Southern Thailand, I found my own little beach that my wife and I almost always had to ourselves.
Ao Nam Mao is in-between the Southern Thailand city of Krabi and the popular beach Ao Nang. The road to arrive is a bit hidden, but once you’ve arrived you have scenes like these. The rocks and random flotsam that washes ashore mean you’ll want to watch your step, but you’ll be the only people around.
Take in some beautiful sunsets and a wonderful place to see the stars – but do bring a flashlight if visiting after the sun goes down.
Goa in India makes a perfect escape from the cold. Tropical Goa has over 100 km of coastline and offers something for everyone – from laidback and quirky beaches popular with hippies and backpackers to luxury resorts and all night beach parties to mellow yoga retreats and deserted sands. North Goa is generally busier than South Goa so head North if you want to party and South if you just want to relax. As well as great beaches, fiery fish curries, the unique charm of the colourful Indian culture, lively nightlife and funky markets, Goa is also an amazingly affordable destination. It’s easy to find a hotel room for only $7 and a meal in a beachfront shack for only $3 and many people escape to Goa for the whole winter season.
Barbados is an excellent vacation destination to escape cold winters. From coast to coast, Barbados is filled with white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. There are tons of water sport activities to keep busy on the island, but my most memorable experience was sailing on an evening catamaran cruise. I swam with sea turtles, snorkeled and even explored underwater ship wrecks. The beautiful sunsets and tasty Bajan cuisine makes Barbados a great destination to embrace summer one last time.
The Philippines is an excellent destination to visit if you want to warm up over the winter months. In fact, this is the best time to visit this interesting country. The Philippines is full of interesting things to do, friendly people (who mostly speak at least some English) and is very budget friendly.
The best part about the Philippines has to be its beaches and what you can find under the water. There is superb diving and snorkeling and you will find all water sports here. There is also the jungle to explore, old colonial cities and many festivals and interesting events. The Spanish influence in the Philippines makes this quite a different destination to explore than the rest of Asia. Island hop through this unique country and discover it for yourself.
El Yunque, Puerto Rico
From beaches to waterfalls, mofongos to cervezas, and castles to casinos, Puerto Rico is a small island that packs a big punch. It won’t seem like winter when you are strolling the colorful streets of San Juan, sipping cocktails poolside and dancing the night away. And if you’re looking for adventure, you can take a hike in the only tropical rainforest in the U.S., El Yunque National Forest, or kayak in the Bioluminescent Bay, one of the most impressive in the world. The island is also convenient – for U.S. travelers, it’s a quick flight from the east coast, and the currency is the U.S. dollar. English is also widely spoken.
Michael Miszczak from Just A Pack
– Caye Caulker, Belize
Caye Caulker, Belize
Caye Caulker is a tranquil paradise in Belize that is quickly making a name for itself as one of the top island destinations for budget travel in the Caribbean.The vibe on this rustic island is completely laid back and relaxed in true “island life” fashion. There are very few major structures on Caye Caulker, and almost no motorized vehicles, other than those used for official business. So relax in the sun, go snorkeling or diving, kite surf, or simply lounge around with a book and a cold drink. Whatever you do obey the unofficial Caye Caulker motto and “go slow”.
The Northern Hemisphere isn’t exactly the most pleasant place to spend winter (unless you like not seeing the sun for months on end). My favourite wintertime remedy? Venezuela. From sprawling beaches empty of tourists, to wild jungles without a path to be seen, this is the place for every explorer. To make it even more appealing, there’s the fact that Venezuela is seldom visited by other travelers, many people being put off by the less than favorable depictions from the mainstream media. Whatever the political situation, the people are amazing, always wishing to lend a helping hand, and the scenery is ridiculously gorgeous and diverse. This is definitely a bad ass spot to escape the winter blues!
Jamaica is our happy place, a place we would go to escape the never ending winters in Wisconsin. A place where we could count on 80+ degrees, sunny days, nonstop Bob Marley, turquoise waters, 7 miles of beach in Negril for daily walks, and nightly sunsets. Enjoy tasty rum punch, Red Stripe beer, finger licking good jerk chicken, meet smiling locals, and the never ending YA MON! We loved Jamaica so much it was where we decided to get married. We had everything we love about Jamaica incorporated into our wedding, walking down the island to steel drums, barefoot on the beach, sunset from cocktail hour with a red stripe in hand, and an all night party with a reggae band! Jamaica is the perfect winter escape.
Helena Blakemore from Babyfoote
– The Maldives
The Maldives are a perfect destination, especially when the UK is suffering damp, grey winter, for white sandy beaches, peace and quiet, and amazing diving in crystal clear waters. Sunny and hot on land while warm and beautiful underwater, the Maldives is everything the UK is not during the winter months.
Now is always the best time to visit the paradise that is the Maldives because it is literally disappearing, and in our lifetime there will be less to visit than there used to be.
There are many islands to chose from, with a variety of activities and attractions, from Eco islands to party islands – there’s something for everyone in this destination.
Our favourite winter destination would have to be Egypt! It’s the perfect combination of warm sunny weather with fascinating historical sites. In the summer, Egypt can be a sweltering 40c in the shade and overrun with tourists, whereas in the winter months the temperature drops to the mid-20s and the crowds disperse! It’s already a great value destination for your budget in the summer, but come the winter those bargains get even sweeter! Instead of roasting away in the crowds you can stroll at your own pace around the unbelievable temples and majestic remnants of ancient Egypt…as well as work on your tan!
Victoria Dovaston from The Girl On the Move – Mauritius
The exotic island of Mauritius, situated in the Indian Ocean, about two thousand kilometres off the coast of south-eastern Africa, is the perfect place for a winter getaway. Not only are you guaranteed warm sunshine and vast sandy beaches but there is also plenty to see and do, that is if you chose to venture outside the perimeters of your luxury hotel! From hiking through the Black River Gorges National Park amongst the lush tropical fauna, to visiting the elegant Château de Labourdonnais, or even to shopping in the island’s capital Port Louis, there is something to suit every traveller’s taste.
Mall of the Emirates in Dubai
Want to get away from the cold? Head to Dubai. Due to its position near the Tropic of Cancer, it is usually warm and sunny and in the middle of winter averages 77 degrees. Should you change your mind and wish you had gone somewhere you could ski, just head to the gargantuan Mall of the Emirates and its indoor ski resort, Ski Dubai, which is visible in several warm restaurants through huge windows. After suiting up, you can ski (it actually has a 25-storey black-rated ski run!), snowboard, and toboggan.
What do you think of this list? Has it inspired you to go to a hot winter destination?