In the United States and Canada, December to February are bitterly cold months. While some may love the snow and snow-related activities. Others, including me, would prefer warmer climates with fun adventures associated with that season. But where do you go to enjoy summer vibes without breaking the bank? The key, my friend is to target countries in the Global south. This is because their seasons are opposite to that of the global north. Below is a list of affordable winter getaways to get you packing:
Although not an affordable country. New Zealand has forever been on my bucket list. I’m not sure if its the fact that movies like The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit were shot there or that there are many magnificent mountains abound or that prime minister Jacinda Ardern is an exemplary leader. All I know is that there is something special about New Zealand. These are all compelling facts to get you surfing the web for flight deals! What’s even better is that our wintery December (in the U.S.) is New Zealand’s hot summer. Now that should make you immediately hit “book a flight to New Zealand!” In December you can enjoy a road trip to Mount Cook, visit the Bay of Islands, relax at the Hot Water Beach, explore Larnach Castle and much more.
South Africa is another country in the Southern Hemisphere that enjoys December summers. Here you can try Braais which is South Africa’s version of a BBQ (They even claim that it is better than BBQ!), visit the Kruger National Park, hike in Jonkershoek Nature Reserve, take a selfie in front of Bo-Kaap area and much more.
“It is hot all year round in Spain.” I wish!! That’s a myth. And I don’t blame you for thinking in such a manner. The media keeps advertising sunny and beachy Spain, which isn’t a lie it’s just not a temperature that is enjoyed yearly. In fact, it snows in the Sierra Nevada, The Pyrenees, and occasionally in the Basque Country, Galicia, Cantabria, and Asturias. Then, why on earth am I recommending Spain as a winter getaway destination? Well, December is the best time to visit the South of Spain i.e Granada, Seville, Malaga, and Cordoba which are extremely hot during the summer months. Another great spot to check out although it might be crowded during this time period is the canary Islands. Visit Spain
If there’s a country you want to avoid during the summer period it is Morocco. Temperatures can go as high as 98°F (37°C). December is a good time to visit Morocco’s coastal regions (Essaouira, Mirleft, Oalidia, Al Hoceima, and Saida).
The heaven-like African Island on the Indian ocean can be best enjoyed in December. Well, between May – December to be specific. Surrender yourself to Mauritius’s fresh seafood, and surreal beaches.
India is a large country and with many large countries, its temperatures vary by region. However, the coolest and driest season lies between October to February, thereby making it the best month to visit India. So, what cities should you enjoy your winter getaway? For starters, Delhi (46°F – 82.4°F), Mumbai (69.8°F – 87.8°F), Kolkata (55.4°F – 78.8°F), and Kochi (73.4°F – 89.6°F). In addition, you can float away on the clear blue waters of the Umgot river in Dwaki, relax at the breathtaking Nagoa beach, have fun (but not too much) in Goa, revel in the green paradise that is Wayanad in Kerala, explore the city of lakes in Udaipur, Rajasthan, or go snorkeling in Andaman Islands. Your options in India are limitless!
December to February are the best months to visit the Western Islands. Malaysia’s western Islands include Langkawi and Penang. Ride a cable car, Go Island Hopping, Eat at a night market, Snorkel at Payar Island, climb up Kek Lok Si temple, marvel on top of Penang Hill, and much more.
This is one of the top winter getaways for Americans, it’s such a hot spot that hotel accommodations are usually sold out. What’s the hype? The dry season begins in December in Costa Rica. In addition, there are many warm, fun, and laid back activities to do in this stunning country. Go ziplining, bask in the hot springs by Arenal, walkthrough Monteverde cloud forest, surf in Tamarindo beach, and much more.
The best time to visit Colombia hands down is in December. It’s a festive and warm month. There are non-stop parties and celebrations during this period. In addition temperatures range between 65°F – 86°F (18°C – 29°C). Activities and temperature differ by region. Recommended spots are Cartagena, Bogota, Santa Maria, and Medellin. Check out the festival of lights, Feria de Cali for a memorable experience. To learn more about the main attractions to see in Colombia, click here.
Just like many countries in the Southern hemisphere, December to March are the best months to visit Argentina. Temperatures are between 68°F to 86°F (20°C – 30°C). Whatever you do, make sure to visit Iguazu Falls. Other spots to visit are Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Mendoza, Salta and many more.
This is another top winter getaway for Americans. Temperatures are between 72°F – 83°F (22°C – 28°C). Attend the San Sebastian Street Festival in January, enjoy one of Puerto Rico’s soothing beaches, explore old San Juan, Splash around in El Yunque National Forest, and much more.
The southern states in the U.S. are great spots to visit when planning to escape the winter without going internationally. Houston, Texas; Miami, Florida; New Orleans, Louisiana are some cities you can get started with. These cities (except for Miami) aren’t necessarily hot but cool enough to not dress like a penguin. Take a swamp tour, Get stuffed with southern cuisines, lay on the beach, ride a bull, and much more in the deep south.
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