There are some words that we never want to hear: Polar Vortex, Arctic Blast, Frostbite, Sub-Zero Windchill. This is the epitome of winter weather here in the United States. For a minimum of three months, we are forced to stay indoors and lock ourselves away from Winter’s frosty grasp until the warm, renewing winds of spring come to rescue us. Why wait for three months when you can travel to places that are eternally in summer’s good graces? Trade in your long-johns and hot chocolate for a swimsuit and a drink you can sip from a coconut by traveling to the 10 Best Tropical Destinations to Escape Winter!
Experience some of the clearest, blue waters on the planet in the exotic island chain. Stay in a hut, go diving with local aquatic life, and live the true beach life in the Maldives. You might want to visit soon because this tropical paradise might not be around much longer due to rising sea waters.
2. French Polynesia
With over 118 islands, French Polynesia is one of the widest island chains in the world. The most populated island in French Polynesia is Tahiti and has a vibrant tourism scene. It is recommended to explore the mountain peaks of the island in an ATV or Jeep Tour. You can also take a helicopter tour of the islands that give you a new perspective of these tropical islands.
3. St. Maarten/St. Martin
Located just south of Anguilla, the islands of St. Marteen and St. Martin sit nestled in the northeastern part of the Caribbean. Relaxing on the sandy beaches is the only the first thing to do on this island as they offer hiking through Pic du Paradis and shopping on the famous Front Street. However, if you are into just taking in the warm weather in order to forget about the winter back home, remember that clothing is optional on many beaches. Families; you have been warned.
4. Turks and Caicos
Turks and Caicos is popular destination for divers and snorklers. With a wide array of fish and exotic species of sea life, Turks and Caicos provides a singular ocean experience that is hard to match. Explore the black coral and submerged overhangs of Black Forest for an exciting underwater adventure that features underwater cliffs!
5. St. Lucia
St. Lucia is one of the most mountainous islands in the Caribbean. This offers travelers the opportunity to take plenty of scenic hikes and adventures that overlook the gorgeous seascapes below the peaks. The most famous peaks on the island of St. Lucia are the Pitons, but Saint Lucia is also one of the few islands in the world that boasts a drive-in volcano, La Soufrière.
6. Grand Cayman
The largest island of the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean, Grand Cayman offers a variety of tropical pleasures. You can swim with sting-rays in tranquil waters at Sting Ray City or check out the natural habitat or the island’s famous Blue Iguanas. The Seven Mile Beach is one of the most popular destinations on Grand Cayman that offers kayak and boat rentals for any one who wants to explore the beautiful surrounding ocean waters.
Escaping the winter weather is easy in Aruba! A variety of leisure activities await you in this Lesser Antilles island where a number of land activities, including: The Butterfly Farm and the Bubali Bird Sanctuary. One of the most popular attractions if the California Lighthouse, pictured above, where views go on forever and you can try some of the local culinary treats at the cafe.
8. Nassau, Bahamas
Nassau is a destination that dedicates itself to living the tropical, leisure lifestyle to the fullest. Year round, visitors find the wonderful pastel colors that are representative of warm climates and a relaxing time of year. If you want to forgo winter weather all together, you might be able to catch the Junkanoo Festival that takes place from December 26 – January 1. At Junkanoo, you will be delighted by street festivals and parades that last the whole week and are accompanied by cowbells, drums, and whistles!
There is perhaps no other place on this list that epitomizes escaping from winter more than Fiji. As Jim Carrey noted in the film “The Truman Show”, Fiji is on the complete opposite side of the world from the United States. How could you get further away from winter? Use this destination to luxuriate on the sandy beaches under the sun and relax.
10. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Though this destination has beautiful sandy beaches, Rio de Janeiro is also the sixth largest city in the world and is not short on adventures. You can spend your time at Ipanema Beach or you can visit the famous Cristo Redentor that overlooks the entire city. Rio also offers a variety of National Park areas and hiking trails that are unparalleled. This destination is sure to make you forget about any winter blues.
Though Cancun has a reputation for being a destination for Spring Breakers, the winter months offer a much more calm atmosphere for relaxation and leisure. The beaches are less crowded for you to soak up the sun or you can escape to the numerous Mayan Ruins that are scattered amongst the country. Cancun boasts an impressive amounts of resorts and other luxurious places to stay, making a trip to this beautiful city by the sea easy to do! c