Are you dreaming of escaping to an exotic, sunny foreign country to break up the monotony of winter dreariness? There is no shortage of destinations around the world that can make your winter sun dreams come true. Whether you are looking to relax on sandy, palm-lined beaches, or hike through lush jungles, your options are essentially limitless. Shake off your winter blues, start packing, and hop on the next flight out!
Here are the best places to visit during the winter if you’re looking for some much-needed sun.
1. St. Lucia
Majestic Piton Mountains, idyllic coastlines, and waterfalls tucked into the rainforest are some of the many attractions that lure travelers to this island off the Central American coast. The island’s African, French, and East Indian heritage means this part of the Caribbean is rich in culture, historical sites, cuisine, and music. Whether you fancy relaxing with a cocktail on a sun-soaked beach, diving in clear waters, or climbing volcanoes, St. Lucia offers something for every type of traveller.
Are you craving a wildlife and adventure-packed holiday? Head to Namibia, a perfect road trip destination for outdoor enthusiasts. From safaris in northwestern Etosha National Park, where cheetahs, elephants, and black rhinos roam in abundance, to the dusty plains of the Kalahari, Namibia’s diverse landscapes are not soon to be forgotten. Drive from the vast coastlines to the color-changing dunes in Sossusvlei and experience terrain entirely unique to this southwest African nation.
3. Kerala, India
Kerala, the southern-most state in India, is at its prime November through February. Home to the renowned Ayruvedic massage and many yoga studios, you can check yourself into a wellness retreat or explore some of the state’s many natural offerings. Tea and spice estates are scattered across the northern hills of Munnar, known for its cool climate perfect for hiking through the Western Ghats. Make your way down to the backwaters of Alleppey, where you can take a rustic houseboat down a vast network of lagoons. Finally, explore the coast that extends down to the southern tip of Kerala, known for its surfing and tasty coconut fish curries.
For an off-the-beaten path locale that may surprise you, head to Uganda. This luscious, land-locked country in central Africa is the region’s best-kept secret. From trekking with chimpanzees and mountains gorillas in rainforests and rafting down the Nile River, to spotting tree-climbing lions in Queen Elizabeth National Park and climbing through the alien-like landscape in the Rwenzori Mountains, you won’t find yourself short of activities. Relatively easy to navigate and with fewer tourists than neighboring Kenya and Tanzania, the easy-going vibe, vast savannah, and dense jungles of Uganda will make for a memorable vacation.
If Mexico and Costa Rica seem overdone to you, why not head to Guatemala instead? The Tikal pyramids are a draw for history buffs, while the Mayan villages in the highlands echo the centuries-old culture. And for nature lovers, there is no shortage of adventure. Relax on the shores of Lake Atitlan, hike one of the many volcanoes from Acatenango to Pacaya, or head to the black sand beaches on the Pacific coast, known for sea turtles, small fishing villages, and surf breaks.
Oman echoes a bygone era of the Arabian peninsula, offering cultural traditions and dazzling landscapes that have yet to be marred by overdevelopment. The diverse terrain of this nation offers serene coastlines that snuggle up against expansive deserts. Travel inland to explore the towering mountains of the Western Hajar and traditional villages of the Saiq Plateau. With a Mediterranean climate sweeping in from November-March, Oman is perfect for a winter escape.
7. Sri Lanka
In this South Asian island nation, you can explore tropical coastlines, take a train through misty mountain forests, sip tea on local plantations, and go on a safari in search of Asian elephants. In a relatively small space, you have a bit of everything from nature to culture to history. If you are a surfing fanatic, check out Hiriketiya Bay, Sri Lanka, which was a relative secret until recently. Relax beneath palm trees or grab a board and check out the surf before heading inland for hiking and tea tasting in the hill country and exploring Buddhist ruins in Anuradhapura.
Before you take off on your international trip, be sure to purchase travel insurance. From unforeseen medical expenses and theft to lost luggage and trip cancellation, many unplanned events can interrupt your international travel. However, travel insurance can help protect you if something goes wrong, whether it be stolen valuables or a hiking accident.
Every insurance plan is different so compare international travel insurance with iSelect to determine which plan works best for you. Comprehensive coverage can include everything from medical coverage in the event of illness, emergency evacuation, and travel protection that can cover the trip cost if there are cancellations or a trip interruption. Do your research and protect yourself, your belongings, and your trip with a plan that works best for you!