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  • Writer's pictureDolores Burgos

Warm-weather destinations you must visit if you want to escape the cold.

Updated: Jan 9

Explore these tropical getaways for a break from the chilly weather.

Certainly, the winter season brings its own delights such as skiing, sledding, snowman building, and festive holidays. However, the biting cold can be quite challenging, penetrating beneath your skin and reaching deep into your bones, causing a chill that encompasses everything from your toes to your chattering teeth. Thankfully, there are numerous destinations with warm-weather all year-round that can provide a welcome escape from the icy air.

Whether you prefer island retreats or vibrant urban centers, here are 10 enticing warm-weather destinations to consider for a winter getaway.

Ambergris Caye, Belize one of the prefer warm-weather destinations

Muelles de madera y palmeras sobre la playa de Belize

Meritt Thomas

Accessible from multiple U.S. cities, including New York, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta, and Miami, reaching the Central American gem of Belize is more convenient than you might imagine. This winter travel destination boasts lush, verdant landscapes inhabited by monkeys and rare jaguars, yet the real allure lies along the coast. For the ultimate experience of pristine white-sand beaches, head to Ambergris Caye. Belize's largest island is renowned for its water-centric activities, such as diving and snorkeling in the vicinity of the Belize Barrier Reef. For a luxurious stay, consider reserving a few nights at Alaia Belize. This upscale accommodation not only provides direct beach access but also features a suspended swimming pool six stories above the main access corridor, complete with portholes offering breathtaking aerial views of the property.

Mexico City 

buildings and people walking in Mexico city

Photo: Bhargava Marripati

While the winter in CDMX (Mexico City) may not deliver the tropical warmth typically associated with Mexico—temperatures generally hover in the low 70s during this season—it still presents a pleasant alternative to snowy destinations in the United States. The capital city abounds with cultural delights, featuring top-notch museums (such as the breathtaking Museo Frida Kahlo), fantastic shopping options ranging from upscale stores to local markets, and some of the world's finest restaurants (a nod to you, Pujol). Consider making Las Alcobas your home base; this luxurious hotel offers sumptuous guest rooms and a serene spa, providing a perfect retreat after a day of exploring the urban wonders.

Key West, Florida

Colonial house among palm trees

Key West is a genuine joy during the winter season, with average high temperatures consistently hovering around 75 degrees. It provides an ideal setting for enjoying fruity cocktails on the sandy shores, taking sunset strolls along bustling shopping streets, and savoring slice after slice of zesty Key lime pie. Enhance your experience by reserving a stay at the historically significant Casa Marina Key West, recently revitalized through extensive renovations. The hotel offers convenient access to local food tours, golf excursions, and sailboat cruises. Alternatively, you can unwind by the pool and bask in the warm Florida Keys sunlight.

Rangiroa, French Polynesia

Blue beach with palm trees and mountains at the front

While French Polynesia encompasses over a hundred islands, the spotlight tends to focus on just a few, like Bora Bora and Moorea. For a more secluded escape, consider the serene and minimally developed atoll of Rangiroa. Situated approximately an hour's flight from Tahiti, Rangiroa features untouched beaches and an expansive lagoon teeming with marine life. Opt for accommodations at the Hotel Kia Ora Resort & Spa, renowned for its breathtaking overwater bungalows and villas equipped with private plunge pools.

Panama Highlands

Waterfall inside the mountain surrounded by trees

Panama boasts stunning coastlines, yet its interior holds great appeal, especially for a winter getaway. The highlands maintain temperatures in the 60s and 70s throughout the year, offering perfect conditions for outdoor pursuits. Popular activities among visitors include bird-watching and, for the more adventurous, traversing the lush mountains via Boquete's renowned hanging bridges. The region is also renowned for its exceptional coffee scene. Consider lodging at The Haven, an adults-only wellness hotel that not only provides a relaxing stay but also facilitates your exploration of the area's coffee culture with immediate access to a coffee tour upon your arrival.


desert of namibia with local animals

Arne Smith

For a winter African safari experience away from the bustling crowds typically found in classic destinations like Kenya, consider the less-explored landscapes of Namibia. Situated on the southwest coast of Africa, Namibia offers solitude, surreal terrains, and reliably warm weather. It provides an excellent opportunity to witness majestic animals such as lions, elephants, leopards, and rhinos in their natural habitat. While various outfitters operate in the region, Natural Selection stands out for its excellence. The company offers a selection of camps, including the renowned Shipwreck Lodge on the Skeleton Coast.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Colorful houses and sea in the background in San Juan Puerto Rico

Wei Zeng

For a perfect blend of sun-soaked relaxation and cultural immersion, consider San Juan. Puerto Rico's capital boasts expansive white-sand beaches and historic landmarks such as the Castillo San Felipe del Morro. Culinary enthusiasts will delight in the abundance of delectable dining options, with reservations at Cocina Abierta highly recommended. Opt for a boutique experience in San Juan, and make your stay at the O:LV Fifty Five hotel. This chic accommodation features a rooftop bar and pool, providing unparalleled views of the city.


People walking with camels on the beach in Dubai with skyscrapers in the background.

When the initial cold wave sets in, consider securing your flight to Dubai. This desert haven not only promises delightful warmth but also presents an astonishing array of activities, ranging from swimming in the Persian Gulf to indulging in high-end shopping at some of the world's most luxurious stores and savoring exquisite meals at multiple Michelin-starred restaurants. While you're here, don't miss the chance to visit the world's tallest building, accessed via an elevator that ascends at an awe-inspiring 30 feet per second. For your accommodation, opt for Atlantis, The Palm – a lavish haven that serves as a playground for those seeking the epitome of luxury and indulgence.


lakes, boats and trees in Bangkok

The optimal time to explore Bangkok is during the winter months. While Thailand's tropical location ensures warm weather throughout the year, the winter season brings slightly more pleasant temperatures, with highs rarely surpassing 90 degrees.

To fully experience this sprawling city, consider booking an extended stay or hiring a guide. Various tour options are available on platforms like Airbnb Experiences, focusing on food, culture, and photography. Explore Bangkok's intricate canal system by taking a long-tail boat tour. For your accommodations, choose the esteemed Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, a perennial honoree in Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards.

The Bahamas

Palm trees and hammocks

Cristofer Maximiliam

At times, you simply crave an escape where you can unwind without a care in the world. The Bahamas provides the perfect opportunity for just that—a mere three-hour flight from New York City. This island chain boasts numerous stunning destinations, and many of its inhabited islands feature all-inclusive resorts tailored for families, couples, and even solo travelers.


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