5 Interesting Hot Spots In The Winter That Aren’t The Caribbean
As the cold weather settles in, many people start to plan for a warm travel destination. Even with the devastation that hit the Caribbean in previous years, there are still many islands in the Eastern Caribbean that are open for business. If you head to the Western Caribbean, you could explore Central America. But there are other interesting hot spots in the winter that are not in the Caribbean.
Spin the globe and you will find some great destinations around and south of the equator. When it is winter in the north, it is the sunny and warm in the south. Some of our favourite destinations to consider – Australia, Southeast Asia, islands in the Indian Ocean, South Africa and India. Each of these destinations are very different and offer great culture, natural beauty and great weather. Maybe this is the year to try something different in the winter?
1) Head To Australia
Australia is a very large country with much to offer. A city like Sydney provided us with great arts and entertainment. It was a short trip to explore natural beauties like the Blue Mountains or the beaches on the north coast.
When we wanted to explore the stunning underwater sight that is the Great Barrier Reef, we headed north to Cairns. There were many options to enjoy a swim, snorkelling or scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef. Our day trip provide us with a taste test. If you want a longer experience, you can consider a live aboard boat.
If you want another option for hot spots in the winter, you could also plan a trip to New Zealand. That is still on our travel wish list!
2) Try Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia covers a wide range of options for hot spots in the winter. The island of Bali evokes images of long sand beaches. But it provides that and so much more. The rice fields and temples of Ubud were a great surprise when we visited. Temples on the water provided sunset delights and displays of local traditions.
Thailand is another option in SE Asia. We started our Thailand visit in Bangkok. This major metropolitan city was a visual delight as we explored the many temples and palaces. But Thailand also offers many different options for beach vacations. We spent a week on the beach in Krabi before we spent a weekend in Phuket. We wished we had visited the smaller islands around Koh Samui. A trip to the north of Thailand brought another dimension to a visit in Thailand.
We’d also been told to try and check out some of the other islands around Thailand as well, and apparently most of them can be easily traveled to from Bangkok.
If you want a major city with many things to do, consider a visit to Singapore. It may even be your gateway city into SE Asia. Singapore was so much more interesting than we expected. Major tourist attractions delighted us day and night. And of course, we had an original Singapore Sling!
SE Asia is one of the great hot spots in the winter. No matter what you are looking for, you will find it.
3) Find An Island In The Indian Ocean
If you are looking for a great luxurious beach escape, you will find several options in the Indian Ocean. We had two days in the Maldives and can’t wait to book a return trip. The water really is as blue as the pictures show. The over-water bungalows are a romantic dream come true. And if you venture under the water, the crystal clear waters will delight you.
The Seychelles is another popular destination in the Indian Ocean. We found small islands and friendly people. The beaches stretched for miles. And at times we had the beaches all to ourselves. The towns are small and picture perfect, snuggled under the mountains.
4) Travel South In Africa
Over the past few years of travel, we have been most pleasantly surprised by our travels to South Africa. The diversity of things to do and the stunning natural beauty will draw us back. In Richards Bay, we got the chance to look for the Big Five safari animals. In Durban, we found long stretches of sand beaches and family friendly attractions.
We spent 10 days in December in Cape Town. We explored the wine regions of Stellenbosch. A trip around the Cape showed us penguins and baboons. The gardens in Kirstenbosch were in bloom. And the natural beauty of the sea and mountains surrounded us wherever we travelled.
South Africa is one of our favourite hot spots in winter.
5) Sample The Diversity In India
Visit India and sample the diversity of this land. Start your trip in Mumbai to experience the fast-paced and crowded city life. Mumbai offered us a great view into the history of this country and its diverse religious roots.
We headed inland to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. We got to experience the beauty of the Taj Mahal at sunset and then again for sunrise. It is an experience not to be missed. But don’t pass on a visit to the Red Fort. This second major sight in Agra offered another view of the beauty that was everywhere in India.
For a change of pace, head to the small coastal towns in India. Here you will find beaches and small fishing villages. In Cochin, we loved the chance to see the Chinese Fishing Nets in action before we wandered in the local markets.
India is one of the hot spots in the winter that has so much diversity to offer.
Many Options For Hot Spots In The Winter
This is just a few of options for hot spots in winter that are not the Caribbean. You can find beaches for a lazy break. There are large cities with arts and entertainment. The culture in these destinations is varied, rich and colourful. There are so many options.
If you plan to travel before Christmas, you may even get an interesting display of holiday spirit. We are still not used to palm tree views at Christmas! And New Years in Dubai is a show like no other!
What is one of your favourite hot spots in the winter if you don’t go to the Caribbean? Or would you prefer a cold weather winter trip?
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Love your ideas! Great post.
Alma, Glad this provided some ideas for you! Linda
That is a great list!
I lived in Asia for two years and it is indeeddd an amazing place to travel suiting winter 🙂 next on my list for next year is Safari in South Africa ??
Sydney, thanks! We used to just visit the Caribbean. But our list is now so much longer. Hope you get to your safari in South Africa. Linda
These are all amazing options! South Africa is high on my bucket list, I would LOVE to go on a safari and see those penguins on the beach! The Indian ocean looks pretty cool too, and I know I would enjoy snorkeling in the Great Barrier reef!
Heather, I was amazed at home many great spots there are to get warm. I do hope you get to South Africa. We are hoping to get back in April next year! Linda
Gorgeous, inspiring pics! I’m Australian – it’s super hot in Queensland so if you go there be prepared for hot hot hot!
Karletta, we will definitely be planning to head back to Australia and Queensland. One short visit was not enough. Linda
These are all some amazing destinations! I’m all for winter escapes, I’m definitely not made for cold temperatures. Waving from Bangkok, next week I’ll be in Singapore. You can’t beat 365 days of summer in South East Asia 🙂
Sab, I have great envy for you not having to endure winter temperatures. Each year I find it harder and harder to face the cold. And want to escape more. Enjoy Singapore. We did love our visit there. Linda
From someone who lives in Southeast Asia (Philippines to be exact), a winter trip would be an amazing experience 🙂 But I wouldn’t say no to the places on your list.. Maldives and Australia (for a live aboard boat experience) are some places that I’d love to visit too 🙂
Marvi, The Philippines are definitely on our list of places we want to visit. So living there must be great. I might miss the winter. But would be prepared to travel for short visits to the cold! You are in a great spot to head to other warm spots from the Philippines. Linda
wow south africa is deff on my bucket list!!
Kathleen, Hope you get to South Africa. Linda
I want to retire – this moment! South East Asia is certainly the least expensive option, yet still wonderful. I’d really like to explore the Indian Ocean. Man, I wish I was a couple of years older….thanx for making me so jealous 😉
Renata, We are hoping we get to go back to explore the Indian Ocean some more! Our stops have been too short. Linda
Thanks for the idea and I have been to and love all these places!~ I think I recommend Australia, but New Zealand is always my best. Funny though people travel south from the north. People travel north from the South (like I do) for Christmas 🙂 Heading to Germany, and travel across Central Europe soon. @ knycx.journeying
Kenny, Thanks for the recommendation for New Zealand. That is still on our travel wish list. We look for heat in our winter. But understand your travelling for winter weather too! Linda
I done Australia and the Maldives in the winter months of northern Europe and was the best decision I made. To get away from the cold, miserable weather to pure sunshine and fun, brought a huge smile to my face. Recommend it to anyone who needs cheering up. 🙂
Danik, Being from Canada, I totally know what you mean about escaping the cold and dreary weather. We loved finding some new spots that are different from the Caribbean. Linda
It’s only natural to go searching for warmer climes when winter hits.
Glad to see you are encouraging people to head to my homeland of Australia!! Which is sort of funny as the Caribbean is such an exotic getaway option for me during winter.
South Africa and India are really awesome suggestions. Both place I haven’t yet had the pleasure of visiting. Something to think about next winter.
Sara, We loved your home country Australia. We only had 10 days which was nowhere near enough. We definitely want to go back. Linda
Australia in my winter is perfect, looks like you found a great spot to snorkel! I have been dying to visit Singapore, good to know it’s a great winter destination. Maybe next year
Sherianne, I can’t wait to head back to Australia. We did not spend enough time on our first visit. Singapore is great – if a bit expensive. Linda
Oh no! You recommended Thailand and Singapore but missed out my home country that is located between these two, haha! Anyway, I tend to do the opposite, however. I love travelling in Europe during the winter months, especially during the days leading up to Xmas. There’s just something magical about it.
Raw, I guess I am going to have to visit your home country and can then add it to the list. We love the Christmas season in the “north” but quickly want to escape to get warm! Linda
Okay! I have been to all these places except Maldives. 🙂
I liked Australia very much during Christmas, my first without feeling any cold.
Other places that you have mentioned, are equally beautiful and exotic. So, I recommend all of them.
Nisha, So cool (or hot) that you too have visited so many of these spots. Up until recently, heading south was just the Caribbean. So these were great discoveries for us. Hope you get to go to the Maldives one day. Linda
Great that you included India. Winters in Coastal India is warm and pleasant. North gets really cold but there is also a certain charm to it. You can also go higher up to the mountains and enjoy some snowfall or even a snow-trek.
Jitaditya, Thanks for making the distinction about coastal and northern India. You are so right. We only visited the coastal areas – so that brought “hot” to mind! I am sure that India offers a great range of seasons to enjoy. Linda
So cool to see India make it to your list. I highly recommend the islands of India too… For its pristine beaches. You can indulge in some scuba here as well. Also the wildlife Parks are great during the season.
Ami, Thanks for the added suggestions for India. We saw a lot on our visit. But I am really sorry we missed the beaches and the scuba diving! Linda
The southern hemisphere is definitely a go-to place every winter. I live in Tel Aviv and though winter is not really harsh, I really loved leaving and going somewhere South. Argentina and Brasil are good options, too!
Trisha, South America is still on our travel wish list. But I am sure that Argentina and Brazil would be great options to head for warm weather. Thanks for the suggestions. Linda