Escape the Cold: The Best Places to Warm You Up

If you’re lucky enough to have vacation days scheduled around the holiday season, now is a great time to start planning. If you wait much longer, airline prices will start to rise, and all the best hotels will be booked up. If you live north of the Mason-Dixon line, chances are you’ve already had a couple days of cold weather and are just starting to realize that summer is truly over.

If you’re nervous about the potential of having to dig out your winter boots and remember how to walk on snow, you aren’t alone. This year take a break from cold and dreary weather by picking a warm-weather destination for your holiday vacation. There are tons of places to choose from depending on your budget, and what you want to do while you’re away.

Now is a great time to lock down plans, so check out this list for some inspiration for the best places to warm you up this winter.

Costa Rica

Located in Central America, Costa Rica has always been a popular tourist destination because of its beautiful weather, stable political climate, and incredible biodiversity. If you’re interested in exploring interesting wildlife and trekking through the rainforest this winter, Costa Rica is the place for you. Our winter is definitely the high season there, so it’s important to book early if you want to secure the best deals and most exclusive activities.

If you don’t know much about logistics in Costa Rica, and want to leave sweating the small stuff to the professionals, you might consider booking an organized tour — it will allow you to pack a lot of activities into a short time span, and there are a lot of outdoor adventure companies in Costa Rica that have great reputations for organizing amazing excursions. Just make sure any tourism business you interact with has an official CST (Certificate of Sustainable Tourism).

Photo by Joel Sharpe / Getty Images

Paradise Island, Bahamas

If your idea of a holiday looks more like sitting at a beach than it does trekking through the rainforest, Paradise Island in the Bahamas might be more your speed. Paradise Island is located just offshore of the Nassau, the capital city of The Bahamas.  The area has been under development by hotel owners and real estate moguls since 1959. In just 60 years, it has been transformed from a narrow, sandy spit called Hog Island to a booming hotel metropolis.

The most famous resort on the island is Atlantis, a massive complex that encompasses six huge towers that can accommodate hundreds of thousands of guests. The accommodations are all centered around an aquatic theme park called Aquaventure, which includes incredible features like a 60-foot slide through a massive, shark-filled tank, 14 different lagoons filled with a huge variety of fish and aquatic mammals, and the mile-long Rapid River artificial waterway.

If you want to stay at Atlantis, or one of the other Paradise Island resorts, it’s wise to book early. If you’re on a budget, focus on suites at the Coral Towers or Beach Tower.

Pola Damonte via Getty Images / Getty Images

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