In the Northern Hemisphere, winter is coming whether we like it or not. (And for many of us, the answer is not.) While up north we’re prepping for the arrival of winter, our friends south of the equator are looking forward to the arrival of summer come December. So what better way to beat the winter blues than by jetting off to one of these spots in the Southern Hemisphere?
Cape Town, South Africa:
Cool down with a dip at Cape Town’s Boulders Beach and check out the neighboring penguin colony, which will surely warm your heart. Enjoy sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean — and some jaw-dropping coastal real estate — as you stroll the sandy beaches of the exclusive suburb of Clifton.
Kick off your trip to the land down under with a sail around Sydney as you pass by sites including the iconic Opera House and majestic Harbour Bridge. Continue the theme with a sailing excursion to the Great Barrier Reef — actually the largest living thing on Earth — off the coast of Queensland in the north of the continent. Snorkel around the 1400-mile-long ecosystem as you pass by colorful fish, turtles, dolphins and countless other amazing marine life.
If you’re into adventure travel, this is the place for you. From zip lining to surfing, Fiji has it all. Hike up Mount Tomanivi, an extinct volcano in the northern highlands of Fiji’s largest islant, Viti Levu, or just lay out on the idyllic beaches and daydream about never going home.
Plan an excursion to the Franz Joseph Glacier, one of the main attractions on New Zealand’s west coast where you can venture on a guided (or unguided) hike or book a helicopter trip for a birds-eye view of the picturesque 7.5-mile-long ice field. Don’t miss Tongariro National Park in the central North Island. Home to one of the best one-day hikes in the world it boasts cascading waterfalls and snowcapped volcanoes.
Take in the stately 19th century buildings of Buenos Aires as you wander through the Plaza de Mayo in the center of the cosmopolitan capitol city. Looking for a more rustic experience? Pack your parka and venture to Los Glaciers National Park (named for the giant ice cap in the Andes) down in the Santa Cruz Province, the largest ice cap outside Antarctica and Greenland.
Take in the jaw-dropping sunset — and scantily clad beach bodies — as you stroll along the famed Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro. Visit during Carnival, which takes place every February or March depending on where Easter falls on the calendar and take in the eye-catching costumes and lively percussion groups parading the streets.
From stunning beaches to pristine jungles, Bali is the place to truly disconnect from the chaos of everyday life. Discover the island’s cultural heritage with a visit to the impressive Royal Mengwi Temple and stroll through the lush tropical greenery in the nearby Kedaton Monkey Forest, a sanctuary and nature reserve for crab-eating macaque monkeys.
Easter Island, Chile:
Fancy yourself an Indiana Jones-type? Plan a trip to Easter Island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean with its famed 887 monumental head statues created by the early Rapa Nui people. This is the most remote inhabited island in the world, so plan your trip well in advance by booking a seat on one of the regular flights from Santiago, Chile.