If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, January and February can be absolutely brutal when it comes to cold temperatures and snowy weather. Luckily, we've compiled a list of warm destinations so you can get a good dose of Vitamin D come mid-winter. Whether you're looking for great beaches or plenty of sunshine, here are the best places to escape winter in 2024.

Bali, Indonesia

Boasting stunning lush landscapes and surrounded by the Indian Ocean, Bali is a tropical paradise that beckons winter travellers with its warm climate and vibrant culture. Known for its spiritual ambience, stunning beaches, and terraced rice fields, Bali has no shortage of beauty. Spend some time on the secluded Nyang Nyang Beach, or go swimming and take pictures at Banyumala Twin Waterfall.

Cape Town, South Africa

Nestled between the iconic Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Town is a winter haven with plenty to do. This city has the perfect blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and modern sophistication. Visitors can explore the historic Robben Island, hike up Table Mountain for panoramic views, or stroll along the colourful Bo-Kaap neighbourhood, all while enjoying mild winter temperatures.

The Best Places to Escape Winter in 2024 - The Wise Traveller - Table Mountain - Africa

South Male Atoll, The Maldives

The Maldives, with its enchanting overwater bungalows and pristine turquoise waters, is one of the most idyllic winter escapes in the world. This tropical paradise, located in the heart of the Indian Ocean, provides seclusion, unparalleled luxury, and a chance to unwind on white sandy beaches or explore the vibrant marine life through snorkelling or diving. Explore the vibrant city of Male, go island hopping, and visit one of the many luxurious resort spas for some much-needed rest and relaxation.

Playa del Carmen, México

Playa del Carmen, along the Riviera Maya, is a lively and sun-soaked destination during the winter months. With its stunning beaches along the Caribbean Sea, vibrant street life on Quinta Avenida, and proximity to ancient Mayan ruins like Tulum, this Mexican destination has so much to do. While you're here, be sure to visit Rio Secreto, an underground river and collection of caves where you can swim, climb, and take plenty of pictures of this hidden gem.

The Best Places to Escape Winter in 2024 - The Wise Traveller - Tulum

San Jose, Costa Rica

Costa Rica's capital, San Jose, provides a vibrant home base as you explore this country's natural wonders. Winter travellers can immerse themselves in the lush rainforests, explore volcanic landscapes, and discover abundant biodiversity in national parks. There are also plenty of urban activities – walk down Central Avenue in downtown San Jose, browse the Central Market, or visit one of this city's many museums, including the National Museum.

Miami, Florida

Miami, renowned for its vibrant art scene, diverse culture, and glamorous beaches, is a winter destination that pulses with energy. From the trendy neighbourhoods of Wynwood and South Beach to the exotic atmosphere of Little Havana, Miami offers a mix of relaxation and excitement, all under the warm Florida sun. For lush flora and fauna, check out the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, or for urban architecture, go on an Art Deco tour of South Beach.

The Best Places to Escape Winter in 2024 - The Wise Traveller - Miami

Canary Islands, Africa

Located off the northwest coast of Africa, the Canary Islands has everything from volcanic landscapes and historic architecture to diverse ecosystems. Winter visitors can explore the lunar-like terrain of Timanfaya National Park in Lanzarote, relax on the sandy beaches of Gran Canaria, or hike through the lush forests of La Palma, enjoying a mild climate year-round.

Final thoughts

Who says winter has to be cold and snowy? In these tropical destinations,  you'll experience sunshiny days and warm temperatures, refuelling you for the rest of the winter season back home.