Winter brings holiday cheer and vacations, but the cold weather can really put a damper on things. These 30 places around the world are the perfect antidote to your winter blues.
Tenerife, Canary Islands
With average temperatures at 20°C (70°F) in December, the islands of Gran Canaria and Tenerife in the Canary Islands are already known as Europe's winter playgrounds. Sometimes this can mean crowds and high prices, but it's still possible to find some tranquility amidst the winter sun. Tenerife is the less touristy of the two islands, and it isn't all endless swaths of sand and sea. For those who can't stand the idea of laying on a beach for an entire vacation, there are plenty of outdoor sports such as hiking and biking to keep you entertained.
Siem Reap, Cambodia
The home of the world's largest religious building is also one of the hottest on the list. Smack in the middle of the dry season, Siem Reap's daily average temperature is about 30°C (88°F) in December. You'll be able to enjoy this incredible monument when the region is enjoying its best weather. And it's not just Angkor Wat that has great weather. The whole country is experiencing its best temperatures this time of year so visitors will see the country's boundless beaches and beautiful landscapes at their best.
Cartagena has become quite a popular of late with American tourists, and with good reason. Temperatures hover around 32°C (90°F), making it the perfect destination for sun worshippers on a budget. The city's beaches and vibrant nightlife make it the perfect choice for anyone looking for both a tan and a good time. From mud baths in active volcanoes to the street art of the Getsemani neighborhood, Cartagena is a December vacation that is sure to surprise and delight again and again.
Bastimentos Island, Panama
Temperatures in Panama City and more lowland areas range from 24°C to 29°C (75°F to 85°F) in December, making for the perfect beach holiday. Bastimentos is perfect for those who don't like a lot of hustle and bustle with their winter sunshine. Home to nesting sea turtles, sloths, poison-dart frogs, Titi monkeys, and dolphins, this remote, tropical paradise is perfect for those looking for a hiking and beach time. Unfortunately, the dolphins are most likely to make an appearance during the rainy season, but the nature trails on the island's eastern side are sure to give visitors plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife.
Mindelo, Cape Verde
Mindelo may not be much to look at from an architectural standpoint, but the point of the city isn't looking but listening. Often considered to be Cape Verde's capital of culture, Mindelo is the home of Cesaria Evora and a style of Cape Verdean music called Morna, and its sounds float out the windows of restaurants and cafes all over the city. Cape Verde has ten islands from which to choose, but Sao Vicente may be the best for a winter getaway. There's a small beach right in the city center, but the best beaches are found outside the city. Baia das Gatas offers great swimming thanks to a natural lagoon, and Sao Pedro is one of the best beaches in the world for windsurfing. As an added bonus, the lush, green island of Santo Antao is just a short ferry ride away, offering some of the best hiking in West Africa. Temperatures in December average about 25°C (77°F).