Banish the Winter Blues With These 5 Beach Getaways

It never fails that
as winter sets in on the northern part of the globe that the thoughts of many
turn to fantasies of warm, tropical beaches. Delightful images of swaying palm
trees and the memory of the sweet bite of a perfect piña colada can cloud judgement
and lead to the uncontrollable urge to browse the websites of tropical resorts
and perhaps even book a flight.  


If you’re suffering from the winter blues, why
fight it? While the winter months are high season in most tropical
destinations, that doesn’t always mean that the prices are unaffordable. In
fact, right now is the perfect time to travel as the US dollar is reaching
record highs in many parts of the world, so your trip might actually save
money.  

These are five of the most appealing beachy destinations
in the world, any of which would be the perfectwinter getaway. So ditch
the coats and gloves, grab your swimsuits and passports, and head off for a
well-deserved break from the cold.

1. Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Located on the long stretch of Caribbean
coastline known as the Riviera Maya, Playadel Carmen is just
south of Cancun, which is easily reached by direct flights from all over the
United States and some from Europe. This relatively small town is bursting with
lively clubs, fantastic Mexican cuisine, and lodging choices from budget
hostels to luxury resorts.

The beaches are made up of powdery white sand and
the crystal blue waters are perfect for a number of activities such as scuba
diving, snorkeling, sailing, kite surfing, and more. One of the current appeals
of Mexico is the strength of the U.S. dollar against the Mexican peso. However,
don’t be lured in by the fact that most establishments accept US dollars.
Withdraw pesos from a local ATM and pay all hotel charges in pesos. Be sure to
take advantage of the shopping options as well. Clothing, souvenirs, and others
can be good deals in Mexico. Bring your electronics though, like your e-cigarettes and backup digital
memory cards.

2. Bocas
del Toro, Panamá

Located on Panama’s Caribbean coast and
consisting of an intricate archipelago of islands, Bocas del Toro is laid back,
inexpensive, and incredibly beautiful. Easily reached by a short, regional
flight from Panama City, Bocas del Toro and its funky vibe has lured travelers
from all over the world.

Accommodations are typically mid-range here and
generally consist of hostels and guesthouses. However, higher-end resorts are
available, and short-term rentals through Airbnb or Home Away are becoming
increasingly popular. Hire a boat for a day to visit some of the deserted
islands, and keep your eyes out for sloths in the beautiful mangrove trees. 

3. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

This island paradise in the Caribbean is under
the radar enough that you won’t encounter the crowds that you might in places
like Jamaica or the Bahamas, but it still has all of the amenities that you’ll
need for a perfect winter getaway. Prices are reasonable and this beautiful
island paradise will take your breath away.

Most visitors stay in one of the resorts located
in Punta Cana, but staying in Santo Domingo is an option as well. At the very
least spend a day exploring Santo Domingo, and be sure to try some of the local
dishes, which are an intriguing mash up of African, Spanish, and Middle Eastern
flavors.

4. San Juan, Puerto Rico

For those U.S. citizens without a passport, PuertoRico is an attractive destination. This U.S. territory boasts the only tropical
rainforest that the United States can call its own, and the history of this
island paradise will appeal to many, and its pristine beaches are a huge draw
for visitors from all over the world.

San Juan is a charming colonial city and its
cuisine is world renowned. Be sure to pay a visit to Mosquito Bay at night to
witness the otherworldly bioluminescence, and Flamenco Beach offers camping
facilities. Also be sure to visit Camuy River Cave Park for a tour of the underground world.

5. Cartagena, Colombia

Colombia’s torrid past might still put some
travelers off, but this country has rebounded in a big way and tourism is
booming. Colombia is inexpensive and boasts a vast amount of diversity, but for
beach lovers nothing beats Cartagena.

This combination of cosmopolitan city and
stunning Caribbean coastline results in an incredible beach vacation. Hire a
boat to visit some of the more remote beaches, and be sure that you always save
room for the seafood. Colombia’s exquisite touch with food might just have you
planning your next visit before you even leave.

The winter blues are a real condition, but
they’re easily cured with a quick trip to the tropics. Choose one of these
beach locales for your next getaway. 

2 Comments

  1. Tamra Phelps
    January 28, 2016 / 12:03 am

    Oh, nothing would make me happier! Seriously, it is gray & gloomy here in KY this Winter. I'd love to see a little blue sky or sunshine.

  2. Rose-Marie
    April 15, 2016 / 3:15 pm

    I've never been anywhere like these beaches, I would love to have a vacation at any of these places!

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