When the “weather outside is frightful,” a warmer destination can sound like a dream. If you’re tempted to trade the blistering cold temperatures for sandy beaches and warm sunshine, consider one of these top destinations this winter:

#bnesimppl photo credits: @mace.travels

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Belize City, Belize

This tiny country in Central America packs a surprising punch! It offers something for everyone, regardless of age, interests, or physical fitness level. On the coast of the second-largest coral reef in the world, visitors can go on guided snorkelling tours, swim with manatees or sharks, or simply soak in the sunshine on a Caribbean beach.

If the beach isn’t your scene, Belize is rich in natural beauty and historical sites that should interest any adventurer. Tourists can visit the Belize zoo, explore ancient Mayan ruins, stay in a jungle lodge, or even go spelunking in Actun Tunichil Muknal, which is the #1 sacred cave according to National Geographic. At the end of a fun-filled day, you can relax and unwind while enjoying the gorgeous Belizean sunset.

#bnesimppl photo credits: @gotmysealegs

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Sydney, Australia

January might be the dead of winter here, but summer is in full swing in Australia! Visitors to Sydney, Australia can enjoy temperatures around 75° Fahrenheit while exploring everything the city has to offer. Sydney offers iconic attractions such as the Sydney Opera House and Bondi Beach, but it has some lesser-known gems that may surprise you. Tourists can shop to their heart’s content on Oxford Street, at several flea markets dotted throughout the charming Sydney neighbourhoods, or in the Queen Victoria Building, which contains over 180 different stores.

There are several unique outdoor activities as well, such as walking across the Sydney Harbour Bridge, exploring the Royal Botanical Garden, and hiking in the Blue Mountains. Kings Cross in Sydney is also known for its fantastic restaurants and nightlife, so even when the sun goes down, the fun doesn’t have to end!

#bnesimppl photo credits: @virtual_caravan

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Phuket, Thailand

During the winter months, Phuket is sunny and warm with temperatures ranging from about 70-90° Fahrenheit. Phuket is home to breathtaking natural attractions such as Nai Harn Beach, Kata Noi Beach, Phi Phi Island, and Karon View Point, so visitors are sure to have plenty of photo opportunities! If you love wildlife, you can visit the Phuket Tiger Kingdom or the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary to get up close and personal with these awesome animals. Adventurous individuals can go ziplining over the forest near Patong Beach, go on a guided kayaking tour, or learn how to surf! For those interested in Thai culture, you can take a cooking class to learn how to create authentic meals or visit one of the religious shrines, such as the Jui Tui Shrine house.

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Cape Town, South Africa

Ranked #2 in the best places to visit in Africa and the Middle East, South Africa is one of the best destinations to fully immerse yourself in nature, adventure, and culture. You can spend your days outside hiking Table Mountain, swimming in Clifton Beach, or wandering the 89 beautiful acres of the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens. Tourists can learn more about the history and culture of South Africa at the unique museums and historical landmarks such as the Heart of Cape Town Museum, the District Six Museum, or the Castle of Good Hope.

Visitors can take guided tours at any of these locations, or they can feel free to explore them at their own pace. Cape Town also features several top-rated restaurants that are guaranteed to satisfy any craving you may have!

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Panama City, Panama

This city offers much more than the iconic tours and view of the Panama Canal! Tourists can shop at Panama’s Artisan Market, take a salsa dance class, or reserve a spot on a catamaran to venture out to Taboga Island to spend the day snorkelling or snoozing on the beach. For history buffs, some ideal sites to visit include the Panama Canal Museum and the Plaza de Francia, where visitors can learn about the history and hardships of those who built the Panama canal.

Tourists can choose to catch a show at The National Theater or The National Institute of Culture Building, which are both located within the historical part of Panama City. Additionally, visitors have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take a guided tour of Monkey Island and then learn about the lifestyles and culture of the Embera Indigenous Community from the community members themselves.

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