We know you’re shivering.
For people living in North America, it’s been an especially brutal winter. The first day of spring — March 20 — can’t come too soon.
Yet travelers willing to venture south can find sunshine, shorts weather and beaches right now in the parts of the world where summer is just winding down.
Here are some of our favorite warm spots around the globe.
One of the world’s most livable cities, sunny Brisbane has a beach right on the doorstep of its central business district. Known as South Bank, it’s where people go to eat, drink and play on the south bank of the Brisbane River.
South Island, New Zealand
Never mind that it doesn’t feel like summer when you’re hiking on a glacier. It would be much colder in winter! National Geographic’s 12-day adventure exploring New Zealand’s South Island includes a helicopter ride to see the Franz Josef Glacier from the air. Then you’ll be dropped off for a 2-mile hike. You’ll also have a black-water cave rafting adventure in Paparoa National Park and a hike into Abel Tasman National Park.
Built among shanties on a mountainside in 2007, Medellin’s Espana Library and the surrounding area are connected to the city by an amazing MetroCable system. It’s just one of the developments that led the Washington-based Urban Land Institute to name this amazing city the 2012 “Innovative City of the Year.”
Try a cafe tinto in the morning and an aguardiente when you want a harder drink.
South African safari
While it can be hot in South Africa during the summer, it’s still a wonderful time to explore the country’s natural wonders. Book a tour to pack as much into your trip as possible. REI Adventures offers an 11-day trip that includes hiking Cape Town’s Table Mountain, kayaking to an African penguin colony, a three-day safari at Sabi Sand Reserve and tasting local wines in the Cape Winelands area.
Stop to get a picture of yourself near the enormous ships passing through the Panama Canal, an amazing feat of construction.
Then head to the mountain town of Boquete, at the foothills of the Baru Volcano in the Chiriqui Highlands, to drink coffee where some of the finest beans in the world are grown. Prefer chocolate? La Loma is a working chocolate farm, located off the grid and on the remote Bastimentos Island in Bocas del Toro. It may be the most delicious place to stay in the country.