The temperature has dropped drastically, the streets are cloaked in white, and our wardrobes are full of bulky knits. There is no doubt about it, summer is far behind us. While some relish the sight of the first snowflakes with childish glee, others—which we are a part of—dream of one thing only: heat! Since the time machine has not yet been invented, we have found the only solution to provide us with the best natural vitamin D supplement: traveling to sunny destinations. Here’s our overview of the top countries to help you ease the winter blues.
If there is one must-see destination during the winter, it’s Cuba. This country rich in history and colonial architecture, offers a warm yesteryear atmosphere and beautiful sandy beaches.
You can’t visit Castro’s island without passing through the capital city, of course. Havana will transport you to a different time with its nostalgic charm, rich musical tones and ubiquitous salsa dancing. A stroll down the Malecon, an 8 km waterfront promenade, may be just what you need. And, it doesn’t stop there.
Admire the colourful houses in the town of Trinidad, enjoy cigars in the lush valley of Vinales, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and sip a real Cuban mojito!
Diving enthusiasts and lovers of captivating beaches will also benefit from this breathtaking location. The peninsula offers no less than 300 stretches of soft white sand. To end your visit, make a well-deserved stop on the tropical island of Cayo Coco, you will not be disappointed.
This destination is far from being mainstream, and yet the French island located in an archipelago of the West Indies, is a paradise. Located in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of the Caribbean Sea, Martinique is a dream come true for beach lovers.
Do you like to stay active while on vacation? Lace up your boots and hike the country’s Eastern coast. The well-marked path from Grand-Rivière to Snake Cove offers hikers 18 km of pure beauty—a mix of ocean views and forest, where, if you’re lucky, you get to observe many species of animals.
Another essential during a stay in Martinique: the distilleries, of course! It is unthinkable to go without tasting one of the many rums distilled on the island. Seven distilleries are an integral part of Martinique's landscape. If you are limited on time, visit one of the two oldest ones, Saint-James or Depaz.
With mountains, beaches, jungles, deserts and cities, Mexico, offers a multitude of things to see and do. No wonder it was voted “Travellers’ favourite destination” at the last travel agents of Quebec association (AAVQ) gala.
Whether you’re travelling with your family, friends, or a significant other, Mexico you will find activities to suit your needs. Spreading over nearly 2 million square kilometres, the country does not have a shortage of tourism and cultural activities.
Your travel plans: the capital and its historical centres, the colourful cities of Guanajuato or Oaxaca de Juarez, Mayan archaeological sites—the ruins of Palenque or the pyramids of Teotihuacan—Yucatan cenotes (natural pools with crystal clear water), and the striking beaches of the Mayan Riviera.
Welcome to extraordinary Guatemala! Bursting with adventure and culture, this country deep-rooted in its traditions will quickly become your favourite Central American destination. Ancient ruins, volcanoes, small traditional villages, lush tropical forests, will take your breath away.
Unlike Mexico, which is more culturally diverse, the vast majority of Guatemalans descend directly from the Mayans. Which means you will be fully immersed in Native American culture.
Start by visiting the magnificent colonial city surrounded by volcanoes, Antigua, then make your way to Lake Atitlan and embark on a water taxi to discover the villages that surround it. Next, climb the Acatenango volcano, towering above the landscape at 3,600 meters, and dive into the turquoise waters of Semuc Champey, located in the middle of the jungle.
Want more? Marvel at the Mayan ruins of Tikal and relax on the black sandy beaches of the Pacific Coast.
So, which country do you have your sights on?
Author: Pauline Ponchaux
Adapted from French by: Jonelle Larouche