Winter beach vacations are some of the best ways to break your travel routine when the weather turns cold. Turn off your cell phone, stow away your laptop, and spend a week unwinding on the beach or trekking through the jungle. For some, a stay in a Mexican resort such as Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, or Cancun does the trick, while others may look towards winter vacations in the Caribbean to satisfy their thirst for relaxation.
When it comes to winter vacations in the Caribbean, nothing beats the liveliness and tourist kitsch of Puerto Rico. This medley of Spanish and American influence, vibrant city culture and exquisite Puerto Rico beaches makes this vacation one that is both exciting and relaxing. If you're the type who likes to lie on the beach but also explore the local culture, a trip to San Juan Puerto Rico may be for you. Walk along the cobblestone streets of historic Old San Juan and get transported back hundreds of years to a time when San Juan was a Spanish fort and a bastion against British and Dutch aggression. Later, when the heat has tired you out, the amazing beaches that line the coast around San Juan are home to some of the finest winter beach vacations the island has to offer.
Another popular spot for winter vacations in the Caribbean is the Dominican Republic, just west of Puerto Rico—and not to be confused with the Caribbean island of Dominica. Sharing the island of Hispaniola with its poorer neighbor, Haiti, the Dominican Republic has done well for itself, with rapidly expanding tourist infrastructure and some of the most exclusive beach resorts in the world. The capital, Santo Domingo, is a vibrant city with a growing economy, and has come to be known as the Miami of the Caribbean.
Meanwhile, some of the most beautiful secluded beach resorts are located on the eastern coast of the island, such as at Punta Cana and Bavaro—major resort areas with exclusive, luxurious hotels. Here the sugarcane plantations evoke visions of an earlier time, while pristine white beaches beckon. This may be one of the most relaxing warm weather vacations in the winter, with nothing disturbing you but the slow wash of the waves. Head over to the island of Saona for a day in the National Park of Este, where white sands and delightful marine life, such as dolphins, swim alongside you.
Slightly closer to home for most North Americans, Cancun is a treat among warm weather vacations in the winter, combining breathtaking views and white sand beaches with a fascinating ancient Mayan culture. You can get excellent deals on winter beach vacations in Cancun, with affordable packages that offer round-trip flights, and a week's stay in an all-inclusive resort with unlimited food and drink. This is a unique opportunity to indulge all the senses. There are a host of activities to do in Cancun: water sports such as snorkeling and scuba diving, fishing, boating, shopping, spa treatments, as well as trips into the jungle and to ancient Mayan ruins. Most resorts can help tourists organize day trips and other activities.
Cruise vacations are also a great way to relax, but whatever locations you consider for warm weather vacations in the winter, make it a true vacation, leave your worries and concerns behind for a week or two, and truly enjoy your time away.