If spending cold months at home isn't quite your thing, Latin America is a great choice for some winter sun.
Latin America's summer runs from January to March and offers plenty of opportunity for travellers to retreat to sun-soaked beaches. Vibrant cities and stunning mountains are also an integral part of Latin American summers.
Here's our experts pick of the very best destinations for some winter sun in Latin America.
1) The Lake District, Argentina
At just the right time for the region’s best climate, make the most of the plethora of outdoor pursuits on offer; mountain biking, hiking, fishing and boat trips are all ideal ways to explore the picturesque mountains, forest, lakes and rivers. This is the ideal escape for both active travellers and animal lovers alike.
2) Ambergris Caye, Belize
During the dry season, travel to Belize‘s Ambergris Caye to savour island life and the warm Caribbean sea. The island is perhaps best known for its outstanding snorkelling and scuba diving, due to its proximity to the world’s second largest reef. For a truly exclusive stay, head to the luxury resort Cayo Espanto – situated on its own private island – where the private villas, infinity pool and spa are ideal for couples.
3) Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
This stunning archipelago is situated a couple of hundred miles off Brazil’s northeast coast, affording unsurpassable diving opportunities. Dolphins and turtles are the star of the show, but by diving and snorkelling you’ll see the whole array of tropical marine life that inhabits the surrounding waters.
4) Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Surrounded by mountains and emerald forest, and boasting long stretches of white-sand coast – including the iconic beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema – Rio de Janeiro is an appealing destination all-year-round.
5) The Atacama Desert, Chile
Stay at one of the region’s luxury lodges such as Alto Atacama (one of our favourites) and head out on horseback, on foot, by mountain bike, in a 4WD vehicle or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, soar over the desert in a hot air balloon.
6) The Coffee Triangle, Colombia
Encompassing Caldas, Risaralda and Quindio, Colombia‘s coffee triangle is a verdant green landscape of mountains, valleys, coffee plantations and tropical Andean forest, with towering wax palms and traditional Colombian haciendas. This UNESCO World Heritage Site can be explored on foot or on horseback, with a hacienda such as Sazagua as your base.
This luxurious lodging enjoys its own spa and pool, alongside the chance to experience authentic hacienda life and take part in excursions like hiking, kayaking and canopy ziplining.
7) Corcovado and the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
Widely known as one of the world’s richest wildlife reserves, this remote location is the setting for 105,000 acres of lush primary rainforest, with the greatest variety of tree species on earth, mammals such as capuchins and jaguars, and an incredible abundance of birdlife. Go snorkelling and diving and spot the surrounding water’s humpback whales and dolphins.
Make the most of the dry months by hiking along nature trails, seeking out wildlife and exploring the pristine beaches. Kuraz Design Villas is an ultra stylish and sustainable rainforest retreat that’s ideal for couples, while Lapa Rios is superb for family trips, with its generous offering of activities and excursions.
8) The Amazon, Ecuador
Amidst astounding wilderness, the Amazon river contains as much as one fifth of the world’s fresh water, and the rainforest and waterways are home to an incredible variety of flora and fauna species, all vying for space.
9) Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Formed many thousands of years ago by volcanic eruption, this tranquil lake sits amongst dramatic volcanic landscape, fertile farmland and coffee plantations, with authentic Mayan villages to visit for an insight into Guatemalan heritage. Many people come here for its offering of outdoor pursuits, such as hiking, cycling, and kayaking on the lake.
Laguna Lodge is a distinctive boutique eco resort that’s situated right on the lake’s shores within its own national park, offering activities that range from yoga and pilates to paragliding and rock-climbing.
10) Tulum, Mexico
This coastline’s white-sand beaches and turquoise Caribbean sea are backed by black and grey granite cliffs and the clifftop Mayan seaport town of Tulum, which overlooks the coast. Once a fortress and small city-state of the Mayan Empire, Tulum has tales to tell of this fascinating era, as well as a wildlife rich coastline.