As the weather turns chilly within the northern hemisphere, the southern half of the world is just starting to heat up. These are VacayDaze’s favorite getaways for winter sun within the southern hemisphere. Just as the northern half of the earth settles down for some winter hibernation, the southern hemisphere is gearing up for fun in the summer sun, all just a flight removed from many U.S. cities, some with direct flights. Therefore, forget short days, polar vortexes and post-New Year slumps, and get to booking a visit to the opposite facet of the equator to shake off those winter blues.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
If one destination absolutely shouts sun-filled celebration it’s Rio de Janeiro. If you time it right, like around February 21-26 in 2020, there’s no larger party on earth than the city’s carnival, however at any time of year it’s easy to see why cariocas, otherwise ‘locals’, love the cidade maravilhosa or ‘marvelous city’.
Iconic beaches like Ipanema and Copacabana are where you’ll top up your vitamin D levels before scaling the heights of Rio’s several hills. Don’t miss Sugarloaf Mountain and also the statue of Christ the Redeemer, each providing elegant views across the city. Finally, it might be rude to not take pleasure in some samba while you’re here and the Lapa neighborhood is the country’s capital for a some all-night, hip-swaying dancing.
Cape Town, South Africa
Previously solely accessible with a minimum of one stop on the way, Cape Town can currently be reached directly from the Big Apple via United Airlines. It’s a spirited seacoast city, dominated by the natural beauty of its setting and not least spectacular is Table Mountain, where climbing it may be a prime experience on any visit.
Next stroll multi-colored Bo-Kaap, the city’s oldest neighborhood, followed by a boat trip to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was captive for eighteen years, or head to Boulders Beach where you’ll observe some 3000 African penguins. Further abroad are the large draws of the Winelands and one among the world’s classic drives, the Garden Route.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
An elegant European-like city born in the middle of Latin America, Buenos Aires may be a unique destination with an infectious buzz to it. A graveyard may not appear as a clear place to start your visit, however the gorgeous and interesting Cementerio de la Recoleta is a prime sight here with its avenues lined with spectacular tombs and statues as well as that of Eva Peron, better referred to as Evita.
Next, top off on some Argentinian steak, washed down with some native wine, and then find a milonga or ‘dance salon’ to relish in the city’s sensual contribution to the world of dance, the tango.
Say g’day to Australia’s largest city where celebrated architecture brushes up against glamorous beaches next to innovative restaurants. Climb the Sydney Harbor Bridge before wandering through the Rocks, an original 18th-century settlement, to the Opera House, its roof billowing like sails on the waterfront, and also the stunning Royal Botanical Garden.
Bondi Beach gets all the attention except for quieter spots that follow the 4-mile coast path south of it, dotted with smaller stretches of sand. Or take a ferry over to Manly and unfold your towel on the protected Shelly Beach. It’s hard to eat badly anyplace in Sydney, however one among the city’s best areas for dining is Surry Hills, home to prime restaurants and bars.
A jumping off point for journeys to places like the spectacular Machu Picchu, the Peruvian capital may be a worthy destination in its own right with an attractive melting pot of native and external cultures. Begin with the Plaza de Armas and also the 16th-century cathedral within the oldest part of Spanish Lima.
Then explore further back in time at the Museo Larco and Museo de la Nación with their in depth collections of pre-Columbian art with the former having an erotica section that’s a guaranteed brow raiser. If all that history has made you hungry, you’re in the right place. Lima features a food scene that, true to its character, may be a tasty mixture of ancient and trendy, native and foreign, with ceviche or ‘raw fish marinated in citrus juice’ the most renowned.
Auckland, New Zealand
New Zealand’s main entry point and largest city features a beautiful setting, very nice museums and restaurants and an abundance of fantastic day, or longer, journeys on its doorstep. To understand more regarding native geology like volcanoes and Māori culture, head to the Auckland Museum, then hike up Mount Eden, the city’s highest, and fortunately extinct, volcano for views that absorb the built-up area and also the two harbors on the far side.
For a day at the beach, venture west to undeveloped, black-sand Karakare or east across the water to Waiheke Island, nearly as renowned for its wineries as for its beaches. Back within the city, Ponsonby incorporates a tempting array of food and drink choices, alongside freelance retailers and art galleries.