Holiday Travel: Top 15 Winter Sun Vacations

top 15 winter sun destinations

In the Northern Hemisphere, the holidays are the perfect time to escape the cold and seek out winter sun. And there are plenty of sun-soaked destinations around the world to explore. From Cape Town to Costa Rica, here are the top 15 winter sun vacations. 

Cape Town, South Africa

1. Cape Town, South Africa

When to go: November–March
Average temperature: 27°C/80°F

Cape Town is known for its natural beauty and is an ideal vacation for winter sun-seekers. The South African capital has it all: spectacular mountains, world-famous beaches, rolling vineyards, and rugged coastlines. Summer is in full swing at this time of year, with food and wine festivals, outdoor music shows, and beach parties to enjoy. 

Related: The 25 Most Beautiful Cities In The World To Visit

Planning a trip to Cape Town? Stay connected with a South Africa eSIM.

Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Islands, Australia

2. The Whitsundays, Australia

When to go: December–March
Average temperature: 27°C/80°F

Dreaming of postcard-perfect beaches? Look no further than the Whitsundays. The 74 islands between Airlie Beach and the Great Barrier Reef are a tropical paradise in the heart of Queensland. Sailing to Whitehaven is a must — its blindingly-white sand and crystalline waters make it a hands-down contender for "World's Most Beautiful Beach."

Sailing the Whitsundays? Stay connected with an Australia eSIM.

Phuket, Thailand

3. Phuket and the Andaman Coast, Thailand

When to go: November–March
Average temperature: 32°C/89°F

The Andaman Coast is at its dreamiest during the holidays. The dry season runs from November to March, bringing blue skies, warm sunny days, and crystal clear waters. Phuket, Phi Phi, and Ko Lanta are the show-stoppers, with towering limestone cliffs, stretches of soft sand, and offshore islands to explore. 

Island-hopping in Phuket? Stay connected with a Thailand eSIM.

Hawaii, United States

4. Hawaii, United States

When to go: Year-round
Average temperature: 24°C/75°F

Hawaii is a year-round sun destination and a perfect pick for the holiday season. The eight Hawaiian islands have some of the world's best beaches, surf, and hikes on the planet. Must-see attractions include Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Kauai's NaPali Coast, and Haleakala National Park on the island of Maui. 

Traveling to Hawaii? Stay connected with a United States eSIM.


5. Mauritius

When to go: May–December
Average temperature: 28°C/82°F

When it comes to tropical sun vacations, Mauritius is unmatched. Though it has a luxury resort reputation, there's more to Mauritius than meets the eye. This tiny island in the Indian Ocean has much more to offer, from gorgeous botanic gardens and nature reserves to stretches of golden beach and world-class diving and snorkeling. 

Vacationing in Mauritius? Stay connected with a Mauritius eSIM.

Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica

6. Costa Rica

When to go: December–April
Average temperature: 27°C/80°F

Costa Rica is a nature-lover's paradise and a fantastic winter sun vacation. This Central American gem has stunning coastlines, dramatic volcanos, lush rainforests, and incredible biodiversity. The dry season stretches from December through April, making it the perfect time of year to soak up the pura vida vibes. 

Related: Costa Rica Travel Guide: Everything You Need To Know

Adventuring in Costa Rica? Stay connected with a Costa Rica eSIM.

British Virgin Islands

7. The British Virgin Islands

When to go: December–February
Average temperature: 23°C/73°F

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) are another top winter sun vacation for the holidays. The BVI have sunny skies, pleasant breezes, and very little rain from December to February. Explore its four main islands: Tortola for white sand beaches, Virgin Gorda for five-star hotels and mega yachts, Jost Van Dyke for water adventures, and Anegada for scuba diving and snorkeling. 

Enjoying a beach vacation in the British Virgin Islands? Stay connected with a British Virgin Islands eSIM.

Tulum, Mexico

8. Yucatán, Mexico

When to go: November–March
Average temperature: 24°C/75°F

Mexico's Yucatán is one of the best places to have a winter sun vacation. This sunny peninsula, bordered by the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, is brimming with world-famous beaches like Tulum and Playa del Carmen. Travel inland to visit ancient Mayan ruins, take a dip in the region's famous cenotes, and explore colonial cities like charming Mérida.

Taking off to the Yucatán Peninsula? Stay connected with a Mexico eSIM.

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

9. Bali, Indonesia

When to go: Year-round
Average temperature: 27°C/80°F

The "Island of the Gods" has balmy temperatures year-round, including during the holidays. The list of things to see and do in Bali is endless: Hit the beach in Canggu, Seminyak, and Uluwatu, cycle through Ubud's rolling rice terraces, take a day trip to breathtaking Nusa Penida, and visit legendary temples like Lempuyang, Goa Gajah, and Pura Saraswati. 

Taking off to Bali? Stay connected with an Indonesia eSIM.


10. The Maldives

When to go: December–April
Average temperature: 28°C/82°F

The Maldives are next on our list of top winter sun vacations. These 1,200-plus palm-studded islands cover an area the size of Portugal and are known for some of the world's most luxurious resorts and best snorkeling and diving. Hit any beach to sunbathe, swim, and snorkel, catch a wave on North Malé Atoll, and hike lush jungle trails on Addu Atoll.

Traveling to the Maldives? Stay connected with a Maldives eSIM.


11. Zanzibar, Tanzania

When to go: December–February
Average temperature: 27°C/80°F

Zanzibar's tropical climate makes it an ideal pick for the holiday season. Explore the island's historic Stone Town, a blend of African, Indian, Arabic, and Persian influences. And head to the northern villages of Nungwi and Kendwa for idyllic stretches of white sand and brilliant blue water, perfect for swimming, kayaking, and scuba diving. 

Planning a holiday in Zanzibar? Stay connected with a Tanzania eSIM.

Dubai, UAE

12. Dubai, UAE

When to go: November–March
Average temperature: 26°C/78°F

The holidays are the best time of year to visit one of the Middle East's most glamorous cities. Dubai is home to the world's tallest building, biggest mall (including an indoor ski slope), and only seven-star hotel. Must-see spots include the Palm Islands, Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, Dubai Fountain, Madinat Jumeirah, Burj Al Arab, Old Souk, and Dubai Creek. 

Taking a trip to Dubai? Stay connected with a United Arab Emirates eSIM.

Santa Maria Beach, Sal, Cape Verde

13. Sal, Cape Verde

When to go: November–June
Average temperature: 23°C/73°F

Head to Sal for guaranteed winter sun. Located off the western tip of Africa, Cape Verde gets year-round sunshine, and Sal is its go-to vacation spot. Here, you'll find pristine beaches, desert landscapes, salt pans, and the Buracona Lagoon. Santa Maria is an ideal base, with stretches of golden sand, beachside bars and restaurants, and epic snorkeling and diving. 

Soaking up the sun in Sal? Stay connected with a Cape Verde eSIM.

Lanzarote, Canary Islands

14. The Canary Islands, Spain

When to go: Year-round
Average temperature: 22°C/71°F

The Canary Islands are another go-to winter sun vacation. Temperatures hover around the low-mid 20s year-round, making the Canaries a reliable holiday destination. Visit well-known islands like Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Fuerteventura, and Lanzarote, or venture off the beaten path to explore lesser-visited La Palma, El Hierro, and La Gomera. 

Soaking up the sun in the Canaries? Stay connected with a Spain eSIM.


15. Belize

When to go: December–April
Average temperature: 30°C/86°F

The final stop on our list of best winter sun vacations is Belize. This pint-sized country packs an irresistible punch. Here, you'll find jungle trails, Mayan ruins, national parks, and the Belize Barrier Reef. Ambergris Caye is a must for divers, home to the Great Blue Hole, Shark Ray Alley, and Hol Chan Marine Reserve. 

Spending the holidays in Belize? Stay connected with a Belize eSIM.

Airalo eSIM app

Stay Connected With an Airalo eSIM

No matter where your travels take you, stay connected with an Airalo eSIM. Airalo gives you access to affordable eSIMs for 200+ countries and regions — including each of our top winter sun vacations.

Why Airalo? Here are a few reasons to use an Airalo eSIM when you travel:

  • Connect to a mobile network within minutes of arrival.
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  • Say goodbye to expensive roaming charges.
  • Store multiple eSIM data plans on your device.
  • Running out of data? Top up in the Airalo app.

Where will you find sun during the holidays? Choose an Airalo eSIM to stay connected during your trip.

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