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Jetting away to the beach when January hits can feel a bit cliché, and in a way it sort of is. Oh well, it’s clear why so many spend the holiday season somewhere sunny – beautiful weather, amazing food, and great people.

Here are a few choice destinations where you can enjoy your next Winter trip with surrounded by waves and warm weather.

Tulum, Mexico

The Mexican city of Tulum is big among travelers at the moment, so now’s the time to get in on the action. Sustainability is a big deal there, so try Casa de Las Olas – a coastal hotel that gets all of its power from solar panels, and was built to harness the cool sea breezes so it doesn’t need air conditioning.

Pretty advanced for a city like Tulum, which dates back to the Mayan civilization. The fortress at Tulum, overlooking the ocean, is over 2000 years old and served as the crossroads for several Meso-American cultures at its peak.

Tulum. Photo CC by

Photo CC by Dennis Jarvis

Bali

The welcoming culture and beautiful temples of Bali make it one of the most popular destinations in the world. A lot of us go there for yoga and wellbeing retreats, or to pursue personal reflection in one way or another.

The Bali Bible has a great list of the best retreats, and one of the stars of the bunch is Five Elements, an ecologically conscious resort which has won numerous awards. If you’re craving some American-style brunch with a twist (plus bubble tea), and you’re in Kabupaten Badung, try Milk and Madu.

The Bahamas

You want cliché, you got it! But as any beach bum knows, The Bahamas are a serious destination for a reason. This incredible collection of 30 inhabited islands, along with more than 700 coral reefs (called “cays”) and smaller islands can provide both aquatic thrills and glam resorts, as well as unforgettable experiences.

There are many beautiful places to stay throughout the Bahamas, but one of the most well-known is the enchanting Atlantis Resort, which spans Paradise Island (near the capital city of Nassau) from shore to shore. Atlantis recreates the mythical underwater kingdom, so guests are invited to explore aquatic ecosystems like Dolphin Cay, slide through shark habitats in a specially-designed glass tube, and enjoy world-class seafood at restaurants like Nobu.

For a slower, more local experience, the People to People program is an ingenious idea based on bringing tourists together with Bahamian families, who invite guests into their lives to provide a unique cultural experience – along with home-cooked cuisine.

Photo CC by DaveDarrah

Costa Rica

If you’re on the fence about visiting Costa Rica, here are a few facts to help you decide.

Costa Rica is incredibly biodiverse, and almost a quarter of the island nation’s land mass is considered to be a nature reserve or protected area. In fact, the island is home to 52 unique species of hummingbird alone. Of the 140 countries listed by the Happy Planet Index, which measures sustainable wellbeing, Costa Rica tops them all at number one.

For adventure and hotel inspiration, take a look at Leaves and Lizards – just one of the many interactive resorts where activities like horseback riding and outback adventures are combined with the trappings of a working farm. Costa Rica is known for it’s temperate climate, but there is an extended rainy season, so be sure to check your favorite weather app before booking your stay.

Howler Monkeys in Costa Rica

Florida

Surprised? You shouldn’t be.

After all, Florida is the retirement capital of the U.S. for a reason: warm weather, access to the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, and the perfect blend of big cities and backcountry vibes.

So why not take a domestic flight, or a road trip down to the home of theme parks – and most peoples’ grandparents. First, head off the beaten path take advantage of Florida’s lesser known attractions. For a taster, take in the drone light show at Disney Springs, where you can watch 300 drones dance to holiday tunes.

For some peace and quiet while you soak up the sun, head out to Caladesi Island State Park for canoeing, hiking and a quiet spot to mingle with the locals. This oasis can only be reached via ferry though, so folks who suffer from motion sickness issues should consider alternatives.

Florida

Like any other vacation, you can choose what side of your destination you see and explore, which is the beauty of travelling independently, or semi-independently.

Even in places where the focus is hanging out with margaritas, there’s always some history or yoga to catch. And for the best parting advice? Be safe, do your research, and have a great time in the sun.

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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; a website dedicated to opening your eyes to the wild & natural world.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

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