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Best places for winter sun this season

A young woman in a white dress and white sun hat walks barefoot through towards the ocean. The sun appears to be setting over the water.

As winter is in full swing here in the northern hemisphere. With colder temperatures and shorter daylight hours, many look to find a spot of sunshine for their winter relaxing and recharging.

Here are some favorite places to find winter-sun, the temps you will find there, and the best lodging (need we say they’re sustainable?). Chosen for their natural beauty, cultural and historical richness, and artistic flair, these mild-climate locations check all the boxes for a mid-winter weather reprieve.

Winter-sun destinations in Central & South America

A rainbow appears to emerge from the far end of a valley in agave fields in Oaxaca, Mexico

Oaxaca, Mexico

Average winter temperature: 81°F/27°C

When to go: February

Oaxaca in February is an easy choice for those looking to escape the cold to balmy climates and blue skies. Beyond the weather, Oaxaca is one of the most culturally diverse regions in Mexico. It should also be mentioned that Oaxaca has an average of ZERO rainy days in December, January, and February!

You can head to the sunny coast to relax on the beach and bronze, or stick in the city for an experience. Grab yourself a room in the Casa Antonieta for a prime location in the city. Head out to the agave farm and mezcal distilleries to learn about the process of making the smoky spirit and taste it straight from the source. The only thing warmer than the sunshine in Oaxaca is the people.

For a done-for-you itinerary, CTC’s Oaxaca Small-Group Trip covers all the things and puts you in touch with the coolest local guides who make sure your trip is unforgettable.

Two men in a decorated boat row along a canal in Xochimilco, CDMX. One is steering the boat and the other is wearing traditional Mexican clothing and a mariachi hat. There are marigold flower necklaces on the boat.

Mexico City, MX

Average winter temperature: 77° F/ 25° C

When to go: March

While folks in the northeast United States are dealing with the typical March dump of snow, you could be sipping café on a sunlit patio during a bustling CDMX morning. Bask in the sunshine while floating down the canals of Xochimilco. Book a room at El Patio 77 for a sustainable lodging option within walking distance of museums and restaurants in the San Rafael neighborhood. With renewable energy and even rain catchment systems, this boutique hotel is a perfect base for your winter retreat.

The natural stone arch at Cabo San Lucas in Baja California Sur, Mexico.  Sea birds appear to fly through the arch as the sun peeks out from the other side.

Baja California Sur, Mexico

Average winter temperature: 68° F/ 20° F

When to go: January to March

Wintertime is when the Baja weather is sublime and marine life is flourishing. This lengthy peninsula separated from the rest of Mexico by the Sea of Cortez is known for being the breeding ground for gray whales. You could book a kayaking tour to hopefully spot the famously friendly whales. Or lace up your hiking boots for a trek to see the cave paintings in the Cueva de San Borjita, art that’s estimated at over seven thousand years old. For a nature-centric stay, check out Paradero Hotels.

A view of ancient ruins in the Andes Mountains in Peru.  The ruins lead to the cliff edge and there are more mountain ridges in the background.


Average winter temperature: 68° F/ 20°C

When to go: January-April

This time of year is winter in Peru, and you’ll likely find the coastline crowded, but if you’re into days at the beach, head to Lima or Mancora. If you're more adventurous, mountain activities lie to the east in the Andes mountains. The rainy season will be in full swing, but don’t let that stop you from exploring the many Inca ruins, interacting with the warm Andean villages, and immersing yourself in the magic of the Sacred Valley. Check into the Chaska Ocupi Glamping for a ‘luxury’ hotel stay in the great outdoors.

Or, or a done-for-you itinerary, CTC’s Sacred Valley Small-Group Trip covers all the things and puts you in touch with the coolest local guides who make sure your trip is unforgettable.

Winter-Sun destinations in the United States

If you’re in the US and lookin