Sun Kissed Escapes - Warm Winter Vacations

Advisor - Trina Henry
Curated By

Trina Henry

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  • Costa Rica

  • Cape Town

  • Panama

  • Arts & Culture

  • Food & Wine

  • Local Culture

  • Multi-Country

  • Insta-Worthy

Sun Kissed Escapes - Warm Winter Vacations
Curator’s statement

With the chill in the air during these winter months the allure of sun-soaked destinations beckons, offering a blissful escape for those seeking a reprieve from the cold. Now is the perfect time to plan and embark on a journey to discover the beauty of warm winter vacations, leaving the winter woes behind. Whether it's relaxing on pristine beaches or exploring vibrant cultures, these getaways promise to make the most of the remaining winter months. Get inspired by some of these enticing locations.

The Fora Difference

Book with Trina to access exclusive perks and experiences on your trip.

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Killer perks

Free upgrades, spa credits and more—we got you

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Personalized recs

Customized travel planning for your style

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Insider knowledge

Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there

Where to stay

Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa

Luxe resort and spa near Costa Rica's Arenal Volcano.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Hotel Nantipa - A Tico Beach Experience

Lush villas and bungalows wedged un-imposingly in the Costa Rican oceanside featuring stylish design and a sustainable perspective perfect for the conscious traveler.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

The Silo Hotel

Unmistakeable architectural gem on the V&A Waterfront, with a prized modern art collection and, in many rooms, Table Mountain views.

Fora Perks
  • Daily breakfast for two

  • $100 hotel credit or donation to The Royal Portfolio Foundation

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

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Unlock perks by contacting Trina to book your trip.

Costa Rica

Nestled in Central America, Costa Rica beckons with its lush rain forests, pristine beaches and vibrant biodiversity. Whether you're exploring the Arenal Volcano, relaxing on the Pacific or Caribbean coasts, or discovering the wonders of Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica offers a diverse range of experiences for every traveler. A canopy tour and zip lining through the rain forest or witnessing the annual humpback whale migration along the Pacific coast near Marino Bellena National Park can make your trip unforgettable. Named Travel & Leisure’s 2024 destination of the year don’t sleep on this one!

Where to stay:
Tabacon Thermal Resort and Spa - Need some time to restore yourself after the winter holidays? This boutique property nestled at the base of the Arenal Volcano is known for its natural hot springs, lush surroundings and exquisite spa facilities, it offers a serene escape for travelers seeking relaxation and rejuvenation in a stunning tropical setting.

Nantipa - Located in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica, Nantipa offers a serene escape with its beachfront setting and luxurious accommodations. With a perfect blend of nature and comfort, it caters to travelers seeking a peaceful retreat in the midst of breathtaking landscapes.

Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town also emerges as an idyllic destination for warm winter vacations, enticing travelers with its breathtaking landscapes and diverse experiences. Tucked against the backdrop of Table Mountain, this South African gem enjoys mild temperatures during the Northern Hemisphere's winter months, making it an ideal escape. Visitors can revel in the vibrant energy of the city, explore the Cape Winelands or unwind on pristine beaches.

Table Mountain: Take the cable car or hike to the summit for breathtaking panoramic views of the city and coastline. The iconic Table Mountain Aerial Cableway features a rotating floor of the cable car which ensures that everyone gets a 360-degree view during the ascent to the summit. Various hiking trails cater to different fitness levels, with the Platteklip Gorge route being a popular choice for its accessibility.

Robben Island: A trip to Robben Island is historically significant, providing insight into South Africa's past with a tour of the former prison where Nelson Mandela was held.

Cape Winelands: For the wine lovers many wineries are within an hour's drive of the city center. Embark on a wine tasting adventure in either Stellenbosch or Franschhoek, renowned wine regions within the Cape Winelands. Explore picturesque vineyards and historic estates, sampling a diverse array of award-winning wines.

Cape Town's rich cultural tapestry, world-class cuisine, and outdoor adventures contribute to a captivating winter getaway. Whether savoring local wines, embarking on a safari, or capturing the city's beauty through a camera lens, Cape Town promises an unforgettable winter retreat for those seeking both warmth and exploration.

Where to stay:
The Silo - This luxurious and artfully designed accommodation nestled in a converted grain silo, offering unparalleled views of the V&A Waterfront, Table Mountain, and the cityscape, seamlessly blending industrial heritage with contemporary elegance.

The 12 Apostles Hotel & Spa - Perched on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean near Cape Town, it's known for its stunning location, luxurious accommodations, and world-class spa, providing an idyllic haven for relaxation and indulgence.

Cartagena, Columbia

For those craving a blend of history and coastal beauty, Cartagena, Colombia, emerges as a must-visit destination. When thinking of the Caribbean Columbia might not be the first destination to come to mind but this gem, steeped in colonial charm, boasts well-preserved architecture, vibrant plazas, and a lively atmosphere. Explore the cobbled streets of the walled Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where colorful buildings and bougainvillea-covered balconies transport you to a time long ago. Relax on the white-sand beaches of Bocagrande or delve into the history of Castillo San Felipe de Barajas. Cartagena offers a captivating mix of cultural richness and seaside allure, making it a delightful addition to your warm winter vacation escape.

Where to stay:
Casa San Agustin - This charming boutique hotel is nestled within the historic walled city and spans three beautiful white-washed houses. Its chic design aesthetic seamlessly blends colonial architecture with modern amenities, offering a unique and comfortable experience for travelers seeking an authentic stay in the heart of Cartagena.

Looking to spend a few days seaside? You can’t go wrong with Sofitel Baru Calablanca Beach Resort. This luxurious beachfront retreat blends modern elegance with the natural beauty of the Caribbean coast. For the refined traveler, the upscale amenities, breathtaking ocean views and impeccable service offers a perfect destination for travelers seeking a relaxing experience in a tropical paradise about an hour from the center of Cartagena.


Panama, is a gem for warm winter vacations, beckoning with its tropical allure and diverse offerings. Nestled between the Pacific and the Caribbean, this Central American paradise boasts pristine beaches, lush rain forests, and a rich cultural tapestry. Travelers looking for an urban getaway or an eco adventure can both be satisfied with this destination From the vibrant capital, Panama City, with its modern skyline juxtaposed against historic sites like Casco Viejo, to the idyllic archipelago of Bocas del Toro, where crystal-clear waters meet vibrant coral reefs, Panama provides a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. While you’re in the country don’t forget the opportunity to tour the Panama Canal and learn about the history and significance of this vital waterway connecting the Atlantic and Pacific.

Where to stay:
Hotel La Compañia in Panama City is a sophisticated accommodation option that seamlessly blends modern luxury with historical charm. The hotel offers three uniquely restored wings, The French Colonial, The Spanish Colonial and The American inspired by the region's history. Located in the heart of the old town, Casco Antiguo, it offers visitors convenient access to key attractions, vibrant markets, and cultural landmarks. The hotel's central position ensures easy exploration of Panama City's rich history, diverse cuisine, and bustling nightlife, making it an ideal choice for having an immersive experience.

Looking to completely unplug from the hustle and bustle then El Otro Lado Retreat might be for you. Just under an hour north of Panama City in Portobelo Bay this property embraces the ethos of sustainable luxury and is a haven for eco-conscious travelers seeking an immersive and environmentally responsible escape. Tucked away amidst lush tropical landscapes, this retreat seamlessly integrates with nature, offering eco-friendly accommodations designed with locally sourced materials and sustainable architecture. Guests are able to explore the surrounding rain forests and mangroves, guided by local experts, fostering a deep connection with Panama's rich biodiversity. Farm-to-table dining experiences showcase locally harvested, organic ingredients to active contributions to conservation initiatives, El Otro Lado embodies a commitment to responsible tourism.

Passport/Visa-Free Caribbean Escapes

The Caribbean islands offer a treasure trove of stunning destinations for hassle-free warm winter vacations. For those with a wanderlust spirit, exploring these paradises without the need for a passport or visa is an added bonus.

U.S. Travelers:
As a U.S. territory, Puerto Rico (The Enchanting Isle), allows American citizens to explore its beauty without the need for a passport. Immerse yourself in the rich culture, vibrant cities, and pristine beaches. Old San Juan's colonial charm, El Yunque National Forest's lush landscapes, and Flamenco Beach's turquoise waters make Puerto Rico a must-visit destination. During the winter months the temperature typically ranges from 70°F to 80°F (21°C to 27°C).

Comprising St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix, the U.S. Virgin Islands offer a passport-free escape for US travelers. Dive into crystal-clear waters, relax on white sandy beaches and explore the unique blend of Caribbean and American influences. Snorkeling at Trunk Bay and experiencing the historic charm of Charlotte Amalie are highlights not to be missed.

EU Citizens:
Discover the allure of Saint Kitts and Nevis without the need for a visa. These twin islands boast lush landscapes, historic sites, and warm hospitality. Take a scenic train ride in Saint Kitts, hike through the rain forest, and relax on the pristine beaches of Nevis for an unforgettable experience.

Barbados also welcomes EU citizens without a visa requirement, inviting them to explore its diverse landscapes and vibrant culture. Enjoy the rhythm of calypso music, savor the local cuisine, and relax on the stunning beaches. The historic Bridgetown and its Garrison, a UNESCO World Heritage site, offer a glimpse into Barbados' rich history.

No matter where in the world you are, there's a destination for warm winter vacations that offers a unique and unforgettable experience just for you!

Need to Know

 This trip report is part of our ongoing series on travel to Costa Rica. In need of further inspiration? Check out Arlette Diederiks’s trip report, Escape the Winter Chill: Warm Vacation Spots in January.

Advisor - Trina Henry

Travel Advisor

Trina Henry

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