Warm Places to Vacation

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Curated By

Ellie Benson

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  • Marrakech

  • Mexico

  • Panama

  • Maldives

  • Azores

  • Arts & Culture

  • Luxury Travel

  • Greatest Hits

  • Multi-Country

  • Relaxation

Warm Places to Vacation
Curator’s statement

From tropical paradises with palm-fringed beaches to historical cities bathed in perpetual sunshine, catering to every type of sunseeker, our planet offers many options for warm places to vacation. Whether you're in search of a new summer destination or a sunny escape from a harsh winter, here are some options to get your vacation planning juices flowing.

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Where to stay

Caravan by Habitas Agafay

Just 45 minutes from downtown Marrakech within the Agafay Desert, this hotel encourages a collective experience for play, exploration and adventure travel.

La Sultana

Elegant 28-room riad in the heart of Old Marrakech, with a bonus pool and rooftop terrace.

Fora Perks
  • Food & beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

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

Octant Ponta Delgada

A contemporary hotel in the heart of São Miguel overlooking the marina, with a full spa and a restaurant serving local fare.

Fora Perks
  • $100 spa credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

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

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Riviera Maya, Mexico

Riviera Maya, in the crown that is the Yucatan Peninsula, is a lush tapestry, unrivaled. The jewel tones of Riviera Maya are the envy of some of the world's most breathtaking tropical destinations. Along the untamed beaches on the coastline of Mexico, turquoise meets gold, as the Caribbean meets the Ancient Mayan sun, set with the vibrant, verdant landscape.

Whether relaxing on pristine beaches, rejuvenating in ancient hot springs, or exploring the rich biodiversity of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reefs and the Salva Maya tropical forest, Riviera Maya offers an immersive blend of natural wonders and refreshing escapes, all woven with cultural richness and steeped in the mysteries of the Ancient Mayans, like the pyramids that stud the inland.

Things to do:

- Visit the Mayan historical sites. The Tulum Archaeological Site and the Coba Archaeological Site offer a glimpse into the ancient past. The tallest pyramid in the Yucatan, Nohoch Mul rises above the jungle and provides breathtaking panoramas.

- Explore tropical Salva Maya with her enchanting cenotes, deep-blue pools in the earth, outdoor activities, and nature expeditions.

- Relax on Riviera Maya's pristine beaches, and enjoy snorkeling and diving amongst the unparalleled beauty of the ecosystem that is the Barrier Reefs.

Places to Stay:

- Viceroy, Riviera Maya

- Tago Tulum

Travel tip: To maintain the biodiversity of the barrier coral reefs of Riviera Maya, you must use reef-safe sunscreen or a wetsuit as an alternative. The chemicals in ordinary sunscreen cause coral bleaching that expels the ecosystem of the reefs.

Marrakech, Morocco

Marrakech, Morocco lies at the foothills of the Atlas Mountains in the North African expanse. Coupled with the Sahara Desert, Marrakech invites you into a world that stands still, offering its timeless luxuries amidst bustling medinas and tranquil riads, creating a captivating escape for those seeking the allure of the Maghreb.

Marrakech enjoys a semi-arid climate with hot summers, mild winters and low humidity, creating a year-long option for warm places to vacation. Let the Saharan sun take you to a different kind of destination than what you may be used to.

Things to do:

- Immerse in the colors, scents and sounds of the labyrinthian souks, and markets of Marrakech, and savor the rich delights of Moroccan Cuisine, which marries Arab, North African, French, and Spanish for a unique blend, that Morrocco’s alone.

- Feel like a nomad in the desert, with guided caravans, riding among the dunes and oases of the Sahara Desert.

- Marrakech's ancient beauty of the historical sites of Koutoubia Mosque, Ben Youssef Madrasa, and the Saadian Tombs embody centuries-old architectural triumphs.

Places to eat:

- Le Trou Au Mur - A French Moroccan affair

- Nomad - Modern Moroccan in blush sunset

Places to stay:

- La Sultana

- Carvan by Habitas

Travel tip: Bartering in the markets is a way of life in Marrakech; feel free to start low and meet in the middle. Scarves and layers are desired for desert conditions, and be mindful of the manner of dress in the locations you are visiting, which range wildly based on the cultural context of each.

Panama City, Panama

A Canal runs through it; Panama seamlessly connects the Atlantic and Pacific in one of the world's most famous trade routes. A moderate tropical climate beckons with palms and friendly locals.

From the vibrant cityscapes of Panama City to the lush rainforests of Boquete, golden sand beaches, like Playa Las Lajas, and Pacific waves, combined with the Spanish Colonial charm of historical architecture, weave an inviting mosaic for visitors.

Things to do:

- Walk the ancient pathways of Casco Viejo, an idyllic and colorful part of Panama City, then enjoy the vibrant nightlife of the Panamanian metropolis.

- Take advantage of wild and natural wonders in Boquete's rainforests. Panama offers a dense and biodiverse ecosystem that makes for a thrilling opportunity for nature exploration.

Places to stay:

- Sofitel Legend Casco Viejo

- Nayara Bocas Del Toro

Places to Eat:

- Maito - Multicultural cocina

- Fonda Lo Que Hay - Found delicacies

Travel tip: The culture of Panama is unhurried. Take advantage of the unrushed culture and soak in the sun and local laid-back atmosphere.

The Maldives

In an ocean of aquamarine lie over two dozen atolls peppered across the clearest waters you'll ever witness. These atolls make up what we know as the Maldives, offering an unparalleled experience of white sands and tranquility, perfect for respite and refreshment. Overwater bungalows dot the atolls that adorn the Indian Ocean. The never-ending ocean and sky invite tranquility and leave one humbled by their vastness. Powdery beaches top the coral gardens beneath the surface.

Things to do:

- Lose yourself in Male's bustling market scenes; savor all the senses in the culture of the Maldives, especially its flavorful cuisine.

- Swimming, diving and snorkeling are just steps away, easily accessible right outside your front door, providing an aquatic paradise at your fingertips.

Places to eat:

- Como - When on Cocoa Island

- Soneva - When on Medhufaru Island

Places to stay:

- Como Cocoa Island

- Soneva Fushi

Travel tip: The dry season in the Maldives is generally from November to April and is a great time to visit. Reef-safe sunscreen is required in the Maldives to protect the wildlife living below your feet.

Azores, Portugal

Azores, Portugal, is an elemental wonder and a beacon of beauty in the embrace of the Atlantic Ocean. Volcanic eruptions gave birth to the rich emerald hills of this archipelago and its stunning landscape. Atop the Azorean peaks, the vantage point blurs ocean and sky, harmonizing the Mediterranean spirit with Atlantic geography. Authentic villages, adorned with picturesque houses, are home to fishermen, craftspeople, and the warm and laid-back people of this Portuguese island.

Things to do:

Enjoy the Furnas Valley and Azores' geothermal waters, where nature crafts a rejuvenating oasis, inviting you to immerse in thermal baths that replenish the body and soul. Also, in Portugal, you can find a fishing enthusiast's dream with traditional fishing expeditions and the thrill of reeling in big catches. Giant Marlin and Tuna can be found in Portugal’s Atlantic waters, along with other impressive fish species.

Places to eat:

- Michel - Azorean Fusion

- Furnas Lakes - Forest Living

Places to stay:

- Octant Ponta Delgada

- White Villas

Travel tip: Consider wearing layers and Sunglasses are a necessity, the warmth and intensity of the Atlantic Sun meet the prevailing winds later in the day giving the night air a sweet crispness.

Need to Know

This trip report is part of our ongoing series on travel to Morocco. In need of further inspiration? Check out Timadge Berkhadley’s trip report, Warm Vacation Destinations.

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Travel Advisor

Ellie Benson

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