It's about that time of the year again where everyone's frantically grabbing hot water bottles, winter clothes and electric blankets, so what better way to take your mind off the cold than immerse yourself in tropical islands, lush green forests, crystal blue water and warm climates? We dive into 2017's hottest travel spots to escape those winter blues. And first on the list is Cuba. It's the Caribbean's biggest island and boasts gorgeous architecture, vintage cars lining the streets, white sandy beaches, friendly locals and salsa music to make you want to shake your bon bon!
Ellery Creek in Alice Springs is definitely one of Australia's best-kept secrets. But not anymore! It boasts the most beautiful red cliffs and a freshwater waterfall that flows into the waterhole. Go tubing down Glen Helen Gorge, enjoy a picnic overlooking the most unique landscapes in the world. It's also an important refuge for local wildlife so be prepared to take some great snaps of critters.
This small country is part of Central America, and seasoned travellers say that it's a place where you can do anything and everything. If you are keen for a bit of adventure then you can't go past a quick trip to Turrialba where you can go white-water rafting, or go on a hike to the Parque Nacional Volcan Arenal and immerse yourself in lush green terrain while sitting in the hot springs. The cuisine here is one of a kind, with many dishes incorporating exotic spices and fruits.
The Philippines has become one of the most popular tourist hotspots due to its affordability and relaxed laid-back environment, friendly locals and pristine beaches. And the queen of beaches is definitely Boracay, rated one of the top 10 beaches of the world. Great weather all year round, but avoid June and October which is their monsoon season.
This little gem is popular with tourists for its great value for money and the fact that it's not overly crowded or commercial. The deserted beaches, ancient culture and crystal clear water make this place one of a kind, not to mention the local cuisine, like freshly caught fish cooked by the locals in what they call a fish fry, to drinking local kava. If you come here snorkelling in the pristine waters is a must!
When people think Hawaii, they usually think well-know spots like Maui or Waikiki. But an increasingly popular destination is the island of Kauai, which is less commercial and not as busy with tourists. It's famous for long stretches of white sandy beaches, warm turquoise water with great surfing spots and friendly locals. You can spend your time here hiking to waterfalls, snorkelling at one of the islands 60 beaches or relaxing at their many different accommodations options from 5-star resorts to camping under the stars.
Lanzarote is a part of the Canary Islands off the west coast of Africa but is actually part of Spain. It has over 300 volcanic cones, some of the best beaches of the Canaries and landscape that's unlike anything else you've seen, with white sandy beaches juxtaposed with crinkly black lava fields. A must-see!
BULA! Fiji has to be on this list because of its diversity, in all senses of the word. It has something for everyone, from a range of 5-star accommodation to doing it on the cheap, to enjoying island life or staying on the mainland. It's almost year-long warm climate makes this place unique, and it has one of the most relaxed atmospheres in the world. The locals are friendly and accommodating, and once you're on "Fiji time" you won't want to leave!