When temperatures drop in the U.S. and snowstorms sweep across the East Coast and Midwest, things are starting to heat up in the Southern Hemisphere. Winter up here, means summer for vacation-worthy destinations like Argentina, Australia, and South Africa—all of which enjoy warm weather and their longest days of the year while we’re shoveling snow. So, when Jack Frost rolls into town, pack your SPF and plan your escape to these south-of-the-equator hot spots. Sunny skies and greener pastures await.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
A marriage of European pomp and Latin spice, Buenos Aires seduces with its vibrant, contagious energy. Porteños’ (port dwellers) passion is palpable, especially when it comes to food, red wine, and nightlife. Afterall, it is the birthplace of tango. When the sun goes down, things really heat up. Nine o’clock dinner turns into cocktails and dancing till dawn. This bustling metropolis doles out a taste of the past. Buenos Aires’ central square, Plaza de Mayo, is the site of many national protests and celebrations throughout history as well as important monuments, including Casa Rosada, Cabildo, and Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral (Pope Francis’ former parish).
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is a confluence of culture and spectacular scenery. Its crown jewel is the ever-majestic Table Mountain, famed for its near-vertical cliffs and flat-topped summit. There’s even more natural beauty to behold at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Cape Point Nature Reserve, and Bikini Beach. Almost as impressive is the urban landscape. From the brightly-colored buildings of Bo-Kaap and the Castle of Good Hope to the sprawling V&A Waterfront and art galleries, the Mother City mesmerizes visitors with a mix of old and new. Modern day Cape Town is a proud melting pot. But that wasn’t always the case. Robben Island—where Nelson Mandela served 18 of his 27 years in prison—is now a World Heritage Site and museum, a powerful reminder of human struggle and triumph.
Situated on shores of the Indian Ocean, Perth is renowned for its pristine beaches, sunny climate, and relaxed vibe. Its iconic coastline boasts some of Oz’s best surf breaks, plus plenty of opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, and fishing. You’ll find lots of outdoor fun within the city, too. Explore the manicured gardens of Kings Park, take a sunset cruise along the Swan River, or enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of the alfresco eateries. For those looking to stay in the center of it all, the recently-opened InterContinental Perth City Centre offers an unbeatable location and commanding views.
While Ciudad de los Reyes may have been founded by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro in 1535, its story begins centuries before. In the pre-Columbian era, the area was inhabited by indigenous groups and later incorporated into the Inca Empire. As such, the city has many archaeological sites, cathedrals, monasteries, and museums. And its preserved historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But Peru’s capital is no relic. Among the modern attractions? Fantastic food—including a number of internationally acclaimed restaurants—a burgeoning contemporary art scene, upscale accommodations, and surf-worthy swells.
Auckland, New Zealand
New Zealand’s largest and most diverse city, Auckland is home to more than 1.5 million inhabitants—including the largest Polynesian population on the planet—and is a buzzing hub of culture, cuisine, and superb shopping. The iconic Queen Street is lined with posh designers outposts and souvenir stores. While the ultra-hip Ponsonby Road is the place to find top kiwi labels and lifestyle boutiques. For those craving an escape from the hustle and bustle, just a 45-minute helicopter away is Helena Bay Lodge. Nestled in a secluded cove on North Island—surrounded by 800 acres of towering pine trees, farmlands, and peaceful shores—this idyllic property promises privacy and unparalleled bay vistas.