While glistening snow, cozy fireplaces and hot cocoa all have their own unique charm (especially during the holidays), for most, chilly winter weather tends to lose its allure quite quickly.

As the long, cold season seems to drag on, you begin to fantasize about sunny summer days spent by the pool; flip flops on your feet and a cold drink in your hand. The thing is, though, you can do more than just dream.

When bitter winds, piles of snow and freezing temperatures finally strike your last nerve, why not buy a plane ticket?

The following beach destinations represent an array of vacation opportunities for all types of travelers in need of an escape from winter’s cold, harsh wrath. From the shores of Colombia to Florida’s Gulf Coast, warm sand and bright sun awaits no matter which destination you choose.



1. Iguazu Falls, Argentina

These unspoiled falls in South America don't fit the parameters of a traditional tropical getaway, but the area does lend a unique chance for travelers to experience two countries in one hike. “You need to visit from both sides,” says TravelTart.com blogger Anthony Bianco. “Argentina provides the best close up views, with the Brazilian side the best panoramic views, and facilities on both sides are very good.”



2. Cartagena, Colombia

This coastal fishing village will delight you with history, adventure and of course, warmth. Greg Geronemus, co-CEO of smarTours, a guided tour company that takes Americans to Colombia, recommends setting out on a day trip to the Rosario Islands where you can choose from adventurous activities like snorkeling, SCUBA diving, hiking, biking and more.



3. Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf Islands, Florida

Maybe Florida isn’t technically “tropical,” but this easy-to-get-to beach destination still offers plenty of sand and sunshine. Recommended especially for vacationers over 50 with an appetite for the great outdoors, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands is considered an ecotourism hot spot and offers an array of activities like sailing, fishing and shopping, but without the typical tourist-y Florida crowds.



4. Mauritius

Situated in the Indian Ocean Southeast of Africa, Mauritius boasts bright blue waters, warm white sands and tropical temperatures all year long. Recommended as an ideal destination by Eric Gnock Fah, co-founder of travel concierge site klook.com, it's considered somewhat of an adventure sport paradise, the island offers thrilling attractions like skydiving speed cruising and most popular of all, big game fishing.



5. Saint Louis, Guadeloupe

For vacationers on a budget, Hovelstay.com(an Airbnb type site that lists non-luxury lodging options) offers an authentic island experience in Guadalupe for around $20 per night. With a cozy tent located in a private garden as your home, you’ll be within walking distance of magnificent hiking trails and just a 10 minute drive from exquisite Caribbean beaches.

See more wonderful warm weather vacations.

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