Plenty of destinations in the Southern Hemisphere offer the perfect warm escape from the dreary winter in the north. But for those who don’t fare well in the heat, or are simply in the mood for snow in the middle of July, there are also several amazing destinations in the Southern Hemisphere that are ideal in the cooler months.
Whether you’re looking for action-packed snowfields, wine tours with cozy fireplaces, or geothermal hot spas and springs, we’ve compiled a list of the best places in the Southern Hemisphere where you can escape the summer heat. Check them out below!
10 Machu Picchu, Peru
Travel experts recommend visiting Machu Picchu in the winter instead of the summer. This is because May through October tends to be the dry season, whereas the summer months bring a lot of rain. The last thing you want is to travel all the way to the lost Incan City and have your view ruined by gushing rain!
Although temperatures can drop to freezing in Peru during the winter, they’re often quite comfortable. The highs are normally around the 80s, while it normally doesn’t get lower than the 40s. Overall, winter is as good a time as any to see the iconic landmark.
9 Barossa Valley, Australia
If you’re looking for an escape from the summer heat without having to contend with snowstorms, you might want to check out the Barossa Valley in South Australia. In the winter months between May and August, temperatures can drop pretty low, but it’s rarely freezing. And Australia’s most prestigious wine country is even better in the cold.
In the Barossa, you’ll get a chance to rug up by cozy fireplaces while sampling some of the best wine and cheese that Australia has to offer. The surrounding scenery will also be luscious and green.
8 Rotorua, New Zealand
One of the best things to do on a winter getaway is unwinding in a hot thermal spring. New Zealand’s Rotorua is one of the best places on the planet for this since it boasts plenty of geothermal parks and natural hot pools. Don’t mind the strong smell—it’s just all the minerals!
While in Rotorua, you’ll have plenty of choices when it comes to which hot spring you visit. Whether you want to jump in a free spring or check out a paid spring attached to a lavish spa, the opportunity is there.
Madagascar, an island off the African coast, is a pleasant place to visit no matter the time of year. But you’re actually better off going in winter rather than summer because it tends to experience a tropical climate consisting of a wet season and a dry season. And if you want to avoid the humidity, you have to go in the cooler months, from April through December.
There’s plenty to do in Madagascar, and one thing you have to add to your bucket list is a personal encounter with a lemur. The island is home to around 100 species of the cute primates.
6 Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is one of the most fascinating cities to visit in the Southern Hemisphere, and also happens to be one of the cheapest. According to Buck It Dream, you can experience the same high-quality food and accommodation in Cape Town that you would in major cities throughout the United States, but for a fraction of the cost.
When visiting in the winter, you can experience a number of outdoor activities in Cape Town, including hiking and biking. You’ll also have the opportunity to be part of the amazing nightlife.
5 Thredbo, Australia
When you’re really sick of the summer heat, a trip to the snow is just what you need. Thredbo is a ski village in the Australian state of New South Wales and thrives in the winter months. This is the place to come if you want to partake in every kind of snow sport, from skiing and sledding to skating.
One of the most popular things to do is ride the chairlifts and take in the breathtaking views of the nearby mountains. The dining options in Thredbo are also second to none.
4 Santiago, Chile
If you’re looking for an outdoorsy escape, consider adding Santiago, Chile to your itinerary. Not only is the city home to an array of museums, restaurants, and nightlife hotspots, but it’s also the perfect place to base yourself if you want to explore the Andes.
There are several lodges you can stay at beyond the city if you really want to lose yourself (hopefully not literally) in the Chilean countryside. Whether you want to guide yourself or take a tour, there’s no shortage of things to see in Chile during the winter.
3 Bunya Mountains, Australia
Sometimes, the Bunya Mountains in the Australian state of Queensland receive a little snowfall. Mostly, though, you’ll be able to trek through the gorgeous forests without worrying about bringing your snow gear. Instead, you’ll get a serene experience set against a backdrop of crisp mountain air.
Aside from admiring the beautiful landscape, you’ll have the opportunity to spot some native Australian animals. Hikers have been known to come face to face with curious wallabies, as well as sugar gliders and 215 species of birds. This is the ultimate destination for a relaxing winter vacation.
2 Hakatere, New Zealand
New Zealand is home to several destinations that are even better in winter. One of them is Hakatere, which is carpeted with a layer of divine white snow during the colder months. Here you’ll find the amazing Lake Champ and Lake Heron, which provide stunning vistas.
The Hakatere Conservation Park is also a popular tourist destination because it features lots of scenery from The Lord of the Rings. Whether you’re following in the footsteps of the hobbits, trekking with a four-wheel drive or just enjoying the scenery, Haketere is the place to go.
1 Buenos Aires, Argentina
One of the best places to visit in South America during winter is Buenos Aires in Argentina. It is another of the world’s least expensive capital cities and is filled with things that you can see and do during the winter months. Enjoy bustling restaurants and bars, browse through museums and art galleries, and admire the spectacular architecture.
Outside of the city, Argentina is home to Cerro Catedral. The snowy mountain is one of the most popular destinations for winter sports enthusiasts and is well worth adding to the bucket list.