Southern Hemisphere Destinations to Visit when winter arrives in the North. With cooler weather approaching America, some gem getaway destinations to get your sun and cultural fun.
North Americans looking to flee the winter chill will often choose destinations like Mexico, the Caribbean or even just the Southern US. And, sure, those places do remain relatively warm through the summer (depending on where exactly you go), but they don’t give you the full “summer experience”.
For that, you have to think outside the box – or rather, think outside the hemisphere. The Southern Hemisphere, as everyone no doubt knows, experiences oppositional seasons, so when it’s spring up here, it’s fall down there, and vice versa. That means, when the weather is at its chilliest up here, the Southern Hemisphere is experiencing the peak of its summer.
As Kanye West once put it, “cook up summer in the winter”, head to the Southern Hemisphere this winter. But don’t just go anywhere. The four following destinations are some of the best the hemisphere has to offer, and a great place to start for tourists looking to outrun the cold.
South Africa’s biggest city is a bustling metropolis, and a fantastic launching pad to the country as a whole. Hip and international, yet unmistakably African, Johannesburg remains hot throughout its summer, but not so hot that you’ll melt from exhaustion.
See the Mandela House, Gold Reef City and the Cradle of Humankind – a UNESCO-recognized archaeological site consisting of dramatic limestone caves that early humans once inhabited. And, if you want to catch the continent’s animals without going on a safari, check out the Johannesburg Zoo.
Chile cuts a strip of coastline right down the Western side of South America. You’d think that the landscape, therefore, would be all seaside, but it’s remarkably varied, with deserts and mountains and beaches all rubbing shoulders.
Chile’s capital, Santiago, is the prime position from which to experience the spectrum of the country’s natural pleasures. While there, see the Plaza de Armas and San Cristobal Hill, and wind your way through the Central Market, before heading off to a day trip in the Andes.
The summer weather of the city, with the relatively cold weather of the Andes, will require you to pack merino wool clothing – it’s both insulating and breathable, so it’s the top choice for countries with fluctuating climates.
Melbourne is like the Portland of the Southern Hemisphere, a hip, progressive city with a thriving café and nightlife culture. The food here is fantastic, as is the sightseeing, with the Royal Botanical Gardens and the National Gallery of Victoria topping your list of must-see landmarks.
To get the true Aussie experience, catch a summer game of cricket at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. But make sure that you pack a lunch – the games can last three to five days!
Finally, there’s Bali – the preeminent beach paradise in Southeast Asia. Indonesia’s gem of an island is a heady mixture of jungle interior and beautiful beaches, with more than a few party spots for those who want to spend the winter sweating in a nightclub.
The food is also unreal in Bali. A product of the many influences – Chinese, Indian, Indonesian and traditional Balinese – and cheaper than a cheeseburger back home, eat as much food as you possibly can when you visit Bali.
It might be winter here, but head far enough south and you’ll hit summer again.