By Katie Broyles
If you’re sick of shoveling snow and dream of throwing on a swimsuit and lying poolside, don’t despair. Pack your bags for one of these Southern Hemisphere travel destinations, where residents are currently sweating through the middle of a sultry summer.
Australia – From Sydney to Melbourne, the Outback to the coast, there are plenty of choices on an Australian summer vacation. If you want to throw your shoes off and put your toes in the sand, Whitehaven Beach, Shelly Beach, and Surfer’s Paradise Beach are just a few of your numerous options.
New Zealand – Australia’s smaller neighbor boasts friendly people, beautiful scenery, and inviting beach resorts. Even though palm trees and sand may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of New Zealand, the island nation boasts 15,000 kilometers of beaches. On the east coast, you can find serene white sand beaches, while on the west coast, more primeval black sand beaches dominate the landscape. Some lovely options include Mount Maunganui, Tawharanaui, and Raglan. Fly into Auckland to get started.
Buenos Aires – Argentina’s dynamic capital is hot right now. Most residents are heading for beaches like Mar del Plata, Mar de las Pampas, and Las Grutas. After checking out the urban sights like the Basilica del Santisimo Sacramento and Museo Nacional De Arte Decorativo, noshing on some asado, and taking in a tango show, you can join them and work on your Spanish along with your tan.
Rio de Janeiro – Brazil’s most famous city is often associated with Carnival, its most famous winter event, but it is also an urban beach destination. Rio’s beaches include familiar names like Ipanema and Copacabana, and no matter what beach you choose you are sure to see the infamous Brazilian bikini.
Madagascar – The world’s fourth largest island contains a staggering variety of plant and animal life, and you can see the world famous lemurs. Endemic to the island and notably cute creatures, they are sadly one of the world’s most threatened species. If you visit Madagascar, be sure to support conservation efforts. With burgeoning eco-tourism industry and rainforests and beaches to explore, now is the time to see this country off the east coast of Africa before the crowds arrive.