Turn up the heat

Pack a bag, look out your sunglasses and prepare to do your credit card serious damage in search of warmer temperatures and amazing festival experiences this winter…

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a paradise for nature lovers. Head for one of the many national parks where you can spot sloths, monkeys and brightly coloured toucans and macaws. You can head into the rainforest or go whale watching.

February is dry and sunny with highs of 28oC and lows of 17oC, perfect weather for just lounging on the beach, diving or surfing on the Pacific coastline. 

If you’re feeling energetic, then Costa Rica offers plenty of opportunities for the adventurous traveller. You can hike up a volcano, bungee jump from a bridge or zip-line through the trees. Alternatively, San Jose, the capital city has some charming museums, markets and art galleries, or head out to Guanacaste province where the Liberia Fiestas celebrate the music, dance and culture of the indigenous cultures throughout February and March. 


New Orleans

Head to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. It’s an overwhelming mix of colour, sound, sights and smells – from jazz and blues to way too much to eat and drink. The 2024 season runs from early January till 13th February with the streets filled with parades and revellers till the early hours. 

Spend the days pottering about in the French Quarter, visiting the city’s museums and specialty stores, exploring Cajun and Creole culture, and spend your evenings bar hopping in this most laid back of cities. 

There are tons of theme tours, from swamp boat trips to historic plantations, jazz riverboat rides to walking tours of the city’s food culture or revisit your inner Goth with a voodoo, ghosts and vampires tour that visits local cemeteries. 


Kerala

Take it easy with a stay on a houseboat in Kerala, Southern India. You can cruise up and down the rivers taking in all the sights and exploring sleepy backwaters. Temperatures peak around 32oC with lows of 23oC and a flight time around 20 hours with three stops. 

Kerala’s a great choice for a wellbeing break, with plenty of chances to practice yoga and meditation try an Ayurvedic retreats. It’s very green, with lots of wildlife, picturesque hill stations and some white knuckle thrills if you choose to try and drive yourself in the towns and cities. 

March and April brings the Padayani festivals to Keralan towns and villages in a mix of painting, music, masked dance and flames. Whenever you visit, there are ancient temples to explore and amazing places to eat, with Keralan sadya, a spread of up to forty vegetarian dishes particularly worth seeking out. 


Mendoza

Admittedly, you’d have to enjoy plane food and being patted down by airport security, given that you’re looking at two or three transfers, around £1200 for flights and the best part of a day’s travelling in each direction, but Argentina’s Mendoza is worth the trip. You can go horseback riding in the Andes, try the thermal baths, hike in the mountains, visit the region’s many excellent and affordable wineries by bike, try paragliding or take part in the ten-day folklore, music and fireworks festival – the Vendimia – to celebrate the grape harvest at the start of March.  

Mendoza itself, has everything you could want for a city break base including great restaurants and street food, pedestrian areas, shady squares and quaint neighbourhoods, shopping and nightlife. 

You can expect highs of around 31oC and lows of 17oC. 

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