The best winter vacations to take this year

Whether you want to escape—or embrace—the cold, it’s time to start mapping out your winter adventure. From Cape Town to Swedish Lapland, here are our picks for this year’s top warm-and cold-weather winter getaways:
  1. Cape Town, South Africa
    Why we love it: From December to March, South Africa’s safari circuit takes a back seat to Africa’s most cosmopolitan city, thanks to prime weather conditions. During the southern hemisphere's summer, Cape Town's restaurant, hotel, and nightlife scenes—which rival major European and American metropolises—are at their best.
  2. Patagonia, Chile
    Why we love it: Icebergs, mountains, fjords, granite spires, temperate rainforest, pumas, and guanacos, llamas' wild cousins. Welcome to summer in Chilean Patagonia, at the southernmost tip of South America, where the natural scenery is some of Earth’s finest.
  3. French Polynesia
    Why we love it: Want an exotic tropical location that's Zika-free? Take note: Unlike many of the Caribbean and Pacific islands that haven't been so lucky, as of this writing, French Polynesia’s 118 islands have still evaded the Zika epidemic. Here, you can pick from five diverse archipelagos that cover a surface area larger than the European continent, or keep things simple by heading to Bora Bora, the treasured island of Tahitian archipelago.