Four Top Winter Vacation Destinations

The Bahamas "winter" is the time mostly preferred by North Americans and Europeans. The period from December till April is the high season, and from May till October is the rainy season. The months from June till November is the official hurricane season, but storms can crop up earlier or later. The seasons are summer (June to September) and winter (October to May).

Bahamas. The subtropical and tropical climate makes the island a good destination all year-round. The Gulf Stream and tradewinds help maintain temperatures from 68 to 86 degrees during the day and 62 to 70 at night year-round. The seawater temperature ranges from 73 degrees in February to 82 degrees in August.

The Islands of the Bahamas is the country of over 700 islands stretching over 100,000 square miles of the Western Atlantic Ocean. Each Bahamian island has its own special sights and things to do, however, there are some standards. Fishing, boating, and all other water activities can be done throughout the season in the Bahamas. And, because of the exceptionally clear waters, one should enjoy these activities immensely. All of the Bahamian islands boast their incredible beaches. Five percent of the worlds' coral can be found in the waters of the Bahamas, including the world's third longest barrier reef. And, conveniently for snorklers and divers, the Bahamas has the clearest waters in the world, with visibility of over 200 feet!

Costa Rica. For those seeking a warm-weather winter vacation, to visit Costa Rica is a must. Costa Rica's temperatures vary little with the season, ranging from the mid-70s to mid 80s. The northern Pacific beaches have the highest temperatures and the most sunshine. On the higher slopes of the mountain cloud forests, you can expect temperatures in the mid 60s to mid 70s. Many visitors go to Costa Rica in traditional winter, that lasts from December till April. However, more and more people are discovering the period from April till October, the Green Season. Morning sunshine and late afternoon showers make the countryside lush and green, reservations are easy to come by, and prices are the lowest.

Despite its small size, Costa Rica has an amazing diversity of landscapes, including: San Jose & the Central Valley The capital of Costa Rica offers a variety of attractions, including, restaurants, markets, parks, casinos and the world-famous Gold Museum. You can also make an easy day-trip to lush coffee plantations, whitewater rafting, rainforests, even volcanoes.

Puerto Vallarta. Summer months are warmer, with highs in the upper 80s, but the sea breeze keeps it cool and comfortable. It seldom rains in winter. Hurricane season is August - October, and that is when it is most likely to rain. October through May are generally the driest months; during the peak of the rainy season (June-September), it may rain for a few hours daily. But the sun often shines for the rest of the day, and the off-season rates may well compensate for the reduced tanning time.

Hawaii. The "Aloha State" is a kingdom ruled by the sun and guided by a warm, welcoming people. Spectacular resorts dot the coastlines and world class dining, shopping and beaches beckon. With six neighbor islands, it can be difficult to decide which Hawaiian Island is right for you. Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Kauai and the Big Island of Hawaii all offer magnificent scenery and a wonderful South Seas ambiance, yet all offer their own unique vacation experience. Luckily, frequent air service and island cruises make it easy to get from one island to the next.

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