Typically, we spend time writing about the places we’ve travelled, focusing on recommendations based on our experiences. Today, we’re shifting things a little. With sweater weather in full swing — we thought we’d share our travel bucket list for all your daydreaming needs.
More specifically, these warm weather locations are our top picks for a mid-winter getaway. As sun lovers who view our swimsuits as a second skin, beach locations are high up on our priority list. With this in mind, we’re embracing the cooler weather upon us, knowing we’ll be finding some sun when frigid, bleak February sets in.
The incredible white sand beaches of Mozambique have been on my radar for years. What started as a deep desire to visit Cape Town’s trifecta of world class beaches, hiking and wine grew into a bigger idea — to visit South Africa and road trip up the eastern coast to Mozambique.
The islands of the Bazaruto Archipelago and Quirimba Archipelago are home to many rare marine species. As passionate scuba divers, little is more enticing than an opportunity to swim with manta rays, dolphins and green turtles. A large percentage of the world’s remaining Dugongs call Mozambique home, and humpback whales are known to breach within close proximity. Situated on the Indian Ocean, sand dunes extend along the shoreline of Bazaruto, and the water is warm year round.
Tulum may be erring on the side of overdone, but it’s still high on the list. We’ve had some amazing trips to the Mayan Rivera, and have seen some of the world’s best diving locations in Cozumel and Playa Del Carmen.
As sucker for beautiful spaces, Be Tulum is #1 on the accommodation list for this trip. Luxurious and chic yet rustic, with suites nestled between the jungle and beach. Private pools, daily yoga in a tree top studio — say no more.
Hartwood restaurant caught our eye years ago, with their 'no menu, changing-daily, make what we harvest’ approach. Prioritizing sustainability, the restaurant operates off-grid, using solar panels to power their space. Fishing methods are sustainability-focused, all cooking is done on open fire, and they operate with a zero carbon footprint, turning their waste into 100% organic compost used in the area’s farming.
Over and over, I continue to hear people say that Hawaii is there favourite place on earth. Similar to how I pushed back on visiting Paris because I thought it was “too touristy”, I felt like Hawaii was for the less adventurous vacationers. After a bit of research, I quickly changed my mind. Apparently, Hawaii has it all — world class hiking, scuba diving and surfing, amazing fresh eats, kind people.
Honokalani Beach is tucked away in Wainapanapa State Park in Maui. The Road to Hana connects Kahului to the town of Hana, traversing along the coast through secluded rainforest, ocean and waterfall views. Famous for it’s black sand, Honokalani Beach is one of the hidden gems in the region that you’ll pass by on route to Hana. Lush green jungle, turquoise waters and the contrasting black sand make this spot one of the most picturesque in the area. Unfortunately, however, the bay is without reef protection, leading to dangerous choppy waters not suitable for swimming. I’ve had my heart set on experiencing a black sand beach since I missed out on Amed while living in Bali in 2015, and from the photos I’ve seen, this is unlikely to disappoint.
The eastern coast of Australia typically gets all the love — Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Cairns… the list goes on. It was only in the last handful of years that a friend from Perth let us in on a little secret: Western Australia is home to beaches that blow much of the eastern Australia beaches out of the water. Perth, specifically, is extraordinary. Aquamarine-coloured waters, soft white sand, and more sunny days per year than any other capital city in the world. Between Cottesloe Beach, Mettams Pool, Bathers Beach, Leighton Beach, and City Beach, there’s something for all beach dwellers. Even better? If you haven’t had enough of the beach by the end of your time in Perth, hop on a short, direct flight to Bali. You can be there in under four hours.
With food always very high on the priority list when travelling (and when staying local, for that matter), I spent an hour drooling over a few restaurants I’d love to check out if we ever make it to Perth. Petition Kitchen, Wildflower, Odyssea, and the rest of the highlights from The Urban List.
Truthfully, Sri Lanka is high priority on my bucket list, but mostly for things other than the beach —I want to see elephants roam wild in Uda Walawe National Park, spot blue whales migrate off the southern coast, trek through the mountainous tea region of Ceylon, and practice yoga in a studio surrounded by jungle. However, a trip to Sri Lanka wouldn’t be complete without time on the southern coast.
Beautiful beaches dot the entire southern coast of Sri Lanka, with great options for lounging around, surfing, snorkelling and spotting wildlife. Wijaya Beach in Unawatuna is known for its clean, white sand, large palms, and frequent sightings of turtles that surface near the beach as the sun goes down. Marissa Beach is a hot spot amongst travellers and draws in both snorkelers and surfers. We’ve also read there’s a more secluded part of this beach called Secret Marissa Beach — not surprisingly, with far less development and fewer tourists. Tangalle Beach is a bit off the beaten path but is sought out by people seeking a little slice of heaven without the crowds.
Oh, and if yoga in the jungle is also your thing, Wijaya Beach has a retreat space — best of both worlds.
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*None of the places linked here are affiliates of ours, nor have we been personally -- they are simply places we've discovered through research that we hope to explore.