New Warm Weather and Beach Destinations for Winter

Migrating south isn’t just for the birds. Here, the 12 much warmer places to go this season.

Courtesy Nayara Springs
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Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s tropical beauty, wealth of ecofriendly outdoor activities, and “pura vida” attitude make it a popular getaway year-round, but this winter there are two new reasons to fly south. Founded by real estate developer Charles Brewer, and overseen by several former Four Seasons Hotels execs, the 1,000-acre Las Catalinas (residences, from $230; Potrero, Guanacaste; 866-357-3872; lascatalinascr.com) on the Guanacaste coast has been designed to become a fully functioning residential town, with new neighborhoods, retail and activity spaces, community services, and more rolling out each year. For now, visitors can rent one of the dozens of private residences (choices include condos, beachside villas, and clifftop estates) or, come February 2017, check into the town’s first hotel, Casa Chameleon (suites, from $375; Potrero, Guanacaste; 888-705-0274; casachameleonhotels.com), where each of the 21 villas features a salt-water plunge pool and Pacific Ocean views. A sustainably focused restaurant, open-air yoga pavilion, and access to Las Catalinas’ water sports center, Beach Club, boutique shopping, and 25 miles of hiking and biking trails round out the perks. Meanwhile, up in the volcanic Arenal National Park, the Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens has opened boutique sister property Nayara Springs (from $750; 9 KM Oeste de La Fortuna de San Carlos; 506/2479-1600; nayarasprings.com), an adults-only hideaway with 35 luxury villas, each with a private plunge pool fed by natural mineral hot springs. Guests of this intimate mini-resort enjoy extras like daily yoga and personal host service, along with access to the restaurants, spa, and activities at the larger property.