If you’re looking to escape to cooler climes this summer (or next), you might be feeling a bit lost in the sweltering days of summer. CheapAir is here to help!
Read on for a few of our top “cool” vacation picks for this time of year!
Southern hemisphere destinations are winding down their winter months, and we’re big fans of our neighbors down under. Australia is a truly stunning destination – with much for city slickers and nature lovers to enjoy. We recommend you mix the vibrant Aussie cosmopolitanism of cities like Melbourne with the stunning beaches and culture of Sydney, a hop to the remote and bucolic Tasmania and round it all out with a trip to the Outback to visit the magnificent Uluru (Also known as Ayer’s Rock), a sacred spot in the much more remote interior of the country.
This once in a lifetime destination should be on every nature lover’s bucket list – with sweeping landscapes, stunning biodiversity, year round accessible skiing and surfing, relatively mild winters, and the friendliest and warmest locals found the world over – what’s not to love? We recommend immersing yourself in the Maori culture, visiting Christchurch or Auckland, and don’t miss just getting outdoors to experience the unbridled wilds of the backcountry.
Visiting Bolivia in August is perhaps the perfect time of year since the predictable weather makes transportation easier and more reliable. Hikers and climbers and mountain bikers know this so the secret is out. Be prepared for higher prices and bigger crowds. We recommend visiting the surreal Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest natural salt flat and the spectacular Cordillera Real mountain range. Most of the 600 peaks are an easy drive from the capital of La Paz. While in La Paz, make sure you check out the folksy “Witches Market,” where you can pick up potions and cast spells with some of the local ladies eager to impress tourists with their skills. Finally, though repairs have made it somewhat less dangerous than in years past, Yungas Road (better known as Death Road) is still a vertigo inducing, if breathtaking, switchback road that nightmares are made of. Proceed at your own risk, daredevils.
The winter months in Argentina are the high tourist season, but it’s mainly because the weather is perfect for exploring much of the country. Linger in the cafes of Barcelona, taking in the historical city center and rubbing elbows with beautiful people, or venture out to Iguazu Falls, nicknamed “Niagara on Viagra” (it’s twice as wide and much taller than Niagara Falls). Vino aficionados won’t want to miss Mendoza (the most respected and famous wine region in the country), where you can tour vineyards, experience perfect pairings at dinner, and generally while away the hours in a warm haze surrounded by perfect scenery.
Want to spend your summer in Hell? With tongue firmly in cheek, it’s stop you might want to make if traveling to northwestern Norway. Known for its mind-blowing views and fabulous fjords, we’d like to suggest a stop in the little town with the scary name. Hell (which is rumored to mean “luck” in Norwegian) has gained fame in adventure travel circles for the combination of its name and sub-arctic temperatures. Tourists have made the jaunt to Hell in recent years, mainly to capture a selfie in front of one of the town’s train station signs. Hell freezes over, on average, a full third of the year, running from December through March, with summer temperatures averaging a crisp 53°F.
It’s a bit tricky to pick the “best” time to visit Peru, because the varied topography can be a challenge, but August might be the sweet spot. The capital of Lima is at its coolest time of year but still relatively warm, and both the mountains and the jungle are in their “dry” windows. You might also be surprised to know that Peru is a budget traveler’s paradise. Getting to Macchu Pichu can be a bit of a bear (the best flights from the states drop you into Lima, which is an almost 500 mile drive from the peaks). We recommend taking a local tour – outfitters will hook you up with the proper paperwork, a knowledgeable guide and provide round trip transport and a 4-5 day hike for the bargain price of $300-500.
You’ll find Verkhoyansk deep within the Siberian wilderness, where 1,500 hardy residents carve out a chilly life. Historical Verkhoyansk was founded as a fort in 1638, though it spent much of the period between 1860 and the early 20th century housing political exiles. Today, the little outpost just 1,500 miles south of the North Pole serves as a regional hub in cattle breeding and tin and gold mining. Go to Verkhoyansk to say you’ve been to one of the coldest places on earth. In January the average temperature is a chilly -56°F, though the summers are warmer, averaging in the low 60’s.
If you’re searching for a cold spot to visit in the lower 48, look no further than Fraser, Colorado. This town sits at 8,500 feet in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains and enjoys one of the coldest winters in the contiguous United States. The annul mean temperature for the year is only 32°F, with an average high around 70°F. Fraser is situated very near the ski resort of Winter Park, Colorado, and is an excellent cool base for exploring much of northwestern Colorado. Fly-fishing, Arapahoe National Park and river rafting are all within an hour’s drive.
We’d also love to hear your picks for cool vacation destinations in the comments below. You can also tweet to us @cheapair. And if you are planning an exotic trip abroad, you might peruse our tips on how to stay safe!