Spring has sprung (or at least it’s on its way) as we leave behind the dark days of winter and head to brighter, lighter and especially warmer times. And with the month of March we have spring break ahead, that eagerly awaited vacation where everyone dreams of sunny days on the beach, exotic getaways or picturesque overseas trips. This month, make those fantasies a reality and kickstart this season with your own well-deserved break!
Riviera Nayarit, Mexico
If you’ve never heard of the Riviera Nayarit, a 200-mile stretch of Pacific coastline just above Puerto Vallarta in Mexico, hold onto your sun hats. This tropical destination, packed with incredible beaches, off-the-beaten-path surf towns, a rich cultural history and incredible cuisine is definitely worth checking out. Not as developed as Cancun and the Riviera Maya and way less busy than Los Cabos in Baja Sur, this stretch of primo oceanside property takes you from the uber cool, low-key, boho surf town of Sayulita to Punta Mita, an old fishing village turned into a sought-after spot for well-heeled vacationers, to San Blas, a picturesque quiet, friendly town full of old-world charm from its early Spanish colonization days. So whether you’re looking for that perfect surf or that ultimate fish taco, exploring nature in La Tovara National Park, going humpback whale watching, or just relaxing on a quiet beach, Riviera Nayarit is the place to be this spring.
Where to stay in Riviera Nayarit
Forget about visiting Italy, France or Spain this spring, and make your way to the warm, sunny shores of Portugal. With one of Europe’s most underrated food and wine scenes, this slice of life on the Iberian Peninsula stretches along the Atlantic coastline and borders Spain. From the vibrant city life of Lisbon, to Porto, the birthplace of port, and especially the beautiful beaches of Algarve in the south, this colourful, varied and endearing country has so much to offer every type of traveller, it’s no wonder it’s one of the hottest — and most affordable destinations to visit right now. With a landscape that ranges from mountains and vineyards in the northern countryside to desert-like conditions in the south, this country is also one of the warmest in Europe, making a March trip guaranteed to have comfortable temperatures that are perfect for taking in the sun, sitting on the beach, playing golf (it’s a golfer’s paradise!) and eating incredible meals with a glass of Vinho Verde.
Where to stay in Portugal
Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa
If you’re bored of the beach and the idea of Europe is a snooze, why not do something completely different to cap off your winter: kickstart your spring and head to South Africa for an unforgettable safari adventure! The Madikwe Game Reserve is one of the largest in the world and also happens to be located in a lesser known part of South Africa – a true hidden gem. About 90 kilometres north of the town of Zeerust and a 3 1/2 hour drive from Johannesburg, the reserve borders Botswana, close to the Kalahari Desert. This park is home to 66 large mammals (think: lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and buffalos), as well as 300 species of birds and plenty of breathtaking scenery made up of vast open plains of grasslands, woodlands, rocky outcrops and mountains. March is an ideal time to visit – at the tail end of the summer season in South Africa – so start making those plans for the vacation of a lifetime!
Where to stay in Madikwe Game Reserve
With its rich, volcanic soil just bursting with the most delicious fruit and vegetables you’ve ever had, several different micro climates ranging from the Caribbean to the Pacific coast, and some of the loveliest locals around, this friendly, pacifist, Central American country is truly a traveler’s paradise – and keeps tourists coming back again and again. Topping several lists as the happiest country in the world, once you go Tico (what Costa Ricans call themselves), there’s no turning back. With their country-wide greeting (and national tagline) of Pura Vida – which means pure life – Costa Ricans want to share their incredible country with visitors and make nature and the environment a top priority not only preached, but practiced. From rafting, biking, kayaking and ziplining to its world renowned surf beaches, nine (!) volcanoes and many species of animals and plant life, this small country that can be driven from coast to coast in a day sure has a lot going for it.
Where to stay in Costa Rica