Travel

AAA's 10 top travel destinations for a warm vacation in 2022

El Arco in Los Cabos as seen from the air

After a long winter, many Americans are ready to take a break from snow and frost with a trip to sunnier climes. Hawai‘i and the Caribbean are classic choices.

They're relatively close, and their white-sand beaches and blue waters are among the best in the world, so it's no surprise that they're among AAA's most-booked destinations for trips in December through February.

Others travel farther afield to take advantage of the Earth's tilt: Winter in the Northern Hemisphere means Southern Hemisphere destinations like Argentina are enjoying summer. Even more paradisiacal are the Galapagos Islands, which sit on the equator and thus don't experience traditional seasons. Below are AAA's top warm-weather destinations, as indicated by winter hotel and travel bookings made by members through AAA travel advisors in select markets, along with key facts for those looking for a vacation from the cold—another way that AAA travels with you.

An iguana suns itself on the Galápagos Islands

10. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

About 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos are 18 islands that are world-renowned for their unique, pristine ecosystems. The wildlife Charles Darwin observed during his visit to the Galapagos in 1835 inspired his theory of natural selection, and those animals are still the biggest point of interest. Many species can only be found on the islands, such as the Galapagos finches, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, and the famous Galapagos giant tortoise. 

Don't miss: the lava tunnels

The islands' volcanic geology is no less impressive than its wildlife, as exemplified by the lava tubes near the village of Santa Rosa on the island of Santa Cruz. They extend for miles underground and have electric lighting, making them easy to explore independently or with a hired guide.

Ready to explore the Galapagos?

Book your choice of Celebrity Cruises itineraries in the Galapagos, which include visits to the frigatebird colony at North Seymour, the tortoises of Puerto Ayora, and much more.

Contact an agent or book your Galapagos cruise online

Buenos Aires, Argentina at night

9. Argentina

A trip to Argentina will almost certainly begin in the capital of Buenos Aires. It's a walkable city with a hint of a European feel, but a distinct Latin American flavor. Highlights include the restaurant scene (steakhouses are particularly well-represented), the museums, and the distinct architecture of each neighborhood. Branch out from the city to see the world's largest series of waterfalls at Iguazu National Park, the vast plains and vibrant coastline of the Pampas region, the dramatic glacial landscapes of Patagonia, and the colonial history of Cordoba.

Don't miss: Valley of the Moon

This UNESCO World Heritage Site features otherworldly wind-eroded landscapes as far as the eye can see. Lucky visitors may also catch a glimpse of Andean condors.

Ready to explore Argentina?

Book the Insight Vacations Argentina, Uruguay, & Brazil Discovery package and you'll spend 3 nights in bustling Buenos Aires and 2 nights at the majestic Iguazu Falls.

Learn more about the Argentina, Uruguay, & Brazil Discovery package

A traveler exploring Machu Picchu in Peru

8. Peru

The Inca ruins of Machu Picchu are Peru's most famous attraction, but there's much more to see in South America's third-largest country. The nearby city of Cuzco, once the center of the Inca Empire, is still overflowing with history and culture. The capital of Peru, Lima, has stellar examples of Spanish Colonial architecture and great museums. And while the Amazon River is commonly associated with neighboring Brazil, the river starts in Peru and is one of the best places to see Amazon wildlife.

Don't miss: Ollantaytambo

This monumental fortress and community provides a vivid illustration of Inca urban planning. Laid out in a simple grid with cobblestone streets, perfectly constructed stone walls, and canals, many of the buildings and residences date back 600 years or more. 

Ready to explore Peru?

Book the Insight Vacations Peru with Machu Picchu package to visit the Museo Larco in Lima, discover traditional Quechua weaving in the Sacred Valley, and spend 2 days exploring Machu Picchu.

Learn more about the Peru with Machu Picchu package

Colorful lights illuminating Orlando, Florida at night

7. Orlando, Florida

It's no surprise that the home of Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Studios Florida, SeaWorld Orlando, and a slew of other attractions makes our list. Anything members can imagine doing is here, from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, to Cirque du Soleil, to a dizzying array of shopping and dining options.

Don't miss: Lake Eola Park

Take a breather from theme parks and other attractions with a stroll around this downtown oasis. Visit at night to see the lake’s fountain lit up in dazzling colors.

Ready to explore Orlando?

Book a 5-night package at the Orlando World Center Marriott with AAA Vacations®. Kids 17 and under stay free, and you'll receive amenities like the AAA Vacations Best Price Guarantee and 24/7 member care. 

Learn more and book a stay at the Orlando World Center Marriott online

Honolulu's shoreline in the evening

6. O‘ahu, Hawai‘i

Hawai‘i's most populous island has its fair share of the beauty the state is known for, with Honolulu adding big city amenities. Whether you're learning to surf off Waikiki Beach, touring ‘Iolani Palace, digging into kalua pork at an authentic luau, or seeing history firsthand at Pearl Harbor, O‘ahu is always worth the trip.

Don't miss: Diamond Head State Monument

Hikers can climb this volcanic formation for a splendid view of Waikiki and the ocean. Members planning to walk the brief, but moderately tough, trail should bring water and expect to get sweaty.

Ready to explore O'ahu?

Book a 5-night package at the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, and get a $100 activity voucher as a AAA Vacations® amenity.

Learn more and book a stay at the Moana Surfrider online

Sand pyramid on the beach in Cancun, Mexico

5. Cancun, Mexico

Cancun is commonly associated with spring break, but the fun and the sun are year-round. Miles of white sand and beach resorts stretch out into the sea atop a reef, hosting visitors eager to catch some rays or dive into the warm waters.

Don't miss: Museo Maya de Cancun

Take a break from relaxing on the beach to learn about the Maya, the native inhabitants of the Yucatán Peninsula, and explore hundreds of ancient Mayan artifacts.

Ready to explore Cancun?

Book a 5-night package at the Bahia Principe Luxury Sian Ka'an with AAA Vacations®. Enjoy an unlimited buffet and a la carte dinners, snacks, and local drinks, as well as a $100 activity voucher. 

Learn more and book your Bahia Principe Luxury Sian Ka'an online

An aerial view of Los Cabos

4. Los Cabos, Mexico

Located at the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula, the once-remote area of Los Cabos has transformed itself into an international resort destination. Many visitors come for the stunning beaches and what is known as the Corridor, a 33-kilometer stretch of spectacular coastline that runs between the twin towns of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. 

Don't miss: whale watching

Winter is the heart of whale watching season off Baja California as humpback and gray whales migrate south from their summer feeding grounds to breed in the winter. Want to see newborn baby humpback whales? January and February are your best bets.

Ready to explore Los Cabos?

Book your trip to Los Cabos with Pleasant Holidays and take advantage of optional add-ons such as a camel safari and whale watching tours.

Build your Los Cabos package with Pleasant Holidays

Waikuni Falls in Maui

3. Maui, Hawai‘i

Maui has a little of everything. Ready to hit the beach? Ka‘anapali is one of the best. Looking for rainforest and waterfalls? Drive the scenic Hana Highway. Or maybe a volcano is more your style? Watch the sunrise from the summit of Haleakala.

Don't miss: Maui Pineapple Tours in Hali‘imaile

Members can take a break from hiking and driving to tour a pineapple plantation. See how the fruit is planted, harvested, and processed, then taste different varieties right from the field.

Ready to explore Maui?

Book a 5-night package at the The Kapalua Villas Maui with AAA Vacations®Kids 17 and under stay free, and you'll receive a $100 activity voucher.

Learn more and book your Kapalua Villas Maui stay online

A divi divi tree on the beach in Aruba

2. Aruba

Aruba is the smallest of the “ABC” (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao) islands. Just 15 miles north of Venezuela, its exceptionally dry climate is considered one of the most desirable in the Caribbean. Aruba's arid interior, marked by surreal, wind-bent divi-divi trees; sprawling stands of cactus and aloe vera; and huge boulders strewn like marbles contrasts sharply with the more tropical, palm-lined southwest coast.

Don't miss: Aruba Aloe Museum & Factory

The dry weather is perfect for growing aloe vera, celebrated for its healing properties. Visit the Aruba Aloe Museum to learn the history of humankind's relationship with the plant. Then take a complimentary factory tour to see how aloe goes from plant to product.

Ready to explore Aruba?

Book a 5-night package at the Riu Palace Antillas with AAA Vacations®Enjoy an unlimited buffet and a la carte dinners, snacks, and local drinks, as well as a $100 activity voucher and nightly entertainment.

Learn more and book your Riu Palace Antillas stay online

Boats along the shoreline in Punta Cana

1. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

This beach region is home to dozens of high-end resorts that draw millions of tourists each year, all looking for sun, surf, fishing, high-speed boating, and many other ocean-themed activities. For landlubbers, there's also an array of golf courses and sightseeing tours.

Don't miss: Isla Saona

Boats bring visitors to this idyllic island off the coast to marvel at its pristine shores and abundant wildlife. Covered in palm trees, the island epitomizes the “desert island” motif common in film and television.

Ready to explore Punta Cana?

Book a 5-night package at the Riu Bambu in Punta Cana with AAA Vacations®. Enjoy an unlimited buffet and a la carte dinners, snacks, and local drinks, as well as a $100 activity voucher and daily entertainment.

Learn more and book your Riu Bambu stay online

A AAA travel advisor

Make your dream vacation a reality

It's not too late to make your warm-weather getaway. Whether you’ve been dreaming of exploring Maya ruins, hiking the Andes, or just relaxing on a sun-kissed beach, AAA is your go-to resource for planning.

AAA Travel alert: Many travel destinations have implemented COVID-19–related restrictions. Before making travel plans, check to see if hotels, attractions, cruise lines, tour operators, restaurants, and local authorities have issued health and safety-related restrictions or entry requirements. The local tourism board is a good resource for updated information.

 

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