Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold: 5 Perfect (Frugal) Winter Getaways


Quito Plaza Grande

Winter vacations tend to run the gambit of either escaping to hot weather for a beach vacation or heading to a mountain ski resort to enjoy the snow. But what if you’d just like the comfort of nice weather that’s somewhere in between? Forget the extremes and live the eternal spring in these temperate destinations that are also easy on the travel budget.

Bogota Monserrate

Bogota, Colombia

Average daily temperature highs in Bogota run about 67 degrees December through March. The average low is about 50 degrees. It is the perfect spring weather to get out and hike in the mountains or bike through the streets that are blocked off on the weekend for recreational activities. You can take a train ride north to visit the Salt Cathedrals or sign up for a city street art tour. Take the cable car to the top of Monserrate, or play Tejo, a game that consists of throwing metal objects at a gun powder target – while drinking beer of course. Hotels in Bogota are super affordable and good value. A Holiday Inn in December is under $60, a Sheraton 4 Points around $70. Transportation is cheap; a typical 15-minuteUber ride will be less than two dollars. Read about our Bogota experience here.

Mexico City Pyramids

Mexico City, Mexico

Because of its elevation, Mexico City enjoys temperatures ranging from 67-72 degrees during the day and lows in the high 40s at night through March. Temperatures can reach the high 70s however. This was our experience when we headed just outside of Mexico City to Teotihuacan for a day of exploring the ancient city and the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon. Mexico City also hosts the incredible National Museum of Anthropology. With the Mexican Peso hitting lows of about 19 to the U.S. dollar, you’ll also find it a bargain destination.

Cathredral San Miguel

San Miguel Allende, Mexico

Although historical average high temperatures range from 71 to 74 degrees during the winter months, it is not uncommon to experience temperatures close to 80. At night the temperature drops to the high 40s.  San Miguel’s rich culture, art, fine weather, and affordable living have made it a popular destination for retires as well as tourists. You’ll find a tremendous amount of activities including spending a day at the hot springs, visiting the numerous spas, attending an art reception, studying Spanish, checking out the botanical gardens or hiking. And it seems there’s always a festival going on in the town square. I’ve written previously about my visits to this lovely city.

Quito OOOO sign

Quito, Ecuador

The valley city of Quito is enormous. It’s also intimately charming. Ecuador also uses the U.S. dollar so no special currency is needed. The old city hosts colonial architecture, cobblestone streets, and colorful markets.  Take the cable car to the top of the mountain and enjoy the view of the entire area. Best of all temperatures average 68-70 during the day and 46-48 at night. Don’t miss a visit to the equator just outside the city and stand with one foot in the northern hemisphere and the other in the southern. You’ll find plenty to explore in and around Quito.  It is one of my favorite cities.

Tucson Boneyard TWA

Tucson, Arizona

For Avgeeks (aviation geeks), Tucson offers the ultimate winter getaway. Yes, the temperatures are perfect, ranging 68-70 during the day and a cool 37-42 at night but much more alluring is the Pima Air and Space Museum featuring an incredible collection of retired aircraft including the 787 Dreamliner Prototype. Across the street is another aviation graveyard at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.  Read about our visit here. Tucson is not just for the aviation aficionados, it offers hiking in the surrounding mountains, diverse downtown nightlife, and the popular Desert Museum. Also, don’t miss the historic Hotel Congress and the Sky Bar when you’re visiting Tucson.

If you’re looking for a more temperate and affordable location for your winter holiday, there are so many choices. I used to determine historical high/low monthly temperatures for each of these destinations. It’s a great source for a wide range of weather information but I especially like the weather-by-month data, perfect for determining the best time to visit a destination. I use Price of Travel to help determine costs at a destination.


Do you have a temperate winter location you like to visit?

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