It may be the dead of winter now, but it’s the perfect time to plan your spring break if you haven’t already. If you’ve done the usual spring break hotspots — say, South Padre Island, New Orleans, or Panama City Beach — look abroad for an escape. Make sure your passport is current, think warm (or snowy!) thoughts, and check out these 15 exotic spring break destinations.
Yes, Iceland is cold, but don’t overlook it as a spring break option. It’s the nearest Europeanish destination (meaning a shorter flight). Plus, Iceland has nightlife, snowmobiling, hot springs, and those amazing northern lights.
Your spring break photos of Copenhagen will make everyone jealous because the city’s picturesque buildings and neighborhoods are the perfect backdrop for your vacay pics. Aside from admiring its beauty, visitors go for the food, breweries, shopping, and museums. A visit to Denmark’s most popular attraction — Tivoli Gardens amusement park — is a must.
Ed Sheeran fans know how blue the water is here, thanks to his song “Tenerife Sea,” which is actually the Atlantic Ocean. Tenerife is part of the Canary Islands off the coast of Morocco, although they are claimed by Spain. You’ll find plenty of nature here, including beaches, parks, and natural pools. There’s even a volcano that last erupted more than 100 years ago, which visitors enjoy hiking.
This city on the Mediterranean Sea is not only beautiful but historic — the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus here is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Bodrum also has museums and a castle. Don’t think all this old stuff means the city is boring, though — check out Bodrum’s parasailing, diving, and bars.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
All-inclusive resorts are popular here for vacationers, who enjoy the beaches, pools, and spas. You never have to leave your resort, but you’d miss the fun of day trips to jungles and caves, or riding in a dune buggy.
If your spring break plans include being a beach bum, check out this western Jamaica town. Hang out on Seven Mile Beach, or watch the cliff divers at Negril Cliffs. If you feel daring, you can jump off the cliffs too, or take a zipline or waterfall tour.
A common spot for college students on break, Cancun is a classic beach-and-party destination. Take your pick of beach resorts, dance and see the shows at Coco Bongo, swim with dolphins, and tour the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Our spring is Rio’s autumn, which usually means good weather for going to Brazil’s legendary beaches. Must-dos include the scenic train ride up Corcovado Mountain to see the Christ the Redeemer statue, and the Sugarloaf Mountain cable car — both give you panoramic views.
With beaches and hills, poetry and history, Valparaiso usually has good weather this time of year. Its Historic Quarter is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so you know it’s going to be charming. Go to a wine tasting, take any of the funiculars up the steep hills for the view, visit museums, or go horseback riding.
A blend of old (ornate Buddhist temples) and new (virtual reality arcades), Bangkok is the ultimate exotic spring break destination. Tour the city by canal longboat, or take a bike tour. Budget travelers find inexpensive lodging options and good prices for food. If you can, take a one-hour flight south to spend some time on the beaches in Phuket.
Seoul, South Korea
What with the 2018 Winter Olympics and the popularity of musicians like the band BTS, interest in South Korea has increased. Visit Gyeongbokgung Palace, amusement parks like Everland and Lotte World, Namsan Seoul Tower, museums, and markets.
Key West, Florida
OK, Key West is here in the USA, but it seems exotic with its quirky Conch Republic ways. Spend your days enjoying the beach, or take a snorkel tour of the nearby reef. Then go to Mallory Square every evening for the Sunset Celebration to watch the sun set over the Gulf of Mexico and to check out the street performers and vendors. Walk to bars, restaurants, and shops.
If you’re the adventurous type, head here, where there’s almost nothing you can’t do. The beaches are great, but there are also whale watching, camel rides, off-road tours, whale shark snorkeling, sea kayaking, and ziplining. And lots of delicious Mexican food and tequila.