6. Not every winter traveller is looking for warm weather when they head south. Skiers skip right over the Sun Belt and head for the resorts of Chile, including Valle Nevado, Portillo, La Parva, and El Colorado. It's a long way to go, but prices are lower when you get there and lift lineups are virtually unheard of. And when the ski legs tire, there's always wine country to explore. Salut!
7. Gary and Larke Newell of Nanaimo, B.C., bought a home on a quarter-acre lot surrounded by lush trees in the Chiriqui region of Panama for a quarter of what a similar home would have cost them where they live on Vancouver Island, says Gary. "It's situated in a small, quiet, safe Panamanian community, and we love it. Our neighbours have accepted us graciously and have been helpful and kind."
8. "Mexico is the best for us; safe, warm, beautiful," says Ottawa's Heather Borquez. "We're about two hours north of Cabo on the azure and magical Sea of Cortes." Bonus reason: Mexico doesn't kick you out after six months like they do in the United States!
9. Canadians have maintained a soft spot for Cuba over the years, and its visitor infrastructure is likely to evolve rapidly, thanks to the recent rapprochement with the United States. At this time, however, it remains somewhat rustic outside established resorts and the capital of Havana. It helps to speak Spanish and have a more adventurous attitude. Cubacasas.net has a good English-language website with information on regions and rental opportunities within them.
10. Alice Ducharme of Victoria recommends—wait for it—Victoria, B.C. "We don't get as much rain as Vancouver, we rarely get snow and we even have palm trees." Explore long-term accommodation options by Googling "extended stay hotel + Victoria"; lots of area hotels offer monthly room rates during the winter.
A version of this article appeared in the November 2016 issue with the headline, "10 Alternative Snowbird Destinations", p. 76-77.
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