The Fun Isn't Over; Jump Into A Southern Hemisphere Summer

As we creep towards that Sunday when we set our clocks back an hour, it seems that we barely manage to utter three "trick-or-treats" before we're already checking items off our Thanksgiving dinner lists. Some people love this time of year. As the days get shorter, they revel in their prayers for snow.

But some of us don't.

Even though it's still technically fall everywhere in the United States, we may be forgetting that it's almost summertime in the Southern Hemisphere—so why not chase the sun down?

If you start planning your big trip now, come January or February you'll be jumping off rocks, filling your lungs with clean forest air, hiking, climbing, camping, splashing—and that tube of sunblock will once again see the light of day.

Here are a few rugged winter sun destinations to help you make it happen:

Arica, Chile

Sure, Patagonia is on every mountaineer's must-do list. But if you're on the hunt for a break from long winter days and looking for a less-traveled-to destination, Chile's most northern city, Arica (a hop-skip-and-jump from the Peruvian border) experiences summer air almost all year round (the water is cold, though, so pack your wetsuits if kayaking and surfing is on tap).

The Chilean port town is an entryway into Bolivia and Peru, with valleys of olive tree plantations, miles of beaches, a quite seaside town and a collection of mummified humans, dating to thousands of years before Egyptian mummies, for the history buff to contemplate.

And if you're jonesing for high altitudes, Arica is also a jumping-off point for the Lauca National Park, with its volcanoes, mountain lakes (Lago Chungara is one of the highest lakes in the world) and hot springs.

Airlie Beach, QLD, Australia

There's truly no place like Oz. It would take about a month even to list all of the awesome things you can do in Australia. Between the vast West Oz's wide open, uncrowded frontier, the beach culture of the Gold Coast, coastal wilderness of New South Wales and Victoria, and the ultra-rugged South Australia and Tasmania—plus the so-desolate even-locals-don't-go-there outback—you'll be tempted to make a three-month vacation out of this one.

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