The winter chill isn’t everybody’s cup of cocoa. When the temperature drops, short-haired dog breeds everywhere flee to warmer pastures with one aim in mind: replacing the snow, sleighs and skis with sun, sand and sea. Whether you want to spend Hanukkah in a hammock or Christmas Day in a cabana, these eight pet-friendly tropical destinations offer you the chance to escape to the sun this holiday season.
Posted by Billy Francis
1. St. Croix
Fortunately for Fido, the U.S. Virgin Islands don’t have any quarantine requirements from the mainland. This is one of many reasons why you and your pup should celebrate St. Nick in St. Croix this winter. Take your canine to Cane Bay Beach and Sunset Beach, an idyllic stretch of sand that welcomes dogs off leash from October through March. The island is quite small, so you and your tropical terrier can explore every nook and cranny. When hunger strikes, head to the Lost Dog Pub and Pizza in Frederiksted for a slice and a pint. After dinner, put your paws up at The Buccaneer, where sweeping views of the ocean and rows of palm trees act as a constant reminder that you’re a long way from home, thank dog!
The Buccaneer allows dogs of any size for $10 per pet, per night. Nightly rates start at $315.
2. Cabo San Lucas
Cabo San Lucas attracts visitors year-round for the Pacific views, laid-back vibes and gorgeous scenery. The average winter temperature in the resort city tends to stay above 80°F. Take your pup on a walk along the beach on the southernmost tip of the Baja Peninsula during low tide and discover the iconic Land's End Arch. Let Fido splash around in the shadow of one of Cabo’s most treasured natural landmarks.
After his day on the beach, let your best friend be pampered at Las Ventanas al Paraiso, A Rosewood Resort. The hotel offers massages for four-legged guests, which can be accompanied by a bite to eat from the made-to-order “Canine Delights” menu. If you’re planning on taking a dip in the pool or ocean, borrow a Pet Cabana to provide shade for your dog. Resort staff are even on-hand to walk your pup along the beach or in the nearby countryside if you’re too busy relaxing.
Las Ventanas al Paraiso, A Rosewood Resort allows two dogs up to 40 lbs for a fee of $60 per pet, per stay. Nightly rates start at $688.
3. Florida Keys
Located between the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, the Florida Keys provide snowbirds from the northern states with a welcome respite from the rasping cold of winter. The tropical temperatures, white-sand beaches and turquoise waters are a beacon for travelers with pets in search of adventure and indulgence during the winter months. Tour the stunning waters and get a diver’s view of the sea life beneath the waves on a Key Largo Princess Glass Bottom Boat. Dogs on the tour are greeted with a water bowl and plenty of pets. Spend the night at the Baker's Cay Resort Key Largo, Curio Collection By Hilton, where Fido will receive his very own engraved dog tag and a personal invitation to attend the daily Yappy Hour, featuring a special pet menu just for him.
Baker's Cay Resort Key Largo, Curio Collection By Hilton accepts dogs up to 100 lbs for an additional fee of $50 per pet, per stay. Nightly rates start at $261.
4. San Juan, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico’s capital city presents chilly dogs with plenty of opportunities to warm their paws. Despite the name, Hobie Cat Beach is an ideal starting point for any San Juan vacation. Wander the stretch of sand freely together and paddle in the water. In the afternoon, walk the cobblestone streets of Old San Juan and bring Fido to run and play in the expansive green space outside El Morro, one of the island’s historic fortresses. Spend your evenings at the Verdanza Hotel. The pet-friendly rooms come stocked with pet beds, water bowls, a toy and a welcome treat. It even has its own Paws Park, an outdoor dog park with an agility course.
Verdanza Hotel accepts one pet of any size for an additional fee of $75. A $250 pet deposit will also be posted to your account upon check-in. Nightly rates start at $138.
5. Costa Rica
Kissing the Caribbean Sea on one side and the Pacific on the other, the secluded beaches of Costa Rica offer an enticing alternative to shoveling snow. Hang out with your pooch on Uvita Beach before retiring to your room at Flutterby House, a pet-friendly and eco-friendly beachside hostel. Spend the night in Tom’s Cabin, a unique two-story rental facing the jungle, or the Penthouse, a secluded spot with a private balcony, where you can enjoy views of a mangrove forest from your hammock.
Flutterby House allows dogs of any size for a $50 refundable deposit. Nightly rates start at $12 for the more rustic rooms and go up to $80.
In recent years, Chiang Mai has developed into the backpacker’s mecca of Thailand. Experience tuk-tuk rides, street markets and take a snap of Fido in front of historic temples for this year’s Christmas card. Local dog owners recommend a walk around Huay Tung Tao Lake during your visit. There are a number of pet-friendly trails surrounding the water, along with an array of sculptures against a backdrop of rolling hills.
Ketawa Pet Friendly Hotel is the perfect place to spend the night with your pooch while you’re visiting this laid-back city. As the name suggests, the hotel welcomes four-legged guests with open arms and even has a cafe that sells treats, wet and dry food, toys and bowls. Let your canine tourist dive into the pet pool, meet the eight house dogs and book a bathing service. If you want to embark on any activities in the city that aren’t as open to dogs, leave your pup in the safe hands of the hotel staff. Trade your bow-wows for bows in Thailand this winter, Fido!
Ketawa Pet Friendly Hotel allows dogs of any size for no extra charge. Nightly rates start at $33.
7. The Bahamas
The Bahamas is a string of more than 700 islands off the coast of Florida. It’s known for year-round tropical weather and stunning Caribbean vistas, and its capital city of Nassau is a tourism hub lined with pastel-colored British colonial buildings. Members of the BringFido team were lucky enough to travel to Nassau and help out at the Bahamas Humane Society in 2018. They hung out with the cats in the cattery, took the dogs for a stroll on the beach and gave them baths. Experience a beach walk for yourself at Cabbage Beach (it’s a lot nicer than it sounds). This sandy paradise on Paradise Island is a beautiful place to lie back under the shade of a palm tree and listen to the waves lap the shore. Canine companions can run and play off-leash here as long as they are under voice command. When the sun sets, retire to The Colony Club Inn & Suites, a popular and budget-friendly hotel in the heart of Nassau.
The Colony Club Inn & Suites welcomes dogs of any size for no additional fee. Nightly rates start at $93.
8. Dominican Republic
Book a flight to the Dominican Republic this winter and enjoy a lazy vacation with your small dog in one of Eden Roc at Cap Cana’s private suites. The burnt turkey from last year’s holiday feast will seem a million miles away when you’re lounging in your private pool. Pets receive a plush dog bed and bowls to make their stay as relaxing as possible, too. Rock around the resort in your private golf cart together, sunbathe on the beach and experience classy service throughout, including day beds and shady umbrellas for dogs to snooze under in comfort.
Eden Roc at Cap Cana accepts dogs up to 22 lbs for an additional fee of $50 per pet, per night. Nightly rates start at $495.
Would you bring Fido to one of these tropical getaways? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!
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