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Our top picks for great quick winter getaways that are not all-inclusives

The days are shortening and before you know it the holidays are over and the winter blues set in. And that's when we all want to just fly south and kick up our heels for a week or so. And of course there are the all-inclusive resorts - easy no-brainer holidays. But what if you would like to do something different, an active trip perhaps, or a cultural or natural discovery of a sunny island or country?

Here are our top picks for great quick winter getaways that are NOT all-inclusives.

Mexico Real Food Adventure 9 days from CA$2370 Rated: easy to moderate, 2 out of 5 Get an authentic taste of Mexico on this journey through some of the country’s most famous culinary regions. Meander through Oaxaca’s aromatic markets; take to the streets of Puebla to sample some the city’s local specialties; indulge in fresh seafood on the beach; and take to the streets of Mexico City on a taco crawl. Sounds yummy - take me there!

Mexico Sailing & Whale Watching Expedition 7 days from CA$2520 Rated: easy to moderate, 2 out of 5 The Sea of Cortez, off Baja's coast, is visited by every year by thousands of migrating whales and this expedition is a chance to see these majestic mammals in the wild. When you're not watching these breaching beauties, spend your days snorkelling in the clear blue waters, hiking the rocky coastlines, swimming with sea lions and exploring inland lagoons as your boat hops from island to island. I'd like a whale of a time - take me there!

Playa del Carmen to Mexico City 9 days from CA$2090 Rated: easy to moderate, 2 out of 5 The modern rubs up against the ancient in Mexico, and you’ll get to experience both contemporary and historic attractions in this tour. Begin with the sun-drenched beaches of Playa del Carmen and travel through colourful, colonial towns like San Cristobal de las Casas on your way to the buzzing metropolis that is Mexico City. Wonder at the grand ancient ruins of Teotihuacan and discover the culinary paradise of Oaxaca. Take me to Mexico's heartland

Cycle Cuba: West 7 days from CA$1507 Rated: moderate, 3 out of 5 Discover laid-back Cuba on two wheels. Travel the colourful streets of Havana, along dusty roads past farms and tobacco plantations in Vinales, beside vintage cars and horse-drawn carriages and get a taste of Cuba beyond the rum and cigar scene. Swim in clear blue waters, explore Che Guevara’s former HQ and cool off in bubbling river pools. Soak up the best of Cuba as you traverse this fascinating country. Ride on! Take me to Cuba!

Cuba Sailing Adventure 9 days from CA$1865 Rated: easy to moderate, 2 out of 5 Spend eight unforgettable days sailing through the island paradise of Cuba. After being captivated by Havana, venture offshore on a yacht for a Cuban encounter few people get to experience. Take in an array of natural wonders and get up-close to marine- and wildlife, uncover untouched islands, swim & snorkel in crystal-clear waters and spend days soaking up the chilled out vibe of Cuba. Put the wind in my sails - take me there!

Beautiful Cuba 8 days from CA$1582 Rated: easy to moderate, 2 out of 5 Enjoy a relaxing week-long adventure while immersing yourself in the history, culture and natural beauty of Cuba. Wander through Havana’s colonial architecture, soak up the clear mountain air among Soroa’s vibrant orchards, relax on vast white beaches and admire Trinidad’s unrivalled ambience. From old cars to fragrant cigars and with plenty of salsa in between, this trip has it all. Show me something revolutionary!

Sailing the British Virgin Islands 7 days from CA$1234 Rated: average, 3 out of 5 Among the world’s most popular sailing destinations, laid-back and low-key, the BVIs are flat-out gorgeous to sail and explore. Hop aboard our state-of-the-art catamaran and discover secluded coves, impossibly beautiful snorkelling spots, and breathtaking islands virtually untouched by humans. Take me to the BVI!

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