If you fancy swapping snow gear for swimwear or Christmas carols for reggae then escaping the cold to spend Christmas in the Caribbean should be top of your to-do list this year. With tantalizing crystal clear waters and flawless white sand in such close proximity to the USA there is no better plan to end the year than spending the Christmas holidays in the Caribbean.
Christmas in the Caribbean
Thanks to the Caribbean’s rich and diverse history, there are many European and African influences that help to foster a festive, jolly atmosphere in each country. It is a time when locals who have moved abroad flock home to visit family and friends and what are normally sleepy towns become hives of activity as people busy themselves with the festive preparations. December is also a great time to enjoy a Christmas vacation in the Caribbean thanks to the calm climate and soaring temperatures which entice everyone to the beach for a refreshing dip in the sea. Discover our top 5 vacation hotspots for Christmas in the Caribbean 2020.
Christmas in Cuba
With temperatures reaching 75ºF, Christmas in Havana is a world away from the icy streets of North America. It is a particularly cheerful time of the year when families gather together, towns and cities are dressed up with sparkling lights and music floats on the warm tropical breeze. It has not always been this way however, Xmas in Cuba was once a banned festivity due to President Fidel Castro’s belief that it disrupted the sugar harvest. It was only made legal after 30 years of being pushed underground thanks to a visit made by Pope John Paul II in 1997. Today the season is marked by a large mass held in Havana’s Revolution Square which is decorated with Cuban Christmas decorations and this ceremony has become a highlight for Cubans at Christmas. If you come searching for some R&R in Cuba during Christmas then look no further than the beach resort of Varadero where stunning uninterrupted coastline awaits. If you are feeling adventurous then be sure to book a diving class at Coral Beach to discover the incredible marine life that lies beneath the crystalline waters. For those who want to toast to Christmas in the Caribbean then a visit to a local rum distillery makes for a great afternoon of fun.
Christmas in Mexico
Of course, anyone looking to spend Christmas in the Caribbean cannot overlook the bright and colorful ‘Mexmas’ offerings. From delicious Mexican Christmas Dinners to share with loved ones to mysterious Mayan ruins just waiting to be explored, there is something for everybody to enjoy.
Merry Christmas Mexico from the Riviera Maya
The Riviera Maya is a great place for families to explore the lush landscapes of the 150km stretch of Caribbean coastline which is home to some of the country’s best blue flag beaches. Thrill seekers can take to the treetops on a giant zipline and discover the exotic wildlife with a trip to the Xcaret ecopark and those searching for some serious R&R can let their worries melt away in one of the many 5 star spa hotels in the area. Of course, the Christmas holidays make everything come to life and visitors to the Riviera Maya will be met with music performances in town centers, sizzling street food on every corner and colorful decorations everywhere you go.
Celebrate a Caribbean Xmas in Cancun
Wandering through the streets of Cancun at Christmas offers a colorful display of Mexican culture with decorations hung from any available surface. One of the traditional Christmas decorations is the Mexican Christmas star which is a round papier-mache ball with tasselled cones that jut out at various angles. It is a Christmas icon. When in Cancun, enjoy some family time and take part in activities such as swimming with dolphins or Christmas shopping in Mercado 28, a flea market full of local artisan wears. If you are an experienced suba diver, then be sure to visit the Cancun Underwater Museum which offers an impressive collection of sculptures to admire, all existing in perfect harmony with the menagerie of marine life in the Cancun waters. And of course, Cancun boasts some of the best coastline in Mexico, so enjoy some Christmas in the Caribbean relaxation on the beach and soak up the Mexican sunshine.
Celebrate the Posadas Mexican tradition in Ixtapa
If the combination of beach and golf in Mexico is too much to resist, then spending Christmas in Ixtapa is the perfect plan for you. Famous for its beach, El Palmar, one of Mexico’s top tourist destinations, Ixtapa is also home to top golf clubs which attract fans of the sport to its sunny shores all year round. Discover the local culture of Itxapa and the surrounding areas with a visit to the Museo Arqueológico de la Costa Grande, an archelogical museum offering six halls full of fascinating insights into the local Teotihuacana culture that existed in 200-650 A.D. Once your mind has boggled at ancient civilisation join in the celebrations for the Mexican 12 days of Christmas and discover how Christmas in the Caribbean is celebrated on the Pacific coast. Of course, since the area is know for being an enclave for avid golfers, don’t pass up the chance to practice hitting a hole in one at either the Palma Real Golf Course or the Marina Ixtapa Golf Course, both prestigious golfing hotspots in the area.
Christmas in Aruba
An Aruba Christmas vacation is certainly one way to disconnect from the rat race this year. Immerse yourself in an underwater paradise and enjoy one of the best spots in the world for snorkeling. Mangel Halto, Puerto Chiquito and Arashi Beach are all famous snorkeling hangouts for an off the beaten track experience. Of course, thanks to its Dutch roots, Aruba celebrates Christmas in a big way, starting early in November with a visit from Sinterklaas (the Dutch Santa Claus). One of the biggest days celebrated is Boxing Day on the 26th when gifts are given to those less fortunate. Be sure to participate in the celebrations as you unwind in Palm Beach, one of Aruba’s best beach resorts for Christmas in the Caribbean and a great vantage point for watching the festive firework displays.
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