Flee the Frost: Spend Christmas Soaking Up the Sun in these Tropical Havens
Flee the Frost: Spend Christmas Soaking Up the Sun in these Tropical Havens - Bask in Bali's Balmy Weather this December
As the temperature plunges and winter digs its frosty fingers across much of the world, December is the perfect time to head to the tropical paradise of Bali, Indonesia. The average high during December hovers around a blissful 30°C (86°F), with low humidity providing the ideal climate for lounging on sugar-sand beaches framed by swaying palms.
Beyond working on your tan against a backdrop of volcanic peaks, there are loads of ways to celebrate the festive season in true Balinese style during this peak tourism month. The island boasts intricate Hindu temples, serene water palaces, terraced rice paddies carved into lush hillsides, and renowned surf breaks along the southern Bukit Peninsula. Don't miss watching master craftsmen create everything from masks to textiles and intricate wood carvings. The island's interior highlands also beckon, with dense jungles, cascading waterfalls, and sacred crater lakes well worth exploring.
December brings daily traditional dance performances in colorful costumes, along with nightly open-air markets brimming with handicrafts and tasty street food. You can toast the holidays over sunset cocktails beside the iconic Tanah Lot sea temple. Or follow the locals' lead by releasing candlelit offerings onto the water while fireworks burst overhead.
Many resorts and restaurants host celebrations on December 25th for those seeking some Christmas spirit. Enjoy feasts, holiday decor, carolers, even appearances by Santa himself (albeit in shorts and sandals!). Five-star resorts like Maya Ubud and COMO Uma Canggu add festive touches while still immersing you in Balinese traditions for the ultimate tropical holiday.
Peak season means booking ahead for both flights and hotels to lock in the best rates. Numerous direct flights connect Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport to major Asian hubs, Qantas flies directly from Australia, and some North American and European airlines offer one-stop service. Google Flights makes it easy to mix and match options across airlines and dates to snag a deal.
For accommodations, top beach locations like Seminyak, Canggu, and Nusa Dua book up fast. You'll get more cultural immersion in Ubud while enjoying lush jungle scenery. Seek out small boutique hotels, private villas, or stylish Airbnbs over bigger resorts for a more authentic experience and personal service.
Travelers rave about December trips to "Island of the Gods," from honeymooners to families seeking exotic locales beyond the typical Christmas. The favorable exchange rate, world-class amenities, renowned cuisine, and welcoming Balinese further enhance Bali's popularity this time of year.
What else is in this post?
- Flee the Frost: Spend Christmas Soaking Up the Sun in these Tropical Havens - Bask in Bali's Balmy Weather this December
- Flee the Frost: Spend Christmas Soaking Up the Sun in these Tropical Havens - Fiji's Festive Ambiance and Azure Waters Beckon
- Flee the Frost: Spend Christmas Soaking Up the Sun in these Tropical Havens - Savor Swaying Palms and Pina Coladas in Puerto Rico
- Flee the Frost: Spend Christmas Soaking Up the Sun in these Tropical Havens - Cancun's Crystal Clear Waters and Mayan Ruins Entice Holiday Revelers
- Flee the Frost: Spend Christmas Soaking Up the Sun in these Tropical Havens - Toast the Season with a Singapore Sling against an Iconic Skyline
- Flee the Frost: Spend Christmas Soaking Up the Sun in these Tropical Havens - Lounge on Legendary Beaches in Hawaii's Holiday Paradise
- Flee the Frost: Spend Christmas Soaking Up the Sun in these Tropical Havens - Experience a Caribbean Christmas on Jamaica's Golden Shores
Flee the Frost: Spend Christmas Soaking Up the Sun in these Tropical Havens - Fiji's Festive Ambiance and Azure Waters Beckon
With over 300 islands scattered across the South Pacific, Fiji conjures images of swaying palms, white-sand beaches, and perpetually sunny skies. This December, discover why Fiji has earned a reputation as a dreamy tropical destination. Average highs hover around 31°C (88°F), while refreshing trade winds keep things comfortable. Rain showers tend to be brief and intermittent, so you can count on mostly sunny days.
Fiji shines brightest in December, its peak tourism season. Resorts deck their halls with wreaths and trees, ensuring some festive touches. But the mood remains more beachy than snowy, with Santa ditching his heavy suit in favor of board shorts and a floral shirt. Hotels organize Christmas feasts blending local flavors like fresh seafood and tropical fruits with traditional fixings like roast turkey and plum pudding. Families especially appreciate kid-friendly celebrations, like decorating cookies beside the pool.
Yet Fiji offers much more than a sunny pseudo-Christmas. Spend your days kayaking the vibrant reefs or surfing swells along the Coral Coast. The soft sands and swaying palms live up to all those tropical fantasies. Seek out beachfront massages and lolling in a hammock with a pina colada. Many resorts also host meke fire dances and local choir performances to immerse you in Fiji's rich culture.
Beyond the beaches, trek jungle waterfalls, discover historic cannibal caves, and visit remote hilltop villages. Or escape to one of Fiji's outer islands for a true castaway experience, like the Yasawa chain with its shallow lagoons. Prices drop in December, allowing overwater bungalow stays on private isles for a fraction of the cost elsewhere.
Fiji Airways offers direct flights from Los Angeles, Honolulu, and Sydney. Or fly one-stop from other North American and European cities. The main international airport is located on the largest island of Viti Levu, home to the capital Suva. Nadi International Airport is another gateway and nearest the tourism centers along the Coral Coast and Mamanuca Islands.
Once in Fiji, getting around via small plane, ferry or private boat is quite seamless. Focus your stay at one or two locations to avoid spending precious vacation time in transit. Beach resort areas like the Mamanucas cater to families, with plenty of dining and activity options, while backpacker havens like Beachcomber Island draw party people.
Find sanctuaries at luxe private island adults-only escapes, or balance indulgence with cultural forays staying in the verdant interior highlands. Travelers seeking authentic local interaction can also bunk at family-run hostels and eco-lodges. Booking early locks in the best rates and ensures you get your top choice.
Flee the Frost: Spend Christmas Soaking Up the Sun in these Tropical Havens - Savor Swaying Palms and Pina Coladas in Puerto Rico
Here is a 434 word section on "Savor Swaying Palms and Pina Coladas in Puerto Rico" in the style of Torsten Jacobi for the article on tropical destinations to visit over Christmas:
Flee the Frost: Spend Christmas Soaking Up the Sun in these Tropical Havens - Cancun's Crystal Clear Waters and Mayan Ruins Entice Holiday Revelers
With its gorgeous beaches, fascinating ancient ruins, and lively resort town vibes, Cancún makes for an exciting tropical getaway this Christmas. Located on Mexico's Caribbean coast in the state of Quintana Roo, Cancún enjoys gloriously warm weather in December. Average highs reach the upper 80s F/lower 30s C, with pleasant sea breezes keeping things comfortable. Hours of sunshine prevail, perfect for reveling in that winter sun you won't find back home.
The beaches here have to be seen to be believed. Fine white sand gives way to crystal clear turquoise waters in hues ranging from pale green to deep indigo. Snorkel the colorful reefs teeming with tropical fish, or simply relax beneath a shady palapa with a cold cerveza. The calm waters create near-perfect swimming and kayaking conditions along the scenic Zona Hotelera. Premier beaches like Delfines, Langosta, Tortugas and Caracol shouldn't be missed.
Beyond beaching, Cancún offers no shortage of festive diversions. Nightclubs like Coco Bongo host dazzling Vegas-style revues, while Senor Frog's keeps the party going 'til dawn with DJs and dancing. Family-friendly highlights include heading underwater in a submarine or snorkeling with dolphins and stingrays. Interactive aquatic centers like Ventura Park provide hours of splashy fun. And nothing says "holidays in paradise" like a sunset catamaran cruise.
December also brings Christmas lights, trees and music to the main thoroughfare of Paseo Kukulcán. Kids can share their wishlists with Santa, often sporting flip-flops and shades here. Special holiday menus infuse local ingredients like chiles and tropical fruits into traditional dishes. Firework displays add to the festive spirit.
Beyond the high-rise hotel zone, ruins like Chichén Itzá and Tulum offer a glimpse into the fascinating ancient Mayan world. Marvel at the imposing step pyramids, temples and astronomical structures that draw over 4 million visitors annually. Most major tour operators offer day trips to the ruins, many with add-on options like ziplining, cenote swimming or visiting traditional Mayan villages.
Getting to Cancún is a breeze with numerous direct flights from major North American and European cities, as well as Mexico City. The main international airport lies just 9 miles from the Zona Hotelera, making transfers simple. Cancún's tourism infrastructure is well-developed, with everything from boutique hotels to all-inclusive resorts available at favorable rates in December. Advance booking ensures you secure a top spot; families might consider all-inclusive options that take the hassle out of meals and activities.
Flee the Frost: Spend Christmas Soaking Up the Sun in these Tropical Havens - Toast the Season with a Singapore Sling against an Iconic Skyline
While December conjures images of snowfall and icy winds across much of the world, Singapore stays pleasantly warm and sunny this time of year. Average highs hover in the 80s F/ high 20s C, ideal for reveling in tropical holiday vibes without feeling stifled by heat or humidity. With its blend of gleaming modern skyscrapers, colorful heritage districts, renowned cuisine, and lush parks and gardens, this city-state island has rightfully earned a spot on many travelers' bucket lists. And December brings festive touches like Christmas light displays, abundant holiday markets and events, and celebratory menus at hotels and restaurants across the city.
Marina Bay glows with over one million LED lights woven into imaginative seasonal designs, from Christmas trees and gingerbread men to stars and reindeer. Gardens by the Bay also dazzles with illuminated giant flamingos and blooms. Or ogle the glittering decorations gracing iconic properties like the Fullerton Hotel and Raffles Singapore. Holiday markets at locations like Marina Bay, Orchard Road, and Clarke Quay overflow with handmade ornaments, wreaths, baked goods and gifts with an Asian twist. Kids can share their wishlist with Santa while parents sip mulled wine or cocoa.
For accommodations, the classy Fullerton Bay Hotel and uber luxe Raffles both pull out all the stops for Christmas, with special holiday teas, dinners and celebrations. Or opt for a more affordable local experience at boutique properties like The Warehouse Hotel, set in a restored riverside spice trading house. Quirky themed hotels offer immersive fun, like flying on a Pan Am plane when staying at the retro-cool JW Marriott Singapore South Beach. Wherever you stay, be sure to indulge in world-renowned local cuisine, from hawker street food to Michelin-star fine dining.
Yet the real magic happens at sunset, when you can toast the holidays in true Singaporean style with a Singapore Sling at Raffles' iconic Long Bar. This gin-based pink cocktail was first created here over a century ago, and sipping one amidst the old-world tropical splendor is an unforgettable experience. Beyond Raffles, rooftop bars at the Marina Bay Sands SkyPark or swanky Ce La Vi offer unparalleled skyline views spanning the Singapore River, Supertrees Grove and avant-garde wonders like the Esplanade Theatres. Cap off nights in the lively neighborhood of Clarke Quay, then rest up for next-day adventures.
Flee the Frost: Spend Christmas Soaking Up the Sun in these Tropical Havens - Lounge on Legendary Beaches in Hawaii's Holiday Paradise
Hawaii epitomizes the ultimate holiday in paradise, with its legendary beaches, lush landscapes, and laidback island culture. While winter storms rage across much of North America, Hawaii basks in perpetually balmy weather during December. Average highs hover in the mid-80s Fahrenheit, with refreshing trade winds keeping things comfortable. The islands receive more sunshine in December than nearly anywhere else in the U.S. - reason enough alone to add Hawaii to your list for a Christmas getaway.
Beyond ideal weather, the islands dish up incredible natural beauty. Each island boasts breathtaking beaches with velvety soft sand and crystalline waters in beguiling shades of turquoise and azure. The big island of Hawaii lures with black and even green sand beaches, while serene Lanai claims some of the world's best stretches for dolphin spotting. Maui, Oahu and Kauai all satisfy with stunning beaches and legendary surf breaks. Snorkel among rainbow-hued fish, learn to surf, kayak sea caves, or simply soak up the rustic island vibes while waves lap at your toes.
Resorts and restaurants add festive décor and menus come December, with evergreen wreaths and twinkling lights adorning lobbies. Expect to spot Santa donning sunglasses and aloha shirts, while holiday feasts fuse roast turkey with local flavors like poi and pineapple. The Honolulu City Lights celebration on Oahu brings glittering scenes with over 1 million lights and nightly live entertainment. Iolani Palace and major hotels like Aulani on Ko Olina and the Fairmont Kea Lani on Maui also shine. Community parades with floral floats and music further spread the holiday spirit.
Yet beyond the tinsel, Hawaii keeps things more laidback than snowbound locales come Christmas. Spending the day seaside or exploring tropical forests and lava landscapes trumps frigid sleigh rides. Surfing with Santa and building sandcastles prove more alluring than snowmen for sun-starved souls. Days fill with snorkeling, helicopter tours, and sampling poke and shave ice instead of wassailing.
Flee the Frost: Spend Christmas Soaking Up the Sun in these Tropical Havens - Experience a Caribbean Christmas on Jamaica's Golden Shores
For those craving a Caribbean vibe this Christmas, look no further than the beautiful island of Jamaica. With its spectacular beaches, lush rainforests, laidback resorts, and famously friendly locals, Jamaica creates the quintessential tropical holiday atmosphere. Temperatures in December average a balmy 80°F along the coast, providing the perfect weather to trade in mittens for sunscreen and winter coats for bathing suits.
Jamaica shines particularly bright during the festive season, with hotels, restaurants and local communities embracing Christmas vibes while retaining that authentic island energy. Hotels like the iconic Half Moon Resort in Montego Bay deck their lobbies with wreaths and trees, and serve up classic holiday meals with rum punches in place of eggnog. Beach bars organize ugly Christmas sweater parties, while reggae and mento bands get everyone moving to funky renditions of carols.
Away from the resorts, Jamaicans also celebrate in style, with homes decorated in colorful lights. The holiday dish of choice is sorrel, made from dried hibiscus; it packs a tart, fruity punch. Locals party well past midnight on Christmas Eve. Then Christmas morning brings church services and gatherings with family and friends.
Yet it's really Jamaica's spectacular natural beauty that makes it such an alluring holiday escape. Seven Mile Beach in Negril boasts powdery white sand giving way to calm turquoise waters, perfect for swimming and snorkeling. Take a scenic coastal road trip to visit charming communities like Treasure Beach and sample pepper shrimp at local shacks. Soak up the sun and fresh sea air while sipping Red Stripe beer to truly get into that laidback Jamaican state of mind.
Inland, hiking through the misty Blue Mountains presents a welcome change of scenery. Scale the 2256-metre Blue Mountain Peak for astounding vistas. Learn about coffee cultivation at plantations like Mavis Bank. Rafting the Rio Grande River through rainforest canyon walls makes for an adrenaline-pumping adventure.
Jamaica also boasts a fascinating history, from great houses and sugar plantation ruins to Maroon villages in the hills. Tracing the legacy of legends like Bob Marley, Marcus Garvey and Port Royal's pirates proves engaging. Kingston offers vibrant nightlife, while discovering Rastafarian culture in places like Nine Mile gives further insight into what makes Jamaica unique.