Sure, snow is beautiful. But do you really need Jack Frost nipping at your nose to know it’s the holiday season? I don’t think so! This year, consider trading in your Christmas sweaters and fleece-lined slippers for swimsuits, sunglasses, and short-sleeved T’s.
The following destinations practically include blue skies in the room rate, and have given Christmas meals, décor, and activities a balmy, sunshine-filled backdrop. Skip the frostbite without missing out on the season’s festive fun. These destinations will fill your holidays with seasonal cheer. Here are the best Christmas Vacation Destinations:
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
December average high/low is 86°F/64°F
Puerto Vallarta is on Mexico’s pacific coast and remains one of the country’s tourism gems. Not only has it avoided the safety problems that a few other resort areas have struggled with in recent years, but it’s also the most interesting and authentic of Mexico’s resort areas. The weather during Christmas time is perfect for anyone wanting to escape the cold, and the airport also has good deals on flights from many North American cities as well. Hotels for well under US$100 per night per couple are easy to find, although if you want a well-located chain hotel you’ll be paying at least a bit more. Start planning your Puerto Vallarta vacation and visit our Puerto Vallarta Travel post.
Best Puerto Vallarta Hotels:
December high/low is 82°F/75°F
December marks the end of the rainy season 0n Boracay, but those tropical storms rarely last long so the place is very popular over the Christmas holidays anyway. This gorgeous strip of sand is lined with hotels, as well as a sand pathway along the beach, making it possible to spend days at a time in bare feet. There are no super-cheap hotels, but that’s mainly because every hotel is right on the beach. There are many choices for international cuisine here. This includes the great number of all-you-can-eat buffets that set up every evening right on the beach. There’s also plenty of live music.
Best Boracay Philippines Hotels:
Tenerife, Canary Islands
December high/low is 71°F/61°F
Tenerife is the most English-language-friendly of Spain’s Canary Islands, which are just west of Morocco (and about the same latitude as central Florida). It’s not nearly as hot as most other destinations during December, but it’s still darn nice! It’s very popular among Europeans looking for something warmer. Because it’s not really a great beach season, hotels in Tenerife are still quite cheap during the Christmas holiday period. Most everything else is quite affordable as well. If you are looking for a place with reasonable airfares, this could be a good choice. The area around Los Cristianos and Playa de la Americas is the easiest for English speakers, and it has the most consistent warm weather as well. Visit our Tenerife Vacation Guide to start planning your vacation.
Best Tenerife, Canary Islands Hotels:
December high/low is 86°F/76°F
Colombia has been rediscovered by tourism in recent years, but the historic beach city of Cartagena has been popular for much longer. Along the country’s Caribbean coast (about the same latitude as northern Costa Rica, by the way), Cartagena is an interesting mix of beach hotels and a gorgeous walled colonial city with plenty to see. Not only is Cartagena popular with international tourists in the winter months, but domestic Colombian tourists taking their holidays as well. So you won’t be avoiding the crowds here, but it is one of the more affordable sunshine destinations in the region.
Best Cartagena Columbia Hotels:
Panama City, Panama
December high/low is 90°F/70°F
Panama has some very nice beach resort areas with reasonable prices during Christmas, but it also has a large and mostly modern city at its heart. You can spend some of your stay at a beach and another part of your stay in the city, as both are a great value this time of year. The city has a few large shopping malls in the tourist area, so it could be a good place to do some Christmas shopping or just hanging around. The restaurant scene here is very good.
Best Panama City, Panama Hotels:
Montego Bay/Ocho Rios/Negril, Jamaica
December high/low is 86°F/70°F
Jamaica has 3 busy resort towns that are all served by the same large airport so they are somewhat interchangeable. Montego Bay has the airport so it’s the easiest to reach, but it has fewer affordable, hotels so Ocho Rios and Negril might be better options if you are interested in a more affordable hotel. These Jamaican resorts are also known for all-inclusive resorts and appealing package deals. Even during the peak holiday months, it’s possible to lock in an appealing deal if you book early enough. Visit our Jamaica Travel Guide to start planning your vacation today.
Best Montego Bay/Ocho Rios/Negril hotels:
Jamaica is one place I’m planning to visit this year. I especially like the info you’ve provided on Montego Bay and other hotel option that is affordable. It’s good to read good review about many vacation deal around the globe upon landing on your site I’ve had a wonderful learning experience. Thank you and looking to read more.
Great Anthony! Please let me know if I can provide you will any additional information or help with the planning.
I bet Philippines in December would be so much fun. The temperatures are very just right. I bet living on a beach would make me absolutely ecstatic. I mean, I am getting all hyped just thinking about it. The hotels you recommended for this destination seem really nice as well.
Surely, I would love to spend some time on the Coast Boracay. I do, however, believe that it might be too expensive for me and my family at this time. My hope is to find that Savoy Hotel Boracay Newcoast will be in our budget, but if not, I bet we’ll just choose a hotel for the sake of a place to sleep at night.
Either way, I really loved how diverse and abundant in terms of the information the article was! Thank you!
Have a Wonderful Day!
You are very welcome Rasa. I am sure you can find one of the hotels to be budget friendly. Also if you go to the hotel link, there will be some suggestions there for you. Please let me know if you need any additional information.
What should I say, its like you have been reading my mind. After a 12 months of hard work with my family, I has been looking for a great place to spend the holiday with my lovely family. Your list of Christmas Vacation Destination is exceptional and you were so comprehensive in your review, you made my day. I fall in love with Boracay, Philippines. The place looks superb and the hotel, The Lind Boracay is amazing, can’t wait for the days. This should be the most memorable Christmas ever
It really will be and Boracay is a wonderful choice, especially to stay at the The Lind Boracay! Please let me know if you need any additional information.
I’m all about being all hot in winter. In that sense, I believe Cartagena is where I want to be. One of my best friends has visited the place during Christmas time. He was in absolute awe as it was so damn worth. An unconventional Christmas he said, but one of his best ones, ever.
I’ve also never really been afraid of the crowds. For me it has always been the philosophy of the more people, the more opportunities to interact. And more opportunities for interactions mean more adventure. Which I’m always after. It makes life that much more enjoyable in my opinion.
Would absolutely love to meet the natives and hang out with them on Christmas!
Cheers and thank you for all the insights, I really appreciate it!
You are very welcome Matiss, and I couldn’t agree with you more. Sometimes I like some quiet and relaxation, but I always end up diving in with the crowds. I am a people watcher too, so makes it much more interesting.
your site is interesting and I love this article! I never imagined spending Christmas on the beach with palms above me. In my country, it is usually -5 or -15 celsius at this time… I have to say that I was sitting in a cafe last year while it was snowing, and it was really cold outside, so I made a wish for a sunny and hot summer day. I like cold day more than ultra hot day, but this was like I think – 24 C.
I have a list of things that I haven’t tried and want to do in the following year… and maybe this is just what I will add. It would be a new experience for me.
Thanks for sharing this with us,best of luck to you,
Great Susan, I agree that the warm weather, nice beaches, and the sand between your toes is much better than snow! I hope you can make it next year!
I just visited your site and article on “Best Christmas Vacation Destination.” It is nicely written. One thing I like about your site is that it is well balanced. Each section has good balance in your photos and information.
I have always wanted to go to Jamaica. I have heard that it is not so safe to go there, what do you think? I spent every summer going to Mexico, growing up. I learned so much about the real culture of the country. How nice the people were and even learned the language, which I practiced there. Now some places are not so safe to go, but it still has its protected spots.
Would love to return to your site when I am ready to go on a trip. Thanks for letting me view your site.
I am glad you enjoyed and good question. The areas that I listed in Jamaica are all fairly safe, you would just take the same precautions that you would take for any travel to a foreign country. Negril, Ocho Rios and Montego Bay are probably the safest destinations in Jamaica. Thanks for visiting and taking time to leave me comments.
Before I was a parent, we would always go away for Christmas. Typically we would go to Cancun or Punta Cana. It was such a treat getting a little slice of summer weather instead of the cold winter that we were accustomed to.
Then once we had a kid, we knew we had to stay home in order to keep the Santa magic alive. A few times we would kick off the holiday season with a Disney trip right after Thanksgiving, but were always home for Christmas.
Now that my daughter knows that there is no Santa, we are thinking about going away for the holidays, maybe for 2019 we will check out Panama City, Panama. Seems like a great present for the whole family.
Oh yes, everyone will enjoy Panama City. Just seeing the canal alone is a site. Then you add the great food, culture, and wonderful beaches…and you have a perfect vacation. Thanks for visiting James.
Hey there. Thank you for this amazing and informative article. I love your website by the way. Christmas is the time of the year we all know as being cold and snowing. Unlike most of the world, there are places where summer just started.
How amazing is that? Me and my family are thinking traveling to Philippines this Christmas. Never travelled there and got many recommendations. Thank you for showcasing the options and hotels we have for this Christmas.
I wll make sure i check Lind Boracay, hopefully it is not too expensive.
Also, have you traveled to Philippines before?
Yes, always nice to get away from the cold and the snow. For me, I live in the sunshine state, but it has been super cold (under 60) which is a little cold for me. So any of these are of course, enticing 🙂 Lind Boracay is a great choice, and it really depends on when you are going. The hotels I have listed are all highly traveler ranked, so any would be a good choice. I have not been to the Philippines, but it is on my bucket list .Thanks for stopping by beach travel destinations.
Nice and great post, Very timely also. I know a lot of places where one can spend this Christmas period and to be honest you have listed almost everything I have in mind, I think Puerto vallata is such a great place, the environment is friendly and one can meet a lot of amazing people.
I love to vacation to places with a unique culture from mine here in the U.S. All of these locations will give you that, along with the beautiful blue skies and emerald blue waters. And what a great time to vacation, during Christmas 🙂 Thanks for visiting beach travel destinations.
Hey there! I’ve really enjoyed reading this article as it’s fun, interesting and contains tonnes of valuable information. I’ve actually lived in Coast Boracay when I was in Philippines and one thing I can guarantee is that it’s an amazing hotel. I really enjoyed the room service and the bar though. It was affordable for me and I can’t wait to go back next year.
Thanks a lot for taking your precious time in writing this article!
I thing the Coast Boracay is the best option of all the hotels. And you are right that it is an amazing hotel. Enjoy your return trip!
WOW, wonderful article!
Christmas is a great time to go on vacation and escape the cold. It’s freezing right now where I live:). Colombia has been a dream of mine since I was youth and today, I am going to make it real!
Also, I don’t like too many crowds, so this place will be perfect:)
I’ve been told that there are a lot of crimes and kidnapping in Colombia. Is that true? If so, what are the places you wouldn’t suggest going?
Thanks a lot!
Hi Daniella and thank you for visiting the Best Christmas Vacation Destinations! You will feel safe heading to Cartagena Colombia. You would take the same precautions that you take on any vacation you would take. There is not going to be higher crime here than any other travel destination. I hope this helps.
I would be so into Montego Bay/Ocho Rios/Negril, Jamaica! I’ve always wanted to go to Jamaica. I’m a huge fan of Reggae music, as well as my wife.
I can only image spending a couple of weeks sitting on the beach, listening to music, and just taking a slow pace to life. It sounds amazing.
I would have to agree JB! That is the perfect way to spend a couple of weeks, especially in December. Thanks for visit the best Christmas Vacation Destinations.
I wish I could convince my wife to trade the white snow for some white sand. I would love to spend Christmas holidays on the beach!
I still remember a trip we took some years back to Puerto Vallarta. We thoroughly enjoyed the Art Market at the Marina Malecon. There was some great food and some unique crafts, sculptures, clothes, etc. Do they still have this going on over Christmas and New Years?
We stayed at the Casa Velas. It was a little pricey but what a beautiful hotel! But, it was worth it – no kids allowed – and all-inclusive!
I don’t know if I could talk my wife into a trip to Boracay – even though I’ve always wanted to see the Philippines.
As far as the other tourist destinations, I have Montego Bay, Jamaica, on my “places to visit for the first time” list – and the Hyatt, with its adults only all-inclusive offer, sounds like the place I would want to stay!
Wow Jim, I am jealous that you and your wife stayed at Casa Velas…..wonderful hotel! And yes, they still have the market open and the Malecon is always open as well. Yes, Boracay is on my list too. The Philippines have beautiful beaches, and same as Jamaica. All wonderful locations, and especially for Christmas! Thanks for visit the best Christmas Vacation destinations.
I found your post to be very interesting and inspiring, I have always had an interest in traveling and seeing different hot spots, such as you have brought together in this beautifully organized post, the gorgeous images are extremely inspiring, I’m hoping that soon my wife and I can make a stay at one of these luxurious places.
I am so glad you enjoyed visiting beach travel destinations and reading about the best Christmas vacation destinations. I hope you and your wife can enjoy one of these wonderful destinations as well!
i totally agree with you that snow is beautiful, but for me it’s one of those things that I prefer to see form a photo.
So much so that I left England over 20 years ago and now live in The Philippines and Thailand.
No more snow for me. i don’t even own a coat haha
I saw that you featured Boracay which is great to see.
I actually lived there for a year about 5 years ago and it really is paradise.
Even more so since it’s closure earlier this year to tourism.
It has re-opened and is now very controlled. Very little in water sports and no more big parties.
So for those people who are really looking for peace and quiet (and no snow) it’s the place to be.
The amount of tourist being allowed on the island is restricted right now, so book early to avoid disappointment.
But its a great place to go now!
Thanks for all the tips on Boracay Tim! I agree, it is paradise and a great place to go for a peaceful and relaxing beautiful vacation. You do live in paradise. I live in a warm climate too, but I do have coats for when I visit family LOL Thanks for stopping by and visiting my best Christmas Vacation Destinations.
I definitely prefer the warmer weather when choosing holiday destinations and the beach seems to call my name. I was impressed with your selections as I wouldn’t have thought of going to any of these places. The resorts all look beautiful, the quality seems high for a reasonable price.
My only concern is the safety aspect of some of these destinations. I like the look of Cartagena, Colombia. How safe is it for women to travel around on their own during the day and at night?
Hi Suzie, and yes all wonderful great destinations. Colombia is somewhat not save, but Cartagena is probably a lot safer. You would just exercise the same caution you would traveling to any foreign country. Of course, with any travel and being a woman myself :), I don’t generally like to travel at night unless it is right in the thick of the tourism area.
Okay, you got me! These warm inviting vacation spots all sound so much better than any snowy destination ever for Christmas!
I have always wanted to go to Puerto Vallarta! I have heard so many wonderful things about it, but have always lacked the funds. Well next year I am saving for such a trip and Christmas sounds like the perfect time to take it too!
Thank you for the superb idea on how to spend Christmas being warm and swimming versus freezing by the fire.
I agree Stacie! Actually Puerto Vallarta is not super expensive, so you won’t have to break the bank next Christmas and you will enjoy the warm weather and beautiful beaches for sure. Thanks for visiting the best Christmas Vacation destinations.
When it comes to vacations i think Christmas is a perfect time to travel. This year i’ve been researching different places to go and i’m glad i found this post.
Personally i think Boracay, Philippines is for me. It’s warm and the hotels look amazing! Can you share some recommendations on good places to eat?
Thank you again!
Yes, I can Barry. And great choice! Ok, Nonie’s is a must, the Prana Restaurant and the Boracay Street Market. All worth a visit! Please let me know if you need any additional information.
Panama is great! As I said, everyone needs to see the ships going thru the canal. It is a must! Also need to visit Bocas del Toro. It is an amazing beach. Also check out San Blas, unique is what I will say. Panama City does have a lot to offer and what a great way to spend Christmas. I might have to consider this!
I agree Eric 100% and yes, Bocas Del Toro is a must beach to visit.
I’ve been to Panama twice and loved it each time. If visitors can pull themselves out of the beautiful hotels you recommended, I’d say to check out the Canal District where you can see ships passing through this world wonder!
I agree Eric! That is a wonder that everyone needs to experience seeing. Yes, the hotels are wonderful, but I do think I would be able to get my self out and about 🙂 Thanks for visiting the best Christmas Vacation Destinations.
Thanks for sharing this website. It’ll be nice going to a nice and warm place for Christmas. It would seem weird to me that it’s 80° or 90° during the Christmas holiday because I’m used to it being cold. Those are some nice destinations though.
They are all wonderful, and not super expensive. I tried to select locations that would be somewhat easy on the budget, warm, and have an exotic feel 🙂 You would enjoy any of these at Christmas!