There’s no better time than Christmas for winter getaways to a tropical paradise. Soak up the sun while you lie in the soft sand, snorkel in warm, crystal clear waters, or shop and visit local landmarks in these top locations. Check out these beautiful and relaxing Christmas travel ideas before planning your next winter trip.
The Hawaiian island of Maui has something for everyone. You can try surfing, attend an authentic Polynesian luau, snorkel, scuba dive, and watch for sea turtles. You can even golf and learn to hula. For a more relaxed day, try driving the Road to Hana for spectacular views of the coast, or book a helicopter tour. In December, you can also check out the Na Makua Invitational Christmas Gift Fair.
Costa Rica is one of the best winter getaways for someone looking to slow down and enjoy life. The locals, or “ticos”, have perfected the art of pure living and are happy to share their “pura vida” with visitors. Venture into the capital city of San Jose for museums, theaters, and restaurants, or head east or west until you hit one of Costa Rica’s unparalleled beaches, like Manuel Antonio, Cahuita, or Guanacaste. Don’t miss Rincòn de la Vieja, where you’ll enjoy hot springs and majestic waterfalls. You can also hike to the Arenal volcano, visit the Monteverde cloud forest, go ziplining, or enter the tropical jungle and spot an assortment of incredible wildlife, from sloths and monkeys to alligators and Macaws.
Phuket is known for its turquoise water and white sand beaches, along with great local cuisine. This slice of paradise is also pretty inexpensive for travelers on a budget. Learn more about the rich Buddhist culture and enjoy spa treatments and boat tours. You can also visit the giant statue of Big Buddha, the Buddhist temple of Wat Chalong, and Nai Harn Beach.
Tulum is a great place to stay if you love Mexico, but wish to get away from some of the busier spots. You can take excursions to Mayan ruins and get a glimpse into the lifestyle and history of ancient Mexico. The Tulum ruins feature a cliffside castle overlooking Playa Paraiso, where you can go snorkeling or scuba diving, or relax on the stunning beach. You can also visit a local cenote, or freshwater sinkhole, where you can swim, snorkel, or scuba among stalactites and stalagmites. Plus, the Punta Laguna Nature Reserve is home to incredible creatures like spider monkeys and jaguars.
Barbados is the easternmost island in the Caribbean and reflects some of its English and West African influences. You can enjoy afternoon tea or catch a game of cricket. You can also golf, shop, and explore the beautiful structures and abundant beaches. Each beach is perfectly suited to an activity, so try to head for the one that fits your interests. Dover Beach is great for swimmers looking for calm water, Bathsheba Beach is where you’ll find the surfers, and Carlisle Bay is the best place for snorkeling and scuba diving. Or you can always opt to stay on land and visit Hunte’s Gardens, Harrison’s Cave, or one of the many local rum distilleries.
Even during Christmas travel and winter getaways, it’s important tokeep your skin protected from harmful UV rays and environmental toxins. Many tropical locations now have strict rules about what kind ofmoisturizers, lotions, and sunscreens are allowed in their waters. Make sure you only use products that are reef-safe and made with all-natural ingredients, like theskincare collection from TropicSport.