alt text

Christmas truly is the most wonderful time of the year because of the endless presents, parties, and feasts during the season. But with the wet slush and subzero temperature, winter can get very dreary. This is why many residents of temperate countries opt to travel during the holidays.

Eager to exchange sweaters for swimsuits and candy canes for coconuts, many try to experience something new. Are you and your family or friends in for a holiday experience on the beach? Here are some tropical Christmas destinations you can book:

Cayman Island

alt text

The Cayman Islands in the Western Caribbean region may be very small in size but their residents know how to throw a beach party—in this case, beach parties with gorgeous light shows! One of the biggest spectacles in the island during Christmas season is how the residents turn the urban centre into a real-life Christmas village with the bright lights and a 40-foot Christmas tree at the end of The Paseo on The Crescent by the bay.

Another interesting way they celebrate Christmas is by creating their own tropical snow by covering the grass with white beach sand—a perfect way to integrate the usual “snowy white” Christmas with their tropical weather. That’s not the only holiday quirk that the island offers: they also have a Caribbean Santa who wears shorts and flip-flops and has their own version of Jingle Bells in a reggae arrangement!

Take a sneak peek into other Instagram-worthy Caribbean places here!

The Philippines

alt text

They don’t say Christmas in the Philippines is unlike anywhere else for nothing! The holidays really do start as early as September. The very moment September comes around, shopping malls start selling Yuletide decors, radio stations are playing Christmas songs, and television news shows are counting down the days to December 25th.

A predominantly Catholic country, one of the most beloved traditions in the country is Simbang Gabi or Misa de Gallo wherein you attend nine early morning masses (Read: 4:30 AM!) starting December 16 to the 25th. Because of the difficulty of attending all nine Masses, many say that completing all nine Masses grants your wish! After Mass, you can buy delicacies like puto bumbong and bibingka to fully capture the Christmas spirit in the Philippines.

If you want to spend your Christmas beside the sea, the Philippines has endless options: Boracay, El Nido, Siargao, or Amanpulo are all praised for its beauty. Spending Christmas in these beaches will be nothing short of celebratory!

Costa Rica

alt text

A country full of rainforests and glistening shores, Costa Rica offers bountiful exotic animal life and scenery to behold. And all of this is available all year round, even during the holidays!

Christmas in Costa Rica is greatly festive-with many festivals happening during the holiday season. Some of the festivals that you can take part of are the tourist favorite El Destile de Luces — a parade of creatively designed floats with elaborate Christmas lights flood the streets; the Fiesta de la Yeguita which features bullfighting; the El Tope which focused on designs and floats that center on horses, ox carts, and horse carriages; and the El Carnival that features dancers in the most ornate costumes. There is also the weeklong Festival de la Luz, probably the biggest festival in Costa Rica wherein the entire every region in the country participates. It is truly a nationwide spectacle!

Dubai

alt text

Another country that goes crazy overdrive during the holidays is Dubai. It’s truly no surprise that the ‘City of Gold’ is a top holiday destination. There are so many things to fill your calendar with! There’s the country’s most massive sporting event Rugby Sevens.

This year’s will happen on November 29 to early December. If you’re suddenly craving for the cold, Dubai has Middle East’s first indoor ski area, Ski Dubai. Of course, you can simply opt for the good ‘ol shopping! If you’re looking for luxury, Dubai is never shorthanded.

There are also numerous film festivals are all over the city. One most visited in particular is in the Bay Avenue, showing much-loved holiday cinema such as Home Alone. Once they even had Looney Tunes marathon — perfect for the kids and kids at heart!

St. Barth’s

alt text

If you’re looking for a quiet and private Christmas, book your next holiday for St Barth’s. The Caribbean island is the A-lister’s choice for a getaway so you can definitely expect some well-deserved downtime. Vogue.com recommends Le Toiny St Barth’s as the best place to stay. The 42-acre compound only has 14 villas so its expansiveness assures extreme privacy.

Eden Rock St Barth’s, however, is the resort to stay in if you want to see and be seen. Since the private island prides in its exclusivity and privacy, there aren’t a lot of extra activities for the holidays but the view of the shores— whether you’re in the low-key Saline Beach or the party-central Nikki Beach — is more than enough to merit as a celebration!