10 Destinations for a Tropical Christmas 2017
Although many enjoy spending the holiday season at home with their loved ones, travel fanatics also enjoy getting away to soak up some christmas sunshine. A white Christmas may be the picture perfect setting for some, but making a snowman out of sand at sunset is a dream for others.
This Polynesian treasure nestled between an aquamarine lagoon and beautiful Barrier Reef offers the ultimate indulgent holiday filled with sun, a dramatic tropical landscape and luxurious spas. If you’re looking for relaxation and tranquility at Christmas, away from the snow, countless obligations and chaos of urban festivities, Bora Bora may be your very best choice.
All of Costa Rica’s wide range of resort towns along the Caribbean and Pacific coasts, enjoy warm and sunny weather in December. This is the dry season, which means it’s an ideal time for hitting the beaches or taking a hike through national parks and rain forests –these “jewels of the earth,” as they’re often referred to, are home to two-thirds of all animal species on the planet. At Corcovada National Park, you’ll have the chance to spot humpback and sperm whales, who swim through surrounding waters in December and January.
As one of the most picturesque islands Indonesia has to offer, Bali is very popular with travelers during the festive period. With its white sandy beaches and light blue waters, it’s the perfect place to kick back, relax and enjoy a bit of winter sun.
The Spanish Archipelago is located 100km west of Morocco’s coast and is the best place to go for some European sunshine. With the likes of Tenerife, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria all part of the island group, there is plenty of choice.
Maui offers some of the world’s loveliest drives, such as The Road to Hana, lush with rainforests and waterfalls, and a winding tour through Haleakala National Park to the world’s largest dormant volcano, with breathtaking overlooks along with the twists and turns. Wai’anapanapa State Park, not only consists of pristine waters and a black sand beach, but also stunning fresh water caves and cliffs crying out for jumping.
Bahía de Navidad on Mexico’s Pacific Costa Alegre (Happy Coast) is a beautiful, sweeping, crescent-shaped bay and beach with two main towns—Barra de Navidad and Melaque. In many ways, this stretch of Mexico’s coast is a small-town, inexpensive version of up-scale Puerto Vallarta four hours to the north. Melaque is a typical ocean-side Mexican village where fishing, agriculture, and tourism provide a relaxed and rustic lifestyle. Barra de Navidad is chic and picturesque, with good restaurants and jumping nightspots, anchored by the elegant Grand Bay Hotel on the southeast side.
Tropical, culturally rich, and diverse, Vietnam is a great outside-the-box place to spend this Christmas season. You can shop in vibrant markets, visit ancient temples, sample the healthy and unique cuisines, improve your golf swing at internationally acclaimed courses, or while away the holiday on the shores of the lovely South China Sea.
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Halong Bay is Vietnam’s most popular tourist destination. Monkeys and other wildlife are the only inhabitants on most of the tiny islands. There are only two towns of any consequence on the larger islands, along with a few small floating villages where permanent residents farm fish and tend pearl-producing oyster beds, traveling by boat to visit neighbors.
The Florida Keys
The archipelago stretching off southern Florida is made up of 1,700 islands; when narrowing down which to visit, put Key Largo on the list so you can visit the only living coral reef off the mainland US. Key West is another must: there’s always something going on at Smathers Beach, from Jet Skiing to volleyball tournaments.
United Arab Emirates
Shopping enthusiasts may want to head to Dubai, the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates to hit the massive Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping center by area, housing more than 1,000 stores, not including its two anchor department stores and more than 160 food and beverage sellers. You can also go ice skating, catch a movie, be mesmerized by the dazzling Dubai Fountains – a 900-foot-long pool where spurts of water dance amid colored lights, and visit the Dubai Aquarium. This complex sits at the heart of the mall and houses more than 33,000 underwater creatures in one of the world’s largest tanks. If Dubai’s a bit too much, head to the nearby island haven of Abu Dhabi, where you can kayak the waters of the Arabian Gulf.
The Maldives aren’t a budget option, but if you’ve got the cash, this is one of the most breathtaking tropical destinations you could possibly escape to. Located in the Indian Ocean, the islands enjoy year round warm weather along with crystal clear azure seas and pristine beaches. At Olhuveli Beach & Spa Resort, you can spend your nights in overwater bungalows, your Christmas Eve dining on lobster in a beach buffet and the holiday singing carols and sipping punch in the bar.