Did you ever think maybe it’s time to forget the traditional white Christmas and spend the holidays somewhere warm and relaxing? Although many beach destinations might also be a little chilly come late December, you can’t go wrong with Central America. While more northern climates are freezing their socks off, countries in this part of the world are enjoying blissful sunshine. Spending Christmas on the beach could be just what your wishlist is missing! So if you’re looking to get out of town this Christmas and make your way to the surf and sand, here are five great Central American destinations for a white hot Christmas.
1. Placencia, Belize
Sitting at the tip of a long sandy peninsula that juts out into the Caribbean Sea, Placencia is a small beach village that is home to just 500 people, but features some of southern Belize’s best bars and restaurants, as well as good accommodations. If you’re the type of person that is looking to simply kick-back, relax and enjoy the surf, sun, sand and maybe sip on a cocktail or two, then a trip to Placencia might be just the thing you need.
2. San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
The quaint town of San Juan del Sur, with its Victorian clapboard houses and vibrant local scene, makes for the perfect place to begin exploring the southern pacific beaches of Nicaragua. With some of the region’s most astounding beaches just a few minutes to the north and south, great local nightlife, bars, and restaurants, San Juan del Sur is the perfect spot to make your home base if you’re looking to explore multiple beaches and do a little touring.
3. Playa Tamarindo, Costa Rica
Often ranked in the top beaches of Central America, Playa Tamarindo is not only a stunning beach in its own right, but it is also sandwiched between two beaches that are protected nesting sites for the giant leatherback turtle. The breeding period for these turtles is between October and March, so don’t be surprised if you see a few coming ashore to lay their eggs while you enjoy the surf and sand. Tamarindo is also home to great snorkeling, diving, fishing, and surfing.
4. Barra de Santiago, El Salvador
Tourism is relatively new to this area, so when you arrive in Barra de Santiago don’t be surprised if you’re treated more like a new friend than a tourist. This region might be best known for the Balsam Coast, which is an absolute paradise for surfers, but if you’re after some true isolation and relaxation, then Barra de Santiago is a must-see. Located in a national park threaded with mangroves and waterways that cover this large sandbar, the local eco-resort is made-up of thatched roof bungalows set amongst the palms and sand.
5. Bocas del Toro, Panama
This friendly and laid-back town is the perfect base for anyone looking to spend Christmas in Panama. The region is an absolute treasure trove of sandy islets and remote beaches, where you’ll find some of Central America’s best snorkeling sites. If you’re after a good mixture of exploration and relaxation, then the chilled-out atmosphere and diverse collection of islands and beaches here make Bocas del Toro a great spot for you.
Whatever your plans this Christmas, remember that just because you haven’t planned a getaway yet doesn’t mean you can’t plan some great last minute holidays.