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Top 3 places to spend Christmas in the sun | Insight Guides Blog

Top 3 places to spend Christmas in the sun

For many, Christmas is synonymous with the best of a winter wonderland: twinkling lights on a frosty night, mulled wine and log fires. For others, it about getting as far away from tradition as possible. If you're planning to travel in December, here's where to head for winter sun
Mexico is a perfect tropical paradise for Christmas time. Photo: Shutterstock
Mexico is a perfect tropical paradise for Christmas time. Photo: Shutterstock

Mexico is a perfect tropical paradise for Christmas time. Photo: Shutterstock


Looking to experience this year's Christmas holiday on the beach? Here's our roundup of the best destinations to experience winter sun first-hand


1. Sri Lanka

Fringed by golden sands, this teardrop-shaped island in the Indian Ocean has been experiencing a massive upswing in interest since its long civil war came to an end. Beach resorts line Sri Lanka's west coast, which is the perfect place to experience Christmas since December to March is the dry season on this side of the island. This is also prime-time for viewing blue whales and dolphins as they migrate only a few kilometres off the south coast.

What are you waiting for? Insight Guides' Sri Lanka: Culture and Coast holiday explores the west coast, along with Sigiriya, Kandy and the colonial gem Galle Fort. The suggested itinerary also includes a whale-watching experience off the coast of Mirissa. 

Sri Lanka's populace is generally Buddhist, but the legacy of British colonial occupation has left some celebration of Christmas, which is marked with an official public holiday. 

2. Mexico

If making your way to Asia doesn't fit into your schedule this December, consider the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. With seemingly endless sunshine, a glittering coastline, the Great Maya Reef, and all the luxurious allure that modern resorts can dream up to entice visitors, the Yucatán is (understandably) a must-see destination. Away from the resorts, the inland Yucatán lives at a much slower pace and Maya ruins can be found all over the peninsula, many of them still only partially excavated, or even buried in the forest.

But, be warned, this area gets busy in Christmas holiday season. Get your trip booked early with Insight Guides: The Yucatán: Ruins and Haciendas holiday has time planned for exploring Mayan ruins, swimming in cenotes and haciendas tours. Plus, plenty of beach and snorkelling time too. 

The predominantly Catholic country pretty much guarantees traditional Christmas celebrations pulled off with a Mexican twist. Indeed, bright decorations and merry festivities are the order of the day. 

3. Thailand

Unique cultural attractions, idyllic beaches, lush national parks, ancient ruins, awe-inspiring temples, diving hotspots, treks to meet hill-tribe communities... It's no surprise that Thailand attracts millions of worldwide travellers every year. Most travellers begin their journey in the bustling capital city Bangkok, before travelling onto the country's northern regions for trekking and temples or down south to the country's scattering of islands. 

How to get away from the crowds? Insight Guides' range of Thailand suggested trip itineraries ensure you see the country's highlights while having a unique experience too. Plus, there are a range of activities on offer to suit each traveller's interests. This Thailand: Highlands and Islands holiday combines jungle trekking in the north with relaxing on some of the country's best beaches too. Get your trip booked now!

Though predominantly Buddhist, Thailand has historically been tolerant of other religions. You'll find Churches and some Christmas celebrations in Bangkok, but less so outside of the capital city. Unlike our other winter sun destinations above, Christmas is not marked with a public holiday. Talk to your hotel or our local expert for ways to make your day a little different. 


Ready to book your Christmas holiday? 

Talk to our local experts today by submitting a trip request or browse alternative holidays online

Looking for more information?

Where to travel in December

13 trips for an end-of-year escape

Top 5 places to spend Christmas in Thailand

5 trips to extend your summer with