The Caribbean is a chain of islands consisting of more than 700 individual islands and cays, all of which were discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492. Each has its own special combination of landmarks and attractions.
An estimated 13 million people travel to the islands annually, with many opting to spend the winter months in places like Anguilla and The Bahamas. If you want to avoid the crowds and high prices of well-known tourist spots, consider visiting one of the Caribbean islands that is less frequented and more affordable.
Best Places in the Caribbean to Visit in December
This list of the top 10 Caribbean islands to visit in December includes everything from quiet beach hideaways to exciting nightlife hotspots.
In December, Aruba is the most pleasant of all the Caribbean islands. Among the Caribbean islands, Aruba is among the warmest in the month of December.
The exotic, faraway land Together with Bonaire and Curacao, Aruba forms the ABC-island chain. Flamingos on the beach, turquoise water, and white sand beaches are some of Aruba’s most recognizable landmarks.
In December, Aruba officially starts celebrating the holiday season. Festive decorations and events are held throughout the island, making everyone’s mood bright and happy. The Instagram photos you take will be incredible.
2. The Women’s Island, or Isla Mujeres
You owe it to yourself to treat yourself to a trip to Isla Mujeres in December. Although it is only a 30-minute ferry ride from the bustling Mexican beach resort of Cancun, the beautiful Caribbean island has the relaxed atmosphere of a small town.
One of the best times to travel is in December, when hurricanes are no longer a threat and you can enjoy the best of winter weather at off-season prices.
One of my favorite Caribbean destinations in the winter is Curacao. We’ve been there numerous times before Christmas, and each time we’ve been blown away by their incredible holiday decor.
Curacao is renowned for its breathtaking sunsets, secluded coves, and picture-perfect beaches. During the holiday season, the mood on the island is one of joy and celebration.
A boat ride to Klein Curacao and snorkeling off the coast of the island’s best beaches are two of December Curacao’s top things to do.
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Explore the neighborhoods of Willemstad, the colonial capital city, and marvel at the beautiful, brightly colored homes. Tourists love Pietermaai District and Punda.
4. Antigua and Barbuda
Among the best times to visit the Caribbean is December when St. Kitts hosts the world-famous Sugar Mas Carnival.
Basseterre’s main carnival events occur between the J’ouvert parade on December 26 and the Last Lap on January 2. The festivities begin in the middle of December and continue until the beginning of the new year.
The week-long celebration of the carnival is a must-see for anyone interested in seeing colorful costumes, music, and dancing in the traditional Caribbean style. Get away from the hustle and bustle of carnival by visiting the UNESCO World Heritage site of Brimstone Hill fortress or taking a trip to the sister island of Nevis to relax on some of the Caribbean’s finest beaches.
5. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is one of the most accessible islands in the Caribbean, and its many resorts, beaches, and other tourist attractions make it a popular destination.
Celebrations of all kinds take over Puerto Rico in December. This, coupled with the fact that December on this Caribbean island typically sees some of the lowest rainfall of the year, makes it an ideal time to go sightseeing.
Visit the waterfalls in El Yunque National Forest, stroll the streets of San Juan, and go island hopping on Culebra and Vieques while you’re here in December.
6. The Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a great choice for a Caribbean vacation in December. Hemmed in by its neighbor to the north, Haiti, the Dominican Republic shares the island of Hispaniola.
You can find a vacation fit in the Dominican Republic. All-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana are plentiful for those who simply wish to kick back and enjoy the sunshine.
You can also take a road trip across the Dominican Republic to see its beautiful waterfalls, unspoiled beaches, and abundant flora and fauna.
7. Cayman Islands, Grand
You can find Little Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands. But only the latter is widely known.
Daily averages in December are a pleasant 83 degrees Fahrenheit, making it an ideal destination for those looking to escape the harsher winters up north. Instead of shoveling snow, you should go to the beach or snorkeling.
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Participants in the Walkers Cayman Islands Marathon have a fantastic opportunity to get some exercise. All fitness levels are welcome because participants can choose between running, walking, or participating in a relay.
Cozumel is a must-see for any traveler to Mexico and one of the best places to visit in the Caribbean in the month of December.
There is a wide variety of things to do on the island, such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and exploring the island’s ancient ruins. To top it all off, some of the best hotels in the world provide all-inclusive packages to help guests make the most of their stay. With its stunning beaches and clear, turquoise waters, Cozumel is an island paradise that will leave you wanting more.
The island is situated in waters that are perfect for scuba diving and snorkeling all year round (and in December, there is no sargassum!).
9. To the Island of St. Croix
Christmastime on St. Croix, one of the U.S. Virgin Islands in the Caribbean, is a time of great celebration. St. Croix’s annual Crucian Christmas Festival is reason enough to visit the island in December, but the island’s colorful colonial towns, turquoise water, and gorgeous, lush landscapes are also noteworthy.
Check the festival dates before booking your trip to St. Croix, which typically begins at the end of December and continues into the beginning of the new year.
No matter when you visit St. Croix, you will be welcomed into a warm culture with a slow way of life. Don’t miss out on St. Croix’s natural beauty and charm by not renting a car in either Frederiksted or Christiansted.
Bermuda in December is a great getaway because of the warm weather and joyful atmosphere. In addition, there are fewer tourists on the island in December, so sightseers can take in the island’s breathtaking scenery and attractions in peace and quiet.
Visiting Bermuda in December for the many Christmas-themed events is a highlight of the holiday season. The island is decked out in holiday decorations, and numerous celebrations take place throughout the month, including a traditional New Year’s Day ocean swim.
By taking a leisurely stroll through the capital city of Hamilton, tourists can get into the holiday spirit while perusing the wares of independent merchants, gazing out at the ocean, and making new friends.
Many people flock to the Caribbean every winter because of the region’s festive palm trees, pleasant climate, and clear blue waters. Personally, I’ve spent the winter months in the Dutch Caribbean to avoid the cold.
When planning a winter vacation in the Caribbean, it can be challenging to narrow down your options to just one. For your convenience, I have compiled an exhaustive rundown of the top Caribbean locations you should visit this December.