Christmas in the Caribbean

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Santa Claus sentado en una playa del Caribe.

Christmas is just around the corner, but there’s still time to escape. Grab a swimsuit, sun cream and a towel – it’s all you’re going to need in the Caribbean.

 

Christmas is already upon us, and by now you’re tired of seeing shortbread biscuits in supermarkets, enduring dinners that you can’t escape from and thinking about what gifts to buy.

It’s a lovely time of the year, full of good intentions and time to be with your family, but you shouldn’t forget that it’s also a unique opportunity to head away on holidays and escape from it all, which is sometimes needed.

One of the most attractive options is to spend Christmas in the Caribbean and escape from the cold to sail in the warm Caribbean waters.

So, let’s head to one of the most spectacular destinations in the region, Punta Cana, where you can enjoy a cocktail and a swim at one of the most famous beaches in the Dominican Republic, Bávaro Beach as you ring in the new year. Kick back and relax on the white sandy beach or try some sailing or water sports, the choice is yours.

Next to Bávaro Beach, you have Costa del Coco, 40km of white sand surround by luxurious mansions. But adventure is also possible in Punta Cana, for example, you can visit the Fun Fun Caves, a 25km long cavern system, although only 8kn have been fully explored, or take a trip to some of the floating islands.

You could also swap Santa’s visit for a dolphin show at Manatí Park or visit Altos de Chavón, which is a replica of an Italian styled medieval village.

If you travel with children, they’re sure to have a great time as there are plenty of entertainment options for the younger ones in the restaurants and hotels in the area.

 

Much more than beaches

The Dominican Republic is a country that mixes aromas and flavours to create a truly unique destination. Cigars, rum, chocolate, coffee, merengue…all this and much more is enjoyed in an area that’s also the number one destination in the Caribbean for golfers.

The National Palace in Santo Domingo is open over Christmas and very popular with locals and tourists who come to see the nativity scene and other typical Christmas decorations.

Music and dance are other characteristics of this country that offers a vibrant nightlife with plenty of live performances, so you can decide between the many bars in Santo Domingo or some more lively bachata or merengue in Puerto Plata.

 

Punto Cana also has plenty to offer with chic nightclubs, private parties, wine bars, etc. Any time of the year is great for dancing and listening to music in the Dominican Republic.

 

Omnipresent nature

You can avoid nature during this different Christmas with more than 6000 species of flora and fauna including endemic species to be admired. Jaragua National Park is the largest protected area in the Caribbean with beaches, forests, lakes, etc. and is also part of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

Another important park is Los Haitises in Samaná, which is a great place to visit by boat and admire the conical hills and mangrove forest on the coast.

 

Leisure activities for all tastes and ages

If there is something you shouldn’t miss when on holidays, it’s fun, and the Dominican Republic has plenty of it:

  • Bavaro Adventure Park:

    Offers sustainable and environmentally friendly activities. Climbing garden, Segway circuits, paintballing, flight simulators, and a whole lot more.

  • Caribbean Buccaneers:

    The young ones love this Pirates of The Caribbean-style park, especially the Buccaneers shows.

  • Fun City:

    Karting tracks with varying speeds.

  • Manatí Park:

    A huge 210 square kilometre park with more than 140 tropical species ranging from birds to horses.

  • Monkey Jungle:

    Capuchin monkeys are the friendly inhabitants of this park that also features a botanic garden and zip line adventures.

  • Ocean World Adventure Park:

    Dolphins and numerous marine experiences await you in this theme park, shows with sea lions and nurse sharks, and a special area for exotic birds.

  • Rad Park:

    A water park located on a huge natural lagoon with wakeboarding, flyboarding, paddle boarding and many other activities.

 

Living traditions

You also have many surprising customs and traditions in the Riviera Maya, so you won’t feel you’re missing out on anything back home.

 

  • The seven-pointed piñata:

    Each of the points on the piñata represents one of the seven deadly sins. The stick used to hit the piñata symbolises the capacity of man to put an end to evil.

  • Poinsettia:

    The Aztecs used this plant to produce red dye and make sacrifices to the sun to renew their strength. In Mexico, this plant is called Flor de Noche Buena (Christmas Eve Flower) as it flowers in December and is now used as a Christmas decoration all over the world.

  • Las Posadas:

    These are re-enactments of the suffering of Mary and Joseph as they searched for an inn to give birth to Jesus.

  • Christmas food:

    You can also find churros, punch and hot chocolate in the Caribbean.

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