7 Tropical Vacation Ideas for the Winter

If you’re thinking about traveling over the winter holidays, you’re not alone; more than 109 million Americans did it in December of 2021. That’s because traveling somewhere warm when the weather outside is frightful is the ultimate way to treat yourself over the holidays. 

At Travel 2 There, we believe a tropical vacation is an ideal getaway and one that you deserve. We also believe it’s never too early to start planning your dream vacation for the winter. 

If you want to get away but you’re unsure of which locations are the best in December, look no further. We’ve put together a list of our best vacation ideas for you to consider for your winter getaway. 

These winter vacation ideas are all warm during December and offer plenty of sights, views, and fun activities to make your vacation unforgettable. Read on to learn about 7 great places to travel to for the holiday season. 

1. Maui, Hawaii 

Of all the vacation destinations on our list, Maui is best if you want to escape the cold but stay close to familiar Christmas traditions. This tropical spot will be sunny and warm but be close enough to home for those who aren’t looking to travel too far. 

During the day, temperatures hover around 80 degrees. At night, the temperature stays above 65 degrees. 

Visit one of the many beautiful state or national parks, nature reserves, or beaches for plenty of outdoor fun. 

Stay in the spirit of Christmas by watching Santa and Mrs. Clause reach the shore in their outrigger canoe. You can also take in the twinkling Christmas lights at the Lahaina Banyan Tree Lighting. 

2. Okinawa, Japan

There is no city on the warm vacation destinations list with as many surprises and interesting things to see as Japan. 

On top of the beautiful architecture and city, Okinawa is also surrounded by coral reefs and sunny beaches for you to enjoy. 

If you love history, visit one of the ancient castles, like Shurijo Castle, the Katsuren Castle ruins, or the Nakagusuku Castle. You can also visit one of the several museums or art museums Okinawa has to offer, like the Karate Museum. 

For outdoor adventures, visit sites like the caves of The Valley Of Gangala or take in the old remains of the traditional neighborhood of Taketomi Island. 

3. Perth, Australia

Australia is known for having the opposite of American weather, so every year when the cold takes over in December, Australia’s summer is just beginning. 

Perth has some of the best sights and activities that Australia has to offer and will be less overpopulated with tourists than places like Sydney. 

Visit the friendly, cute quokkas on Rottnest Island or meet kangaroos at Heirisson Island. Go shopping downtown and walk across the Claisebrook Cove Bridge at night when it’s lit up and pretty.

Take a day cruise along the Swan River and see the grape-growing region of Swan Valley where you can enjoy plenty of local food and produce. There’s something for everyone in Perth!  

4. San Juan, Puerto Rico

Explore the old-world history and culture that Puerto Rico has to offer this holiday season. Here you will find some of the most beautiful historic sites, lively nightlife, live music, and tropical beaches.

Visit one of their sprawling beaches, like Condado Beach for relaxing or El Escambrón for water activities. Visit La Placita de Santurce during the day for marketplace shopping and come back at night to experience the hottest bar and restaurant scene in the area. 

Take in the colorful buildings and houses and cobblestone streets in Old San Juan. Make sure to take advantage of the tropical climate and visit the El Yunque Rainforest.

5. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 

When it comes to winter vacations, there are plenty of amazing locations to choose from in Asia. Ho Chi Minh City, which used to be known as Saigon, is just one of them! 

One must-do is to taste a delicious bowl of authentic Pho noodle soup from a street vendor. Vietnam is known for having amazing street food. It’s not to be missed! 

Visit historic sites like the oldest temple in the city, the Giac Lam Pagoda, or the stunning Notre Dame Cathedral. See the floating markets at the Mekong Delta or crawl through the Cu Chi Tunnels to experience life for the Vietcong during the Vietnam War. 

6. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

If drinking margaritas and dancing the night away in one of the most beautiful cities in Mexico sounds appealing, you can’t do better than Cabo San Lucas. 

This location is perfect for everyone because it offers tranquil days spent laying on a beach and a vivacious nightlife for those who are looking for it. 

For outdoor fun, get a picture on the water in front of the famous El Arco landmark, go snorkeling at Santa Maria Bay, or simply lay out at popular Medano Beach. Make sure to try the local cuisine, like fish tacos, at local restaurants. 

Adventure-seekers can take a thrilling zipline ride through nature or party the night away at El Squid Roe, a three-story club complete with dance cages. 

7. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 

When it comes to tropical vacation destinations, Rio de Janeiro should be at the top of everyone’s list of must-see cities. 

With lush jungles, beautiful beaches, and a lively culture, Rio is good for people of all ages, families and singles alike. 

See historic sights like the famous Christ The Redeemer statue in the Tijuca Forest National Park. While you’re there, check out the rainforest or visit the lush gardens at Jardim Botânico. 

Visit the popular Ipanema Beach to take in some sun complete with a gorgeous mountain view. Sip cocktails and listen to samba music in the neighborhood of Lapa. 

Tropical Vacation Ideas and More

Now you know some of the best tropical vacation spots for your wintertime getaway! Whatever part of the map you’re looking to, Travel 2 There has you covered when it comes to vacation tips, ideas, and more.

Start by reading our best vacation safety tips and then start planning your winter getaway today! 

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