Caribbean and South America

15 Best Caribbean Islands to Visit in December

Are you looking for the best Caribbean islands to visit in December? Then I got you covered!

Decorated palm trees, delightful temperatures, and crystal clear blue waters attract every year many people to visit the Caribbean in winter.

I myself have escaped the cold winter months the last few years and spent them in the Dutch Caribbean.

It can be hard to find the perfect place for your Caribbean winter getaway with so much choice.

To make it a bit easier for you, I have created the ultimate list with the best Caribbean destinations you need to visit in December!

Let’s get to it!

a christmas ball decoration under a palm tree in the caribbean

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1. Aruba

Where to Stay: Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort Oranjestad

Weather in December: In December, Aruba experiences warm and pleasant weather. Temperatures average around 27-29 degrees Celsius (81-84 degrees Fahrenheit). The island enjoys a tropical climate with gentle trade winds, low humidity, and minimal rainfall.

Aruba is the best Caribbean island to visit in December. Aruba is also one of the hottest islands in the Caribbean in December.

The tropical paradise Aruba is part of the ABC-island group, together with Bonaire and Curacao. Aruba is famous for its pristine, white-sandy beaches, stunning turquoise waters, and flamingos on the beach.

December marks the beginning of the holiday season in Aruba. Most areas of the island offer festive decorations and events, creating a joyful and vibrant atmosphere. And you can take some amazing pictures for your Instagram.

Another reason to visit Aruba in December is that it is off-season, so it is considerably cheaper to go – and the weather is fantastic.

There are many great things to do in Aruba in December. My favorite thing is participating in a Sunset Cruise or visiting the Flamingos in Aruba on Renaissance Island.

Don’t forget to eat dinner in one of the most amazing beachfront restaurants in Aruba.

Aruba sunset with beautiful pink colors and beach chairs in a row

2. Isla Mujeres

Where to Stay: Casa Del Jaguar Beach Hotel

Weather in December: Isla Mujeres in Mexico typically enjoys pleasant and mild weather with temperatures averaging around 24-27 degrees Celsius (75-81 degrees Fahrenheit).

Visiting Isla Mujeres in December is the best gift you could give to yourself. The beautiful Caribbean island is located at only a 30-minute ferry ride from the popular Mexican beach resort Cancun but it has the more laid-back vibe of a village. 

December is one of the best months because the hurricane season is gone, and you will get the great winter weather but the prices of the low season if you travel before Christmas. 

If you don’t have any budget issues, you can choose to spend Christmas in the Caribbean with a blue sky and warm temperature. 

Isla Mujeres is also not short of things to do in December. You can enjoy some amazing snorkeling trips or scuba diving. Whether you are certified or not you will be able to dive in the spectacular underwater museum (MUSA). 

However, for a quiet time, you can choose one of the luxury hotels away from the noisy downtown, such as Impression by Secrets, located in the south area of the Island, and one of the top luxury All inclusive hotels in Isla Mujeres.

Then you can rent a golf cart and explore the island at your own pace. Make sure you don’t miss Punta Sur Park with the beautiful statues dedicated to the Mayan Gods, and a small Mayan temple. Getting there by sunset is the best time!

a drone shot of beautiful isla mujeres with stunning blue water
Isabella Biava

3. Curacao

Where to Stay: Sandals Royal Curacao All Inclusive

Weather in December: Curacao experiences warm and inviting weather, with temperatures averaging around 27-29 degrees Celsius (81-84 degrees Fahrenheit). The island enjoys a sunny and dry climate during this time.

Curacao is one of my favorite islands to visit in the Caribbean in December.

We have been there before Christmas many times – and their holiday decorations are next level.

Curacao has beautiful beaches, stunning hidden bays, and amazing sunsets. The vibe on the island is happy and cheerful during Christmas times.

The best things to do in Curacao in December are a boat trip to Klein Curacao and snorkeling on the most amazing beaches on the island.

Visit the beautiful and colorful houses in the colonial capital city of Willemstad and roam through its neighborhoods. Pietermaai District and Punda are among visitor’s favorites.

If you crave some adventure, why not visit the hidden beach Playa Gipy or check out the Shete Boka National Park?

Curacao is the warmest Caribbean island in December – the perfect place for your vacation.

4. St Kitts and Nevis

Where to Stay: Saint Kitts Marriott Resort & The Royal Beach Casino

Weather in December: St. Kitts and Nevis enjoy pleasant weather with temperatures averaging around 25-28 degrees Celsius (77-82 degrees Fahrenheit). You can expect warm and sunny days, perfect for enjoying the beautiful beaches.

St Kitts and Nevis are one of the best Caribbean islands to visit in December because it is when the annual Sugar Mas Carnival is held in St Kitts.

Starting mid-December and ending on January 2nd the streets of Basseterre are filled with activity with the main carnival events taking place between the J’ouvert parade on December 26th and Last Lap which is January 2nd.

The whole carnival week is worth seeing for the brightly colored costumes, music, and dancing in the traditional Caribbean style. If you get tired of the excitement of carnival then visit the historic Brimstone Hill fortress UNESCO World Heritage site or pop over to sister island Nevis and explore some of the best beaches in the Caribbean.

If you are looking for where to stay in St Kitts during this time, then you will want to book well in advance to get the best hotels. If you want to get some sleep then a hotel slightly further out like the Royal St Kitts in Frigate Bay would be most suitable.

Whatever you do in St Kitts and Nevis you are sure to have a great time.

a beautiful view over st kitts and nevis with lush forest and blue ocean
Stephanie Jackson Book It Let’s Go

5. Puerto Rico

Where to Stay: Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort

Weather in December: Puerto Rico experiences in December pleasant and warm weather with temperatures around 24-28 degrees Celsius (75-82 degrees Fahrenheit). The island enjoys many sunshine days in December.

Puerto Rico is one of the easiest Caribbean Islands to visit and offers incredible opportunities for adventure activities as well as gorgeous beaches and beautiful resorts. 

In December, Puerto Rico comes alive with holiday festivities. Combine this with some of the lowest rainfall of the year and you have the perfect Caribbean Island to explore in December.

When you are visiting in December, make sure to spend some time seeing the sites: explore El Yunque National Forest to see the waterfalls, walk the streets of San Juan, and explore the islands of Culebra and Vieques. 

If you are up for more adventure, head across the islands to Parquera to swim in the bio-luminescent bay. See a 7-day itinerary for Puerto Rico.

In December most towns celebrate the holidays with a tree-lighting festival known as Encendido de Navidad. Enjoy food vendors, live music, and more as they light up the trees in town. On December 28, check out the town of Hatillo for the Festival de Máscaras de Hatillo for a parade and other festivities.

There are many excellent places to stay in Puerto Rico from luxury resorts to apartment-style lodging.  One of our favorite places to stay in the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort.

beautiful puerto rico beach
Gretchen – Chasing ADVNTR

Do you need travel insurance in the Caribbean? Yes, travel insurance in the Caribbean is highly recommended. Unsafe roads, water sports accidents, and food poisoning are only a few examples of when travel insurance could come in handy. EKTA offers worldwide travel insurance with 24/7 service and no hidden fees or restrictions.

6. Dominican Republic

Where to Stay: Grand Sirenis Punta Cana Resort – All Inclusive

Weather in December: The Dominican Republic experiences delightful weather in December, with temperatures averaging around 25-28 degrees Celsius (77-82 degrees Fahrenheit). The country enjoys a tropical climate, with plenty of sunshine and warmth.

One of the best Caribbean destinations to visit in December is the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic shares the island of Hispaniola with its neighboring country Haiti.

The Dominican Republic offers something for every type of traveler.

If you just want to relax on the beach, plenty of all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana are waiting for you.

You can also plan a road trip through the Dominican Republic and explore the country with its amazing waterfalls, pristine beaches, and lush vegetation on your own.

December is a particularly perfect time to travel as the dry season is starting, but you still can take advantage of the low and shoulder season prices. This usually lasts until a few days before Christmas.

Therefore, you can enjoy the perfect combination of very stable weather and super low prices in a country, which is already one of the cheapest Caribbean islands to visit in December.
When it comes to the things to do in the Dominican Republic in December, the possibilities are endless.

Ziplining, buggy excursions, catamaran trips, and tours to Saona Island are among the most
famous excursions in Punta Cana. Enjoy marvelous hikes or visit secluded waterfalls.

Many excursions start at the Dominican Republic Cruise Ports.

December is perfect for those activities, as the chance of rain is very low, but rivers and waterfalls are still with a lot of water.

beautiful beach on the dominican republic
Christian Jannasch – Punta Cana Travel Blog

7. Grand Cayman

Where to Stay: Grand Cayman Marriott Resort

Weather in December: In December, Grand Cayman experiences beautiful and warm weather with temperatures ranging from 25-28 degrees Celsius (77-82 degrees Fahrenheit). There are very little to no rainy days.

The Cayman Islands consist of Little Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Grand Cayman. However, most know only of the latter.

In December, you can escape the colder weather to the north and enjoy daily averages of 83 F. It’s a great time to hit the beach or go snorkeling instead of shoveling snow.

The Walkers Cayman Islands Marathon provides a great activity for fitness fanatics. With an option to run, walk, and do a relay, the event suits most, regardless of their fitness level.

If you prefer to relax or participate in water activities, look no further than the Stingray adventure. As one of Grand Cayman’s top excursions, it allows you to interact with gentle stingrays on a sandbar.

You don’t need to know how to swim as the water is only a few feet deep. However, don’t expect an intimate experience, as many tour boats will crowd a small area.

If you’re looking for a great hotel at a reasonable price, the Locale Hotel Grand Cayman delivers. You’ll enjoy a complimentary breakfast and a three-minute walk to Seven Mile Beach.

Before heading home, pick up some Tortuga Caribbean Rum Cakes. The gourmet cakes are famous for their taste and come in original, Kentucky Bourbon, Hawaiian pineapple, and many other flavors.

stingray floating in the water on the cayman islands
Karen – Forever Karen

8. Cozumel

Where to Stay: Occidental Cozumel – All inclusive

Weather in December: In December, Cozumel typically has warm temperatures averaging around 24-27 degrees Celsius (75-81 degrees Fahrenheit). The island experiences a dry season during this time, with minimal rainfall.

Cozumel is one of the best Caribbean Islands to visit in December and one of the top destinations for anyone planning a trip to Mexico.

The island has plenty of activities, including snorkeling, diving, and exploring ancient ruins. Plus, some great resorts offer all-inclusive packages so you can make the most out of your vacation. From its beautiful beaches to its crystal clear waters, Cozumel provides an unforgettable experience that will leave you wanting more.

The island’s location makes it perfect for scuba diving and snorkeling since the warm tropical waters provide ideal conditions year-round (and in December, you won’t find sargassum!).

Visiting San Gervasio’s archaeological site is also a must while on Cozumel as it provides insight into Mayan culture and history. Punta del Sur is another popular spot where travelers can observe sea turtles nesting or simply relax by the beach with a margarita in hand.

When it comes to choosing where to stay in Cozumel, Occidental Cozumel is highly recommended due to its all-inclusive accommodation and excellent service. Located on the island’s west coast near Playa Del Carmen, this resort offers fantastic views of the Caribbean Sea and easy access to all major attractions.

So if you’re looking for a perfect winter getaway or want to explore one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful islands, a visit to Cozumel in December is an excellent choice.

picture of the beach in cozumel with rocky coast
Sara Rodríguez Mindful Travel

9. St. Croix

Where to Stay: Divi Carina Bay Beach Resort

Weather in December: St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands has pleasant temperatures averaging around 25-28 degrees Celsius (77-82 degrees Fahrenheit). The island has at that time a relatively dry season with minimal rainfall.

St. Croix is a Caribbean island in the U.S. Virgin Islands that comes alive at Christmastime. If the island’s colorful colonial towns, turquoise blue water, and gorgeous lush landscapes weren’t enough, St. Croix’s annual Crucian Christmas Festival makes it an incredible place to visit in December. 

St. Croix’s Christmas festivities usually happen around the end of December, and last through January, so when planning a visit, be sure to check the festival dates.

Regardless of when you visit St. Croix, you’ll be greeted by friendly locals with a warm culture with a slow way of life. Be sure to rent a car in Frederiksted or Christiansted so you can explore all the natural beauty and charm that the island has to offer. 

St. Croix’s beaches are stunning, with turquoise water and gentle waves. For the island’s best snorkeling, check out Buck Island, the Frederiksted Pier, Cane Bay, and Protestant Caye. 

Be sure to spend some time exploring the island’s historical sites, which include Fort Christiansvaern, the colonial cities of Christainsted and Fredricksted, the Christopher Columbus landing site, and the old sugar mills across the island. 

And finally, don’t miss the chance to stroll along the Christiansted boardwalk and try delicious traditional ital food. 

beautiful shot of st croix houses and hotels with ocean in background of the caribbean in december
Annie of Your Friend the Nomad

10. Bermuda

Where to Stay: Hamilton Princess & Beach Club

Weather in December: Bermuda experiences a mild subtropical climate, with average temperatures ranging from 70°F (21°C) to 75°F (24°C). This makes it an excellent destination for those seeking a getaway from colder winter climates.

Visiting Bermuda in December offers a delightful escape with its pleasant weather and a festive ambiance. December also brings fewer crowds, allowing visitors to enjoy the island’s natural beauty and attractions in a more relaxed setting.

One of the highlights of visiting Bermuda in December is the abundance of Christmas activities. The island is adorned with festive decorations, and various events take place throughout the month including the annual New Year’s swim in the ocean.

Strolling through the charming streets of Hamilton, the capital, visitors can immerse themselves in the holiday spirit, browsing local shops, enjoying ocean views, and making friends with locals.

In addition to the holiday festivities, Bermuda offers a range of activities to enjoy during December. The island’s stunning pink sand beaches are perfect for peaceful walks and lounging under the sun.

Adventurous travelers can explore Bermuda’s crystal-clear waters through snorkeling or diving, discovering vibrant coral reefs and marine life. The water may be colder in December but it’s still enjoyable. Hiking enthusiasts can embark on scenic trails, such as the Railway Trail, providing breathtaking views of the coastline.

For accommodations in Bermuda, there are several options to suit different preferences. The famous Princess Fairmont Southampton Hotel is highly recommended because of its pink exterior and private beach.

sunset beach in bermuda in december caribbean
Viktoria Guide Your Travel

11. Cuba

Where to Stay: Casa Abalidia, Havana

Weather in December: The weather in December is milder than in the peak summer months, with average temperatures between 22°C and 27°C across the country. This is also one of the driest months in the country.

Cuba is a great Caribbean island to visit year-round, but December is an especially good month to travel there.

Start your Cuba trip from Havana, where you’ll have no shortage of interesting activities. One of the best things to do in Havana is explore Havana Vieja, which is packed with history, museums, and art galleries.

If you are interested in the history of the revolution, visit the Museo de la Revolucion. You should not miss out on the opportunity of riding a vintage car – best if it drives along the Malecon, the famous waterfront.

Other unmissable places to visit in Cuba are Vinales, where you can hike along the beautiful valley dotted with mogotes (unique hill formations); Trinidad, probably Cuba’s best example of colonial architecture; Cienfuegos, which is a great base to explore the Bay of the Pigs; and Santiago, where you will be able to appreciate the Caribbean feel of the country.

When in Cuba, opt to stay at casas particulares. These are private homes where the owners rent out a few rooms to tourists. It’s a great chance to get to know a bit more about the local culture and way of life. In Havana, Casa Abalidia is an excellent house in the Vedado, the most beautiful residential district of the city which is very close to the historic center.

beautiful beach with crystal clear blue water in cuba
Claudia Tavani, My Adventures Across The World

12. Dominica

Where to Stay: InterContinental Dominica Cabrits Resort & Spa

Weather in December: In December, Dominica experiences mild temperatures ranging from 22-27 degrees Celsius (72-81 degrees Fahrenheit). The island has a tropical rainforest climate, and December marks the beginning of the dry season, with less rainfall compared to other months.

Known as the Nature Island of the Caribbean, Dominica is an adventurous and unique Caribbean island destination you’ll love. With its soaring, forested mountains, plunging waterfalls, and dramatic landscapes, you’ll quickly fall in love with this hidden Caribbean gem.

December is also one of the best times of the year to spot whales from Dominica, making it a popular time to travel to the island. Dominica is the only place on earth where sperm whales reside year-round, though its easiest to spot them in the cooler winter months. Head out on a whale-watching excursion with a guide who knows where mother whales and their babies tend to swim for one of the most incredible wildlife encounters in the Caribbean. 

Whether you spot whales or not, make sure to spend some time exploring Dominica’s world-famous reefs, which make it among the most famous destinations for diving in the world. The tiny seaside village of Soufriere is the perfect place to explore some of the island’s most famous diving sites, with many accessible even for snorkelers swimming on the beach at the town’s bay.

If you’re looking for a unique place to stay in Dominica, Jungle Bay is an incredible choice. Nestled on the hillside above Soufriere, this resort makes visitors feel like they’re in the heart of the jungle, with winding paths across the hotel grounds surrounded by lush tropical vegetation, offering plenty of seclusion.

beautiful beach with rainforest and fisher boats in dominica in december
Carley Rojas Avila of Explorers Away

13. Turks and Caicos

Where to Stay: The Tides, Grace Bay

Weather in December: In December, you can expect daytime temperatures to range from the mid-70s to low 80s Fahrenheit (mid-20s to high 20s Celsius). The island experiences very little rainfall in December.

If you’re looking for the best Caribbean islands to visit in December, look no further than Turks and Caicos! This beautiful tropical island is fabulous any time of year, but December seems to be the sweet spot!

December is after hurricane season and is just the start of the busy season. If you go in early December, you’ll find more reasonable rates versus over the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Of course, if you’re coming to celebrate the holidays that can be achieved, too! Many restaurants in Turks and Caicos celebrate Christmas with a festive meal, and you’ll see holiday decorations around the islands during December.

For a visit in December, there are a ton of things to do in Turks and Caicos. Go kite-boarding at Long Bay Beach, enjoy kayaking at Chalk Sound National Park, or take a snorkeling tour. Of course, you can lounge on the beach and relax all day, or explore many of the restaurants and shops on the islands.

The two main islands to visit are Providenciales and Grand Turk. If you’re flying in from an international airport, you’ll likely find the best flight deals to Providenciales.

beach in turks and caicos with beautiful white sand caribbean in december
Nikki of She Saves She Travels

14. Saint Lucia

Where to Stay: Harbor Club St. Lucia

Weather in December: December falls within Santa Lucia’s dry season, which means you can expect warm, sunny days with low chances of rainfall. The average temperature ranges from the mid-70s to the low 80s Fahrenheit (mid-20s to high 20s Celsius), making it an ideal escape from colder climates.

Santa Lucia is renowned for its breathtaking natural landscapes. The island is home to lush rainforests, volcanic peaks, and pristine beaches. The iconic twin peaks of the Pitons are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The pleasant December weather in Santa Lucia is ideal for a wide range of outdoor activities. You can go hiking through the rainforests, explore the beautiful coral reefs while snorkeling or scuba diving, or go on a boat tour. You will get to admire the island’s coastline and hidden coves.

December is a festive month in Santa Lucia, as the island celebrates its rich cultural heritage.

You can take part in lively events and celebrations, such as the Festival of Lights. The Festival of Lights consists of parades, concerts, and vibrant street parties. The locals are known for their warm hospitality, making your visit even more enjoyable.

Santa Lucia is home to a big range of luxury resorts and spas. They offer a perfect setting for relaxation and rejuvenation. You can indulge in pampering spa treatments, enjoy sunset cruises, or simply unwind on the pristine beaches.

shot of saint lucia beach with famous mountain behind it beautiful caribbean island in december

15. Bonaire

Where to Stay: Ocean Breeze Boutique Hotel & Marina Bonaire

Weather in December: In December, Bonaire offers pleasant and warm weather with temperatures averaging around 27-30 degrees Celsius (81-86 degrees Fahrenheit).

Bonaire is one of the best Caribbean islands to visit in December.

The small but adorable paradise island is famous for its pristine marine life. December is part of the dry season in Bonaire, which is a great time for snorkeling on Bonaire’s beaches.

There are many other things to do in Bonaire besides diving and snorkeling.

You can visit the flamingos in Bonaire and explore the interesting beaches in the Washington Slagbaai National Park.

The pink salt lakes and slave huts are always worth a visit.

Of course, you need to stop by the colorful capital city of Kralendijk. This is also where cruise ship drops their passengers who spend one day in Bonaire.

Bonaire is one of the best Caribbean islands to visit in winter.

picture of a beach in bonaire in the dutch caribbean in december

Conclusion: Best Caribbean Islands to Visit in December

These were my favorite Caribbean destinations you need to visit in December.

In general, December is a great month to visit the Caribbean. Most islands experience dry season and you can enjoy delightful weather.

Many Caribbean islands host beautiful Christmas celebrations that you can take part in to get you in a festive spirit.

This might not be your traditional romantic Christmas getaway – but I promise that you will get in the Christmas mood no matter what.

FAQ: Best Caribbean Islands to Visit in December

Which Caribbean island has the best weather in December?

You can find the best weather in the Caribbean in December in the Dutch ABC-Islands. Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao are famous for their picture-perfect weather in December. All three islands have average high temperatures in the upper 80s Fahrenheit and barely any rainfall. The British Virgin Islands are also highly recommended in December.

Is December a good time to visit the Caribbean islands?

Yes, December is the best time to visit Caribbean Islands. In December, many islands experience the beginning of the dry season. This means amazing, warm temperatures and little rainfall. Also, the Christmas celebrations on the islands give your vacation extra charm.

blonde girl pink dress in front of blue door santorini

About the Author

Sabrina is a passionate travel blogger and content creator, based in the Netherlands. She spends most parts of the year abroad at various destinations with her husband.

She provides slow-paced itineraries that focus on quality over quantity. Sabrina wants to help her readers to get more out of their travel experiences – while doing less. Read more.