Though December can contain a multitude of wonderful things – holidays, school vacations, mid-season of football – it can often also bring with it harsh weather and icy cold conditions. This year, why not take a break from the snow and visit the islands instead? We've got all the reasons to make your case listed below as part of our December Travel in the Caribbean guide, part of our monthly travel guide series.
December Weather in the Caribbean
With the threat of hurricanes and tropical storms past, December travelers to the Caribbean can look forward to average daily temperatures in the high 70s, with lows around 73ºF and highs of about 83ºF (temperatures in Bermuda and the Bahamas tend to be on the cooler side of the range). You might get rain on about one of every three days, but you won't usually get soaked this time of year.
Visiting the Caribbean in December: Pros
The few weeks before Christmas are filled with bargain rates on hotels and airfares, since this is typically a slow travel time. Many resorts cater to families looking to spend the holidays together. Since nearly every Caribbean island has a majority Christian population, it's easy to find local holiday celebrations regardless of where you travel. Christmas cruises to the Caribbean are very popular. And, what's better than spending a few days in December on a beach?
Visiting the Caribbean in December: Cons
Early December may be a bargain, but hotel and airfare prices rise sharply for the holidays and especially for the week between Christmas and New Year's, when many families have off from school or work. Seekers of a traditional White Christmas obviously will be disappointed, as will those seeking a typical U.S.-style holiday celebration (few shopping malls, palm trees in place of Christmas trees, sorrell instead of egg nog, etc.)
What to Wear and What to Pack
December Events and Festivals
The Caribbean has a broad array of unique Christmas traditions, from Jamaica's Christmas Markets to parang music on Trinidad and visits from Sinterklass and his "Zwarte Piet" (black Pete) helpers in Aruba and Curacao. For more details, see my article on Top December Caribbean Events.