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Celebrating Christmas and New Year’s in Central America

The festive season is a magical time in Central America. Twinkling lights adorn colonial plazas, fireworks light up the night skies, and locals celebrate with delicious foods, parties, and unique traditions.

Celebrate the Holidays in Central America

If you’re looking to trade icy winters for sandy beaches this Christmas and New Year’s, here are the top spots to soak up some holiday sun, culture, and cheer in Central America:

Roatán, Honduras

Dive into a Caribbean escape on this tranquil Bay Island known for its spectacular beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and laidback vibe. Spend your days snorkeling crystal waters or exploring coastal villages. At night, join locals for ‘fish fries’ on the beach with fresh seafood, cold beer and live music. New Year’s Eve brings huge fireworks displays over the ocean.

Antigua, Guatemala

This UNESCO World Heritage Site perfectly blends colonial architecture, lush nature and cultural charm. Around Christmas, the city becomes even more magical with parades, concerts in the main plaza and elaborate nativity scenes called “portales.” For New Year’s Eve, join revelers in traditional garb dancing in the streets amidst firecrackers and fireworks.

Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

With postcard-perfect beaches and abundant wildlife like monkeys and sloths, Manuel Antonio National Park is a top choice for an eco-friendly Christmas escape. Hike rainforest trails by day, then relax at a beachfront resort to toast at midnight on New Year’s Eve while enjoying ocean breezes and fireworks.

San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

This former fishing village turned lively beach town on Nicaragua’s Pacific coast is a hub for surfing, sunbathing and nightlife. Go on a catamaran cruise or take surf lessons before feasting on a beachside seafood dinner. New Year’s Eve is celebrated here with partying till dawn and a vibrant display of fireworks over the bay.

Ambergris Caye, Belize

If you prefer to celebrate the holidays island-style, Ambergris Caye is for you. Home to the world’s second largest barrier reef, the island offers unparalleled scuba diving and snorkeling just offshore. Relax at a beachfront villa or take a festively lit boat cruise at Christmas. New Year’s Eve brings masking, dancing and midnight fireworks displays.

With swaying palms, balmy ocean breezes and rich cultures, Central America is a tropical paradise at Christmastime. Sunny weather, unique traditions, and natural beauty abound across the region. So this year, why stay bundled up when you could be celebrating amid island paradises, ancient ruins, rainforests or perfect beaches? Take your pick from these top spots and get ready to ring in 2023 in true Central American style – pura vida!