The Caribbean offers the perfect escape for anyone looking to trade chilly winter weather for sunshine and tropical temperatures. December is an excellent time to vacation here, as hurricane season is over and most islands are dry and warm. Plus, you can enjoy the local holiday festivities.
If you’re wondering what’s the best island to go to in December, the good news is that you have plenty of options. The bad news is, that makes it hard to choose!
In this article, we’ll tell you where in the Caribbean is best in December. Whether you’re traveling alone, as part of a couple, or with a group of friends or family, find the right place for you on our list of the 10 best islands to visit in December.
While average highs of 77 degrees make this one of the mildest destinations on our list, The Bahamas is one of the best Caribbean islands to visit in December for those who want to maximize their vacation time.
Located just a short flight off the coast of Florida, these spectacular cays feature sugar white sand for lounging and crystal clear water filled with colorful marine life for snorkeling and scuba diving. You can choose a lively area like Nassau, with tourist attractions and shopping, or a laidback natural retreat like the Exumas, making The Bahamas a contender for the best island to visit in December with family or as a couple.
Turks & Caicos
For couples looking for the perfect December honeymoon or romantic getaway spot, Turks & Caicos should be top of the list. This serene and pristine group of islands offers some of the best beaches in the Caribbean, such as Grace Bay Beach, with powdery white sand and vivid turquoise water. Snorkelers and divers love the vibrant coral reefs just offshore.
Average December highs of 82 degrees make all kinds of outdoor activities comfortable, from sunbathing to swimming to hiking to island hopping. Stay at a luxury resort and watch your cares melt away. If you come at the end of the month, don’t miss the Maskanoo Parade and New Year’s Eve fireworks.
A top choice for the best island to visit in December with family is Puerto Rico, with comfortable average highs of 83 degrees, interesting historic sites, beautiful beaches (don’t miss Flamenco Beach), natural attractions, rich culture, and delicious cuisine.
It’s also one of the easiest and best Caribbean islands to visit in December for American citizens, as they don’t need a passport to travel here. Explore the rainforest, marvel at a bioluminescent bay, wander the colonial streets of Old San Juan, and enjoy the holiday decorations and celebrations.
If you like it hot and want to know the best islands to visit in December for warm weather, consider this Dutch Caribbean playground off the coast of Venezuela. (Other top area choices are its fellow “ABC islands,” Bonaire and Curacao.)
Aruba has average December highs of 87 degrees, beautiful beaches, great watersports, a rich culture and vibrant capital city, fun nightlife including casinos, interesting landscapes to explore including Arikok National Park, and holiday festivities.
This gorgeous island, often called “Little Hawaii” for its amazing scenery, is one of the best Caribbean islands to visit in winter for couples. It makes a magical Christmas honeymoon destination, with tons to do and luxurious all-inclusive adults-only resorts.
Enjoy temperatures in the mid-80s and plenty of fun holiday traditions including the Festival of Lights & Renewal, explore the Pitons and Pigeon Island National Park, relax on white-sand beaches, and experience a rejuvenating mud bath at Sulphur Springs.
With average highs of 87 degrees, Jamaica is another of the best islands to visit in December for warm weather. A popular destination for couples, solo travelers, and families, Jamaica is a laidback island that also offers a ton of attractions and activities.
These include breathtaking beaches like the famous Seven Mile Beach in Negril, the Blue Mountains, waterfalls, adventure sports like ziplining and ATV tours, historic sites, vibrant towns like Montego Bay, and cultural attractions like the Bob Marley Museum. Add the delicious local food plus thriving nightlife and music scene, and you’ll find there’s something for everyone in Jamaica.
One of the warmer Caribbean islands in December at an average of 86 degrees, the “Spice Isle,” as Grenada is known, is a top romantic and honeymoon destination offering upscale resorts and gorgeous lush scenery.
It’s perfect for couples who love being outdoors, with breathtaking beaches like Grand Anse Beach, snorkel and dive opportunities such as the unique Underwater Sculpture Park, fascinating spice plantations to tour, waterfalls, and historic sites like Fort George. December also features the fun Carriacou Parang Festival.
One of the best Caribbean islands to visit in December for budget-minded travelers, the Dominican Republic has lower prices than many other islands, especially in the beginning of the month. The popular area of Punta Cana has a wide selection of all-inclusive resorts to choose from.
This island has breathtaking beaches as well as a green interior offering jungles, waterfalls, and adventurous activities like ziplining, hiking, and horseback riding. Mild average temperatures of 82 degrees make it perfect for enjoying these in comfort. You can also take part in seasonal celebrations like the Festival El Santo Cristo Bayaguana.
One of the best Caribbean islands to visit in December for those who like lesser-known destinations is St. Vincent & the Grenadines. This up-and-coming island features one of the only active volcanoes in the Caribbean, La Soufriere, which is currently quiet and safe to hike up.
Diverse and pristine, St. Vincent also offers a tropical rainforest, waterfalls, and one of the oldest botanical gardens in the Western Hemisphere. Stay at a luxurious resort, lounge on a white-sand or black-sand beach, visit historic sites, go island-hopping, scuba dive or snorkel, and check out holiday celebrations like the unique Nine Mornings Festival.
Antigua & Barbuda
Some of the best islands to visit in winter for those who like it warm but not hot, Antigua and Barbuda have a nice average high of 83 degrees. Antigua is popular for honeymoons, having been named the most romantic Caribbean destination, and features a range of posh adults-only all-inclusive resorts.
Antigua is famous for having 365 beaches, so you’ll have plenty to choose from! You can also check out historic sites like Nelson’s Dockyard, go snorkeling at Stingray City, and hike to Shirley Heights for panoramic views.
Now that you’ve read our list of the 10 best islands to visit in December in the Caribbean, which one sounds good to you? Let us know in the comments!