As summer comes to an end, and the brisk fall and winter season approach in North America, there’s one thing on everyone’s mind – is it time for winter vacation? The chilly temperatures and rainy weather headed north have people looking for a tropical, or somewhat warm, escape. While some families declare Hawaii or Mexico as their destination of choice, I strongly urge my fellow vacationers to consider South America! During this time of the year, people can experience pleasant temperatures and some cities even bring out a festive flair for the holiday season!
Read below for the Best South America Destinations for the Holiday Season:
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Did you know that December is one of the best months to travel to Brazil? Tropical rainstorms are cut short and the thermometer doesn’t dare to fall below 60. Relax in the sunkissed sand of Copacabana beach, one of the most famous beaches on the planet or venture to Ipanema beach, a less crowded retreat for lively youth.
In addition to the gorgeous weather, Rio de Janeiro is an extremely popular Christmas destination. Around December 1st, the world’s largest floating Christmas tree is set up in the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas (lagoon connected to the Atlantic Ocean). This Christmas tree reaches 85 meters high and contains millions of LED lights, which sparkle brightly across the surrounding area. Watch as decorations of the tree light up the night sky while enjoying a traditional Brazilian Christmas dinner and a cold caipirinha (the national drink of Brazil). This might be different than a typical Christmas in North America, where people are accustomed to celebrating alongside Evergreen trees, snowflakes and fireplaces with warm eggnog, however, Rio de Janeiro’s white-sand beaches, bright blue lagoons, and local cuisine will have you rethinking where you spend Christmas for years to come.
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Buenos Aires, Argentina
Spending the holidays in Buenos Aires is another fantastic way to escape the winter blues. The city’s explosive personality continues to exist even as the winter months approach. In fact, it is the most temperate time to explore the European-inspired city. It often reaches 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) in December, compared to 15 degrees Celsius(59 degrees Fahrenheit) in June and July. To make things better, the locals tend to leave the city during this time for nearby beaches, giving you all the room in the world to explore!
Head to Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires’ newest neighborhood, and appreciate the lofty skyscrapers and cobbled waterside walkways designed with the pedestrian in mind. Then, check out the steak eateries and pop-up galleries in the vibrant San Telmo. To complete your holiday vacation, save one night for an evening at a passionate Tango show, where you can wine and dine as the skilled performers sweep you off your feet.
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El Calafate, Argentina
Though Buenos Aires might be the warm winter escape you have been looking for, the end of the year is also the best time to visit the frosty landscape of Parque Nacional Los Glaciares (Los Glaciares National Park). This park, in Argentine Patagonia, offers visitors the chance to experience some of the most striking glaciers, mountain peaks, and forests that the region has to offer.
Bundle up and tighten your hiking boots as you trek through South America’s southern frontier, marveling at the way nature grows wild. Consider visiting Perito Moreno Glacier in El Calafate, as it is one of the last advancing glaciers in the world. Then, spend your evenings cozying up to a warmly-lit fireplace, in a rustic lodge with some of Patagonia’s finest cuisine. After all, what can be more festive than that?
Find out more >> Patagonia Tours
Colombia has a very distinct, tropical climate along its Caribbean edge. The thermometer does not waiver easily, offering its guests exceptional weather conditions. October is one of the best months to visit Colombia, partly because the country’s western location leaves the inhabitants unaffected by hurricane season, and partly because the country’s capital Bogotá is at its most temperate climate.
Though the dry season’s attractive weather is intriguing to many, it is also Colombia’s holiday season that gets people excited! It is nearly impossible to not notice when the holiday season approaches in Colombia due to the bold and festive demonstrations. Millions of light bulbs illuminate much of the country as Christmas grows nearer. Visit Villa de Leyva for the traditional Dia de las Velitas (Day of the Candles). Or venture to Medellín, Colombia, where more than 30 million light bulbs shine, making this Christmas presentation one of the world’s largest. Travelers from around the world, regardless of their religious background, can appreciate this dramatic display.
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Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
It might not be full-fledged winter, but fall is the perfect time of the year to visit Ecuador. During this season, Ecuador attracts fewer crowds and as a result, offers better deals on flights and accommodations. In addition, the four main regions of Ecuador (the Andes, Pacific Coast, El Oriente and the Galapagos Islands) all experience decent weather from September through November, leaving you no reason not to visit.
You won’t be surprised to know that the Galapagos Islands are warm and dry year-round. However, you may not know that the water warms a few degrees more starting in October. This leaves you and your fellow travelers an excellent opportunity to snorkel in the best weather conditions in the Galapagos! What a perfect way to spend your holiday vacation!
Find out more > Galapagos Islands Tours
Are you ready to start planning your holiday vacation? Contact one of our Expert Travel Consultants today! They would be happy to help you plan and customize your dream trip to South America for this holiday season!