From Rio de Janeiro to Honolulu – we're dreaming of a white (hot) Christmas
Lapland, we love you. But when it comes to Yuletide travel, we’re not obliged to opt for a snow break.
This year, we’re dreaming of locations around the globe where the holiday season is celebrated amid soaring temperatures.
So Come All Ye Faithful – to the beach – as we count down some of the most exotic destinations to spend Christmas
1 Sydney, Australia
With temperatures as high as 26°C, this is surely the quintessential Christmas experience in the sun – who doesn’t want to frolic in the sea in little more the a Santa hat?
And Sydney is a city that takes the festive season very seriously. An annual five-week program of events, named Sydney Christmas, is already in full swing.
Send a tweet and see your name scroll across the digital ribbon of the Martin Place Christmas Tree, or catch a dramatic illumination show on Sydney Town Hall.
2 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The second most populated Brazilian city rings in slightly colder than Sydney in December, with highs of 25°C, and a good chance of showers.
Still, it’s worth risking unfortunate weather for the sight of the stunning Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon floating Christmas tree; a fireworks display also takes place on Christmas Eve (Brazilians celebrate this day more than Christmas Day).
3 Honolulu, Hawaii
It boasts highs of 27°C December, and yet Hawaii can lay claim to seasonal snow – up on the 4205m peak of dormant volcano Mauna Kea on the Big Island.
But it’s over in Honolulu, Hawaii’s pretty capital located on the island of Oahu, that festive cheer really takes hold. The Honolulu City Lights festival runs until 1 January; be sure to check out the festive displays, including a 30 foot tall pine tree and a huge structure outside Honolulu Hale town hall of a sun-loving Mr Claus with his chest out…
4 Buenos Aires, Argentina
In Buenos Aires (where, again, locals celebrate ‘Nochebuena’ on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas Day,) December temperatures average in the high 20s, but can exceed a sweltering 31°C.
Why not check out The Nutcracker at the Colón Theatre, or a Christmas Eve tango show, which are typically enjoyed alongside a festive feast. But be warned – Christmas is very much a family occasion in Argentina, so if you’re visiting at this time, be sure to do your research; many businesses close until the New Year.
5 New Orleans, Louisiana
Granted, 18°C might not quite constitute searing heat (still, it’s hardly cold). But we’re including NOLA in this list as it’s such an eccentric, hedonistic place the rest of the year (as we discovered back in July) that the celebration factor must go off the scale at this time of year. And imagine the city aglow with over one million Christmas lights!
ChristmasFest which runs throughout December, features such events as Caroling in the Square (Jackson Square), as well as ice skating rinks, carnivals, and over 70 Christmas trees dotted around the city.
6 Cape Town, South Africa
We’re obsessed by the idea of a barbecued Christmas dinner, consumed al fresco in the South African sun – and with highs of 25°C, December’s a great time of year to visit the capital city of Cape Town.
Head to the Kirstenbosch National Botanic Garden between 17-20 December for outdoor caroling by candlelight, or catch a festive favorite at the Galileo Open Air Cinema (Miracle On 34th Street, anyone?). Also, be sure to pick up a traditional wire and bead Christmas ornament at one of the city’s many Christmas markets.