Looking for some warm places to travel to in December? Winter is just around the corner and with that comes the near dread of colder weather. But as countries are slowly and safely opening up their borders again to Canadian tourists, there’s some hope for that warm winter vacation you’ve been dreaming about. We’ve done some research to hopefully inspire you with options for some warm weather this December and help you find your perfect sunshine destination!
Before booking any travel, always research local government guidelines to ensure it’s safe to visit the destination in addition to any quarantine, pre-travel authorization or COVID-19 test requirements.
Best warm places to travel in December
|Guadeloupe||Beaches, hiking, and food|
|Maldives||A luxurious island getaway for privacy|
|Jamaica||An all-inclusive beach vacation|
|Tanzania||An adventurous safari and beach vacay|
|Malta||History, water sports, and culture|
|Cyprus||A blend of cultures and stunning beaches|
|Portugal||A laid back European adventure|
|Mexico||An affordable beach vacation in winter|
|Cuba||Relaxing winter vacation on the beach|
|Victoria||Ocean and mountain views|
|St. Catharines, ON||A cozy weekend staycation|
Hottest places to travel in December
This French Caribbean Island is beaming with some of the region’s best-kept secrets. Not only is it one of the hottest places to travel in December, but it’s home to jaw-dropping landscapes and beaches. In Guadeloupe National Park you can explore more wildlife and even hike up to La Soufrière volcano if you’re feeling up for a challenge! Other highlights include the spectacular coastline of Pointe des Chateaux, world-class scuba diving, and unique cuisine. Top it all off with a panoramic sunset over the water accompanied by Ti’ Punch, a local cocktail classic.
Disclaimer: Canadians can currently travel to Guadeloupe without restrictions.
The Maldives is the perfect go-all-in winter vacation splurge. That, and it might be one of the best places to have a socially-distanced, quiet romantic vacation with your partner. With a private villa on the sparkling waters of the Indian Ocean and glorious front-row seat viewing to some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world, The Maldives is the paradise you deserve this December. That being said there are a select number of resorts open to tourists, but you probably won’t want to leave your luxury accommodation anyways! Some eye-catching resorts that are currently open include: Coco Budu Hithi, LUX* South Ari Atoll Resort & Villas, and The Barefoot Eco Hotel.
Disclaimer: Maldives is currently partially open to Canadian travellers. Hotel reservation info for the full stay of your trip is required, and quarantine upon arrival is still required for travellers at the moment.
Jamaica might just be what you’re needing for a warm getaway in December. It’s everything from culture, fun outdoor activities and stunning ocean waters for you to enjoy. Most of all, consider it the perfect destination to kick off your winter boots, socks, and long work hours in exchange for a bathing suit and cocktail. If you’re looking for a resort vacation, Jamaica is calling your name, especially considering there is currently an approved area of tourism for visitors that includes resorts such as Bahia Principe, Sandals Montego Bay, and Iberostar Suites.
Disclaimer: A travel authorization form is required for travellers before boarding a flight to Jamaica, and quarantine might still be required upon arrival.
If you fancy something a bit more adventurous for a winter vacation, yet still with a warm climate – have you considered Tanzania? This beautiful East African country has the beautiful beaches of Zanzibar, dominating Mount Kilimanjaro and Serengeti National Park where you can try to spot the Big 5. Wake up to giraffes eating at sunrise on a safari, smell the many coffee plantations, and get lost in the markets of Stone Town, Zanzibar. This is a great warm winter destination to re-energize and recharge as a solo traveller, family, or couple. It’s the trip of a lifetime that you’ve been dreaming about–so maybe now’s the time?
Disclaimer: There are currently no travel restrictions for Canadians travelling to Tanzania.
Warm places to travel in December in Europe
Malta is a tiny archipelago in the Mediterranean. Small on the outside but mighty on the inside, it’s time to put this hot spot on your travel radar. Malta benefits from an average of 300 days of sun per year, which makes it a great choice for a warm place to travel in December in Europe. There’s larger beaches for a day of lounging or water sports and smaller, rockier beaches if you desire some off the beaten path exploration. If you’re a scuba diver, Malta offers some terrific wrecks, caves, and coral reefs for an adventurous winter getaway. And then don’t even get us started on the attractive, historical streets of Valletta, which is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Stay updated on the latest travel regulations for Europe here.
Disclaimer: Malta is currently open to Canadians, but quarantine may still be required upon arrival.
Have you ever considered adding Cyprus to your warm December vacation bucket list? Well maybe it’s about time you did! Cyprus is a bit more under-the-radar, but once you arrive, you’ll wonder why you didn’t go sooner. This island country in the Eastern Mediterranean has warm weather throughout the whole year, especially compared to other parts of Europe. Get lost in its rich history which spans over 10,000 years. Head to the Cyprus Museum in the capital of Nicosia and be enchanted by all the ancient Greek ruins and old Turkish mosques. Beyond that you’ll easily get swept up in the gorgeous beaches, specifically Aiya Napa. And if you work up an appetite from a day of historical sightseeing and beaching, then Cyprus has a delectable blend of Turkish and Greek dishes to sink your teeth into.
Travel disclaimer: Cyprus is currently open to Canadians and no quarantine requirements are in place at the moment.
While Portugal weather in December isn’t necessarily “hot”, it’s just warm enough for you to manage some awesome sightseeing during the day! You can head towards the southern coastline or the Algarve region for some sweet fishing towns and pristine beaches. Or make your way to some of the renowned scenic rock formations soaring cliffs at places like Praia da Marinha and Ponta da Piedade. You can definitely find wonder and excitement just by roaming the hilly streets of beautiful Lisbon, and exploring nearby Sintra with castles that makes it seem right from a fairytale.
Disclaimer: Portugal is currently open to Canadians. Check the latest local government guidance before your trip for possible quarantine requirements.
Cheap warm places to travel to in December
Canadians have been flocking to Mexico for what seems like forever. And it still holds up due to its cuisine, idyllic beaches, and holiday packages made for everyone from families, to couples, and even digital nomads. If you’re looking for an affordable and short getaway to experience a bit of warmer weather this December, there’s no shortage of fun outdoor activities, historical ruins to explore, or places to just laze out in the sun with a good book. Mexico is a top option for a cheap warm getaway for the winter months.
Disclaimer: Mexico currently has its borders open to Canadians looking for that picturesque beach getaway. Tourist cities like Cancun and Playa Del Carmen are open for business, not to mention there’s plenty of flight deals available at the moment.
Cuba is another perfect warm weather destination to consider for your winter getaway. This is the ideal place to stay at a resort and lounge by the pool or ocean all day. Cuba has some of the clearest blue waters in the Caribbean, and has consistently been an affordable destination for Canadian travellers during the winter months. Whether you just want to dip into the ocean to start your day or you’re a dive fanatic looking for some colourful coral reefs and aquatic life, Cuba will truly feel like paradise. If world-class cigars and rum peak your interest–there’s no shortage of these either!
Disclaimer: Passengers travelling as tourists are allowed to travel to Cayo Coco, Cayo Largo, Cayo Santamaria, Cayo Guillermo, and Cayo Cruz. Travellers must present their approved hotel reservation, will be subject to a medical screening, and must present a “Declaracion de Sanidad del Viajero”.
Please note that flights from Canada to Cayo Coco and Varadero will be opening up this fall and winter on Air Transat, WestJet, Sunwing, and Air Canada, so check with the airlines for updates on flights to Cuba this December.
Warm places to travel in December in Canada
Victoria, British Columbia
We know what you’re thinking…there are warm places to travel in December right here in Canada? Well, it might not be warm as in tropical beaches or t-shirts and shorts, but the capital of British Columbia happens to be one of the warmest cities in Canada during the winter. Daily average highs reach 7.6-9 degrees Celsius and the average low is 1.5-4 degrees Celsius. And that’s definitely a welcome change from below freezing temperatures for the majority of the country!
Head out to Victoria to enjoy some hikes, ocean views, and quaint cafés. There are plenty of great places to stay in Victoria such Abigail’s Hotel by the Victoria Harbour. The Magnolia Hotel and Spa is a top hotel in Victoria if you really want to treat yourself.
St. Catharines, Ontario
For good measure, we’ve included another “warm” destination in Canada just in case things look a little different come winter. St. Catharines, Ontario is arguably one of the warmest places in Ontario during December and a great spot for a Canadian staycation this winter. We’re using the adjective “warm” very lightly as it could still get to some chilly temperatures and snowfall. It’s just considered milder compared to other places in middle-eastern Canada. The average daily high is around 1.1 degrees Celsius and nightly lows can reach -6.1 degrees Celsius.
St. Catharines is a nice little weekend getaway. You can go on a hike or even go cross-country skiing in the winter, visit a winery and sip some fo the top wines in Ontario’s wine region, and enjoy an afternoon stroll on St. Catharines town port. If you’re up for more adventure, Niagara Falls only 20 minutes away. It’s a quaint and comfortable staycation if you don’t want to go too far this year. Looking for some hotel recommendations in St. Catharines? Cozy up at Cedar Suite Bed and Breakfast or The Stone Mill Inn.
We hope this list could inspire your future travels for when you’re ready to get back out there. Whether you’re looking to enjoy a hot luxury beach getaway under the sun or an outdoor adventure, there’s plenty of places that are calling your name this December.
Frequently Asked Questions
When can I travel again?
International travel is a bit of a gamble right now. Some countries have opened up their borders again, but they all differ in their arrival requirements. For more detailed information about the future prospect of travel, check out When can I travel again which goes into more detail.
Can I leave Canada?
While Canadians are being cautioned to avoid all non-essential travel (tourism) at the moment, you are still welcome to come and go as you please. Just remember that the two-week mandatory quarantine still applies to anyone entering Canada.
How can I travel during the coronavirus disease outbreak?
Any type of travel in 2020 requires a lot of planning and preparation, no matter the distance. Researching a safe destination beforehand, making sure you have book flights and hotels with flexible booking policies, and following the local health and safety guidelines are just some of the requirements needed for safe travel during COVID-19.
Discover where you can go right now
Making plans to get back out there? Find out whose borders are open with our interactive global map, and sign up to receive email updates when your top destinations reopen for leisure travel.
Want to read more?
- Get the latest travel updates and advisories for Canadians here in the Coronavirus travel advice page
- Looking to plan a Canadian beach getaway? Here are the best beach hotels and resorts in Canada.
- Is it safe to travel? Our travel safety tip checklist.
Please note: The information in this article was correct as of September 22, 2020. Always check local government websites for the latest updates on travel restrictions and openings for Canadian travellers.