There is no better place to get into the Christmas spirit than Latin America. December is filled with unusual celebrations to prolong that party vibe, and the weather is perfect for visiting the continent’s more cosmopolitan cities to enjoy the nightlife.
More traditional celebrations which take place include ‘Day of the Devil’ in Guatemala- locals burn paper, trash and anything unwanted to clean out their homes for the holy days ahead, and in some towns an effigy of the devil is also burned; in Oaxaca, Mexico, the 23rd December brings the ‘Night of Radishes’- a traditional exhibition of sculptures made of an extraordinarily big red radish, Christmas scenes are also shown and the festival attracts thousands of people every year; as Christmas eve dawns, Cuzco’s main plaza comes alive with a huge festive market selling wonderful local crafts and images of nativity scenes; and in Guatemala and Bolivia, a great affair is made out of traditional Nativity stories where locals re-enact scenes from the Bible.
December brings with it the perfect conditions for whale watching in Mexico’s Baja California. Grey Whales swim 8,000 kilometres south from Alaska’s Bering Strait to the tip of the Baja Peninsula. Up to 6,000 Whales swim past and stop close to the shore to give birth to their calves.
December is also the beginning of the ‘warm season’ in the Galapagos, meaning the waters are more comfortable for swimming and snorkelling. It is also the beginning of the coffee season in Guatemala, and ripe coffee can be seen covering the trees before it is harvested.