The Best Places to Celebrate Christmas in Latin America

The Best Places to Celebrate Christmas in Latin America

The Christmas season is ideal for celebrating in the warm climate of Latin America, a region that offers world-class lodging and gastronomy. These are some of the recommendations of places that provide the best fun, services, and fantastic weather to enjoy a memorable Christmas holiday.

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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

This fabulous destination in South America celebrates a lively tropical Christmas with countless colored lights and a gigantic Christmas tree adornment in the lagoon. On Christmas night (Brazil, celebrates it on December 24), the city’s most popular beaches, such as Ipanema or Copacabana, become a continuous party with music, dance, cocktails, food, and lots of fun.

The bars and nightclubs of the lively Arcos de Lapa area are open until dawn. For those looking for Christmas shopping, Rio de Janeiro has the famous Saara market, located in the city’s heart. In contrast, Rio has the Ipanema market for visitors with hipster taste, where they find the most exotic crafts.

From the famous Pan de Açucar Mountain, where the giant sculpture of Christ the Redeemer is located, visitors enjoy the fireworks display in the party places of the beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana. In addition, tourists can walk the city’s brightly lit streets and attend the famous Natal Fest, a large display of life-size nativity scenes.

In addition, the Festival de Noéis (Christmas flavor) offers the best cuisine with new and traditional dishes of the Christmas season, such as the typical farofa (recipe with cassava flour), cod, colorful rice, beans, and panettone, among others.

Medellín, Colombia

This beautiful city is considered one of the world’s best places to celebrate Christmas. More than 30 million colored spotlights light its streets. This year, the lighting is dedicated to the characters of Encanto, an animated film by Walt Disney Animation Studios, which pays homage to the culture of Colombia.

Visitors will appreciate bright water sources and monumental figures along the river and walk along the pedestrian path to reach emblematic places of the city, such as Parque Norte, Avenida Las Palmas, and the Teatro Pablo Tobón, among other sites of cultural and historical interest.

Medellin, Colombia
Medellin is one of the cities that best celebrates Christmas in the world. (Photo courtesy of Medellin Convention & Visitors Bureau).

The central area of Medellín has high-class restaurants and popular sites where visitors enjoy typical recipes of the region, such as the Antioquian arepas, made with wheat flour dough and corn. Another dish tourists can’t miss the Paisa Tray, which consists of beans cooked with pork, rice, ground beef, pork skin, banana, egg, sausage, and avocado.

Punta del Este, Uruguay

This exclusive Uruguayan destination is ideal for celebrating Christmas dinner in the refined atmosphere of the city’s restaurants. In addition, the nightclubs are world-class and provide this season with exotic drinks and seafood-based cuisine.

During Christmas Eve, visitors tour the city and enjoy music and dancing on the street, plus an extraordinary view of the marina under the moonlight. The great idea is to stroll through the craft market on Gorlero Avenue or visit the outlets on 20th Street, where tourists find the best clothing and jewelry brands.

Lighthouse in Jose Ignacio near Punta del Este, Uruguay (photo via xeni4ka / iStock / Getty Images Plus)
Punta del Este, in Uruguay, celebrates Christmas in an atmosphere of luxury and five-star gastronomy. (Photo via xeni4ka / iStock / Getty Images Plus).

To celebrate day or night, Punta del Este features five-star gourmet restaurants with various culinary offerings, including Neapolitan and Genoese dishes in recipes of fabulous pasta enjoyed at Il Faro Italiano restaurant. Another gourmet option is OVO Restaurante, which offers an elaborate menu based on Japanese-style fusion recipes with Peruvian culinary touches and an extraordinary international and signature cocktail bar.

Another great option is La Bourgogne, a gourmet restaurant where visitors taste French haute cuisine in a luxurious and elegant atmosphere. The menu, prepared with products from the chef’s orchard, includes sophisticated dishes such as zucchini stuffed with poultry and roast leg of lamb with aromatic herbs. In addition, the restaurant offers its visitors a shop with French products such as brioches, croissants, and cheeses.

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