As the year winds down, the prospect of a budget travel experience becomes all the more enticing. In this guide, we present a carefully curated selection of 27 cheap islands to visit in December, promising an affordable and memorable journey across various regions. These cheap islands to visit in December are tailor-made for those seeking an economical yet enchanting getaway.
1. Top 12 cheap islands to visit in December in Asia
Asia unfolds its array of cheap islands to visit in December, beckoning travelers with affordable paradises that promise sun, sea, and savings.
1.1. Koh Chang Island, Thailand
Koh Chang Island stands out as one of the best places to visit in Asia. In December, the island experiences a delightful climate with temperatures ranging from 27°C to 30°C.
Known for its lush rainforests, pristine beaches, and vibrant coral reefs, Koh Chang offers a myriad of activities for a memorable Asia travel journey, such as snorkeling and diving in the crystal-clear waters, trekking through the island's dense jungles, and centering around White Sand Beach at night for a drink.
1.2. Bali Island, Indonesia
Bali Island beckons with its unparalleled beauty and rich cultural heritage, making it a gem among Asian beaches. December graces Bali with warm temperatures, making it an inviting escape for travelers seeking respite from colder climates in various countries in Asia.
The island's pristine beaches, such as Kuta and Seminyak, become idyllic retreats during this time, offering a perfect blend of sun, sand, and surf. Engaging in water activities like surfing or exploring the island's rich cultural heritage with visits to ancient temples and traditional dance performances are popular activities. You can also sample local food and enjoy a vibrant nightlife.
1.3. Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam
Known for its pristine beaches and lush landscapes, Phu Quoc is a must-visit destination for those exploring the beauty of Vietnam. Phu Quoc weather in December is mild and pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 22°C to 30°C, making it an ideal time to bask in the sun and explore the exquisite Phu Quoc beaches.
Long Beach and Sao Beach, with their crystal-clear waters and powdery white sand, exemplify the island's coastal allure. Beyond its beaches, Phu Quoc offers a diverse range of activities, such as exploring night markets and indulging in the island's renowned seafood. While on Phu Quoc Island, you can utilize local transportation and opt for dining at local eateries or bargaining for prices at markets to keep expenses in check. So, don’t forget to add Phu Quoc to your Vietnam travel itinerary.
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Moreover, Vinpearl Phu Quoc Resort provides easy access to VinWonders Phu Quoc, an exhilarating amusement park with thrilling rides and entertaining shows. For wildlife enthusiasts, Vinpearl Safari Phu Quoc is a short distance away, offering an immersive safari experience with diverse animal encounters.
>>> Book rooms in Vinpearl Phu Quoc for your visit to Phu Quoc island, one of the best islands to visit in December!
1.4. Langkawi Island, Malaysia
When planning a Southeast Asia travel itinerary, don't miss Langkawi Island, a tropical haven that captivates travelers with its stunning landscapes and vibrant culture. In December, Langkawi experiences favorable weather, with temperatures averaging 28°C.
From the picturesque beaches like Pantai Cenang to the lush rainforests of Kilim Karst Geoforest Park, Langkawi offers a diverse range of activities. Adventurous souls can explore the SkyBridge for breathtaking views, while those seeking relaxation can unwind at Tanjung Rhu Beach. The island also boasts duty-free shopping, allowing travelers to indulge in retail therapy without breaking the bank.
1.5. Koh Rong Island, Cambodia
Nestled among the captivating Asian destinations, Koh Rong Island in Cambodia stands as an idyllic retreat awaiting exploration. In December, this tropical paradise experiences favorable weather, with temperatures averaging above 25°C even at the coldest time of year, offering an inviting escape for travelers.
Koh Rong is renowned for its pristine beaches, such as Sok San Beach, where crystal-clear waters meet powdery sands, creating a serene atmosphere. The island beckons adventurers with activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, and trekking through its lush jungles.
1.6. Bohol Island, The Philippines
Bohol Island in the Philippines, one of the must-visit Southeast Asia travel destinations, is a tropical gem that beckons with its natural wonders and vibrant culture. In December, Bohol experiences a pleasant tropical climate, making it an ideal time to explore this captivating island.
Renowned for its iconic Chocolate Hills, unique tarsier sanctuary, and pristine beaches like Alona Beach, Bohol offers a diverse range of activities for travelers. You can go and visit the tarsiers in their natural habitat at the Philippine Tarsier Foundation, while history enthusiasts can explore centuries-old churches like Baclayon Church.
1.7. Myeik Islands, Myanmar
Among the lesser-known cheap Asia travel destinations, the Myeik Islands in Myanmar offer a unique and affordable escape for adventurous travelers. In December, the islands experience a pleasant tropical climate, providing an ideal backdrop for exploration.
Myeik Islands boast pristine beaches, coral reefs, and vibrant marine life, making them a haven for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts. Island-hopping is a popular activity, allowing travelers to discover the diverse charm of places like Lampi Island and Macleod Island.
1.8. Maafushi Island, The Maldives
In December, Maafushi Island's weather is warm and sunny, and there is very little rain. This vibrant island offers a range of activities, from unwinding on its pristine beaches with powdery white sand and turquoise waters to engaging in thrilling water sports like snorkeling and diving. The warm Indian Ocean provides excellent visibility for underwater exploration. You can go on a sandbank tour, try day and night fishing, or enjoy a dolphin safari.
1.9. Majuli Island, India
Majuli Island, nestled in the Brahmaputra River in India, presents a unique and tranquil destination with its own distinctive charm. In December, the island experiences a cool and pleasant climate.
Known for its vibrant culture and picturesque landscapes, Majuli is the largest river island in the world. Visitors can engage in various activities, from exploring ancient Vaishnavite Satras to witnessing traditional dance performances and indigenous craft-making. You can also explore the rural villages and try local eateries serving Assamese cuisine with reasonably priced activities.
1.10. Mannar Island, Sri Lanka
At the end of the year, Mannar Island experiences a tropical climate, with temperatures ranging from 25°C to 29°C. Renowned for its historical sites, including the ancient Baobab tree, the Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu, and the Dutch Fort, Mannar Island is a treasure trove for history enthusiasts. Don't forget to explore Thiruketheeswaram Kovil, one of the pancha ishwarams in Mannar, and the Doric at Arippu, which used to be the residence of the first British Governor of Ceylon. Visitors can also explore pristine beaches and engage in water activities, including kite surfing in the shallow waters.
1.11. Sentosa Island, Singapore
Sentosa has a tropical climate, with temperatures averaging 26°C in December. The island offers a plethora of activities, from lounging on the pristine beaches like Siloso Beach to spending time at Adventure Cove Waterpark Singapore. Sentosa is also home to Universal Studios Singapore, a theme park that promises a day filled with thrilling rides and entertainment. For those seeking a more tranquil experience, Sentosa's nature trails and gardens provide a peaceful retreat.
1.12. Koh Phi Phi Island, Thailand
Phi Phi Island boasts a tropical monsoon climate that is hot and humid in December. This island is celebrated for its breathtaking beaches, such as Maya Bay and Long Beach, where crystal-clear waters and limestone cliffs create a picturesque setting and an excellent chance for snorkeling and diving. The lively nightlife in Tonsai Village adds an exciting dimension to the island experience. Moreover, local eateries offer delicious Thai cuisine at reasonable prices.
2. Cheap islands to visit in December in the Americas
For budget-conscious travelers seeking a tropical escape, December unveils a plethora of cheap islands to visit in the Americas.
2.1. Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
Galápagos Islands weather in December is slightly warmer, and the seas tend to be calmer. This month offers prime conditions to witness fascinating wildlife, including sea lions, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, and giant tortoises.
This is also one of the world's top scuba diving destinations, so visitors can delve into the rich marine life and diverse landscapes. You can also enjoy the white sands of beaches like Tortuga Bay and Puerto Villamil, or take the adventurous route for a hike to the top of the Sierra Negra Volcano, an active shield volcano that last erupted in 2018.
2.2. Virgin Islands, the USA
Winter is the best time to go to the US Virgin Islands. This time of the year offers an ideal climate for exploring the breathtaking landscapes and engaging in various activities.
Travelers can relish the crystal-clear waters through snorkeling excursions. The Virgin Islands, including St. Thomas and St. John, boast pristine beaches like Magens Bay and Trunk Bay, providing serene settings for relaxation. Budget-conscious travelers can explore the islands' colonial history, savor local cuisine at affordable eateries, and find accommodations that suit various budgets.
2.3. Ambergris Caye Island, Belize
December marks the onset of the dry season, so you can expect sunny days and a clear blue sky. The island offers a myriad of exciting activities, such as kayaking, windsurfing, parasailing, snorkeling, and diving along the spectacular Belize Barrier Reef.
As one of the top destinations in Belize, Ambergris Caye provides a laid-back atmosphere where visitors can explore the charming town of San Pedro, known for its colorful streets and welcoming locals. You can also find affordable accommodations, especially in the form of guesthouses and small beachfront hotels.
2.4. San Andres Island, Colombia
Being close to the equator, San Andres is blessed with beautiful weather year-round, a welcome change from some of the colder parts of Colombia. December is the end of the rainy season, but worry not, as you will only see an hour or two of rain throughout the day.
Travelers can take shade under palm trees and enjoy the pristine waters of Spratt Bight Beach, take a day trip to the islands of El Acuario and Johnny Cay to have the chance to snorkel in clear, refreshing waters, or simply soak up the sun. Seeing Caimans at Laguna Big Pond is also worth your time.
2.5. Cozumel Island, Mexico
Cozumel Island has comfortable temperatures and little rain in December. This period offers fantastic weather for exploring the island's renowned coral reefs. Cozumel is home to the Mesoamerican Reef, the second-largest reef system in the world, offering vibrant marine life and crystal-clear waters.
Visitors can also explore the ancient Mayan ruins, such as San Gervasio, or unwind on the beautiful beaches, like Playa Palancar. Taking a tour with a local is also an excellent idea. There is nothing quite like getting an insider experience with people who live here and love all that the island has to offer. Moreover, indulging in authentic Mexican street food adds a flavorful and cost-effective touch to the overall experience.
2.6. Corn Island, Nicaragua
The Corn Island in Nicaragua transitions into its dry season in December, offering travelers an excellent opportunity to explore this tropical haven.
You can take a tour of Corn Island on foot or by bike to enjoy the tranquil ambiance of this island. The islands' pristine beaches, such as Little Corn's secluded coves and Big Corn's scenic stretches, become ideal spots for relaxation and water activities like snorkeling and diving. You can go on a walk and watch the sunset from the peak of Mount Pleasant Hill.
2.7. Barbados Island, The Caribbean
At this time, Barbados Island is generally warm and sunny, with relatively mild temperatures. Barbados beaches like Crane Beach and Bathsheba provide ample opportunities for relaxation and water activities. Travelers can explore historic Bridgetown, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, indulge in the lively atmosphere of the Oistins Fish Fry, and savor local cuisine, including the popular flying fish. There are many other hot spots for you to check out, such as Farley Hill National Park, Arlington House Museum, Limegrove Lifestyle Centre, Harrison's Cave, Hunte's Gardens, etc.
3. The 5 favorite cheap islands to visit in December in Africa
These five African gems not only showcase natural beauty but also provide an economical yet unforgettable island experience.
3.1. Djerba Island, Tunisia
In December, Djerba Island weather is cooler, featuring temperatures ranging from 10°C to 17°C. The island, known for its rich history and cultural charm, beckons travelers with a variety of activities. Visitors can explore the historic medina of Houmt Souk, Sidi Mahrez, and celebrate the World Isles Music Festival. Usually held towards the end of the month, this festival will include music from all over the world. And while many of the activities will demand an entry fee, there are many more that you are welcome to enjoy for free.
3.2. Mombasa Island, Kenya
This island, surrounded by the Indian Ocean, experiences a tropical climate throughout the year. Visitors should be certain to experience what the historical, old section of the town has to offer, like Fort Jesus and the Old Town, which showcase a heavy Arabic influence. Visitors can also explore vibrant markets, such as the Old Town, and savor local delicacies. Additionally, you can swim and relax at Vipingo Beach, one of the best beaches to spend a little private time with a loved one or with friends.
3.3. Rodrigues Island, Mauritius
With a tropical climate prevailing year-round, December brings warm temperatures to this captivating island. Rodrigues is known for its pristine beaches, where turquoise waters meet powdery white sand. Visitors can indulge in water activities like snorkeling, kite surfing, and exploring the vibrant coral reefs. The island boasts lush landscapes, hiking trails, and panoramic viewpoints like Mont Limon. One highlight of a visit to Rodrigues is the magnificent mixture of cuisines on offer. It is highly recommended to try the delicious soup of fresh shellfish gathered from the beach, seasoned with coriander.
3.4. Madagascar Islands
December marks the beginning of summer in Madagascar. This time of year offers an opportunity to witness the island's lush greenery and abundant wildlife. Visitors can explore the iconic national park Andasibe-Mantadia, home to lemurs, chameleons, and a myriad of endemic species. Your experience would not be complete without a visit to Nosy Bean, the island off the northwest coast, which features crystal-clear waters and lively coral reefs perfect for snorkeling and diving.
3.5. Cape Verde Islands
Cape Verde weather is warm and sunny all year round. The archipelago is characterized by sandy beaches, volcanic peaks, and a unique blend of African and Portuguese influences. Sal and Boa Vista are popular for their pristine beaches, attracting water sports enthusiasts and sun-seekers alike. Moreover, the island of Fogo boasts an active volcano, Mount Pico, offering hiking opportunities with stunning panoramic views.
>>> Also read: Cheap islands to visit without a passport
4. What are the cheap islands to visit in December in Europe?
These European islands offer a diverse range of experiences, making them enticing and economical choices for a December getaway.
4.1. Azores Islands, Portugal
The Azores weather is quite unpredictable, it can be sunny and raining on the same day. During the daytime in the winter, it can be very misty and breezy.
Verdant hills, crater lakes, and volcanic landscapes characterize these islands, providing a haven for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers. São Miguel, the largest island, boasts the stunning Sete Cidades crater and the soothing hot springs of Furnas. Besides, Pico Island, home to Portugal's highest peak, offers hiking opportunities with panoramic views.
4.2. Mallorca Island, Spain
Mallorca has mild temperatures ranging from 8°C to 17°C, with plenty of sun in the middle of the winter. Palma, the capital city, showcases architectural gems like the stunning Palma Cathedral and the Royal Palace of Almudaina.
The island's coastline boasts picturesque coves, such as Cala Deià and Cala Varques, providing serene spots for relaxation. Budget-conscious travelers will find a variety of accommodations, from charming guest houses to affordable beachfront hotels. Mallorca's local markets and eateries offer a taste of authentic Spanish cuisine without breaking the bank.
4.3. Malta Island
Malta generally offers a milder climate compared to Northern Europe. While sunshine is common, temperatures tend to cool down after sunset. On fortunate days, highs can reach up to 25°C, though such warmth is infrequent. Be prepared for potential cooler days, with temperatures occasionally dropping to 10°C.
Valletta, the capital city, showcases a UNESCO World Heritage-listed skyline with architectural gems like St. John's Co-Cathedral. The medieval walled city of Mdina offers a step back in time with its narrow streets and historic charm. Moreover, Malta at Christmas is incredible. It is a Catholic country, so expect the festive cheer to begin in early December and continue throughout the whole month.
This curated list of 27 cheap islands to visit in December encompasses a global spectrum of budget-friendly paradises, catering to diverse preferences and travel aspirations. So, pack your bags, embrace the budget-friendly spirit, and set off to discover the warmth and wonders these cheap islands have to offer in December.