DECK THE HALLS IN PARADISE

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This holiday season, think outside the box and celebrate in an exotic locale close to home

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Celebrate a very Merry Christmas in the Bahamas

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Blue skies coupled with daily temperatures ranging from 75 to 85 degrees draw tourists from around the world, and Floridians are welcome to join the party. If you like the bustle and excitement of a high-energy crowd intent on having fun, this is a prime time to visit the Bahamas. Besides, you’re just in time for Junkanoo! A festival, a parade, a dance contest and a masquerade party all rolled into one, Junkanoo is part Mardi Gras, part Carnival but completely Bahamian, and celebrates the history and flavor of the islands. Marvel as the beaded and costumed performing troupes, sometimes as large as 1,000 people, dance their way along the parade route to sounds of drums, cowbells and whistles. To be part of the celebration, visit the Bahamas anytime between Christmas and New Years, with the Christmas parade officially beginning at 2 a.m. on December 26 and the New Years parade beginning on January 1 and lasting until dawn each day. Each island holds its own Junkanoo, but the largest is in Nassau on New Providence island, where thousands of people flood the streets to join the party.
If you’re looking for a “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” kind of Christmas, this is it.

 

Host to tourists from all over the world, head over to the islands this holiday season for a tropical twist on the most wonderful time of the year. Below is one of the many colorful floats you’ll find at the annual Junkanoo celebration in the Bahamas.

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Ring in a special New Year in beautiful Jamaica

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After you’ve spent Christmas in the Bahamas, head over to one of the three busy resort towns that are all served by the same large airport, making them all somewhat interchangeable. You’ll land in Montego Bay, making it the easiest to reach, but for the four-star traveler in you, Ocho, Rios and Negril may be better options. All three towns have a different vibe, so it’s really only the weather and the prices that are similar. Along with the Cancun area and the Dominican Republic, these Jamaican resorts are also known for all-inclusive resorts and appealing package deals. Even during the peak holiday months, it’s possible to lock in an appealing deal if you book early enough. Lots of people paint their houses and hang new curtains and decorations for the holiday season. And of course it wouldn’t be New Years without some Jamaican red wine and rum fruitcake, both of which are traditional Jamaican fare and eaten in most homes. The fruits in the cake are soaked in red wine for months before the holiday season, making them extra special to eat. Join in this joyous culture as they celebrate 2017 – and what a way to bring in the New Year!

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