New Year’s celebrations in the Caribbean

In the Caribbean region, there are different destinations to bid farewell to the year and to bring in the new one with enthusiasm and joy, some places with similar traditions, but all hoping that the twelve months to come will bring purely good things.

We will start with Colombia, specifically Barranquilla, where songs are played by the famous “vallenato” from early in the morning, and of course, traditional foods like turkeys, chickens for sancocho (a traditional soup), cakes and grapes start to be sold to prepare everything. People, mostly women, buy yellow underwear so that there is not a lack of money throughout the year. It is a very peculiar tradition.

The same festive atmosphere is felt in another famous Colombian city, Cartagena. This destination attracts thousands of locals and tourists so that their New Year’s plan is to bring it in the walled city where they walk around and drink in the picturesque streets of the historic center. The main hotels paint the sky with colors at midnight because they usually do shows with fireworks for everyone to enjoy. Those who decide to stay at home usually prepare traditional “posta” dishes (meat cooked in a sauce) with coconut rice and it is common for the party to go on until the early morning in the streets.

Punta Cana is another favorite destination for bringing in the New Year. Most hotels throw a big party including a buffet dinner or a special menu, an open bar and entertainment until the wee hours of the night with live music or a DJ, as well as fireworks on the beaches and some type of variety show to celebrate in a big way.

Similarly, a trendy destination in the Dominican Republic is Bayahíbe, which in recent years has been devoted entirely to tourism. The hotels throw a big party like in Punta Cana. But before, locals recommend you go to the town in the evening since they decorate the square in a very special way with a “barcolito” (little boat). This is because instead of the traditional Christmas tree, they decide to decorate a typical sailboat with thousands of lights and decorations related to the area. There are also bands that play live music and that is when the atmosphere starts to warm up.

Jamaica is another favorite destination in the Caribbean. On the 31st, lots of people decide to visit the mountains to have a spectacular view of the fireworks at midnight that are reflected on the beautiful beaches. In addition, parties are organized on the beach (mostly private ones), at restaurants, hotels, clubs and residential villas where they serve exquisite Jamaican dishes like jerk chicken, ackee and saltfish, empanadas stuffed with lobster, rice with peas and lots more. Of course, the party lasts until the early hours of New Year’s Day since there is reggae during the celebration.

For Jamaicans, there is also an old tradition on New Year’s Eve that involves cleaning the house, repairing it and decorating it with flowers, plants, trees and traditional crafts. It is believed that by bringing in the year like that, you are sending best wishes to your family and close friends.

We can’t forget about the Bahamas, where everyone arrives with high expectations to celebrate in a big way. And yes, this destination meets them! Its growing popularity has brought luck to the Family Islands which were called the Out Islands before. The natural splendor and nice weather of this place are some of the advantages for travelers and for the party on “Nochevieja,” as they call it.

The aspect of this celebration that makes it stand out the most is the naturalness with which the Bahamas celebrates, very close to its natural environment with a carefree attitude and without many aims, where everyone is invited to join the big party so that visitors have a new experience.

Lastly, a unique destination for New Year’s is the Mexican Caribbean, preferred by many. Cancun, Isla Mujeres, Riviera Maya, Cozumel, Yucatan, Tulum and lots more are the favorite places to welcome the first rays of the sun on New Year’s Day. Many restaurants, discotheques, clubs and hotels organize great parties to surprise you with the best atmosphere, music and entertainment.

The streets are filled with crowds of people, different traditional music is listened to and delicious traditional dishes like romeritos, cod, pork leg, tamales, pozole, mole and a lot more are eaten. Afterwards, everyone goes to the beach to take advantage of the best view of the fireworks and to give their best wishes for the New Year. Everyone dances for hours, full of energy and tons of fun is spread all around.

Do you still have a doubt about planning your next year-end vacation to the Caribbean? We assure you that you will have a fabulous time since it will be a one-of-a-kind and maravillosa experience that you will never forget.

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