When the winter holidays are coming, most of the people are busy preparing their ski and snowboard equipment. However, there are some who are planning to skip the grey, snowy days and instead replace them with lying under the palm trees on white sandy beaches. Beach lovers during the winter season are planning to hit the beach in other places where they can snorkel between colorful corals and tropical fish, or body surf and bodyboard over big waves.
If you’re one of those people who want to skip the cold winter days and go on a beach holiday instead for some water activities, here are some of the best snorkeling, body surfing and body boarding winter destinations we can recommend.
The Best Winter Destinations for Snorkeling
If you want to miss the Christmas craziness for a while and spend the winter holidays with pure relaxation at the beach instead of shopping for gifts, then these destinations are perfect for you. Here are some of the best winter destinations where you’ll find pleasant sea temperatures for some snorkeling adventures.
Florida’s official nickname is The Sunshine State because the sun is shining here even in winter. It is probably the best place for winter sun in the United States. During winter, the average air temperature here is 68°F (20°C) and the maximum could reach 77°F (25°C) but feels like over 86°F (30 °C). Swimmers and snorkelers can enjoy the South Florida beaches and Key Largo coral reefs because the sea temperature here during the winter season is 71.6°F to 73.4°F (22 to 23°C).
The Maldives is probably the dreamiest winter sun holiday destination where you can enjoy the sun on picturesque white sandy beaches. During the winter months, the Maldives can offer you wall to wall sunshine. It has warm water that offers excellent snorkeling for the whole family. When you go snorkeling here, you will be able to see a rich marine life and it will also enable you to swim with turtles, rays, and baby sharks.
The sea temperature in Egypt during the winter season is 73.4°F to 75.2°F (23 to 24°C), meaning, you will be able to snorkel here wearing UV protection clothes only. The air temperature in Egypt is approximately 75.2°F to 78.8°F (24 to 26°C) during the day and might feel around 30°C on wind-free days.
Mexico is one of the best winter sun holiday destinations because of its white sandy beaches, stunning marine life, rich culture, and diverse landscape. Its beaches have warm but not too hot air temperatures that range around 82.4°F to 86°F (28 to 30°C), making it a great place for outdoor adventures. The sea is also warm enough ranging from 77°F to 80.6°F (25 to 27°C) which is best for underwater water activities like snorkeling. Some of the best spots to snorkel in Mexico are in Puerto Morelos, Akumal, and Tulum.
5. Dutch Caribbean
Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao islands have the perfect weather all year round but they are more famous as holiday destinations during the winter season. The Eagle Beach in Aruba is probably the most famous beach you can stay in the Dutch Caribbean and it has the most beautiful white sandy beach in the world. You will definitely enjoy snorkeling in the 80.6°F (27 °C) warm Caribbean Sea and enjoy the tropical weather with 77°F to 84.2°F (25 to 29°C) temperatures.
The Best Winter Destinations for Body Surfing and Body Boarding
If you’re planning for a different kind of spending the winter months like going on a surfing trip, here are some of the best body surfing and body boarding destinations you can visit during the winter season.
Portugal is known as the Brazil of Europe. It is a surfing center because of its powerful Atlantic swells, wild nightlife, tons of beach bars, and it holds the biggest wave ever surfed in history. The place has great weather and surf conditions all year round but the best time to go surfing and body boarding in Portugal is between October and April. It’s because, during these months, there are big and powerful waves at the beach.
However, the water temperature during those months is cold so you have to get your wetsuit ready. In December, the average water temperature in Portugal is around 59°F (15°C). But you can always enjoy a glass of wine after a surf session to keep you warm.
There are a lot of surfers that go to Bali’s East Coast between November and March because its world-class waves are firing during winter months. Even though its wet season in Indonesia during these months, surfers still enjoy because surfing during the rainy season means uncrowded line-ups. During the winter season, the water temperature in Indonesia is 78.8°F (26°C) which is perfect for surfing and body boarding.
3. Costa Rica
Costa Rica offers surfers of all levels its spectacular coasts with white, golden and gray sand beaches all throughout the year. There are four main areas where you can surf in Costa Rica which are the Caribbean Coast, the North Pacific Coast, the Central Pacific Coast, and the South Pacific Coast. All of these spots have exceptional surf and the average water temperature is 86°F (30°C).
4. The Philippines
Siargao Island is Philippines’ surfing capital and it fires up during winter months when the Pacific Ocean sends powerful swells to the island. It’s on this island where you can find the most famous reef breaks on the planet which is Cloud 9. However, this is a pros-only wave but there are also a lot of breaks for all levels of surfers around the island and on nearby islands as well.
The best time to surf in the Philippines is between December and April because its average water temperature during those months stays around 80.6°F (27°C).
5. The Canary Islands
The Canary Islands is Europe’s very own Hawaii. It is exposed to swells generated by the North Atlantic. It is the place where European surfers flock to during winter months. Surfing these beaches is great all year round but the best waves hit the coasts between October and March. The water temperature here also stays at a nice 66.2°F (19°C) in the winter which is great for body surfing and body boarding.
6. South Africa
South Africa is one of the world’s best-surfing destinations and it fires up between November and February. You can visit Durban which has the best beaches in South Africa to body surf and body board in. During the Southern Hemisphere summer, the water temperature here is at a nice 69.8°F (21°C), meaning, you will be able to wear your bikinis and board shorts while enjoying the shores.
Morocco is a great body surfing and body boarding destination, especially during the long and cold winter months. You will be able to enjoy unruly waves here and there are also some gentle surfing spots in this destination as well which are perfect for beginners. Winter is the best time of the year to go surfing in Morocco because excellent swells hit the coast between December and March. And during these months, the water temperature stays around 64.4°F (18°C).
Hawaii is another great destination for winter bodyboarding and bodysurfing. Hanalei Beach in Hawaii is one of the most spectacular beaches for surfers because it’s quiet and not crowded, plus, it is surrounded by majestically looking mountains. The best months for experienced surfers to go surfing in Hawaii is from September to May because powerful waves are breaking on sandbars during those months. But there are also plenty of great waves on its crescent-shaped bay for beginners. Another great thing about bodysurfing and bodyboarding in Hawaii is the year-round warm water temperatures and weather.
These are some of the best snorkeling, body surfing and body boarding winter destinations we can recommend. If you’re tired of spending the cold, winter holidays the traditional way, why not try to hit the beach and ride the waves instead? You might also find it great to welcome the New Year by riding the waves and relaxing by the shores.