A suggestion, a couple tips
I will be at the end of the world for the end of the year, so I have no interest in spending the holidays in Central America. I did that last year though.
May I suggest Granada, Nicaragua for Christmas? Well, I just did. I have no holiday experience here, just an observation from passing through, but its "central" in CA, very spanish colonial, a (rebuilding) tourist infrastructure. Lakes, beaches, things to do and see not far away.
Last year I was in Costa Rica for Christmas. If you want to experience "western style" christmas for a day or two before hand - store displays, Christmas deco, music, holiday festivities - then downtown San Jose has a lot of that. Every afternoon, in the last hour or two of daylight, they go crazy throwing (white as snow) paper confetti (on the main pedestrian mall).
A few days before Christmas, when the beaches were still empty, I was on the Nicoya Peninsula, doing the beaches and small communities on the southern end. Except starting Christmas Day, Costa Rica goes on a two-week holiday, and as the story goes, there's no room at the inn. Everywhere I checked was booked, prices raised accordingly, for the next two weeks (campgrounds too). Keep that in mind - don't know where else in CA this applies.
For New Years, I have no recommendation, but if you want a big-city-nightclubing experience, then I think that's Panama City.
Or possibly La Ceiba, Honduras for New Years,
or Antigua, Guat. for Christmas, Panajachel for New Years.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Last edited by quastdog; 30 Oct 2007 at 16:41.