Alternative Christmas Plans: Spending the holidays at the Iguazu Falls

My Twitter feed is currently full of snowflake emojis with news that Winter has definitely arrived and there was in fact snow falling back in London this week. I’m a huge fan of a cool, white Christmas – snow outside, whilst you’re inside, snuggly wrapped in a warm blanket, sipping hot tea in front of the first screening of Love Actually. The scent of mulled wine in the kitchen and the sleepiness from an epic Christmas dinner. Yes, yes and yes. That’s how Christmas should be!

This year, we are giving way to tradition. Normally, a Christmas with my family involves a get together with every generation, from my tiny niece to my 90 year old granddad. Everyone brings a dish to put together what is, to me, the best meal of the year. An epic roast, with all the trimmings, homemade cranberry sauces, roast potatoes and tonnes more. The meal is a leisurely lunch followed by our family tradition of Secret Santa followed by a lengthy game of Risk! We then go onto a cheese course and an unhealthy amount of desserts. It’s a full on family feast!

But this year is a little different. As you may have seen in my last few posts, The Doc and I are currently approaching the mid-way point of a trip that has long been a dream for us – we’ve taken four months to explore some more of South America. We spent five weeks eating through beautiful Colombia; with it’s unbeatable Caribbean coastline, lush coffee regions, timeless hotels and history-packed cities.
From Colombia, we flew to Ecuador for a few days of chasing waterfalls, adrenaline sports and lazying in the magnificent hot springs of Baños. We had one week of out-of-this-world landscapes and wildlife which looked photoshopped, in the incredible Galapagos Islands and enjoyed not one but two luxury cruises, the Alia Catamaran across the Galapagos and the spectacular Delfin III to see the Amazon.

And over the last few weeks, we’ve been enjoying exploring the vibrant, colourful food-haven of Peru with its utterly gorgeous scenery, gastronomical delights and warm people!

So what does this mean for that idyllic white Christmas? Well, this year we’re saying “Ciao for now, London!” as we aren’t going to be at home with our families to celebrate. I’m swapping my usual Christmas jumpers and the gorgeous baby-alpaca wool jumpers of Peru for simple summer dresses as we’re heading to the worlds widest waterfalls, Iguazu falls for a warm, sunny and inevitably wet Christmas!

Mince pies, English cheeses and port will be replaced with local empanadas, dulce de leche alfajores biscuits and Malbec wine whilst we explore the Argentinean side of the Iguazu falls. The cool chill of London on Christmas day will be a distant memory which I really will miss when we’re in the sunshine. A warm Christmas seems so bizarre to me!

Whilst in Argentina, we’re hoping to get stuck into the local traditions of celebrating the festivities from midnight on Christmas Eve with a Christmas dinner and whilst watching the fireworks over the falls. Our usual post-meal traditions of Christmas movies will be replaced with post-meal-dancing, likely into the early hours!

I visited the Argentinean side of the Iguazu waterfalls back in 2010, on my first long-haul trip backpacking and it’s still one of my happiest memories. I was overwhelmed with it’s beauty, magnitude and it’s strange effect to make us giggly with happiness. Here’s hoping it’s as incredible as I remember!

On Christmas Day itself we’ll head to the Brazilian side, Foz do Iguazu to enjoy the panoramic views of the falls, before a Christmas Day lunch inside the falls at the Belmond Las Cataras! And if we can, we hope to make it a truly memorable Christmas with a helicopter ride over the gargantuan waterfalls!

To round off our super alternative Christmas we catch a flight early on Boxing Day to North East Brazil to enjoy a week of lasting on beaches and sunset-spotting in Jericoacoara beach, known to be one of the worlds most beautiful beaches! Jeri, as the locals know it, is known for it’s crystal clear warm water to swim or surf in, powder-soft white sands and mangroves too.

Source: AskBeach

For us, it’ll be the perfect place to toast to a truly unforgettable year, thank those watching over us and soak in the beginning of the end of our South American adventure. Here’s to a fabulous Christmas, wherever you are, and to the start of 2018!

What do you think? Have you ever spent Christmas in the sunshine or away from home? I’d love to hear how you’re celebrating Christmas this year – please do comment below 🙂

This post is part of December’s Travel Link-Up, hosted by EmmaAngiePolly, and this month’s guest-host Zoe. Head over to their blogs to see more posts on the festive holiday season!
  • This. Sounds. Amazing.

    • Thanks so much Em! I’m excited but also a little nervous about a Christmas far from home! How are you celebrating this year?

  • Mala Wilson

    We’ll miss you and the Doc at the Xmas table ! Alan and I spent Xmas on a Kerala beach when back packing many moons ago .it was a special moment and the following year we celebrated Xmas in Sydney also in hot sun but if I am completely honest for me nothing beats being at home in London at Xmas . Enjoy Iguazu !!!! .we will miss you on the 16th xx

    • I will miss you more! Kerala is still on my bucketlist. I don’t think anything beats being with you all at Christmas but we will have to Facetime you 🙂

  • great holidays! #travellinkup

  • Oh Reena this post!! Loving following your journey so far and can’t wait to see what else you have in store. Miss you x

    • Thanks my love, miss you too! The journey has been amazing so far though it’s flying by! I want to read all of your Thailand posts!

  • Jason Endress

    Sounds like an amazing time! We’re also in Ecuador and loving the lack of snow.

    • Thanks Jason! We loved Ecuador though admittedly could have used more time there! Where in Ecuador are you? Are you travelling or working out there?

      • Jason Endress

        We’re in Cuenca, working and exploring. Once we’re more established we are looking forward to traveling a good bit.

        • I heard so many great things about Cuenca but we didn’t get a chance to visit this time. Enjoy and have a Merry Christmas!

          • Jason Endress

            It’s beautiful. We’re pretty happy here. Merry Christmas to you as well!

  • Florence Boniface

    Hi! This is totally crazy really but I just stumbled across your blog. Myself and my boyfriend (also from london) have been traveling South America for 2 months now and are headed to Uruguay, Argentina then actually to Iguazu Falls on Christmas Day too! Were actually going to stay there for 5 days over the Xmas period! Quick question have you pre booked your Xmas lunch? Was looking at some options! xxx

    • Hey Florence, no way! What a small world! It sounds like an epic trip. Do you follow me on Instagram (@reena_lifestyleenthusiast) or Facebook (@lifestyleenthusiastblog) – if so, direct message me and I’ll let you know details. I’ve been before so may be able to make a couple of suggestions too! xx

  • Chiara De Vera

    It looks fun travelling and scary to ride a boat in that falls 😛

  • That certainly sounds like a fabulous alternative Christmas!