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Not the Santa you’re looking for? Top 10 alternative Santas to visit

December 23, 2010

Spanish for ‘saint’, the fat dude in the red suit isn’t the only Santa in town. Check out some of these alternative Santas to pay homage to on your travels.

Sea Swings at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk amusement park. (Sabrina Dalbesio)

Santa Cruz, California, USA. Cry little sister! This colourful amusement park has a claim to fame as the setting for that infamous 80’s vampire flick, The Lost Boys.

Playa Naranjo in the Santa Rosa National Park, Costa Rica. (Luke Hunter)

Heavenly Santa. Wish you were here… A deserted tropical beach in the Santa Rosa National Park in Costa Rica.

Sea lion frolicks with snorkellers in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. (Jeff Greenberg)

Naughty Santa. Off the coast of Isle Santa Maria, this sea lion looks ready to issue some snorkellers with a serious dunking.

Santa Monica Pier, Los Angeles, USA. (Lou Jones)

Hedonistic Santa. Be a beach bum on California’s most well-known strip of sand.

Chiesa di Santa Maria della Salute at sunset. (Christopher Groenhout)

Iconic Santa. Venice’s trademark dome on the Grand Canal was actually built for the Virgin Mary to ward off the plague as it descended on the city in 1629.

Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, Costa Rica. (Paul Kennedy)

Jungle Santa. Who doesn’t love a good cloud forest? Trek through the Santa Elena Cloud Forest and watch out for howler monkeys and, erm, Ewoks.

Santa Maria Chapel in marquis-covered hills. (Olivier Cirendini)

Quaint Santa. If I’m going to be running for any hills, these are the ones I’m choosing; maquis blanket these on Cap Corse in Corsica, France.

Santa Cruz beach in Bahias de Huatulco, Oaxaca State, Mexico. (Richard Cummins)

Hola Santa. Santa Cruz beach, with the chapel of Santa Cruz on the beachfront, sits in the middle of a ecological reserve in Mexico. Oh, la!

The Santa Maria de Montserrat, Benedictine abbey on Montserrat mountain. (Dennis Johnson)

Dizzying Santa. Ever been to Barcelona, seen this monastery in the distance, and not been able to figure out how to get there? Armed with a non LP-branded guidebook one visit, neither could I.

Santa Maria Assunta overlooks Positano, Campania, Italy. (Roberto Gerometta)

Evil Santa. There’s nothing saintly about this Santa, mocking us with its beautiful views over the Amalfi Coast.

Check out these awesome reindeer images from Lonely Planet photographers here.

Find out how to avoid Christmas here.

Alternatively, get jiggy with the silly season – find out which are the best places to celebrate here.

Over it all, grinches? Test our photography tips with your new camera booty here.

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