Where to travel in December
Whether you’re considering getting away in the build-up to the festive season, or over Christmas and New Year themselves, there is no doubt that this December is a brilliant time to escape. Below, we have handpicked some of the best places to go in the bleak midwinter – from the vast plains of the Serengeti to the picture-perfect beaches of the Maldives:
This is an obvious choice if you’re looking for a winter-sun paradise. The country’s 1,200 islands offer chalk-white beaches, aquamarine Indian Ocean waters and coral reefs teeming with life. Every hotel and resort is its own private isle – each one with its own charm and individual appeal – and we know what’s right for you. Days here are spent basking on the powdery sand, swimming in the warm sea, snorkelling, scuba-diving or eating delectable food.
From the grasslands of the Masai Mara National Reserve to the glorious beaches of the coast, Kenya’s richness and diversity will reward any traveller. The great wildebeest migration may not be passing through in December, but this is a bonus, as there is plenty of resident game to be observed without the crowds. Migratory birds can still be spotted now, so this is a fruitful time for birders too. You can expect a flush of greenery following the short rains in November and early December, making it phenomenal for wildlife photography.
At 8.5 million sq km, Brazil is enormous. With our deep insider knowledge, we can arrange everything from a private riverboat journey in the Amazon Basin to an idyllic stay on the paradisiacal Fernando de Noronha archipelago. In December, the country has guaranteed hot weather, making it a fantastic place to retreat for some sunshine. At this time of year, the cities are pulsating with Latino beats and rhythms, the wide-open beaches are scorching and the rainforest is bursting with life.
This is the perfect time to travel to this small but captivating country. Home to friendly people, golden beaches, timeless ruins, flavoursome food and emerald tea plantations, Sri Lanka is incredible, and boasts an abundance of charming boutique hotels and delightful private villas that would make the ideal hideaway this December.
From the haunting Skeleton Coast to the awe-inspiring dunes of Sossusvlei, Namibia is truly extraordinary. In December, the wildlife viewing is superb, particularly in Etosha National Park, where the animals remain concentrated around waterholes. Typically, there are clear-blue skies in the mornings, which show off the country’s magnificent landscapes in all their glory, while the afternoons tend to bring in rains, moody skies and thunderstorms, which are enthralling to photograph. The clouds clear by nightfall, making this an excellent time for stargazing.
In Colombia, you can combine tropical islands and colonial cities with Amazon jungles and Andean coffee plantations in one epic trip. In December, the weather is lovely and the people are even more fun and welcoming than usual – if that were possible – with an infectious festive spirit and joie de vivre. There is so much to see and do here, from discovering the cities of Bogotá, Cartagena and Medellín to soaking up the rays on the gorgeous beaches of the Caribbean Coast.
This amazing region of dramatic mountains, verdant rice paddies and stunning beaches is a wonderful winter escape. Southeast Asia has a fascinating history and rich culture – with people from hundreds of tribes – not to mention the world-class hotels and fabulous food. The weather in December is blissful – and whether you’d like to unwind on an Indonesian island, feast on pho in Vietnam or explore Buddhist temples in Cambodia, there’s something for you.
From huge lakes and rolling highlands to dense jungles and wide-open savannah, this East African country is a land of breathtaking scenery and bountiful wildlife. In December, the great migration is trickling into the short-grass plains of Serengeti National Park, giving you the opportunity to witness this spectacular phenomenon and observe predators in action. For some post-safari R&R, the coast’s pristine beaches and private islands are also heavenly at this time of year. Although a little humid, there is plenty of sea breeze and Indian Ocean temperatures are pleasant.
If you’re looking for a truly memorable family holiday this December, and winter sun isn’t a priority, Finnish Lapland could be the answer. This remote corner of the Arctic is enchanting. Here, we can arrange for you to meet Father Christmas and his Professor Elves, go on an exhilarating husky ride or snowmobiling adventure, spot wild reindeer, wolves and bears in snowy forests or witness the Northern Lights from a glass-roofed igloo or your very own villa. We will create a festive fairytale for you in this white wonderland.