Best travel destinations in December 2024

Looking for a Christmas holiday like no other?

Our experts have rounded up some of the best places to visit in December, from exotic Christmas getaways for families to adventure-fuelled festive trips and sun-soaked breaks that will leave you refreshed and ready for the year ahead.

Our top tip for a dream Christmas escape is to give yourself plenty of preparation time so we can secure availability at the finest hotels and lodges during this extra-busy period. Find inspiration with our destination hit list and get in touch to wrap up your travel plans now and make this holiday season one to remember with cazenove+loyd.

Best travel destinations in December: Latin America

1. Ecuador + Galápagos

Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands are both remarkable travel destinations in December that offer a diverse range of experiences, perfect for a family Christmas getaway. From exploring the Amazon rainforest and visiting historical cities to incredible wildlife encounters to lively festive parades and street festivals, Christmas doesn’t get more exciting than this.

2. Colombia
‘Novena’, a nine-night celebration leading to Christmas in Colombia, is a feast of colour, music and traditional customs. Elaborate light displays illuminate bustling spots such as Medellín and Bogotá, while the streets are filled with sweet indulgences such as bunuelos and natilla. Elsewhere, explore diverse landscapes from lush coffee plantations to the stunning Tayrona park and charming colonial towns.

3. Guatemala + Belize

These Central American countries each have their own distinct charm during the holiday season, making them two of the best places to visit for Christmas. In Guatemala, you’ll be captivated by the colonial splendour of Antigua and the fusion of Mayan and Christian traditions, while Belize offers tropical paradises with sandy beaches and lush jungles, providing an ideal escape from winter weather.

4. Antarctica
Dreaming of a white Christmas? Voyage across the Antarctic Circle on an expedition ship and you’ll have the chance to spend Christmas surrounded by swathes of pack-ice and dreamy icebergs, in the company of penguins and whales. With fascinating guides and experts leading the adventure, the company onboard won’t be too shabby either.

Best travel destinations in December: Africa

1. South Africa
A festive break in South Africa is ideal for a Christmas family holiday in 2024. Immerse yourself in warm South African hospitality and experience a traditional Christmas braai, washed down with South Africa’s famous vintages in this twinned experience that takes in the buzz and beauty of Cape Town – followed by a safari spent tracking the Big Five. Could there be a better present than that?

2. Mauritius
A great alternative to the Maldives, the Christmas season in Mauritius is marked by a mix of traditions from different cultures, including Hindu, Christian and Muslim celebrations. Whether you’re lounging on the beach, exploring coral reefs or indulging in the island’s delectable cuisine, a festive break in Mauritius promises an unconventional, sun-kissed and culturally enriching adventure.

3. Namibia

This southwestern African nation is celebrated for its striking landscapes, vast deserts and rich biodiversity, making it an extraordinary destination for holiday exploration. From exploring the otherworldly beauty of Sossusvlei and embarking on safari adventures in Etosha National Park to or immersing yourself in the rich cultural traditions of Namibia’s ethnic groups, this is undoubtedly one of Africa’s best travel destinations in December for a Christmas journey to remember.

4. Tanzania

Tanzania’s Northern Circuit is renowned for its iconic national parks, including the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which offer some of the world’s most spectacular wildlife viewing opportunities. As Christmas traditions unfold in many parts of the globe, the Northern Circuit provides a contrasting experience with its warm climate, vast savannahs, and a landscape teeming with wildlife.

5. Uganda
It’s peak dry season at this time of year, making Uganda one of the best places to visit in December, with a warm climate, lush landscape and remarkable wildlife providing a refreshing and contrasting backdrop for your Christmas journey. From thrilling safaris to interactions with local communities, why not embrace the spirit of giving, celebration and exploration in an extraordinary African setting.

Best travel destinations in December: Asia

1. India
The air in Kerala hangs heavy with the scent of spices at Christmas as churches, temples and mosques stand harmoniously over the holidays to celebrate diversity. Revel in an enchanting blend of tropical charm and festive spirit as you savour South Indian seasonal feasts, take a shikar boat cruise and bask on sun-kissed beaches. A great shout for a twin-centre trip, hop over to the Maldives to elongate the escape and combine two of our best travel destinations for December.

2. Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka boasts delightful beachside villas that would make the perfect private hideaway this December, ideal for celebrating in the company of family or friends. When you’re not soaking up the sunshine on a golden beach, or discovering rock temples and ancient fortresses in the Cultural Triangle, get off the beaten track and spot wildlife at Gal Oya or visit the delightful tea plantations.

3. Cambodia
As many parts of the world embrace the wintry festivities of Christmas, Cambodia provides a contrasting experience with its balmy climate, enchanting temples and a culture deeply rooted in Buddhism. There are plenty of gorgeous, great value hotels to choose from too. Whether you’re exploring the awe-inspiring Angkor Wat, indulging in the vibrant street food scene or simply enjoying the serene landscapes, a Christmas trip to Cambodia promises a one-of-a-kind adventure.

4. Maldives
Looking for an idyllic escape this Christmas? It must be the Maldives. A selection of private islands that epitomise paradise, with powder-soft white beaches, turquoise water and coral reefs, a trip to this exclusive southern Indian Ocean archipelago is guaranteed to delight. Our experts know every resort intimately and will make sure to define the perfect island for you.

Plan your dream December 2024 trip

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