Fayyaz Travels’ Top Picks for your December Vacation
2019 is coming to an end with only two more months to go. These last months may get busy and in particular, expensive, since school’s out with several holidays in place but with some planning and for those with a dire need for a quick breather, these destinations are worth it!
While December is full of Christmas and festive spirit for the new year, these are destinations for those who are not particularly looking for such celebrations. From warm beaches to icy-intimate destinations, our team brings you some unique December destination ideas!
1. Bogota, Columbia
Colombia’s Bogota is one of Latin America’s most lively cities. Brimming with art, history and culture, it is a great destination to visit!
La Candelaria, one of its must-visit sites, holds Bogota’s history, and is decorated with traditional, colourful buildings, street art and amazing restaurants, all with a colonial charm. This picturesque neighbourhood is home to several of Colombia’s important ministry buildings, the presidential houses and Plaza Bolivar, proudly showcasing Colombia’s history to visitors. While you are there, sample one of the most popular coffee in the world (the Colombian coffee), in one of its many coffeehouses! Want a shopping spree? Then visit the Usaquen Sunday market and shop for a variety of products, all within a gorgeous historic backdrop. The lowkey Chapinero Alto is also a great place to visit! One of the most sought-after sites would be the stunning view offered by the 10,000ft Cerro de Montserrate, reachable by cable car.
While it is generally considered to be a rainy city, December is the start of the dry season, making the typically chilly climate to stay comfortably within the 20°C.
2. Yellowstone, USA
Many may not know but USA’s Yellowstone is the world’s first national park. Located in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, the park is known to lure visitors every season aside from winter, but many forget that visiting it in December has its perks! December is a marvelous time for wildlife-spotting in the park because that’s when these precious animals like brown bears move to hot springs for warmth in December’s winter.
Their Snowcoach tours bring you to all the main attractions such as Old Faithful and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. This national park also offers multiple opportunities for a great adventure where you can ski or snowshoe to beautiful sights and likely have them to yourself because it is typically not as crowded in December! Best thing about visiting it in December? The contrast between the calmingly beautiful snow against Yellowstone’s volcanic landscape like its steaming rivers and mud-pots is one raved to be an absolutely unforgettable experience.
3. Uganda, Africa
There’s a reason why tourism to Africa’s Uganda increase every December: lush greenery and dry weather makes it ideal for adventure-seekers for gorilla tracking or wildlife-spotting in general for that matter. This final month of the year is also a great time for boat safaris hoping to catch a glimpse of the Big Five – lion, elephant, cape buffalo, leopard and rhinoceros – the most difficult animals to track by foot, as these animals move from dry land to water sources like springs.
Better yet, opt for a trek into the urban jungle on top of wildlife adventures for a more wholesome experience. Visit its charming capital city, Kampala, for some good food, bars and enjoy contemporary shows at Afriart Gallery. For those who worry about the crowd, Uganda is still a relatively up-and-coming East African destination, which makes it an even better choice to travel to this December!
For lush greenery & to spot the Big Five, contact Fayyaz Travels for your very own customised itinerary!
4. Fiji, South Pacific
Sounding similar to another city in Japan, many would probably not know where Fiji is. A country in the South Pacific, Fiji is part of Oceania, that is close to Australia and New Zealand. Known for its rugged landscapes, gorgeous beaches, and heaven-like tropical islands, Fiji is the quintessential paradise to travel to. Sink your feet into soft white sands and reward yourselves! It is also known to be welcoming, where majority of Fijians reside at the two major islands – Viti Levu and Vanua Levu.
Falling early in the rainy season, December is a good time to visit Fiji and its 333 islands because there will short bursts of showers in the afternoon to alleviate some midday heat. Fiji offers an abundance of private island resorts for those who seek privacy or essentially, just some quiet time with your family, partner or even alone. In fact, the popular film (among many others) Cast Away starring Tom Hanks was filmed in Fiji! That aside, Fiji is also brimming with beautiful waterfalls, clear waters and vibrant sea life. Underwater adventure is a must when visiting Fiji with countless species of fish and coral, and home to the world’s third longest barrier reef – the Great Sea Reef. Or you can visit Taveuni, hosting gorgeous sites like the Tavoro Falls and Signtaga Sand Dunes.
5. Madagascar, Indian Ocean
Perhaps more popularly known for the movie with the same name and it’s incredibly-catchy “I got to move it, move it” theme song, Madagascar is the biggest island in the Indian Ocean. Famous for its biodiversity and unique wildlife, Madagascar serves jaw-dropping views, lush rainforests, gorgeous beaches, and delicious local cuisines!
Get a chance to see lemurs, Madagascar’s ultimate hallmark, the small black and white ring-tailed Lemur Catta species that is only found in Madagascar. With over 60 species present throughout Madagascar, these primates are presently classified as endangered species, and considerably one of the most endangered since they are only found on this island. Home to lesser-known wild creatures like uniquely coloured chameleons and giraffe weevil, you should also visit the aesthetically-beautiful ecoregion of its woodlands or the limestone karst warren of Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve.
Towards the last two months of the year, you may be able to spot baby whales and their mothers playing in the Nosy Be shallow waters or even listen to the majestic song of the males. Early December is also a great, off-peak period to visit, some time before heavier showers later in the month.
6. The Galapagos Island, Ecuador
Known for its biodiversity and history, Galapagos Island is a province of Ecuador and an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Popular historic figure, Charles Darwin, a naturalist, first theorised the concept of natural selection when he set shores on this island. With stunning beaches, picturesque setting and vibrant sea life, Galapagos Islands is raved by many to be a destination deserving of your bucket list! In fact, Galapagos islands is regarded as one of the world’s foremost sites for wildlife-spotting.
While also considered to be a great year-round destination, December is a good month to visit the island as the weather changes from the dry but cool season of the last six months of the year, to the warm and wet season of the first half. This period offers great wildlife viewing opportunities, cool temperature, diving-perfect waters, and right on clock to witness Giant Tortoise eggs hatching, and the start of sea lion mating season.