Start a new holiday tradition this year at one of these December travel destinations. Create lasting memories with a trip to one of the best places to travel in December. It’s a great month for safaris too.
Every winter, the oyamel fir trees of Michoacan, Mexico are transformed into a breathtaking backdrop for one of the most amazing natural phenomena in the world: The Monarch Butterfly Migration. During this time, millions – perhaps even billions! – of monarch butterflies suddenly descend upon the branches of Mexico’s spectacular forest reserve to rest amongst the evergreen needles. The arrival of the Monarch butterfly is a celebrated event for both locals and foreign visitors who are eager to witness the final stretch of a 5000-mile journey from North America. It also coincides with migrations of the humpback whales around Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos, as well as the Gray Whales of Baja – making it the perfect time to witness Mexico’s wildlife up close and unhindered.
By mid-December, the Christmas spirit saturates Cuenca. More than 300,000 lights bedeck the holiday markets. Homes are filled with dinner parties and carols. And the annual Rio Tomembamba showcases hundreds of Santa Claus clad joggers running through town with their dogs. But the culmination of December in Cuenca is the Christmas Eve Paseo del Niño (“Passing of the Child”) parade. It’s a daylong pageant honoring the traveling baby Jesus. Visitors can expect a colorful melding of both traditional and quirky Catholic and indigenous traditions. Tons of floats and children in homemade costumes fill the streets. You’ll see the Three Wise Men driving Harley Davidsons, and Mary and Joseph cartwheeling the length of Calle Simon Bolivar.
New York City, USA
New York City is magical during December. The holiday atmosphere fills the streets with bustling markets, festive window displays on 5th Avenue, and shows. Catch the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree on November 30th. Then spend a few days indulging in hot apple cider and the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall.