Top destinations for warm vacations in December

Do you have your heart set on spending December in the sun? Whether you’re planning to visit far-flung shores or want to keep costs down by exploring somewhere a little closer to home, you’ll find ideas for the best warm weather vacations in December coming right up – along with a few top tips about the things you can see and do when you hit town. Dive in to discover six of the best places to visit in December in the world.

December vacations in Cape Town, South Africa

A distant choice by most standards, but there’s little arguing with Cape Town’s claim to being one of the best warm places to visit in December. South Africa’s much-loved port city sits on the nation’s southwest coast, its colorful streetscapes and bustling, boat-filled harbor overlooked by the magnificent Table Mountain. The Mother City is packed with things to do, though worthy of a spot on any bucket list is a trip to the Cape Peninsula, where a colony of waddling African penguins welcome visitors to sandy Boulders Bay.

December getaways in Perth, Australia

If you like things hot, Perth proves an idyllic choice from Western Australia’s line up of warm destinations in December. The waterfront capital positively sizzles as summer arrives, the season bringing with it the chance to find your perfect spot on the sand at the pine-fringed Cottesloe Beach, tuck into a picnic in Kings Park, and cruise the Swan River. Be sure to squeeze in a trip from Hillarys Boat Harbour to Rottnest Island too. White-sand beaches and turquoise waters ensure it will be an excursion to remember.

December escapes in Langkawi, Malaysia

Blonde beaches and azure waters beckon travelers to Langkawi, though there’s more to this Malaysian hot spot than sea-lapped sands. The dry season is just getting started in December, making it the perfect time to ride the cable car over the forested slopes of Mat Cincang to the unforgettable 125-foot Sky Bridge at the top. The party crowd does its thing in Pantai Cenang on the west coast, leaving those who crave quieter surroundings to find sweet seclusion at Tanjung Rhu in the north.

December travel in Goa, India

Happy-go-lucky travelers really get into the Christmas spirit in Goa. December weather is close to perfect and India’s most liberal state is dressed in its finery for the holidays – the tinsel and fairy lights adorning the beach bars and palm trees offering a sparkly backdrop for celebrations on the sand. You can dance until dawn in Anjuna, though there’s plenty to be said for slipping away early to catch a dreamy sunrise in the likes of Arambol or Palolem. And if you’re around for New Year, you can welcome January at Midnight Mass in one of almost 400 churches across the state.

December vacations in The Gambia, Africa

December temperatures hover around the low 80s in Africa’s smallest county but sunny days are just the start of The Gambia’s appeal. There’s a ton of culture on the menu, not least in picturesque Kololi Village and the Senegambia and Serekunda markets, but also at the UNESCO-tagged Wassu National Monument. When a spot of outdoor adventure is on the agenda, you need only head inland to play on the nation’s namesake river or to the cliffside rainforest reserve of the monkey-filled Bijilo National Park.

December getaways in the Florida Keys

Though the Florida Keys are popular year-round, the nation’s sunny southernmost tip is actually one of the less crowded places to visit in December. That’s especially true if you opt for a vacation home in Marathon or Islamorada, safe in the knowledge that you’re still on the doorstep of world-class water sports in Key Largo and sunset celebrations in Key West. You might even combine a stay in the Florida Keys with a sailing trip to the Bahamas or Cuba for a craft-your-own-vacation you’ll never forget.