Naijacho has curated a list of top destinations to visit in December, considering factors such as prices, events, accessibility, and seasonal crowds. This collection caters to diverse preferences, ranging from warm-weather getaways to snow-covered towns exuding holiday cheer.

    If you’re contemplating a December vacation amid the bustling holiday season, this list aims to provide you with the perfect spot. Cast your vote for your preferred destination to contribute to next year’s compilation. Where to travel in December 2023?

    1. U.S. Virgin Islands

    Where to travel
    U.S. Virgin Islands


    For those in search of tropical celebrations without the requirement of a passport, the U.S. Virgin Islands offer an ideal destination. December marks the onset of the dry season in this Caribbean island cluster, with average temperatures ranging from the 70s to the 80s, providing an excellent environment for basking on the stunning white sand beaches, including the renowned Magens Bay, or indulging in snorkeling adventures within the Virgin Islands National Park. Additionally, visitors can immerse themselves in the lively local culture during the Crucian Christmas Festival on St. Croix, spanning much of December.

    This festive event features vibrant parades, music competitions, and various art fairs, allowing guests to fully engage with the island’s rich cultural heritage.

    Country United state
    Capital and large cityCharlotte Amalie
    Ethnic groups (2020)
    By race
    71.4% Black
    16.6% White
    3.0% other
    7.5% multiracial
    1.0% Asian
    By ethnicity
    81.6% non-Hispanic or Latino
    18.4% Hispanic or Latino
    Religion (2010)94.4% Christianity
    3.7% no religion
    1.9% others
    Demonym(s)Virgin Islander
    Government Devolved presidential constitutional dependency
    Virgin Islands of the United States

    The Virgin Islands of the United States, also known as the United States Virgin Islands, are a cluster of Caribbean islands forming an unincorporated and organized territory of the United States. Situated within the Virgin Islands archipelago, they are positioned in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles.

    The U.S. Virgin Islands comprise the main islands of Saint Croix, Saint John, and Saint Thomas, along with an additional 50 smaller surrounding islands and cays. With a total land area of 133.73 square miles (346.36 km2), the territory’s administrative center is Charlotte Amalie, located on the island of St. Thomas.

    Formerly recognized as the Danish West Indies under the rule of the Kingdom of Denmark–Norway (1754-1814) and subsequently as an independent entity (1814-1917), the islands were purchased by the United States from Denmark for $25,000,000 through the 1917 Treaty of the Danish West Indies. The U.S. Virgin Islands operate under the 1954 Revised Organic Act of the Virgin Islands and have conducted five constitutional conventions. Comparable to other U.S. territories, the Virgin Islands elect a delegate who can engage in discussions in the House of Representatives but does not possess voting rights.

    Tourism and related sectors serve as the key contributors to the territory’s economy.

    2. French Alps

    image 208
    French Alps


    The French Alps offer a timeless winter retreat, featuring snow-capped mountains, picturesque villages, and delectable cuisine, often centered around various forms of melted cheese. With most ski resorts opening as early as December, visitors can enjoy an early start to the ski season or partake in the lively après-ski scene in renowned locations such as Val d’Isère and Chamonix. Additionally, several villages, including the châteaux-adorned Annecy, enhance the ambiance with delightful Christmas markets held throughout the month. While a winter sojourn in the Alps can be somewhat pricey, consider planning your visit earlier in the month before the commencement of school holidays to secure the best room rates.

    Location The French Alps are the portions of the Alps mountain range that stand within France, located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur
    Countries border with French AlpsFrance, Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, and Slovenia.
    What is special about the French Alps?The French Alps offer numerous opportunities for hiking through its natural parks. Beautiful lakes like Lake Annecy, Lake Le Bourget, and Lake Geneva, which include the town of Evian, known for its famous waters, provide habitat for numerous protected species within the parks. 
    Who owns the French Alps?Located in the regions of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, the French Alps constitute the sections of the Alps mountain range that extend into France. These mountain ranges vary in their extent within France; some, like the Mont Blanc massif, are shared with Switzerland and Italy, while others remain entirely within the borders of France.
    French Alps

    The French Alps encompass the sectors of the Alps mountain range situated within France, spanning across the regions of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. While certain portions of the French Alps exist solely within the French borders, others, such as the Mont Blanc massif, are shared with neighboring countries like Switzerland and Italy.

    Mont Blanc, standing at 4,808 meters (15,774 feet) on the border of France and Italy, represents the highest peak in the Alps and the tallest mountain in Western Europe.

    Prominent towns situated in the French Alps include Grenoble, Chamonix, Annecy, Chambéry, Évian-les-Bains, and Albertville.

    The French Alps are located, either partially or entirely, within eight administrative departments.

    • Haute-Savoie (74, Annecy),
    • Savoie (73, Chambéry),
    • Isère (38, Grenoble),
    • Hautes-Alpes (05, Gap),
    • AlpesdeHaute-Provence (04, Digne-les-Bains),
    • Alpes Maritimes (06, Nice),
    • Drôme (26, Valence), and
    • Var (83, Toulon).

    3. Phuket

    image 209


    Thailand’s scenic island of Phuket, situated in the southwestern region, offers visitors a serene retreat with its pristine white sands, shimmering aquamarine waters, and striking limestone cliffs. Accessible within an hour by plane from Bangkok and surrounded by the Andaman Sea, this island paradise provides a range of amenities at relatively affordable prices, including accommodations, spa treatments, and boat tours.

    In addition to its tropical allure, Phuket allures travelers with its vibrant cuisine, characterized by the flavors of lemongrass, lime leaves, and chilies, reflecting the island’s cultural richness influenced by its predominant religion, Buddhism.

    While the island has successfully recovered from the 2004 tsunami that devastated its western coast, leading to the tragic loss of thousands of lives, it commemorates the past through memorials and an improved warning system, should the area face any potential threats in the future.

    Location South western of Thailand
    Best Hotels in PhuketAndara Resort Villas,
    Residences Phuket
    Banyan Tree Spa Sanctuary
    Best Things to Do in PhuketPromthep Cape, Big Buddha &
    Nai Harn Beach
    Best Months to VisitThe prime time to visit Phuket is from November to April for ideal beach activities. Avoid the monsoon season from May to October when water conditions can be risky, despite lower accommodation prices.

    The most popular mode of transportation in Phuket is the tuk-tuk, a small yellow or red truck that is not only atmospheric but also widely available, making it a convenient choice for getting around the island. However, for travel beyond the town where you are staying, you may need to consider other options such as a taxi or a rental car, as tuk-tuks can be pricey for trips outside the town.

    Most travelers access Phuket via Phuket International Airport (HKT), located at the island’s northern tip. The majority of accommodations are concentrated in the southern regions near Patong, Kata, Karon, and Phuket Town. It is advisable for travelers to inquire whether their hotel provides an airport shuttle service; if not, they can utilize an airport bus, which transports passengers to Phuket Town.

    Opting for a taxi is often the most efficient way to travel between the airport and accommodations. While van and minibus operators also offer rides from the airport to these southern destinations, it can be challenging to discern which operators are reputable. In the absence of a hotel shuttle service, guests can consult with the concierge for recommendations on reliable van or minibus operators.

    4. Bahamas

    image 210


    December represents one of the favored periods for visiting the Bahamas, and for valid reasons. By this time, the risk of hurricanes has typically subsided, rendering December an ideal month for outdoor activities. Embrace the opportunity to bask on the numerous stunning beaches, engage in snorkeling or diving adventures within the crystal-clear waters, or embark on a boat tour to explore a private island. Additionally, if your visit aligns with the holiday season, you’ll have the chance to partake in the vibrant Junkanoo festival, which showcases Bahamian culture through lively parades and festivities on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

    The Commonwealth of The Bahamas is an island country positioned in the Lucayan Archipelago of the West Indies within the North Atlantic. This nation covers 97% of the land area of the Lucayan Archipelago and is inhabited by 88% of its population. Comprising more than 3,000 islands, cays, and islets in the Atlantic Ocean, The Bahamas is situated to the north of Cuba and northwest of the island of Hispaniola, which is divided between the Dominican Republic and Haiti, as well as the Turks and Caicos Islands.

    It is also positioned southeast of the U.S. state of Florida and east of the Florida Keys. Nassau, on New Providence Island, serves as the capital of The Bahamas. The country’s territory spans about 470,000 km2 (180,000 sq mi) of ocean space, according to the Royal Bahamas Defence Force.

    Capital and largest cityNassau
    Best Hotels in BahamasKamalame Cay,
    Rosewood Baha Mar &
    Caerula Mar Club
    Official languagesEnglish
    Ethnic groups (2020)90.6% Black
    4.7% White
    2.1% mixed
    1.9% other
    0.7% unspecified
    Religion (2020)
    93.0% Christianity
    75.1% Protestantism
    17.9% other Christian
    4.5% no religion
    1.9% folk religions
    0.6% others
    GovernmentUnitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy[
    Population2023 estimate
    358,508 (170th)
    2022 census

    The Bahamas, known officially as the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, is a country situated in the Lucayan Archipelago of the West Indies within the North Atlantic. Occupying 97% of the land area of the Lucayan Archipelago, it is the residence of 88% of the archipelago’s population.

    The Bahama Islands were originally inhabited by the Arawak and Lucayans, a subgroup of the Arawakan-speaking Taíno, for numerous centuries. In 1492, Christopher Columbus became the first European to encounter the islands, making his initial landing in the “New World” on the island of San Salvador. Subsequently, the Spanish transported the native Lucayans to Hispaniola, where they were enslaved.

    This led to the Bahamas being largely deserted from 1513 to 1648, as most native Bahamians had either been forcibly displaced for enslavement or had succumbed to diseases introduced by the Europeans. In 1649, English settlers from Bermuda, known as the Eleutheran Adventurers, established a settlement on the island of Eleuthera.

    5. Torres del Paine National Park

    image 213
    Torres del Paine National Park


    Situated in the southern region of Chilean Patagonia, this national park presents an unparalleled adventure for visitors. Widely regarded as one of the most visually stunning hiking spots globally, the park boasts turquoise lakes, lush forests, the imposing Grey Glacier, and the soaring granite peaks of Cuernos del Paine. During December, travelers can enjoy extended daylight hours, with up to 17 hours of sunlight, providing ample opportunity for long hikes. Despite being part of Patagonia’s bustling summer season, temperatures can sharply plummet after sunset, making it essential for visitors to pack layers of clothing for varying weather conditions.

    Torres del Paine National Park, known as Parque Nacional Torres del Paine in Spanish, is a renowned national park showcasing a picturesque landscape of mountains, glaciers, lakes, and rivers in the southern region of Chilean Patagonia.

    The focal point of the park is the Cordillera del Paine. Positioned in a transitional zone between the Magellanic subpolar forests and the Patagonian Steppes, the park is situated 112 km (70 mi) to the north of Puerto Natales and 312 km (194 mi) to the north of Punta Arenas.

    Its neighboring regions include Bernardo O’Higgins National Park to the west and Los Glaciares National Park to the north within Argentine territory. In the native Tehuelche (Aonikenk) language, Paine signifies “blue” and is pronounced as PIE-neh, while Torres translates to “towers”. Designated as a National Park in 1959, it continues to draw in visitors with its stunning natural wonders.

    Location Magallanes Region, Chile
    Nearest cityPuerto Natales
    Established May 13, 1959
    Governing body Corporación Nacional Forestal
    304,947 (in 2019)
    ClimateCold rain without dry season
    Torres del Paine National Park

    Torres del Paine National Park forms a crucial part of the Sistema Nacional de Áreas Silvestres Protegidas del Estado de Chile (National System of Protected Forested Areas of Chile). In 2013, the park covered an estimated 181,414 hectares (700 sq mi) and is recognized as one of the largest and most frequented parks in Chile. Drawing an average of approximately 252,000 visitors annually, with 54% being international tourists from various countries worldwide, the park is also a key highlight along the End of the World Route, a renowned tourist scenic route.

    Within the Magallanes Region and Chilean Antarctica, the park stands as one of the 11 protected areas, alongside four national parks, three national reserves, and three national monuments. Collectively, these protected forested areas account for roughly 51% of the region’s land, covering 6,728,744 hectares (25,980 sq mi).

    The prominent Torres del Paine refers to the distinctive three granite peaks within the Paine mountain range or Paine Massif, known as Torres d’Agostini, Torres Central, and Torres Monzino, extending up to 2,500 meters (8,200 ft) above sea level and accompanied by the Cuernos del Paine. The region also boasts a variety of landscapes, including valleys, rivers like the Paine, lakes such as Grey, Pehoé, Nordenskiöld, and Sarmiento, as well as notable glaciers like Grey, Pingo, and Tyndall, all of which are part of the Southern Patagonia Ice Field.

    6. Hawaii – The Big Island

    image 214
    Hawaii – The Big Island


    This stunning haven in Hawaii offers the perfect respite from the onset of winter. Tired travelers can bask in the warmth of vibrant beaches like Punalu’u Beach, renowned for its striking black sand, and Papakolea Beach, a distinctive option with its green sand. For those seeking more adventure, a hike through Akaka Falls State Park or a visit to the towering Kilauea volcano at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park can be exhilarating experiences. While December tends to draw other winter escapees, visitors will appreciate that hotel rates on the Big Island remain consistently lower compared to those on nearby islands.

    LocationNorth Pacific Ocean
    Area4,028 sq mi (10,430 km2)
    Population200,629 (2020)
    Best Hotels
    Four Seasons Resort Hualalai,
    Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection &
    Best Things to Do in HawaiiHawai’i Volcanoes National Park,
    ‘Akaka Falls State Park &
    Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area
    Largest settlementHilo
    Hawaii – The Big Island

    Hawaiʻi Island stands as the largest and youngest in the Hawaiian chain, earning it the moniker “Big Island.” Its impressive size is nearly twice that of all the other Hawaiian Islands combined. The island boasts a remarkable diversity of climate zones, ranging from Wet Tropical to Polar Tundra, owing to the shielding effect and elevations of its massive volcanoes, Maunakea and Maunaloa.

    From the awe-inspiring geological formations of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park to the snow-capped peaks of Maunakea, and from the lush valleys of the Hilo and Hāmākua Coasts to the striking jet-black sands of Punaluʻu Beach, Hawaiʻi Island exemplifies the breathtaking power of nature. Whichever part of the island you choose to explore, it is bound to leave you with a deep sense of awe and wonder. Explore the different regions of Hawaiʻi Island to fully experience its vast and diverse landscapes.

    The island is commonly known as the Island of Hawaiʻi or Hawaiʻi Island to distinguish it from the state, and it’s also frequently referred to as the Big Island. To distinguish it without relying on English, it is sometimes called Moku o Keawe. In Hawaiian, the word keawe has multiple meanings, one of which refers to the southern cross and is said to be the name of an ancient chief, while another meaning is “the bearer” (ke-a-we). From an administrative perspective, the island is coterminous with Hawaii County.

    According to the 2020 census, the population was 200,629, and the county seat and largest town is Hilo. Hawaiʻi County does not have any incorporated cities.

    7. New York City

    image 215
    New York City


    It’s no surprise that numerous holiday films are set in New York City. The city’s enchanting attractions such as the famous Christmas tree and ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center, Macy’s decked-out window displays, and horse-drawn carriages in Central Park all evoke the holiday spirit throughout the bustling metropolis.

    While this vibrant city offers an array of activities all year round, the festive shows, Christmas-themed pop-up experiences, and the wintry chill in the air make December one of New York City’s most enchanting months. However, visitors should be prepared for high prices as the holiday season is also one of the most popular (and expensive) times of the year to visit.

    Location Mid-Atlantic United States
    StateNew York
    GovernmentStrong mayor–council
    New York City Counci
    Best Hotels in New York CityThe Mark
    Baccarat Hotel New York &
    The St. Regis New York
    Best Things to Do in New York CityCentral Park
    National September 11 Memorial & Museum &
    Empire State Building
    Population 8,804,190
    New YORK

    New York City, often referred to as New York or NYC, holds the distinction of being the most populous city in the United States. As of 2020, its population of 8,804,190 is spread across an area of 300.46 square miles (778.2 km2), making it the most densely populated major city in the country. Significantly larger than Los Angeles, the second most populous city in the nation, New York City sits at the southern tip of New York State and is positioned on one of the world’s largest natural harbors.

    The city consists of five boroughs, each of which corresponds to a respective county: Brooklyn (Kings County), Queens (Queens County), Manhattan (New York County), the Bronx (Bronx County), and Staten Island (Richmond County).

    Consolidated into a single municipality in 1898, these five boroughs collectively form the bustling metropolis. New York City serves as a global hub for culture, finance, high-tech industries, entertainment, media, and more, exerting a significant influence on various sectors such as commerce, healthcare, life sciences research, technology, education, politics, tourism, culinary arts, fashion, and sports.

    Notably, it houses the headquarters of the United Nations and is recognized as an essential center for international diplomacy. As a result, New York is often referred to as the world’s most important city and the capital of the world.

    8. Grenada

    image 216

    For those yearning to escape the chill of winter, a visit to the captivating Grenada, often referred to as the Spice Island, could be the perfect solution. This small Caribbean island is renowned for its fragrant spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg and boasts consistently warm temperatures in the 80s. December falls between the rainy season and the peak of the tourism season, making it an ideal time to bask in the sun without having to contend with large crowds or the elevated costs of the upcoming months. Visitors can indulge in leisurely days spent relaxing on Grand Anse Beach or savoring the island’s diverse flavors at local markets or the House of Chocolate.

    LocationSouth America
    and largest city
    St. George’s
    12°03′N 61°45′W
    Religion (2020)96.6% Christianity
    48.8% Catholicism
    39.2% Protestantism
    8.6% other Christian
    1.3% Hinduism
    1.0% no religion
    0.7% Rastafarianism
    0.4% other
    Best Hotels in GrenadaCalabash Luxury Boutique Hotel
    Spice Island Beach Resort &
    Silversands Grenada
    Best Things to Do in GrenadaSt. George’s
    Grand Anse Beach &
    Grand Etang National Park & Forest Reserve
    Government Unitary parliamentary

    Grenada, located in the Caribbean Sea at the southern end of the Grenadines island chain, is a small island country in the West Indies. It encompasses the main island of Grenada, along with two smaller islands, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, and various other smaller islands to the north. Positioned northwest of Trinidad and Tobago, northeast of Venezuela, and southwest of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

    it spans an area of 348.5 square kilometers (134.6 sq mi) and had an estimated population of 124,523 as of July 2021. The capital of Grenada is St. George’s. The island is famously referred to as the “Island of Spice” due to its notable production of nutmeg and mace crops.

    Prior to European colonization, Grenada was inhabited by indigenous peoples originating from South America. The island was sighted by Christopher Columbus in 1498 during his third voyage to the Americas. After initial resistance from the resident Island Caribs, the French commenced settlement and colonization around 1649, which persisted for the following century.

    Subsequently, Grenada was ceded to the British under the Treaty of Paris on 10 February 1763. British control continued until 1974, aside from a brief period of French occupation between 1779 and 1783. On 3 March 1967, Grenada was granted full autonomy over its internal affairs as an Associated State, and it was also a part of the short-lived Federation of the West Indies from 1958 to 1962.

    9. Rio de Janeiro

    image 217
    Rio de Janeiro


    In December, while the Northern Hemisphere embraces the onset of winter, Rio de Janeiro experiences its peak summer season. Despite being one of the wettest periods of the year, visitors can still bask in the warmth and mostly sunny weather. This climate provides ample opportunities to explore iconic landmarks like the Christ the Redeemer statue and Sugarloaf Mountain. For those interested in immersing themselves in Rio’s vibrant nightlife, planning the trip around Réveillon is recommended. This renowned New Year’s Eve celebration held on Copacabana Beach attracts millions of revelers annually with its music, dancing, and spectacular fireworks display.

    Location Brazil
    Founded 1 March 1565; 458 years ago
    Best Hotels in Rio de JaneiroSanta Teresa Hotel RJ MGallery by Sofitel
    Sheraton Grand Rio Hotel & Resort
    Sofitel Rio de Janeiro Copacabana
    Best Things to Do in Rio de JaneiroChrist the Redeemer
    Tijuca National Park
    Jardim Botânico
    Population (2020)6,747,815
    Rio de Janeiro

    Rio de Janeiro, also known simply as Rio, is the capital of the state of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, ranking as the country’s second-most-populous city after São Paulo. Notably, it holds the distinction of being the sixth most populous city in the Americas, according to the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC). The city was founded by the Portuguese in 1565 and initially served as the seat of the Captaincy of Rio de Janeiro, a region under the Portuguese Empire.

    Over the years, Rio has played significant roles, including being the capital of the State of Brazil, the seat of the court of Queen Maria I of Portugal, and later the capital of the Empire of Brazil. In 1960, the capital was relocated to Brasília.

    10. Prague

    image 218


    Consider a trip to Prague for an enchanting winter getaway, where the city transforms into a picturesque wonderland adorned with snow-covered architecture and bustling Christmas markets. These markets offer a variety of locally crafted goods, including jewelry, toys, and festive ornaments. Families traveling with children should plan their visit for early December to witness the St. Nicholas Eve celebration, a traditional event where the Czech Republic’s version of St. Nick, accompanied by angel and devil figures, distributes sweets and other delights while strolling through the city.

    LocationCzech Republic
    Population (2023-01-01)1,357,326
    Best Hotels in PragueMandarin Oriental, Prague
    Four Seasons Hotel Prague &
    Golden Well Hotel
    Best Things to Do in PragueOld Town Square (Staromestské námestí)
    Charles Bridge (Karluv most) &
    Prague Castle
    Highest elevation &
    Lowest elevation
    399 m (1,309 ft)
    172 m (564 ft)

    Prague, situated along the Vltava River, is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic, with a population of approximately 1.3 million residents. It boasts a temperate oceanic climate, characterized by mild summers and cold winters.

    The city has a rich history and is renowned for its diverse architectural styles, including Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque structures. Notably, it served as the capital of the Kingdom of Bohemia and was a significant center during the Habsburg monarchy and Austro-Hungarian Empire periods. Prague played key roles in the Bohemian and Protestant Reformations, the Thirty Years’ War, and the 20th-century history of Czechoslovakia.

    Prague is home to several renowned cultural landmarks, such as Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, Old Town Square featuring the Prague astronomical clock, the Jewish Quarter, Petřín hill, and Vyšehrad. Its historic center has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1992.

    The city boasts a plethora of museums, theaters, galleries, cinemas, and historical exhibits. A well-developed public transportation network links various parts of the city, and Prague hosts an array of public and private educational institutions, including Charles University, the oldest university in Central Europe.

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