December is one of the busiest holiday seasons of the year – whether for families who wish to be together for Christmas or revelers flying out ring in the New Year at the hottest party spots in the world. So if your vacation is scheduled for December this year, here are some of the best destinations you can choose from.
- Acapulco, Mexico
Though Acapulco is associated more with the student crowd on their spring breaks, its beaches, resorts and party-spots can make for a great place to have New Year Eve celebrations. Besides its two major beaches on the East and West coasts, Acapulco is famous for its island destination of Roqueta and various water adventure sports like sailing, scuba diving, snorkeling, water skiing and parasailing. Among the many resorts to have come up in Acapulco Diamante zone, one of the most high-profile is owned by Mayan resorts who are the largest golf and vacation club operators of Mexico. Acapulco has a thriving nightlife as well and some of the nightclubs most favored by the young visitors are Allebrije, Palladium, El Classico and Baby’O.
This small island nation in the Indian Ocean is a great place to visit in December when the humidity is at its lowest and the weather is pleasantly cool but not cold. However if you wish to do something other than laze on the beaches, Mauritius is a great place for aquatic adventure activities, especially deep-sea fishing. The waters around this island are especially rich in species of fish like the blue and black marlin, the yellow tuna, the Bonitos, the barracuda and all types of sharks. The ‘emperor’, the ‘pelerin’ and the ‘becune’ are other varieties of fish which are seen roaming the deeper waters of the ocean. Mauritius holds several world fishing records for some of the biggest fish caught in its waters. Some of the IGFA records held by Mauritius include that of 1115-pounds Mako shark, a 400-pounds blue shark, a 224-pound white tuna and many others. Deep sea fishing enthusiasts can plan their visit in December when the most prestigious competition, the Marlin Cup, takes place. You can stay at the Grand Baie which has a variety of lodging options.
- Beaches of Brazil
If you want nothing more to do on your December vacation but laze on golden beaches during the day and party away the nights, make a beeline for Brazil. Here the beaches are as stunning as its men and women and you can be sure to have an enjoyable time on your vacation here. While Rio de Janeiro beaches are more popular, visitors who are keen to explore the pristine beaches of Brazilian beaches would do well to travel further south. Here the beaches of South of Salvador are some of the most picturesque sites in all of Brazil, with unspoilt stretches of sand, quaint fishing villages and forested hillsides. Among the most visited beaches in the South Salvador region is the Morro de Sao Paulo beach in the island of Tintare. Apart from sunbathing or swimming in balmy waters, There are facilities for diving and surfing besides great beach restaurants offering delicious seafood and samba music.
- Washington D.C United States
Should you happen to find yourself in Washington D.C at the end of the year and are at a loss of things to do because of all the snow and sleet outside, a good idea would be to visit The National Museum of American History. Located on the Mall Street in Washington, D.C the National Museum of American History is a 300,000 square feet facility where the history of this country comes alive. There are more than 3 million artifacts preserved in the museum, all of national significance. Among the most interesting national treasures collected by the Museum are the original Star-Spangled Banner, Former President Abraham Lincoln’s iconic Top Hat, Dorothy’s ruby slippers from the film “Wizard of Oz” and Dizzy Gillespie’s angled trumpet – all Artifacts which are of iconic significance in American history of the American way of life. Besides its amazing collection of artifacts, the National Museum of American History also host permanent as well as temporary events. Other than these there are workshops for students, research centers for scholars as well as special events and tours at different times of the year.
- Budapest, Hungary
Though December is not an ideal time to go sight-seeing in Budapest, if you are aiming at its hot springs, it is an entirely different matter. One of the best known attractions in Hungarian capital is the series of thermal baths and spas that are fed by the natural hot springs right in the heart of the city. There are as many as 118 springs and boreholes which supply the city’s spas and baths ever day with 15.4 million gallons of water in temperatures ranging between 70 and 170 degrees Fahrenheit. The oldest of the thermal spas in Budapest go back to the Roman times when they colonized the area just west of River Danube and built enormous spas there. The newer baths belong to the Turkish period when the spas served both recreational and medicinal purposes. Two of the best preserved baths from the Turkish period, the Kiraly thermal baths and the Rudas Medicinal baths are still famous among locals as well as tourists.
- Sunny Beach, Bulgaria
For those of you who wish to get away to the beaches of Europe – thermal springs or no springs – Sunny Beach in Bulgaria could be a great choice. Sunny Beach is the largest Bulgarian resort town on the Black Sea and one of the most popular beach destinations in this part of Europe. Sunny Beach as the name suggests enjoys warm weather for the most part of the year since it is located in milder climes of Black Sea. Among the most popular activities in this resort town are sunbathing at the beach and various kinds of water sports. Sunny beach has a thriving nightlife too and the main beachfront has hundreds of restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes which cater to the tourists’ choice of music, food and drinks. Young people from all over Europe make up the bulk of visitors to this resort town which also hosts some of the most visited festivals in Bulgaria like the Golden Orpheus International Festival of Popular Song and part of the International Folklore Festival.
- Anatolia, Turkey
December marks the beginning of the heavy skiing season but if this year, you wish to avoid the crowded slopes of Austria and Switzerland, how about zooming in on the slopes of Central Anatolia in Turkey? Situated on the high Anatolian plateau, the Turkish capital city of Ankara is surrounded by several sites of scenic beauty. One such place is Elmadag, just 23 kilometers out of Ankara which overlooks green slopes and distant blue hills. There are also hotels, restaurant, a chalet as well as a bar cum discotheque. The major attraction of Elmadag is a ski slope so near to the capital city of Turkey. The ski track here is 900 meters long and 250 meters across. Another skiing facility at Elmadag is a 540-meter long teleski which can take in 720 people per hour. Though not as extensive or fantastic as the Alps, skiing slopes of Turkey have a charm all of their own.
- Bora Bora, French Polynesia
There is no denying that a vast majority of vacationers would prefer the paradisal beaches of French Polynesia as their ideal December destination. Bora Bora is possibly the single most famous island here. Two towering peaks of sheer black rock dominate the center of the island and make an impressive backdrop to an assortment of blue waters that fascinate the eyes. Bora Bora’s lagoon is its most popular attraction and allows the vacationer many opportunities to experience it in a variety of ways. Here you can windsurf, jet ski, scuba dive, snorkel or simply swim in its warm waters; if you are at all not inclined to any activity, the beaches of Bora Bora are simply perfect for sunbathing too. Being a tropical getaway in the Pacific Ocean, Bora Bora is regarded as the jewel of the South Seas with its famous blue lagoon encircling the island and heightening its beauty.
- Goa, India
If you are looking to get away to one of the hottest party destinations in the world, the coastal state of Goa in India could be the answer to your dreams. Here you can take your pick from the popular beaches like Calangute, Colva and Baga bustling with vacationers to those which are still relatively quiet like Agonda in South Goa, Candolim, Madrem and Mojrim in North Goa. For those of you interested in experiencing Goa’s trance scene, head to Vagator which is itself divided into Big Vagator, Little Vagator and Ozran, the nearby Disco Valley as well as Anjuna, the center of erstwhile hippie crowds but still retaining some of its colorful party atmosphere.
- New York, United States
Finally what better way to usher in the New Year than by being part of the electrifying atmosphere at Times Square, New York? This is the party capital of the world as far as New Year Eve celebrations are concerned. It is common to find hundreds of thousands people at Times Square crammed into spectator pens ringed by barricades, no matter what the weather. A major part of the attractions is the New Year Eve show which on 31 December 2011 included names like Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber. However the highlight is surely the crystal-paneled ball - decorated with 3,000 Waterford crystal triangles and 30,000 lights - that has been dropping at midnight to mark the new year since 1907, long before television made it a U.S. tradition.