The Best Places to Travel in December

Street corner in San Rafael, a typical neighbourhood of central Mexico City, Mexico
Street corner in San Rafael, a typical neighbourhood of central Mexico City, Mexico | Photo by Carl Campbell on Unsplash

Editorial Manager

It seems bizarre to already be talking about travel plans for the end of the year, but as we whizz through 2023 its actually not that far away at all. We’ve got all sorts of trips for you to book throughout the year, but for December we’ve gone for a few options you might not have thought about before but we think these are a great way to celebrate another spin around the sun.

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Mayan Mexico

Want to explore ancient Mexico and learn more about the local culture, or just unwind in sunnier climes? Here’s our guide to Mayan Mexico.

There are many facets to Mexico that make it a popular travel destination, with the ancient cultures that once lived here being a big part of current interest. Our nine-day adventure across the Yucatán Peninsula will take in some of the essential things to do in the region and also showcase some hidden gems. You’ll climb formidable Mayan temples, discover the stunning crystal-clear cenotes and sink your toes into the soft white sand of the Caribbean coast. Your journey includes visits to the world-renowned Chichen Itza and the historic, yet lesser-known Mayan pyramids at Ek’ Balam. To cap off the trip, party until dawn with like-minded travellers in the vibrant beach town of Tulum.

Adventure through the Yucatán Peninsula on our Mayan Mexico trip at the end of the year

Incredible Thailand and Laos by Train

Bangkok’s beautiful old train station is the first and last stop on our Thailand to Laos trip

If you really want to treat yourself to an epic trip this year, save up you money and holidays for this rail journey across Thailand and Laos. We’ve kept to our promise of being good to the planet and staying flightless in destination and turned this multi-country itinerary into something truly memorable. The epic two-week journey begins in the beating heart of Thailand, Bangkok. From here we’ll be boarding the train to Thailand’s oldest city, Phitsanulok, from where we’ll set out to explore the ruins of Sukhothai, an ancient Khmer-era city. Next, it’s on to Chiang Mai, where you’ll get to dive into authentic local street food and try your hand at Thai cuisine with a cookery class. We’ll meet some of Thailand’s most charismatic locals at an elephant sanctuary in Lampang, before crossing the border into Laos. Here, you’ll learn about traditional life in a rural village, embark on a waterfall trek and kayak on the stunning Namsong River. Finally, we’ll take a sleeper train back to Bangkok – for a walking tour with a Local Insider.

Discover Incredible Thailand and Laos by Train with Culture Trip

The Real Costa Rica

Can you picture yourself on a beach like this while everyone else is at home this winter?

Explore a Costa Rican cloud forest, surf the best Pacific waves and sleep near the Arenal volcano. This eight-day adventure spans western Costa Rica from the capital, San José, to Tamarindo. It’s perfect for wildlife watchers and adrenaline seekers – you’ll spot sloths, hummingbirds and frogs, and white-water rafting through the jungle. There’s also a visit to a volcanic coffee plantation, a cooking lesson, and plenty of wind-down time to spend just splashing about in a swimming pool (or beneath a waterfall).

Travel to The Real Costa Rica and spend a few blissful days relaxing in the sun

Caribbean Colombia

Get a taste of the Caribbean with our epic trip to Colombia

This exciting itinerary offers a perfect balance of cultural exploration and outdoor adventures, showcasing the breath-taking beauty and diversity of Caribbean Colombia. Wander the cobblestone streets of Cartagena’s walled city, sample authentic street food and canoe through mangroves in La Boquilla before taking a day trip to the tropical Rosario Islands. Your journey continues north towards the base of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, where you’ll trek to deserted beaches in Tayrona National Park and try river tubing on the Río Don Diego. Cap off your trip with a farewell dinner in Palomino.

Think you know Caribbean Colombia? Join us to find out more about this lesser-travelled part of South America

Colonial Mexico

Take a colourful tour of San Miguel on Culture Trip’s Local Insider-led trip to Colonial Mexico

Revolution, architectural masterpieces and ancient ruins await on this five-day cultural escape in the colonial heartland of Mexico. Led by our expert Local Insider, you’ll leave the capital behind and immerse yourself in the beautiful cities of San Miguel de Allende, Querétaro and Guanajuato, learning all about the Colonial era and Mexican Independence as you go. You’ll also visit ancient pyramids and stone warriors in Teotihuacan and Tula, providing you with a deep understanding of this wonderful, storied country

Enjoy a winter trip to sunny Colonial Mexico

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Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


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2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

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Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

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Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.