The month of November is brimming with possibilities, be it thrilling festivals in Thailand and India or the sombre commemorations of Remembrance Day in Turkey. The temples and ruins of Cambodia and neighbouring Vietnam and Laos are also wonderful to explore this month after the monsoon rains have passed while the Far East is heading deeper into autumn with colourful foliage still decorating the landscapes. Temperatures are pleasantly warm in the Middle East so it's a good time to explore the ancient wonders or head to the Red Sea for a bit of relaxation by the beach. It's also the start of the expedition cruise season in Antarctica with the icy landscapes utterly pristine after the long winter months so now's the time to consider that once-in-a-lifetime voyage.
If you're looking for inspiration as to where to travel in November 2018, look no further than our guide to the best destinations worldwide, where to go for sunny beach break and which countries offer the best wildlife opportunities.
Where? Pushkar, India
When? 15th-23rd Nov 2018
Thousands of people descend on the small lakeside town of Pushkar to buy and sell camels, horses and other cattle. Festivities include camel races, bridal dress competitions, dance performances and the battle of the moustaches as men compete for the title of longest moustache. It's one of the driest months in the region so it's also the perfect time to explore the attractions of Rajasthan with low humidity and sunny, warm days.
When? 1st-2nd Nov 2018
Known as Día de los Muertos in Spanish, the Day of the Dead is Mexico's most famous and popular festival. It's a time for friends and family to remember those that have passed, honouring dead relatives with private altars and decorating graves with sugar skulls and marigold flowers. Spectacular parades are held in the larger towns and cities with people dressing in fine attire complete with decorative skull masks.
Where? Puno, Peru
When? 1st-5th Nov 2018
Combining indigenous beliefs with Christian traditions, La Diablada is a week of fervent dancing and impressive theatrical parades led by a horned devil. It takes place in Peru's capital of folklore - the town of Puno that sits beside the revered Lake Titicaca. Like Day of the Dead elsewhere, it's a time for locals to pay their respects to the dearly departed. It's also claimed to celebrate the time that the devilish conquistadors left Peru.
Where? Chiang Mai, Thailand
When? 23rd-25th Nov 2018
Each year Chiang Mai witnesses the coordinated release of thousands of pretty candle-lit lanterns into the night sky. Made of coloured paper, the lanterns venerate Buddha with light and the origins of the festival date back to the ancient Lanna kingdom. It's a particularly good time to visit Thailand with houses and temples decorated especially for the occasion with parades held in the streets and a general sense of frivolity.
With the monsoons practically over in Southeast Asia, it's the start of the high season across the southern islands of Thailand with some rain still affecting central Vietnam. The same applies for the central region of India though if you're considering Kerala or Sri Lanka then it may be best to hold off until December when the last of the rains have cleared. There may be some residual hurricane conditions in Central America in November.
Summer is back for much of south Vietnam with popular beach resorts such as Phu Quoc, Phan Thiet and Mui Ne experiencing some of the best weather of the year. Here you can expect clear skies, comfortably high temperatures and bearable humidity. The central coast is still experiencing some rains so south is the place to head for that dream beach break with opportunities to explore the nearby Mekong Delta.
The climatic conditions can vary widely across Southeast Asia with November acting as a transitional month between the wet and dry seasons, some parts of a country may be drier than others. In November it's the western coast of the peninsula that's experiencing the better weather making Phuket an ideal beach destination. This time of year sees the return of sunny days and low humidity in the region.
By mid-November the monsoon rains are a distant memory across India's western coast and popular beach resorts in Goa are open for business. The temperatures are pleasantly warm, the weather dry and the seas calm and clear. The southern states are experiencing a second mini monsoon but this central region is ideal for a beach break with the attractions of northern Rajasthan perfect for exploring in November.
The rainy season officially ends in October, which means the month of November can be a great time to visit the resorts of Cancun and Playa del Carmen for a beach break. As a month of transition there's always the chance of a downpour but by and large the skies are dry and the temperatures pleasantly cool. It's also a month before peak tourist season kicks off so prices will be lower and crowds thinner.
It's the start of the wet season across most of Africa which means safari conditions are not at their best although the landscapes will start to bloom with vegetation with the daily showers though there are a handful of African destinations that will benefit from these rains.
The parks of India have been open for a good month now after the monsoon rains and conditions are starting to dry out. This means vegetation is beginning to thin increasing your chances of spotting wild tigers in national parks such as Ranthambore and Bandhavgarh in northern India. You may also see wildlife as varied as sambar, chital, nilgai, wild boar, leopard and sloth bear with myriad birdlife about.
Olive Ridley and leatherback turtles come to the Pacific shores of Costa Rica to begin their annual nesting season. Tortuguero National Park is one of the best places to watch the turtles as they make their way across the damp sands. The rains are beginning to clear across much of the country so November is also a good time to get out and explore Costa Rica from the cloudforests to the volcanic landscapes.
It's the tail end of the cool, dry season in the Galapagos Islands with strong currents that create an abundance of nutrients which then attracts more marine life. It's a good time for diving with encounters with marine species likely. On land it's nesting season for blue-footed boobies and waved albatross with green turtles reaching the island shores to begin their mating period. There will also be more sea lions about as they too are in their breeding season.
November is the start of the wet season in Botswana which means high temperatures, high humidity and increasing water levels. With the rains comes fresh vegetation so the scenery is becoming more attractive and migratory birds make their way to Botswana's parks and reserves. As a month of climatic transition the usual dry season destinations could offer plentiful wildlife spotting opportunities at this time of year.
Here's a selection of our tours perfectly suited for November travel from the deserts of Rajasthan to the spring landscapes of South America.
On The Go's Signature group tours place local interaction and authenticity at the heart of your cultural travel experience. Upping the comfort stakes, this range is a clear cut above our Budget range.
Appealing to a wide age demographic from the 20s to 60+, we maximize your days with excitement and awe and then bring you home to a comfortable 4* hotel with western amenities, air-conditioning, WiFi and, where appropriate, a swimming pool. Hotels can sometimes be of 3 or 5 star standard too, ensuring you get the best value for your holiday.
Visiting all the main attractions you’ll be accompanied throughout by our highly qualified English-speaking local guides too. Group size is typically 18 with a maximum for 24, apart from festival tours, where group sizes can be larger due to the one-off nature of these events.
On our Independent range you won’t be joining other travellers, but will be on your own private itinerary. Accommodation, pace of travel and the style of trip is tailored to your individual needs. From pre-priced packages available off the shelf to fully curated tailor-made holidays, this range also includes our selection of one-night stopovers, day-tours and short breaks.
Our Independent range gives you all the great service aspects of our Signature range with the flexibility to create a truly unique and bespoke holiday or adventure to a variety of destinations around the world.
On our Handpicked range we bring you the most iconic experiences in destinations where you’ll join travellers from other travel brands on your tour, safari or sailing holiday. Collaborating with our carefully handpicked portfolio of local partners, these holidays represent exceptional value and there’ll be plenty of cultural experiences shared with other like-minded travellers.
Group sizes and accommodation standards vary by destination where typical group size is 28 travellers and hotels, boats and safari lodges are of a 3-4 star standard.
Our Active range brings you thrilling trekking and cycling holidays to some of the world's most popular destinations. Whether it’s trekking to the Lost City of Petra in Jordan or cycling around the Angkor temples in Cambodia, you’ll get to explore more of your chosen destination than just the standard highlights, either by bike or on foot. There will still be lots of cultural experiences and even the occasional wildlife encounter along the way. You'll need a good level of fitness and an intrepid spirit.
Group sizes are small and average around eight travellers. The accommodation you’ll be staying in reflects the off-the-beaten track nature of these trips with simple hotels, wild & fixed camping, homestays and local guest houses for value and convenience.