Best Vacations for November 2017
Where to go on vacation in November
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 vacation in November 2019, 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.
Best Festivals and Events in November
When? 2nd Nov 2019
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? Pushkar, India
When? 4th-12th Nov 2019
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.
Where? Chiang Mai, Thailand
When? 11th-13th Nov 2019
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.
Where? Puno, Peru
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.
Best Beach Destinations in November
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.
Best Wildlife Destinations in November
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.