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Where to Travel When: Part 2--July to December

January 27, 2024 Global Basecamps

Confused by all the wonderful travel options out there? We understand. Let us help you choose.

Hi again, fellow adventurers. Welcome to Part 2 of our month-by-month travel guide. If you’re reading this blog we assume you are a seasoned traveler with a long list of continents, countries, cities, and islands on your “to visit” list.

So many in fact that you might be confused when it comes to deciding where to go at any given time. There’s such a wealth of destinations to choose from–how can you pick between the sparkling sand beaches of Costa Rica and lush forest hikes in Indonesia? Or between joyfully snowshoeing in Finland’s frozen white wonderland or surfing the world-class waves of Nazare in Portugal.  

We can help you choose.

Many of these destinations sparkle all year round or have several different “best” seasons, depending on what you’re looking to do.

So don’t take this list as gospel. It just offers suggestions and guidance to help you when you’re ready to fly but aren’t sure about where to go. Then use the links to learn more about our tour offerings in that country.

Remember these are suggested itineraries; all of our tours can be customized to your specifications. So browse here and then contact us at travel@globalbasecamps to start planning your trip.


July was made for travel, wasn’t it? It seems we all feel restless to experience new cultures, new cuisines, new adventures by the time the calendar reaches this time of year. There are many choices but you can’t go wrong with the two we suggest.

A silent temple in Ubud. Photo by Niklas Weiss on Unsplash.

July is smack dab in the middle of the dry season in Indonesia, which runs from April to October. The perfect weather makes it even more pleasant to experience the many riches this country offers. From Bali’s glistening beaches to the spectacular temples of Ubud to the abundant wildlife (proboscis monkeys and orangutans, to name a few of the animals you can see) of Borneo, Indonesia is a bucket-list destination. Don’t forget Komodo Island, home of the Komodo Dragon. It’s beautiful, spiritual, cultural, and, as we’ve said previously,  magical. Read our recent post by GBC travel specialist Laura Hagler to whet your appetite for this extraordinary country.

A street in Madrid. Photo by Josefina Di Battista on Unsplash.

Spain: In July, Spanish cities are alive with energy and excitement. In Barcelona, you can explore Gaudí's architectural masterpieces along with other architectural gems. Or relax on a city beach before heading out for tapas. Madrid is a feast of restaurants, nightlife, and cultural events. July is also ideal for experiencing Spain's beautiful coastal regions, like the Costa del Sol and the Balearic Islands, where you can enjoy sun-soaked beaches, swimming,  or a private boat ride along the coast. You can also attend some of the many festivals that take place in July, including the famous Running of the Bulls in Pamplona.

Also great in July: Botswana, India, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, New Zealand, Peru, and Tanzania.


With the arrival of full-on summer, August is full of languid days, lazy nights, and long weeks. Work seems impossible–and everyone’s away anyway. You can be one of those.

Baboon, Zanzibar.  Photo by Temidayo on Unsplash.

Tanzania: August visits to Tanzania offer a front-row seat to one of nature's most spectacular events: the Great Wildebeest Migration. During this time, thousands of wildebeest, along with zebras and gazelles, make their way across the Serengeti, a truly awe-inspiring sight. The weather is dry and mild, just right for game drives in national parks like the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, where you have excellent chances of spotting the Big Five (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, and African buffalo). For diving, relaxation, and more wildlife viewing, Zanzibar Island, with its pristine beaches and clear waters, is a paradise. The weather in August is also favorable for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, should you be so inclined.

The Namib Sand Sea in the Namib Desert is the oldest desert in the world.  Photo by Joe McDaniel on Unsplash.

Namibia: August in Namibia offers a blend of extraordinary wildlife, breathtaking landscapes, and rich cultural experiences. It’s an excellent time for wildlife viewing in Etosha National Park, where animals congregate around waterholes, offering spectacular sightings of elephants, lions, rhinos, and a variety of antelope species. The desert landscapes, including the striking Sossusvlei dunes in the Namib Desert, are at their most stunning, with crisp, clear mornings perfect for photography and exploration. The cooler temperatures also make it comfortable for hiking in the Fish River Canyon, the second-largest canyon in the world. Meet members of indigenous communities like the Himba people to get unique insight into the diverse cultures of Namibia.

Also great in August: Botswana, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Namibia, Peru, Tanzania.


September brings relief from summer’s intense heat, but it’s still warm enough to enjoy swimming, hiking, biking, trekking, wildlife viewing, and other outdoor activities. Here are some suggestions for September trips.

September is a fine time for jaguar spotting in the Pantanal wetlands. Photo by Joe McDaniel on Unsplash.

September in Brazil marks the transition from winter to spring. For visitors that means pleasant temperatures and fewer crowds. In Rio de Janeiro, take advantage of the warm weather by visiting some of the storied Brazilian beaches like Copacabana and Ipanema. Or hike up to the Christ the Redeemer statue for spectacular city views. With the Amazon Rainforest emerging from its wet season, it’s a wonderful opportunity for wildlife excursions and river tours to explore the lush jungle and its diverse ecosystem. The Pantanal, one of the world's largest tropical wetlands, is at its dry peak, providing superb opportunities for spotting jaguars, capybaras, and many bird species. The spectacular and extremely popular Iguaçu Falls are less crowded during this month too.

Alfama in Lisbon. Photo by Liam McKay on Unsplash.

September in Portugal offers warm, sunny days with fewer tourists. This is an ideal time to explore the stunning beaches of the Algarve region, where the Atlantic waters are still warm enough for swimming and surfing. In Lisbon, you can wander through hilly neighborhoods like the Moorish-influenced Alfama, enjoy a tram ride through the city's picturesque streets, or visit the UNESCO world heritage site, Torre de Belem. While you’re there, indulge in the famous pastry, pasteis de Belem. You can thank us later. The Douro Valley, famous for its wine production, is in the midst of grape harvests, providing an opportunity to witness the winemaking process and enjoy tastings. Don’t miss Porto, with its riverfront charm and cultural sites.

Also great in September: Argentina, Australia, Botswana, Chile, China, Egypt, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Morocco, Peru, and Tanzania.


Keep the spirit of summer adventure alive with an October trip to a warm, exotic destination. Two countries that fit the bill: Chile and Costa Rica.


Torres del Paine, Chile. Photo by Marc Thunis on Unsplash.

Chile: It may be cooling off in the Northern Hemisphere, but in the Southern Hemisphere it’s the beginning of spring. Take this opportunity to visit Chile while the weather is mild and the landscape is blooming. The country offers everything from urban adventure to desert exploration during this time. In the capital, Santiago, you can enjoy clear skies and a buzzy urban scene, along with nearby wine regions like the Maipo Valley, perfect for wine-tasting tours. This month is also ideal for exploring the Atacama Desert, the driest desert in the world, with its otherworldly landscapes, salt flats, and starry nights. Patagonia starts to become more accessible, allowing for hiking in Torres del Paine National Park. The coastal town of Valparaiso, with its colorful houses and street art, is a visual feast.


A capuchin monkey in Manuel Antonio National Park. Photo by Joy Ernst on Unsplash.

Costa Rica: Known as the birthplace of ecotourism, Costa Rica delivers on its promise of unsurpassed natural beauty combined with an ethic of conservation and responsible tourism. Be awed by the spectacular contrasts of Manuel Antonio National Park: lush tropical forest extending to the edge of the pristine beach. You will likely see abundant wildlife, including squirrel monkeys, capuchin monkeys, and sloths. Arenal Volcano, a live volcano, is a must-see, if only to witness its perfect cone,  although there are also lava fields, forest trails, and plenty of wildlife. The Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve is an exquisite example of a successful combination of conservation and responsible tourism. Only 160 tourists are allowed within its borders at a time, ensuring that the healthy rivers, blooming trees, and intense biodiversity remain protected. This is a chance to witness the wilderness Costa Rica is famous for.

Also great in October: Argentina, Australia, Botswana, Brazil, China, Egypt, Japan, Morocco, Namibia, and Tanzania.


November is the beginning of the dry season in Southeast Asia and it’s still warm enough for comfortable travel. Expect temperatures in the low 80s and little to no rain.

Temple, Luang Prabang. Photo by Mon Jester on Unsplash.

Laos: November is the beginning of the dry season here. It’s a fantastic time for exploring the UNESCO World Heritage city of Luang Prabang, with its stunning architecture that blends indigenous and French colonial styles. It’s also a great time for cruising the Mekong River or taking a boat trip to the Pak Ou Caves, famous for the thousands of Buddha statues adorning their walls. For nature lovers, the Bolaven Plateau in the south offers stunning waterfalls and coffee plantations. Meanwhile, trekkers can explore the remote beauty of northern provinces like Luang Namtha and Phongsali.

Temple at Angkor Wat. Photo by James Wheeler on Unsplash.  

Cambodia: The end of the rainy season and the cooler temperatures make November an excellent time to visit Angkor Wat (“city temple”) in Siem Reap, as the surrounding moats and reservoirs are full, enhancing the beauty of the temples. Built on a grand scale as the funerary temple for Suryavarman II, who ruled from 1112 to 1152, Angkor is known for surreal bas-reliefs and intricate building details. The temperate weather is also great for exploring other historical sites like the Bayon Temple and Ta Prohm. In Phnom Penh, the capital, you can comfortably tour landmarks such as the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda. November is the month of the Water Festival (Bon Om Touk), a spectacular event with boat races, fireworks, and festivities, particularly vibrant in the capital and along the Tonle Sap River.

Also great in November: Argentina, Chile, China, Egypt, Guatemala, India, Japan, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam.


Some people deal with cold, snow, and arctic temperatures by escaping to tropical destinations. Others embrace the winter weather with gusto. For those, there’s no better place to be for the winter holidays than Finland and Iceland, two countries where winter is an art.

Lapland, Finland, is a true winter wonderland. Photo by Ethan Hu on Unsplash.

Finland: December in Finland offers a magical, snowy landscape that's perfect for a variety of winter activities. In Lapland, the northernmost region of the country, you can experience the enchanting beauty of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), a highlight for many travelers. The snowy forests and frozen lakes provide excellent opportunities for husky sledding, snowmobiling, and reindeer safaris, as well as skiing, skating, snowshoe hiking, and bracing sessions of ice swimming. Be like a Finn and cap off your rigorous outdoor activity with a delicious sauna. In Rovaniemi, the official hometown of Santa Claus, according to Finns, you can immerse yourself in a festive atmosphere with a visit to Santa Claus Village. Helsinki goes all out for the holiday too, with Christmas lights adorning the streets and food and crafts markets, creating a cozy, festive, and warm environment despite the freezing temperatures (average temperature for December: 25 degrees F, much colder in the north).

Northern Lights, Iceland. Photo by Jonatan Pie on Unsplash.

Iceland is another country that knows how to do winter right. The country is alive with merriment and holiday activities throughout December. Make sure to see the Northern Lights as they dance across the sky. Try some of the many snow and ice activities: ice caving, snowmobiling, or hiking on the many glacier trails, including on Europe’s largest glacier, the  Vatnajökull. Follow up with a dip in a warm geothermal spring. If you are there at Christmas, you can participate in some of the country’s many unique traditions around the holiday, including the Yule Lads and the witch Grýla with her ghostly Yule Cat. Join in the winter celebrations with some jólabjór (Icelandic Christmas beer) and smoked lamb. 

Also great in December: Argentina, Cambodia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, India, Laos, Namibia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. 

We hope this guide helps you choose a destination for your next adventure. Are you ready to make some travel plans? Let us assist you in getting there. Contact us at