When most Americans think of November travel, images of crowded airports and delayed Thanksgiving flights come to mind. But if you’re looking for something different than a trip home to eat turkey, there are plenty of travel options awaiting you. In places like Asia and South America, November means the end of the rainy season and the onset of warm temperatures. Read on to learn about our favorite late-fall travel spots around the world.
Destinations in Southeast Asia
This Indonesian island is a world unto itself. Bali has a wide range of exotic marine life, excellent surfing conditions, and some of the most gorgeous sunsets you’ll find anywhere on the planet. Add some awe-inspiring religious shrines and lively local arts scene into the mix, and you have the recipe for a November vacation where you can see and do it all.
Perfect for: Aspiring surfers, marine biologists, and world music fans
Average November Weather: 73 – 88 degrees, 13 days of rainfall
What to do
• Surf some of the most famous breaks in the world, or take a lesson at one of the many beaches suitable for beginners
• Go for a long walk down Kunta Beach and watch the sun set over the Indian Ocean
• Admire the unique architecture and bask in the spiritual aura of the island’s many Hindu temples
• Scuba dive or snorkel around the site of the USS Liberty shipwreck, home to underwater artifacts and diverse ocean life
• Watch a performance of gamelan, a distinctly Indonesian music characterized by varied percussive rhythms
Panaji, Goa, India
The capital of India’s small coastal state of Goa, Panaji offers beaches along the Indian coastline, historic sites, and the perfect kind of weather for escaping November’s chill.
Perfect for: Coastal relaxation in a unique seaside setting
Average November Weather: 74-92 degrees, 3 days of rainfall
What to do
• Enjoy a sunset over the Indian Ocean at Ashwem Beach, a public beach that manages to feel like a private oasis
• Take a tour of the area’s Portuguese cathedrals, including the well-preserved architecture of the 400-year-old Basilica de Bom Jesus
• Try your luck aboard a floating casino, where everyone wins a beautiful view of Goa from the water
• Learn about the history of Goa and its Portuguese influence by touring Reis Magos Fort
• Hike up to the awe-inspiring Dudhsagar Falls
Vietnam is known for its long rainy season, but November is one of the driest months on the calendar. Situated on the banks of the Red River, Hanoi has been a center of commerce and culture for more than 1,000 years.
Perfect for: Observing nature from the comfort and convenience of a dynamic, historic city
Average November Weather: 66 – 75 degrees, 9 days of rainfall
What to do
• Explore Hanoi’s vibrant Old Quarter, a bustling marketplace filled with all kinds of vendors
• Learn about Vietnam’s 20th century history at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Presidential Palace
• Tour Halong Bay and the Gulf of Tonkin by traditional junk boat, stopping to swim and check out the hidden caves and 1,600 small islands that make up this beautiful World Heritage Site
• Head to the Duong Lam Ancient Village, a rural hamlet that gives a glimpse into Vietnamese farming life and features temples and monuments that date back several hundred years
• Ride a bicycle or moped over the Long Bien Bridge, taking in picturesque views of the Red River and Hanoi’s skyline
With 17 million inhabitants in the city and its outskirts, Dhaka is one of the world’s most populous cities. Many diverse ethnic and religious groups come together in this active, cosmopolitan city in the heart of the Bengal delta. After a rainy, humid summer, things start to cool down in November and the sun is out almost every day.
Perfect for: Taking in the sights and sounds of an underrated Asian metropolis
Average November Weather: 63 – 86 degrees, 1 day of rainfall
What to do
• Take a tour of the many famous temples, mosques, and churches that make Dhaka one of the most religiously diverse cities in the world
• Admire the architectural splendor of the National Parliament house
• Learn about the history, art and culture of this growing mega-city at the Bangladesh National Museum
• Get on a boat and tour Sadarghat, the vital, vibrant waterway that connected Old Dhaka to the rest of Bangladesh to see why the city was once known as “the Venice of the east”
• Shop like a local at the open air New Market, home to great bargains and rare finds on any number of goods
Summer weather in the southern hemisphere
Cape Town, South Africa
If you’ve been thinking about a trip to South Africa, Cape Town in November is your best bet. The summer tourism season doesn’t really heat up until December, so you’ll get to enjoy some of the same great weather without the huge crowds, leaving you free to explore this harbor city at your own pace.
Perfect for: Outdoor adventurers and animal lovers
Average November Weather: 56 – 74 degrees, 7 days of rainfall
What to do
• Hike up above the clouds at Table Mountain for sweeping views of the city and ocean
• Snag a selfie with a wild baboon or ostrich at the Cape of Good Hope
• See a colony of African penguins at play on Boulders Beach
• Rent a board and learn to surf at beginner beaches like Muizenberg and Big Bay. If you’re feeling more confident in your skills, check out advanced breaks like Dunes and Off the Wall
• Take a stroll along the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, which offers shopping, fine dining and museums against an oceanic backdrop
Situated on Columbia’s northern Caribbean coast, Cartagena is a jewel of a South American city with a history of settlement that dates back to around 4000 B.C.E. November is when the rainy season begins to taper off, making it the perfect time to visit without paying a fortune for accommodations.
Perfect for: History buffs and beachgoers
Average November Weather: 75 – 88 degrees, 10 days of rainfall
What to do
• Go on a walking tour and learn the history of the Walled City, a UNESCO World Heritage site filled with winding, narrow streets, old world charm and great shopping
• Visit the impressive Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, a 16th century Spanish fortress
• Spend a day at Islas del Rosario, an ideal destination for swimming in clear blue waters, spotting sea creatures, or just relaxing in the sand and sun
• Take in the splendid interior and panoramic exterior views at the Convento La Popa de la Galera
• Browse the intricate metal artwork at the Museo del Oro Zenu Gold Museum, featuring fine sculptures and jewelry made from this precious metal
Located in the foothills of the Andes Mountains, this historic capital of the Incan Empire has a rich cultural heritage and breathtaking natural backdrops. With fewer crowds and rising temperatures, November is a great time to make that hike up Machu Picchu you’ve been dreaming about.
Perfect for: Scholars of ancient civilizations and hikers with a bucket list
Average November Weather: 52 – 66 degrees, 11 days of rainfall
What to do
• Ascend Machu Picchu to investigate the ruins of South America’s most famous ancient civilization
• Learn about the region’s rich history of bean to bar chocolate production at the Choco Museo
• Wander through the Centro Historico De Cusco, featuring dining, nightlife and colonial architecture
• Explore a range of works by Peru’s indigenous peoples at the Pre-Columbian Art Museum
• See how the pre-Incan population of Cusco collected salt at the Salinas de Maras
Buenos Aires, Argentina
With a name meaning “good air” and a prime coastal location, it’s no surprise that Buenos Aires is one of the top travel destinations in all of Latin America. This thriving, global city offers a beautiful mix of people, architecture, art forms and ideas from all over the world.
Perfect for: Experiencing the finest in arts and culture that South America has to offer
Average Weather: 61 – 77 degrees, 10 days of rainfall
What to do
• Take in a performance at the Teatro Colon
• Create your own art tour, stopping in at museums like the Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires, the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, and the Caminito “street museum”
• Go for a sunset stroll along the water in the modernized wharf district of Puerto Madero, home to plenty of chic bars and restaurants
• Stop to smell the roses in the peaceful Parque 3 de Febrero, or check out its lake, café or planetarium
• Attend a wine tasting to learn everything there is to know about one of Argentina’s most popular exports
Canary Islands, Spain
Located near the coast of Morocco, this island archipelago is the perfect oasis. While the name may conjure up visions of a tropical paradise, these islands showcase an impressive array of diverse landscapes. November offers warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine, making it the perfect time for outdoor exploration.
Perfect for: Nature lovers with an interest in ecological diversity and undisturbed landscapes
Average November Weather: 64 – 75 degrees, 4 days of rainfall
What to do
• Visit Loro Parque at Punta Brava for an exciting, up-close look at a wide range of local wildlife and other special species from around the globe
• Find some peace and quiet amidst the miles of sand dunes and ocean views at Parque Natural de Corralejo
• Take a tram ride above the clouds and admire the otherworldly views of the landscape around Volcan El Tiede
• Bask in the lush green beauty of Garajonay National Park, a secluded Laurel forest
• Go on the Masca Walk to see awe-inspiring cliffs jutting right up against a beautiful beach
Between the tapering off of the rainy season and the island celebrating its independence day on the 30th, late November is maybe the best time of year to visit one of the most special spots in the Caribbean.
Perfect for: An ideal blend of island relaxation and celebration
Average November Weather: 75 – 84 degrees, 16 days of rainfall
What to do
• Take a boat tour through the Caribbean or scuba dive out in open ocean
• Celebrate with the locals at events like the Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival or the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts
• Go for a morning walk along the South Coast Boardwalk in Hastings
• Dip your toes in the white sand and crystal clear blue water at Carlisle Bay
• Take a tram ride through Harrison’s Cave to explore the hidden side of Barbados’ natural beauty
Hopefully this list leaves you feeling inspired. For another way to travel, check out our list of top worldwide pilgrimages for music lovers.