Did you make a New Year’s resolution to seize the day and explore the world? Now is the time to start planning
With the siren call of wildlife in Ghana, saunas in Sweden, golden beaches in Mexico, and a fun festival in India, your New Year’s resolution will be an easy one to keep.
Best for families – Ghana
Escape the cold and head to south Ghana for an eco-tourist’s dream. Kakum National Park, situated just north of Cape Coast, is a rainforest reserve and home to a variety of monkeys and antelopes, as well as butterflies and birds. Walk through foliage on the 40m (131ft) high suspended walkway and keep a look out for wildlife. For more ideas, check out the Things to see and do in Ghana travel guide.
Best for a city break – Stockholm, Sweden
January is one of the cheapest months to visit Sweden and Stockholm has plenty to offer. Perfect for foodies, the city is fond of fish and shellfish, and is home to strömming, a delicious herring from the Baltic. A must-see attraction is the ABBA museum which has a dance floor for you to strut your stuff. To beat the cold weather, sweat it out in one of the city’s many public saunas (known as bastu locally) – just leave your modesty at the door as the Swedes are relaxed about getting their kit off. Read the Stockholm city guide before your trip.
Best for a beach break – Puerto Vallarta beaches, Mexico
With broad flat beaches and lush jungle trials fighting for your attention, you know you’re in for a good time at Puerto Vallarta, one of the most picturesque beach resorts in Mexico. Playa Los Muertos, south of the Rio Cuale, is an ideal place for sunbathing and swimming. For serene swimming and snorkelling, take a launch from Playa los Muertos to Yelapa, Playa las Animas and Majahuitas. The humpback whale watching season also runs from December to March.
Best for an adventure break – Assam, India
Each January the small state of Assam, one of the Seven Sister States of the lesser-travelled region of eastern India, spurs into life when it hosts the Brahmaputra Beach Festival. In celebration of the end of harvest, hundreds of locals, and a few well-researched travellers, descend on the ravine beaches of the mighty Brahmaputra River to browse the makeshift stalls that line the sands and partake in the festival activities. The primary spectacles are the sporting events, which range from modern games of beach cricket and volleyball to time-honoured traditions of water rafting and, most excitingly, elephant races.