August can be a fantastic month for travel, however, it can also be a very busy time, because school is still on break in most parts of the world. However, that doesn’t have to make choosing the best places to visit in August impossible.
Europe, especially the west and the Mediterranean coast, is best avoided this time of the year.
While the weather is great, the beaches are crowded and the cities are insufferably busy, ensuring that this is not one of the best places to visit in August.
But look further afield and there’s a wonderful array of travel opportunities awaiting you.
Head to the northern regions of Australia, where you can explore a vast wilderness of diversity, from the Great Barrier Reef to the lush rainforests around Darwin.
Visit Indonesia for perfect weather conditions in southeast Asia or visit Malaysia for rainier weather but far fewer crowds and cheaper deals.
In Africa, Travel to Kenya to see the extraordinary Great Migration in action, or head to the deserts of Namibia where the cool winter weather provides the perfect conditions for exploring.
In the Americas, it’s prime time to visit Alaska, while there are unique experiences to be had in Argentina, Mexico or even Panama.
There’s a lot going on this month and to inspire your next journey, here’s our take on the best places to visit in August.
9 of the Best Places to Visit in August
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1. Northern Australia
In August it’s winter time in Australia, but that’s no reason not to visit, because this is an enormous country with a huge range of climate zones to consider.
While the most populated and well-known areas in the south, such as Victoria and New South Wales, are all cold and rainy, the north of Australia is one of the best places to visit in August.
The north is tropical and experiences distinct wet and dry seasons while remaining constantly hot throughout the year.
August is the middle of the dry season, which means no flooded roads and no dangerous cyclones to watch out for.
It’s also the coolest time to be exploring the national parks or road tripping, with much lower temperatures than summer.
Take a boat trip along the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns, visit Darwin and the verdant rainforests of Litchfield or Kakadu National Parks, or go far west and catch the Whale Sharks migrating along the Ningaloo coastline.
Our Top Recommended North Australia Tours:
- Alice Springs to Kakadu: Starry Nights & Secret Waterfalls with G Adventures – 6 days
- Queensland Adventure: Rainforests & Waterfalls with G Adventures – 3 days
- Brisbane to Cairns Experience: Sand Dunes & Whitesundays with G Adventures – 10 days
Kenya is popular this time of the year, but it will always be one of the best places to visit in August, because this is the height of the Great Migration.
This annual mass movement of wildlife sees millions of animals moving backward and forward between Kenya and Tanzania as they move across Africa in search of different watering holes and feeding grounds.
As huge herds of wildebeest and zebra make this epic journey, predators follow and crocodiles await them.
In August, the herds reach the south of Kenya and move into the Masai Mara game reserves where you have the chance to see the brutal river crossings.
It’s an intense experience, but a fascinating one. Be sure to book safaris and lodgings in advance because this is a popular time to be in Kenya and the rest of East Africa, given not only the Great Migration, but the great weather too.
Our Top Recommended Kenya Tours:
- Kenya Camping Safari with G Adventures – 9 days
- Kenya Safari Experience with National Geographic Journeys – 8 days
- Kenya Overland: Rhinos & National Reserves with G Adventures – 6 days
If you’re looking to explore more Africa and to visit a much lesser-known destination, then Namibia is one of the best places to visit in August.
The weather is perfect this time of the year, with cooler weather, clear skies and a dry climate.
Namibia is known for its desert-like landscapes, and you can explore the vast Kalahari Desert and Etosha National Park, as well as the sandy and windswept Skeleton Coast.
While this is peak season in Namibia, this is still very much an emerging destination, and there’s plenty of space for traveling and plenty of places left to discover.
Visit the unique, German-inspired capital of Windhoek where you can trace the country’s unusual colonial history, before heading off on safari in search of the great wealth of wildlife that’s found across Namibia.
Namibia has it all too, and you can enjoy the beaches and coastline, hike through dramatic canyons in the wilderness or simply enjoy some great food and culture in the cities.
Our Top Recommended Namibia Tours:
- Wonders of Namibia with National Geographic Journeys – 10 days
- Discover Namibia & Victoria Falls with National Geographic Journeys – 12 days
- Cape & Namibia Adventure with G Adventures – 12 days
Remaining in the Southern Hemisphere, but venturing west across the Atlantic from Southern Africa, and Argentina is one of the best places to visit in August.
This isn’t traditionally seen as a great time to visit Argentina, because this is the end of winter, but actually, it’s the perfect time to escape the crowds while the weather warms up.
Up north, and the capital Buenos Aires is heating up and seeing remarkably warm temperatures, and that means the city is returning to life again.
Compared to summer, temperatures are cool, making August a great choice for soaking up the culture, strolling through the streets and exploring all the historical sites and museums.
You can visit the stunning and dramatic natural attraction that is Iguazu Falls, and enjoy this enormous waterfall without the summer hordes.
While the adventurous can even consider heading south to Patagonia for winter activities, although be warned, it’s much colder than in the north throughout August!
Our Top Recommended Argentina Tours:
- End of the Earth with G Adventures – 14 days
- Hike Patagonia in Depth with G Adventures – 14 days
- Argentina Multi-sport with G Adventures – 15 days
Travel further north from Argentina and cross the equator, and Panama can be one of the best places to visit in August.
The Central American nation is on the rise, and it’s starting to become much more popular as a travel destination.
There’s much more to see than the Panama Canal, although that remains the country’s enduring national symbol because there’s a wealth of biodiversity, history and culture waiting to be discovered.
This is actually the rainy season, but while there will be rainfall, it’s also hot and sunny for much of the time too.
Visit Bocas del Toro or San Blas for Island getaways or stay in Panama City and enjoy the delights of one of the most impressive cities in Central America.
Our Top Recommended Panama Tours:
- Best of Panama with G Adventures – 8 days
- Panama Experience: Cloud Forests & Canals with G Adventures – 14 days
- Panama & Costa Rica Quest with G Adventures – 16 days
Head ever further north, and Cancun and southern Mexico is in the midst of the rainy season, while the Caribbean Sea is in Hurricane Season.
For that reason, Cancun wouldn’t seem at first glance to be one of the best places to visit in August but take a second glance. At this time of the year there’s just a fraction of the tourists that you’ll see in the dry winter season.
Yes, there will be rain showers and the odd thunderstorm, but Cancun and the Riviera Maya have historically seen few hurricanes hit the coast. They are a rare occurrence, but they keep away the tourists.
This is actually whale shark season along the coast, as they enormous fish travel here to feed on plankton that’s blooming in the wet season. Head to Isla Holbox for the best sightings.
Our Top Recommended Cancun Tours:
Continue north – far north, this time – and one of the best places to visit in August is Alaska.
The great, last frontier of the United States of America is enjoying its short summer season right now, and there are few better times to visit.
Of course, this is peak season in Alaska and this is when the largest number of cruise ships arrive, but this is such a vast destination that it’s easy to get away from the crowds.
Visit the national parks around Anchorage, where nature literally merges with urban life, so close are they.
See Denali in all its glory and perhaps even attempt to summit if your experienced and plan the expedition far in advance.
Head up to the Arctic to enjoy the midnight sun, and to see the most remote parts of the state.
Our Top Recommended Alaska Tours:
- Alaska Journey with National Geographic Journeys – 10 days
- Highlights of Alaska with G Adventures – 15 days
- Alaska Kenai & Denali Adventure with G Adventures – 8 days
Southeast Asia is an enduring travel destination, but much of the region is incredibly hot, humid and rainy through August.
This isn’t the case in much of Indonesia however, which is one of the best places to visit in August.
While the most well-known islands, especially Java and of course, Bali, are incredibly busy, there are thousands of more islands to discover.
The weather is perfect for snorkeling or diving, so travel to the remote yet beautiful Raja Ampat islands for the underwater marine life.
Visit Flores and Komodo Island to explore nature and wildlife – and to see the infamous Komodo Dragons – or head off the beaten track and uncover destinations such as Sumba or Sulawesi where you can find beautiful nature and fascinating culture.
Our Top Recommended Indonesia Tours:
- Discover Bali & Java with National Geographic Journeys – 15 days
- Indonesia Adventure: Java & Bali with G Adventures – 21 days
- Classic Lombok with G Adventures – 8 days
Staying in Southeast Asia, Malaysia can also be one of the best places to visit in August, but just be prepared for some rain.
The monsoon is about to arrive but you’ll only have intermittent rain, and this is the last chance to take a boat to the idyllic Perhentian Islands on the east coast.
It’s hot and humid in Kuala Lumpur but you can escape the capital and head to the Cameron Highlands, where at high altitude temperatures are much, much cooler.
Go hiking and enjoy some of the best tea in the world, in this beautiful part of Malaysia.
Our Top Recommended Malaysia Tours:
- Southeast Asia: Hilltribes & Streetfood with G Adventures – 21 days
- Experience Sarawak with G Adventures – 6 days
- Singapore, Malaysia & Thailand Explorer with National Geographic Journeys – 22 days
Need Help Planning?
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In our detailed trip research section, we highlight all the tools we use daily when planning all of our trips. We reveal our favorite resources and booking sites and plenty of travel tips to help you plan.
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