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Cafés, Ruins, Safaris and More: Top Places to Visit in August

Written by Sandy Bornstein

This blog post was updated on January 25, 2022.

It’s August. The days are getting shorter and — oh no! — you haven’t made any summer travel plans yet! Don’t stress. There are usually last-minute discounts on summer vacation packages and better yet — there are great deals for US. travelers where the dollar is strong.

Can you imagine yourself sitting in a café in Barcelona, Spain, scouting out Mayan ruins in Mexico, going on a safari in South Africa, or exploring Cartegena, Colombia?

Explore on Foot in Barcelona, Spain


If you’re headed to Barcelona, charge your camera battery and bring some comfy shoes. Your camera will be clicking away as you discover Barcelona on foot. The city’s architecture, especially Antoni Guadi’s work, is a main draw along with an assortment of museums and delectable food. It’s wise to check opening and closing schedules as many places temporarily shut down in the afternoon and may not be open on Sundays.

Visit Ruins, Nature, and the Beach in Tulum, Mexico


In Mexico, it’s possible to combine a beach vacation with a visit to a Mayan ruin. Fly into Cancun and drive a couple of hours to a beachfront accommodation in Tulum. The ruins can be viewed within a few hours from your beachy paradise. Don’t forget to look down from the cliff and take pictures of the rugged shoreline! The rest of the trip can be spent relaxing on the beach or indulging in water sports. If you need a break from all the relaxing you’re doing, visit the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve on the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula and take in the natural beauty of it all.

Go on an Animal Safari in South Africa


The best time to visit a South African wildlife park is from May to September. Animals gravitate to water during the dry season and are easier to see. It’s also less crowded because it’s the South African tourists’ low season. It may be chilly at night and in the early morning, so remember to bring warm clothing.

If you’re looking to safari in style, Sabi Sabi Luxury Reserve is a deluxe choice. It includes all meals plus two daily game drives. Skukuza Rest Camp in Kruger National Park is a more budget-minded option. To reach these destinations fly into the Johannesburg Airport and transfer to the smaller Skukuza Airport.

Watch History Unfold in Cartegena


Colombia is a reasonably priced South American adventure. Fly into Cartegena and explore its culture and history and relax on its sandy beaches. Take an adventure and cross the Ciudad Amurallada (Walled City), San Felipe Castle, the Getsemani neighborhood (oldest section of the city), the hilltop photo opportunity at La Popa Convent, and the Museo de Oro y Arquelogia off of your bucket list. For a romantic touch, take a carriage ride through one of Cartagena’s many historic neighborhoods.

Which August destination has you daydreaming at your desk? Let us know in the comments below!

About the author

Sandy Bornstein

Sandy Bornstein lived as an expat in India. Her award-winning memoir, May This Be the Best Year of Your Life, highlights what she learned as the only American teacher at an international Bangalore school. After living abroad, Sandy continues to explore the world and write about her travels. You can follow Sandy's adventures at

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