The Daily Traveler: Apocalypse Tourism

I suggested seven end-of-times destinations for a slideshow tied to theories about a Mayan-predicted apocaylpse.

Where to Go for the Apocalypse, In Case the World Ends Next Month

Go to the Source
The Mayans are the ones causing the end-of-the-world speculation, so learn all you can about Mayan culture to get some perspective on the situation. First order of business: a visit to some Mayan ruins. Why choose just one? Tour D'Afrique, Ltd. is running La Ruta Maya: The Doomsday Ride, a 1,429-mile bicycling trip that'll take you throughout the heart of Mayan country. The full, six-week cycling experience kicked off November 17, but you can join for sections of the route, which traverses Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, and Belize. Along the way, you'll visit the Mayan ruins at Tikal, Copan, and Lamani. If you're not interested in all that exertion—the end of the world means you can let yourself go, after all—perhaps you'd prefer to make your Mayan adventure a side trip in an otherwise all-inclusive, screw-it-all-because-the-world-is-ending beach vacation. In that case, Best Day Tours runs trips to the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, as well as Tulum and Xel-Ha from Mexico's Riviera Maya.

Live in Denial
Perhaps it'll make you feel better to think about other inaccurate apocalyptic predictions. William Miller, a figure who emerged during the Second Great Awakening in America, studied his "Book of Revelation" and decided that the Second Coming could be nailed to a specific date: October 22, 1844. When the day came and went with no sign of a prophecy fulfilled, it became known as the Great Disappointment. You can visit the William Miller House and Chapel, where he lived in Hampton, New York, close to the border of Vermont. The fact that they're both still standing, despite confident prognostications suggesting otherwise, should provide some comfort.

Head for the Hills
Book a flight to France: Some believe that the 200-person town of Bugarach will be spared when the apocalypse arrives. Why? You'd think its remoteness, being snuggled away in the Pyrénées, would insulate it from any harm. You'd be wrong. According to the Huffington Post, those who seek safety there believe that the aliens who will cause the end of times are storing their spaceships in the 1,230-meter-high Pic de Bugarach mountain, and they're planning to spare the locals when it's time to blast off. The mayor has even banned climbing the peak on December 21, fearing for the safety of apocalypse-minded tourists. The Guardian writes that Bugarach's infamy is because of "a prophecy/internet rumour, which no one has ever quite got to the bottom of," but it's as good a spot as any for bet-hedging.

Click through to read the rest of the slideshow at the Condé Nast Traveler.

Photo Courtesy Tour d'Afrique