Best countries to visit in 2020
With a plethora of destinations to travel to in the world, it is difficult to pick just one or even two or three. How can you choose where to go? We will suggest some of the best countries to visit. It will be hard to pick a favorite!
We have taken the top 9 travel websites and combined their best countries to visit to in 2020 to give you a summary of where the experts are saying to go. We’ve done the work for you to find the top destination to travel to.
Let’s assume that in a few months after we have all done our part in staying home and social distancing from the coronavirus, we are able to travel the world again. Our wanderlust continues to grow, and our blacklists continue to get longer.
Even if you are a little nervous to travel there are ways to protect yourself so you can safely travel in the future. In the meantime, let’s fuel our wanderlust and check out the best countries to visit this year. Purchasing travel insurance could greatly benefit your trip and vacation right now. Here you can purchase travel insurance. We recommend Travelex insurance as they offer a “Cancel for no reason.”
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How best countries to visit were selected
As previously mentioned, we took the top 9 travel websites and magazines to give you a summary of all their top travel destinations in one place.
These include Travel & Leisure, Far & Wide, Travel USnews, Good House Keeping, National Geographic, The New York Times Travel, CNN Travel, Condé Nast Travel, and the Travel Channel.
We have combined the best locations for you based on the number of times they were featured on one of these lists, and by their ranking on the list. If they received a top 10 score they were rated higher. We hope this list fuels your wanderlust and helps to create your upcoming bucket list.
The United States of America
From small towns to big cities, from beaches to snow-capped covered mountains, the United States is made up of so many diverse destinations. For Americans, there are so many top destinations to travel and see in the United States.
There are 419 national parks in the United States. Awe-inspiring panoramas are available everywhere you turn in the national parks. They appeal to almost everyone, from hikers, bikers, rock climbers, campers, wildlife enthusiasts and even Instagram influencers.
The US National Parks are must-visit and here are some of the top national parks to visit: Yellowstone, Yosemite, Zions, The Grand Canyon, & Glacier National Park.
There are cities all over the country bursting with energy and just a short flight, road trip, or train ride away. You will be amazed at the cultural differences, food, and music in different cities and regions of this country.
There are 3 cities in the United States that happened to make almost every list of places to visit and they are; Washington DC, New York City, and San Francisco.
Australia had the second-most number of destinations to travel to on the lists. Similar to the United States, Australia is a large country with a diverse landscape. Next, we will explore the top destinations to visit in Australia. I ask you to close your eyes and tell me what you think about when you think of Australia? Do you think of beaches and kangaroos? Australia is vastly beautiful and one trip will probably not be sufficient the first time.
Here are some of the bucket list destinations to see in Australia. You could ride a camel, have a glass of wine, and watch the sunset at Uluru in the Northern Territory.
Next is a place that you will want to visit before it disappears because of pollution. The Great Barrier Reef, is home to thousands of tropical fish, sea turtles, dolphins, and coral. This is one of the world’s natural wonders that will disappear.
No trip to Australia can be complete without hitting the beach. Many of the top beaches are close to some of the best cities to visit in Australia. Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne on the east coast have stunning beaches. And Perth is not to be missed on the west coast.
Comparing the last two countries, Japan is be considered small geographically. What Japan lacks in landmass it makes up for in culture in a massive way. Japan has done a great job of blending its cultural and traditional values in the modern world.
Tokyo is the world’s largest city with over 37 million people. Tokyo has everything that you can think of. Pet cafes are popping up like coffee shops. Grab a coffee while playing with any type of animal you can think of. From Hedgehogs to Owls, cats, and puppies.
Cultural sites, temples, gardens, sushi, Yes, Yes, and Yes. It has seemingly unlimited choices. Tokyo has an efficient and easy to use train/metro system to get you around this gigantic city. If you only have time to visit one place in Japan, Tokyo will not disappoint you and there is something for everyone.
Kyoto – Osaka – Kobe – Nara
Other top destinations to travel to in Japan include the famous Kyoto. Kyoto, the former capital of Japan is full of cultural heritage and historical sites. It is just a short ride on the high-speed bullet train from Tokyo.
Kyoto is located close to Japan’s 2nd largest city, Osaka. Within an hour of Kyoto, you can visit 3 other top cities in Japan, Osaka, Kobe, and Nara. This region is considered the birthplace of Japanese civilization.
The best time to visit Japan is in the spring. The spring in Japan is known for the beautiful cherry blossoms that light up the valleys and trees. The next best time to visit Japan is in the fall. In the fall the leaves begin to change color. The mountain becomes lit up with vibrant yellow, red, and orange. The temperature is mild but not freezing in the central to the southern part of Japan. Avoid visiting Japan in the summer as it can get extremely hot and humid.
Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Dubai has been called the “Las Vegas” of the east, but Dubai has something that Las Vegas never will. It has the blue waters and cream-colored beaches of the Persian Golf. Dubai is the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is a major transportation hub for passenger and cargo and aims to be the business hub of Western Asia.
Dubai is home to many of the world’s “Biggest” or “Largest” things in the world. It truly is an oasis in the desert. It has the world’s tallest skyscraper the Burj Khalifa, a man-made island in the shape of a palm tree, some of the world’s biggest malls, and luxury that will boggle your mind.
Next step out of the oasis and a step back in time to get a glimpse of what the city was like before. You will want to explore Old Dubai and take a ride on a camel or take in a belly dancing show.
Dubai continues to grow in popularity. Dubai does have a little bit of everything from a modern city, to the beach, then adding in some culture and history.
Plus, Dubai will be hosting what is called “The World’s Greatest Show,” the Dubai 2020 Expo runs from Oct. 20, 2020, to April 20, 2021. With over 190 nations participating, it’s the Arab world’s biggest global event ever.
No travel list would be complete without Italy if you are searching for that ultimate travel experience or something unique, Italy will provide it.
Millions of tourists and visitors flock to different parts of Italy each year, you can find your own unique experience. Find a hidden pizzeria that no one knows about, or sitting at a cafe listening to the hiss of the espresso machine. Italy has something for everyone and it never disappoints.
Italy has a diverse landscape and regions from north to south, and no trip is complete without visiting Rome. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you will need more than a day to see and take in all of the hundreds of years of Roman history. History is easily found in Rome just by walking down the street. The cafe you are currently sitting in is probably older than most buildings in the United States.
Did you know that Italy is very family-friendly? Consider taking the whole family to Italy! The Italians love kids and will cater to your family during your visit there. For more information on traveling to Italy with kids, check out Chilling with Lucas’ post here. Even a huge city like Rome is easy to navigate with kids.
In Rome, you will want to visit Vatican City. Vatican City is actually its own country. Make sure to plan at least a half a day to visit the sites inside Vatican City.
Other top places to visit in Italy
Italy is by far on almost everyone’s list of best countries to visit. Wonderful architecture and history in Italy can be found around every corner. Rome can be found both in the North. You can visit the fashion capital in Milan. Take in the stunning Lake Como. Or visit the beautiful waterways of Venice. Did you know that Venice is actually disappearing? As ocean waters all over the world rise, Venice is slowing flooding and disappearing. Don’t miss your gondola ride before you leave! You can see the infamous statue of David in Florence. Northern Italy has much to offer any traveler, explorer, or romantic.
Next, we will discover and review the south of Italy and the scenic Amalfi Coast. This coastline is unique and something you can not see anywhere else in the world. The coast is not far from Naples and the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
If you have the time you will want to hit Capri or Sicily. Capri is a small island off the western coast of Southern Italy that lies in close proximity to the Amalfi Coast and Naples. Southern Italy offers some of the most beautiful sites in the world.
Thailand might sound like a far off destination. Trust me it is worth the flight! We love Thailand and we are not alone. Did you know that Bangkok, the capital of Thailand was the most visited city in 2019 and the previous 4 years?
For the adventure seeker, off-the-beaten-path places are more appealing than heading to a big city but don’t miss out on Bangkok. It is easy to see why Bangkok has achieved as a top destination to travel. Bangkok is booming.
Thailand is full of ancient and modern cultures and an incredible street food scene. Be sure to check out the city’s historic temples, ride along the river, and let’s not forget the famous floating markets. When you head to Thailand you will want to take theses 13 essential items with you.
Phuket has become almost as well know for Leonardo DiCaprio’s film “The Beach.” In fact, many people now call Maya Beach, “Leonardo DiCaprio beach.” Phuket is so much more than this one beautiful beach. There are hundreds of beautiful blue lagoons and limestone karst that jet out of the Andaman Sea. Phuket has a vibrant nightlife and club-lined beaches.
If you are looking for something a little more off the beaten path in Thailand, we recommend checking out Krabi. Just east of Phuket on the other side of the Phang Nga Bay you will find Krabi.
Krabi is a little easier to get around and more relaxing than Phuket. You will find similar beaches but the but the scenery near Krabi (Railay Beach and Ko Lanta especially) really appeal to me more, I feel like they represent how I always pictured beaches in Thailand
The thing I love the most about the beaches of Thailand is that the Andaman Seawater is SO warm and calm. I do not like to swim in cold water so normally I don’t do very much swimming in the ocean. The water around Thailand is so mild that I find myself swimming and snorkeling all day long.
Northern Thailand – Chiang Mai
If beaches and big cities are not what you want to get out of your Thailand experience, then next we will head north. Surrounded by lush mountains and hundreds of temples Chiang Mai is the place to go.
If you are looking for some truly unique experiences of a lifetime you will want to add Chiang Mai to your list. From here you will find elephant sanctuaries and elephant parks. Zipline through the tropical rainforest, feed giraffes, enjoy delicious street food, discover a long neck village and visit one of over 300 temples around the Chiang Mai area.
One of my favorite things about Chiang Mai is the rich Thai culture that is apparent in every aspect of life there. You can feel how genuine the Thai people are and experience their culture when you are in Chiang Mai.
France, and specifically Paris is one of the most visited cities in the world. As people look to discover something a little different or unique, they tend to think France is overdone. The french would agree with you that they would like fewer people to visit. This doesn’t change the fact that France simply is one of the most beautiful places in the world.
There are good reasons that France is one of the most visited countries in the world. From the cultural sites in Paris, the spectacular beaches of the Mediterranean, and let’s not forget the French Alps. The beauty of France is everywhere you look. Next, we will explore Paris, the capital of France.
Have you been dreaming of going to Paris? Standing in front of the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. Visiting the Louvre and seeing all the treasures Paris has to offer.
Paris really is a bucket list destination and a top destination. You need to travel to France and Paris at least once in your life. If you can’t make, take a virtual tour of Paris, or if you have been, take the tour and recreate those experiences that you had on your first visit.
No trip to Paris can be complete without a visit to the Eiffel tower and a walk along the Seine River. A stop at the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, and the castle of Versailles. The list can go on and on in Paris, but here are a couple of underrated or not as popular places that you should not miss.
My favorite thing to do in Paris is to pack a picnic and spend the afternoon in a French park. Their parks are always busy with people enjoying the outdoors. French parks are the most amazing parks in the world. You will need to make sure you have aShop the latest electronics deals direct from Samsung” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”> good camera while visiting France.
The Catacombs of Paris
A veritable labyrinth in the heart of underground Paris, the Catacombs were installed in the tunnels of former quarries. The catacombs might be one of the most unique sites found anywhere. The Catacombs are a series of tunnels beneath the streets of Paris. These tunnels are lined with human bones, skeletons, and skulls.
Paris boomed in the 17th century and they ran into a big problem. They didn’t have anywhere to bury their dead. The city was full of living people and the cemeteries were full of the dead.
Paris needed a better place to put its dead. So they moved bones from the cemeteries to five stories underground into Paris’ former quarries. It took the Paris 12 years to move all the bones—from bodies numbering between 6 and 7 million people. Today you can visit the Paris catacombs for around 3 Euros, the tour takes about 45 minutes.
Having visited the catacombs of Paris there is an eerie yet reverent feeling when you see all of the bones. The bones have been arranged artistically. You are not allowed to touch or take pictures with a flash to help preserve the works. There are some that think the catacombs are disrespectful. We found that most of the people were respectful during their visit. Don’t forget a scarf or jacket as it is a little cold in the catacombs.
Saint Chapelle is often forgotten for the more popular Notre Dame, but sadly the Notre Dame was silverily damaged in a massive fire in 2019. It is currently being reconstructed but do not miss Saint Chapelle.
The Chapelle used to be home to over 22 relics including the crown of thrones worn by Jesus. King Louis IX loved to collect relics and Saint Chapelle was his favorite place to keep them. The Chapelle is actually made up of 2 chapels. The upper chapel was reserved for royalty and the lower chapel was for everyone else. You will be amazed by the 1,113 stained glass windows in the Chapel. You will easily see why Sainte Chapelle is a top destinations to travel to in Paris.
Lorraine Valley and Metz
Another top destination to travel to in France is the historic region of Lorraine and the city of Metz. You can get to Metz from Paris in 1 hour 24 minutes on one of the high-speed trains. Spend the day walking the city and enjoying a famous quiche Lorraine.
Metz is the biggest town in the Lorraine region. Located on the east side of the Moselle River, between Nancy and the country of Luxembourg. Also very close to three international borders (Germany, Luxemburg, and Belgium) it’s an easy hop to visit one of these other countries or all 3. While in Metz you will want to visit the St.-Étienne Cathedral, a masterpiece of gothic architecture. Built from local golden limestone and standing 138-feet tall, this is one of Europe’s tallest gothic buildings.
Metz is also known for its delicious food. Locals and tourists come to the Lorraine valley to sample and try delicious food. There is a new generation of chefs that are showcasing contemporary, creative food with seasonal produce, much of it sourced locally.
The second part of our list of best countries to visit
Did you know that Spain has Europe’s most southern ski resort? Spain’s landscapes are awe-inspiring and diverse. It stretches from the northern Pyrenees mountains to the Tenerife on the Canary Islands.
Did you know that Spain is also home to the only desert in Europe, Cabo de Gato? Let’s not forget about the unbelievable festivals. The San Fermin running of the bulls in Pamplona and the tomato throwing festival of La Tomatina. Spain has so much to offer.
Spain is home to 45 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Making it the third most sites in any country. Barcelona is one of the top destinations in Spain. In fact, it is so popular that officials are considering curbing how many tourists can visit each year.
But who wouldn’t want to visit this beautiful city on the Mediterranean Sea? Visit artists like Antoni Gaudi and Salvador Dali in the morning and hit the beach in the afternoon. You won’t want to miss the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia. The giant cathedral that has been under construction since 1882.
If you didn’t get enough art in Barcelona head to the Capital of Spain, Madrid. Spain has produced some of the most famous painters, Goya and Pablo Picasso. Two art museums to visit are Pardo and Reina Sofia. If you happen to be in Madrid during the football/soccer season you will want to watch one of the best teams in the world, Real Madrid. Head to Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. Now for one of the best rivalries in all of the sports, take in a game from Real Madrid versus FC Barcelona. The experience will be unforgettable.
The Islands of Spain
The Canary Islands, Ibiza, and Menora can be a great way to combine an island beach vacation with a cultural experience. Ibiza is well known as the party isle, but if you are looking for something more peaceful you will want to look to Menorca. The Canary Islands are well known for their great weather, incredible beaches, and friendly locals.
For more detailed information about traveling to the Canary Islands, visit this great post by Twins and Travel. Follow along their journey to the Canary Islands with twins. It’s a great place to spend a family holiday on the beach.
If you are traveling to Malaysia it is likely you are headed to some of the quiet beaches or the historical sights of Penang and Melaka. But Malaysia has had an explosion of chic hotels and resorts. This has put Kuala Lumpur in the spotlight as the capital and largest city in Malaysia, but still has aspects of the rainforest even in the city.
As Malaysia’s financial and political hub, Kuala Lumpur has a surprising number of international travelers and ex-pats. Most visitors will head to the iconic Petronas Twin Towers or the Hindu festival Thaipusam, where devotees pierce their flesh to honor the deity Lord Murugan, at Batu Caves.
Soon Kuala Lumpur will open the tallest building in Southeast Asia, passing the Petronas Tower, and having the 15th tallest building in the world. But before you hit the sights you will want to consider staying at the Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur or stopping by for afternoon tea.
Malaysia’s beaches and Islands
Malaysia doesn’t quite have the reputation that Thailand does for beach vacations, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. Malaysia sits along the Andaman Sea to the west and the Gulf of Thailand to the east. Hands down I think Malaysia has some of the best beaches in the world.
But why not go to some untouched beaches and world-class diving and snorkeling. Malaysia islands have high-end luxury resorts, the ones you see on Crazy Rich Asians, are on the Island of Langkawi.
Maybe you are looking for more of an adventure, then Perhentian Island or Radang is your cup of tea. The water is so clear here that you can snorkel right off the beach. These islands are home to some of the best diving in the world.
Sabah & East Malaysia (Borneo)
The Malaysian state of Sabah offers a biodiverse experience and is still relatively unknown to tourists. For the adrenaline junkies or hikers, you can take your shot at Mount Kinabalu (4095.2 Meters, 13,435 feet). Mount Kinabalu is one of the highest mountains in Southeast Asia. It is also the 20th tallest mountain in the world.
If that’s not enough, try diving with the sharks off the Semporna coast. Borneo might just be one of the most unknown and top destinations to travel to in the world, but one of the top reasons to travel there is to help protect it. Every year hundreds of thousands of acres of rainforest are burned. It’s burned to make way for palm oil plantations. But as tourism has increased, more money is put into these rainforests. Slowly saving them.
But Sabah’s biggest draw is the chance to see endangered orangutans in the wild. in small boats to glimpse the apes, as well as pygmy elephants, crocodiles. The best way to see these endangered animals by taking a riverboat on the Kinabatangan River.
Another endangered animal that you will want to see is the proboscis monkeys. These funny looking monkeys are amazing to see with your own eyes!
When headed to Southeast Asia you will want to make sure you take bug spray and other essentials. From living in Southeast Asia for a couple of years, here is our list of 13 essential items you should pack.
The British Virgin Islands
Most visitors travel to the British Virgin Islands in the fall, between September and November. Winter is also a great time to visit the islands. When you want to escape the cold of winter in the US or Europe head to the Virgin Islands.
More than 60 islands make up this Caribbean archipelago, some of them uninhabited and are just national parks. After a devastating hurricane struck the islands in 2017, the British Virgin Islands are making a full rebound in 2020 with the reopening of many of the major resorts.
The main island of Tortola is known for its full-moon parties and sailing prowess. Billionaires and yachties head over to Virgin Gorda. The islands have a quirky edge, and despite all the fancy boats and celebrity visitors, they remain relatively undeveloped. Making it one of the best countries to visit in 2020. Don’t forget to pack your bug spray and sunscreen.
Prague, in my opinion, should be higher on this list and should be on more travel lists. As a European city, it is still under-appreciated. It has some of the most picturesque architecture in Europe. Prague is filled with castles and a beautiful river that runs through the city.
Old Town Square is probably the most popular spot in Prague. The square will be filled with tourists to see the beautiful architecture that hasn’t changed much since the 12th century. The square usually has a few street performers doing acts or performing music.
The most famous thing in the square is the Prague Astronomical Clock. Although it is a clock, it doesn’t display the time of day. It is actually used to determine the phases of the moon and the equinoxes. Make sure to look for the special symbols, such as the skeleton depicting death and a bag of money representing greed.
Once you are done with the Old Town Square you will want to head over to Charles Bridge in the direction of Prague Castle. Next to the Old Town Square the Charles Bridge is bustling with people. The Bridge dates back to 1357 and the statues that line the bridge was crafted to honor a number of saints.
They say that if you touch each statue it will bring you good luck and prayers. If you can cross the bridge in the offseason or early in the morning before it fills up with people, you can truly enjoy the representation of this bridge and its setting.
Lastly, you will not want to miss out on Prague Castle. Just past the Charles Bride, you will make your way to the top of the hill and to the castle complex. The Prague Castle and the castle complex are a UNESCO World Heritage site. The castle stands in the same spot for more than 1,000 years.
Take in the beautiful 10th-century Romanesque buildings. And other structures that date back to the 14th century. Most of which were never damaged in the World Wars. The history alone is worth the visit but the beauty and architecture make one of the best countries to visit in Europe and in the world.
Although Hawaii is technically part of the United States, really Hawaii deserves it’s on ranking. Hawaii is unlike other parts of the United States and even each island is unlike the other. It is a very unique place in the world.
The state of Hawaii is made up of eight islands, of which six are major islands for tourists to choose from: Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and the Big Island. Each island boasts its own unique personality, offering distinct adventures, activities, and sights to its visitors.
“The Big Island” – Hawaii
Often called the Big Island to help distinguish it from the other islands, technically the big island’s name is Hawaii. The big island is about the same size as the state of Connecticut. On this one island, you can travel through many of the world’s existing climate zones, with everything from the tropics, to dry hot desert, to even the polar tundra.
These zones are possible due to the Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa volcanoes, which provide elevation and shielding properties that contribute to the island’s diverse climates. On the Big Island, you can witness everything from black sand beaches to flowing molten magma to snowy mountaintops.
Kauai, the “Garden Island”
Kauai Island is located the farthest north of all the Hawaiian islands. It is the oldest of all the Islands. Unlike the Big Island that is still growing and getting bigger. Kauai’s volcanoes have been dormant for thousands of years, allowing for vegetation and greenery to grow over the lava formations.
Kauai offers more than just beaches on this garden island. It has the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Waimea Canyon stretches for about 10 miles and drops as deep as 3,600 feet at some points. On Kauai, you will find the famous and breathtaking Napali coastline.
Did you know that Kauai is one of the wettest spots on earth? With its dramatic geological formation and receiving up to 300 to 600 inches of rainfall annually makes a home to a number of breathtaking waterfalls. One of the island’s favorites for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.
Oahu is the busiest and most populated island in Hawaii. Home to the capital of Honolulu, Waikiki Beach, Pearl Harbor, “The” North Shore and the Polynesian Cultural Center. Oahu is speckled with laid-back surf towns, mixed with the fast pace and high-energy of Honolulu.
Hawaii is rich in culture and you don’t have to look too hard on Oahu to find it. You need to get a feel for the authentic Polynesian culture and traditions from the Pacific and Hawaii. Take a trip out to the Polynesian Cultural Center.
This living museum features customs and artifacts from many cultures including Hawaiian, Samoan, Maori, and Tongan. There are a number of activities available for you to try and really experience the culture hands-on. Some of the activities include lei making, canoe rides, spear throwing, tree climbing, coconut husking, fire walking and more.
Don’t forget to try the local food. Sink your teeth into traditional Hawaiian fare such as pig cooked in an imu (underground oven heated by hot rocks), lomi lomi salmon or lau lau (meat cooked in leaves).
Some say the Maui is the best of all the other Hawaiian Islands. If Hawaii had a favorite child, Maui would be it’s favorite. Maui has more miles of swimmable beaches than any other island in Hawaii.
Maui has pristine white sand beaches, and offers plenty of black sand beaches, and even red sand beaches. The Road to Hana might be Maui’s best sight. You get to experience the lush rain forests, dramatic ocean views, and countless waterfalls and emerald pools.
Beware, this stunning drive is twisty! There are over 600 turns. Motion sickness is common or car sickness is likely to happen, either take your time or skip this adventure. Hawaii truly is one of the top destinations to travel to in the entire world.
Brazil is one of South America’s most influential countries. It is the 5th largest country in the world and the 6th most populous country. Despite being one of only a couple of countries in South America that doesn’t speak Spanish, this country has flourished.
The landscape is diverse and has much to offer as one of the best countries to visit. One of Brazil’s most incredible features is the Amazon basin. This second-longest river in the world is surrounded by rainforest.
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro or “Rio” as everyone calls it has some of the most dramatic coastlines in the world. The iconic white sands beach with the Christ the Redeemer Statue sitting atop and overlooking the city. Christ the Redeemer is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
The most famous beaches in the world are Copacabana and Ipanema. The beaches are full of people playing volleyball or hanging out with family and friends. If these are too crowded or busy for you, head to Prainha or Joatinga beach.
Rio has so much to see and do, you could easily spend lots of days and never get bored. See Rio and enjoy all that Brazil has to offer.
Paraty and Ilha Grande, Brazil
Not far from Rio is a lesser known island but has recently been added to the UNESCO site. This is a great off the beaten path destination in Brazil. It only recently had it’s first ATM installed. There are no large resorts but lots of hostels or posadas (Homes for travelers). There are no cars allowed on the island so take your hiking shoes.
Since Ilha Grande is still off the beaten path it has been able to preserve its beauty and coastlines. It has some of the most beautiful beaches anywhere.
Iguassu Falls are the widest waterfalls in the world. They form an immense semi-circle made up of 275 individual falls. These are located on the Argentinean border, offering the opportunity to add another country to a Brazilian cruise.
It is difficult to describe the enormity of Iguassu Falls with the amount of water coming from the Amazon Rain forest over the falls. To put it in some perspective, Iguassu falls is twice as tall as Niagara Falls and three times as wide. Take a walk around the boardwalks or take a boat to the bottom of the falls. There are plenty of opportunities to get soaked in the adventure.
Brazil has so much more to offer form the stunning beaches in the Northeast, the Amazon Rainforest in the north, and the energy and culture in the south. This amazing country has a number of top destinations to travel to, so take a week or two to discover all Brazil has to offer. As one of the largest countries in the world it has so many places to visit and you can see why Brazil made the list of best countries to visit.
Similar to other large countries like the United States and Brazil, China has a wide variety of experiences and landscapes. China is more than just megacities and an exploding economy. Despite some of China’s lackluster regulation with regards to air pollution and illegal wildlife trade, the country does appear to protect its national parks. First-time travelers to China will want to consider taking a guide book along.
China’s National Parks
Wulingyuan is one of the top destinations to travel to in China. This national park provides the inspiration for the movie Avatar. If you are not familiar with the movie, the Zhangjiajie National Forest features towering geological rock formations. This destination is a must for hikers, mountain climbers, Instagramers love it, and if you get a chance try rafting while visiting.
The newest National Park in China just opened this year. Sanjiangyuan National park sits on the Tibetan Plateau. It contains the headstreams of the Yangtze River, Yellow River, and Lancang River, as well as the rivers leading to the Hoh Xil National Nature Reserve. The region is dense with snow leopards but it will still be difficult to spot one.
One of the other things China is well known for are the Giant Panda bears. In the western province of Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu there are 67 panda reserves. It is possible but difficult to spot this endangered species in the wild, you can however see other wildlife like antelope, the Tibetan macaque, and muntjac (a small deer).
No stop can be complete to China without visiting either Beijing or Shanghai. Beijing just opened up a new airport and making it the world’s largest airport, but Beijing is much more than just a modern and fast-paced city. In fact, it has 7 UNESCO heritage sites.
The capital city of China is actually very scenic, as there are lakes and rivers that flow through the heart of the city toward the forbidden city. Beijing and China, in general, are quite affordable. Especially if you are comparing it to Tokyo or Hong Kong.
From Beijing, you will want to visit the Great Wall of China. We recommend to visit in Autumn, as the leaves and trees around the wall light up with shades of gold, yellow, and red. The wall stretches from the hill around the capital.
The imperial palace in Beijing is no longer forbidden. It is open to visitors all year round. Considered to be one of the top 5 most important palaces of all time. View a masterpiece of Chinese architecture and well preserved medieval wooden sculptures and structures. This palace has been home to more than 24 Chinese emperors.
Although this is the number one tourist attraction in all of China, it is worth the time and experience to visit such a cultural site. The Chinese government has opened up much of the forbidden city, but around 40% is still not accessible to the public.
Shanghai is a MEGA-CITY! It boasts a population of over 24 million people and is one of China’s busiest cities. It hosts the country’s biggest financial hub and some of the worlds tallest building, Shanghai has the appearance of new, shiny, and modern, but still maintaining some of the traditional and culture.
Our expectations of Shanghai were for it to be MEGA chaotic and busy, but it never felt that way. It was super clean for a large city. It is well organized and easy to navigate.
Some of the traditional Chinese sites to see are; Yu Garden, also known as Yuyuan Garden enjoys the reputation of “The crown of beauty in Southeast China.” It is rich in culture and architecture and is listed as one of the four national cultural markets in China.
Yu Garden & The Bund
This garden is also known as Yuyuan Garden enjoys the reputation of “The crown of beauty in Southeast China.” It is listed as one of the four national cultural markets in China.
The Bund is a must-see and a skyline that is amazing to see as one of the worlds top destinations to visit in Shanghai, or also know as Waitan, might be one of the most iconic places in all of Shanghai. This is a must if you want one thing to do in Shanghai for a day.
The area stretches along the waterfront of the Huangpu River and has a promenade walkway. The walkway is located on the west bank of the river and has a spectacular view of the “new” Shanghai. The tall modern skyscrapers.
From here you will see views of the “Oriental Pearl Tower,” and “Shanghai Tower,” if the weather is clear. The night we visited was rainy but it didn’t take away for the spectacular beauty of this view. If visiting for a day or week Shanghai has a ton to see and do and there is no wonder why this is a top destinations to visit in the world.
The most underrated best countries to visit in the world
Sri Lanka is a beautiful tropical island country in South Asia. Laying southeast under India in the Indian Ocean. Sri Lanka is a hidden gem with beaches, palm trees, and wonderful fruits to eat. The total population in 2018 was 21.67 million people. For historical context, between 1983 and 2009, Sri Lanka was riddled with a civil war, causing most tourism to stop and travelers to go elsewhere.
Since the end of the war, Sri Lanka has been steadily rebuilding its tourism industry. More visitors enter this gorgeous country each year, but it is still very untouched and in many ways still developing its tourism identity.
Safari of Asia
Outside of Africa, Sri Lanka is home to some of the world’s most fascinating animals. Did you know that Sri Lanka hosts the largest concentration of leopards in Asia. You can get up close to heard of elephants in the Minneriya National Park. Tourist flock here to see hundreds of baby elephants. As a bonus you will see other animals such as: sambar deer, monkeys and buffalo.
Next head to the south tip of the island and catch of dolphins and whales. Let’s not forget the normal run-in with a number of monkeys and wonderful birds.
Ever want to see one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world? You’ll want to check out Anuradura and Polonnaruwa. Anuradhapura is the ancient capital of Sri Lanka and of the ancient Sinhala civilization. There were two other kingdoms in Sri Lanka; Tambapanni and Upatissa Nuwara. Polonnaruwa is the second most ancient of Sri Lanka’s kingdoms. Established in the 10th Century after the invasion of the country’s then-capital Anuradhapura which was the first ancient Sri Lankan kingdom. Both locations have historical sites to visit.
Sri Lanka the Under Rated best countries to visit
Sri Lanka has been described as “The Wonder of Asia”. From modern cities like Colombo and Negombo to primitive villages and everything in between. Shopping from mega-malls to small shops to open markets. Between the safari of animals and the cultural importance of Sri Lanka is a top destination to travel to now but it will be fun to watch it develop over the next 10 years. Visit this underrated destination before it becomes the next Phuket.
Years ago, my father told me about a boss that he had. His boss had gone to New Zealand for two weeks on a vacation. At the end of the two-week vacation, he called in and said, “I quit, I am not coming back. I’ve decided that I want to stay in New Zealand.”
Here is why New Zealand is on the list of best countries to visit on your bucket list and why you may never come back from New Zealand.
People love New Zealand and this why it is considered to be one of the top destinations to visit. One reason might be that there are no snakes. The other is that no part of the country is more than 128 km from the ocean. Meaning you are only about an hour’s drive from any point to reach the sea.
North Island- the upper Isle
Many might not realize that New Zealand has two separate islands. If New Zealand is your only stop you will probably have time to visit both the northern and southern islands, but if this is on a stopover to Southeast Asia or Australia you might only get a chance to visit one.
The north island is recognized for its gorgeous coastline and geothermal spots. Both islands have incredible beaches the northern island has more of the more white-sand beaches.
Things you will want to experience on the north island of New Zealand are the Waitomo Caves. Waitomo cave can be explored by walking or in a raft on a boat tour. See the glowworms glowing inside the cave.
The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit trilogies were filmed in the northern isle. Hobbiton, as it is known lies in the Waikato region. It is a permanent attraction complete with hobbit holes, gardens, bridges, and the Green Dragon Inn. There are 44 unique hobbit holes for you to experience. This truly is the top destinations to travel to in New Zealand. You can book a tour here for both Hobbiton and Waitomomo Caves.
Auckland is a city in the North Island and the most populous city in New Zealand. One of the most recommend place to visit near Auckland is Waiheke Island. It is a 35-minute ferry ride from downtown. They say there are over 100 white-sand beaches.
It has a warm microcomputer that makes it a perfect home to over 30 wineries. If you are looking for something a bit more adventurous you will want to Kayak to a volcanic island. That’s right. You can paddle your way to Rangitoto Island, a dormant volcano not far from downtown. Once you are at the volcano enjoy a hike up the lava flows or summit to the top to look back at the harbor and city.
Choose your top destinations to travel
All of the destinations on this lists are great and not one will disappoint. You have to take into account what type of vacation you are looking for and find the one that fits best for you.
Wow! Thank you for putting all of this information together, including the major sites and cities in each country. I still have Japan on my radar for this fall, so fingers crossed that I don’t have to cancel. Very informative post!
Japan is a beautiful country. I hope you can make it there this fall!
So much travel inspo! And I’m happy to say that I’ve been to most, just need to check off Hawaii! I would also add French Polynesia! That’s a major bucketlist country for me!
I would love to go to French Polynesia as well! Thanks for your comments 🙂
Ahh, so many great destinations! Probably top of my list there are Borneo and Brazil, but I’d happily return to Thailand again and again 🙂
New Zealand is definitely on my list! Thanks for all the inspo!
I haven’t been to New Zealand yet either but it is very high on my list. I’d love to go there too.
These are all great! My husband and I were suppose to travel for a year, but we ended up only travelling for 4 months due to travel burnout, but also we came home when we did. Before the whole virus thing happened. New Zealand was definitely a highlight of my trip! SO magical!
New Zealand looks amazing, I can’t wait to go there someday! I hear you on the travel burn out, it’s nice to be away and always nice to come home.
I love your suggestions, many of these countries hold a special place in my heart, and I especially loved New Zealand! Can’t wait to travel again, thanks for this post!
I can’t wait to travel again too! New Zealand looks amazing 🙂
So many amazing destinations! Several of them are high on my list, especially Japan!
There are some great recommendations here! I can’t wait until it is safe to start traveling again! Personally, New Zealand isn’t really somewhere that has ever piqued my interest but it looks so magical! I think it might be an addition to my bucket list! Thanks for all of the inspiration!
Hannah | https://getlost.blog/
I’m glad you found some inspiration. I definitely added to my bucket list when I was writing this list too 🙂
Such a great list! I’ve been to 11 of these places – not bad! And all of them I would 100% recommend to travel to ASAP as well :). Japan is one place that has been in my mind for years so hopefully that is next!
Wow 11 of these places is great! I hope we can all start traveling again soon and you can make it to Japan. It is an amazing country, you will love it.
So sad! Was supposed to be going to Japan this fall, but it’s not looking like that will happen now. Maybe in 2021! In the meantime, this post allowed me to daydream about future adventures 🙂 Thanks!
It’s good to daydream during this time! My fingers are crossed for you that you will make it to Japan this fall.
I agree with these! I visited Spain last year and loved it, but I just went to Barcelona. I’d love to go back and explore Granada, Seville, Madrid… so many more places!
Those places sound amazing too! Thanks for your comments, I’m glad you liked this list 🙂
This is such a great list! I’m so happy my country, New Zealand was on the list! Saving this for later!
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