With the new year, brings new travel destinations. And 2020 could be the best year in travel to date. Discover UNESCO listed sites like Petra, meet gorillas in Rwanda, learn the fine art of the tea ceremony in Japan, indulge your vegan needs in Mexico, and get to know the traditional people of Namibia. A world of opportunity awaits travellers, adventurers and luxury-seekers in 2020.
Check out our top 20 destinations below.
- Bolivia: Home to Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat and everyone's favourite pink bird (the flamingo), Bolivia is considered one of the planet’s most remote and surreal landscapes. Its location, landscapes and natural beauty, make Bolivia the perfect destination for adventure seekers. And for those seeking adventure AND luxury, the newly opened Kachi Lodge offers seven geodesic domes outfitted with comfortable beds, local textiles, and art by Gastón Ugalde.
- Mexico: A surge in travel has recently hit Mexico. For those wanting to explore the country's beaches and archaeological sites while keeping vegan should head for Tulum. The Mayan archaeological site of Tulum with its famous beach by the Caribbean Sea, is a vegan paradise. There's even a vegan festival held at the self-professed 'transformative hotel' Holistika. Whether its biking to the beach and archaeological sites, eating vegan foods or getting in touch with your inner self through wellness and yoga, Mexico's Tulum is the place to be in 2020.
- Guatemala: Mayan ruins and magnificent mountainscapes... Guatemala is pure perfection. As one of Central America's most diverse countries, you'll experience a blend of extraordinary landscapes and archaeological marvels. The footprint of the ancient Mayans can still be seen today through their incredible architecture and ancient pyramids. The pyramids of Tikal are Guatemala's most famous archaeological site.
- Japan: Cherry blossoms, matcha and Geisha - you're sure to find a level of beauty and grace in Japan unlike anywhere else in the world. And the iconic city of Kyoto is the place to be in 2020. Get to know the spiritual heart of Kyoto as you explore the temples, gardens and teahouses. Kyoto is a city of artisans. Watch the delicate but purposefully movements of the tea makers, the Ikebana masters (flower arrangers) and of course, the Geisha. It's impossible not to fall in love with the culture of Kyoto.
- Rwanda: A country of immense beauty, Rwanda is home to some of the most exciting wildlife, including mountain gorillas, the endangered black rhino, lions and elephants. Thanks to the opening of sustainable luxury lodges like Singita Kwitonda Lodge, One&Only Gorilla's Nest and the soon-to-be-opened Marasa Umubano hotel, there has never been a better time to get to know this exceptional country than 2020.
- Patagonia: This region is shared by Chile and Argentina and considered to be one of the most exceptional in the world. Hikers are sure to indulge with plenty of remote, long-term trekking opportunities on offer. From shorter hikes including Refugio Frey and Cerro Castillo, to longer hikes including the challenging Huemul Circuit, Patagonia has something for everyone. Be sure to have your camera at the ready to snap 360 degrees of breathtaking scenery.
- Estonia: This is a seriously underrated country. Estonia has flown under-the-radar as far as tourism goes, and is one of the few European countries travellers can go to escape the crowds. You can visit the historic old town of Tallinn, a UNESCO Heritage Site, try local delicacies and even experience a sauna marathon (after all, who doesn't love to sauna?). Nature lover? With 52% of the country covered in forest, it is also one Europe's greenest countries. And home to one of the 12 protected wilderness areas in Europe, Soomaa National Park.
- Dubai: This city is a metropolis for the rich and famous. And with Dubai about to make history by becoming the first place in the Middle East to host the World Expo, this city is taking its love of luxury and turning it up a notch. With upwards of 25 million visitors expected during World Expo, new luxury hotels are opening around the city. Check into the new Royal Suite at the Mandarin Oriental Jumeria, the Royal Atlantis or Dubai's first St Regis Hotel.
- Costa Rica: Surfing, swimming, hiking, biking, ziplining... there is nothing you can't do in Costa Rica. Want to ascend a volcano? Meet a sloth? Head for Costa Rica in 2020. This remarkable country is a hot bed of activity and home to an abundance of wildlife. And with the opening of Nayara Tented Camp - a collaboration between Leo Ghitis and Luxury Frontiers - your Costa Rica adventure can be enjoyed in style. Inspired by African safari camps, the property's 29 luxury tents offer a low-impact design aimed at protecting the surrounding rainforest. Luxury, adventure and sustainability... it's time to pack your bags.
- Slovenia: Despite its beauty, Slovenia is one of Europe's best kept secrets. Step into a fairytale with a trip to Slovenia in 2020. This picture-perfect country offers a magical setting for low-key holidaymakers. Hike the 300-km Julian Alps Hiking Trail, experience the shimmering beauty of Lake Bled and indulge your palate with Slovenia's finest natural wines.
- Jordan: There are some places that lose their allure, but Jordan is not one of them. Each year more and more people are in awe of the startling beauty Jordan has to offer. Explore the spectacular sandstone city of Petra, specifically the iconic Treasury, dive the Red Sea and her shipwrecks, soak away the stress in the Dead Sea and sleep under the stars with the Bedouins in the Wadi Rum desert. Jordan is an experience you'll not soon forget.
- Tasmania: This area of Australia is quickly becoming one of the most popular destinations for travellers. And with plenty of luxury lodges and hotels popping up, Tasmania is drawing a bigger crowd with every passing year. Australia’s southernmost state offers some of the country's most incredible natural beauty. Meet the Tasmanian devil, watch the carefree wombats on Cradle Mountain and bask in the majesty of 2,000-year-old trees. It takes just four hours to drive the length of Tasmania, so you can see the whole state and all it has to offer with ease.
- Canary Islands: This archipelago of islands off Africa’s Atlantic coast is just another reason to buy a new pair of swimmers and start packing your bags. And it's not just beaches and sunshine holiday goers seek in the Canary Islands. The islands are known for offering some of the best stargazing on Earth. In fact, the astronomical observatory on Tenerife offers some of the finest views of the planets and constellations.
- Morocco: Named the first-ever African Capital of Culture, the Moroccan metropolis of Marrakech is the perfect place to celebrate 2020. Home to two UNESCO World Heritage sites - the ancient medina and the bustling Djemaa El Fna - Marrakech has charmed its way into the hearts of anyone who visits. For those with a taste of the finer things (let's be honest... that's all of us), there are plenty of luxurious stays on offer in the country's capital. Not to mention, the 2017 opening of the Yves Saint Laurent Museum designed by Studio KO. Luxury knows no bounds in Marrakech.
- Armenia: This off-the-beaten-path destination is a favourite of everyone's love-to-hate personality Kim Kardashian. Visit the Armenian 'pink city' of Yerevan, visit the churches and monuments of the country including Khor Virap, Noravank, Geghard, and the Ancient Roman temple of Garni and of course, Armenia's architectural jewel: Etchmiadzin. This is the oldest cathedral in the world, consecrated in 303 A.D. and is considered Armenian equivalent of the Vatican. Basically, it's a big deal. And a breathtaking one at that. Home to lynx, bears, wolves and the Transcaucasian Trail, hikers and nature lovers must visit Dilijan National Park.
- Bhutan: As the last great Himalayan kingdom, Bhutan is a place of mystery and magic. It is also one of the most expensive and exclusive places to travel due to the country's sustainable tourism policy and limited numbers of visitor allowed each year. With it's beautiful villages, majestic fortresses, historic monasteries and primeval forests, Bhutan is bliss. And for chilli lovers, you will certainly be able to add a little extra spice to your life while travelling. After all, chilli is not just extra flavour in Bhutan, it's the main ingredient.
- Québec: It's true, Québec is not a country. Technically it's part of Canada. But with its blend of European and Northern America identity, Québec feels more like a country within a country. Embracing its francophone linguistic and cultural identity, Québec is the answer to experiencing a different side of Canada in 2020. Québec City and Montreal are bustling metropolises with plenty to offer in wine, gastronomy, architecture and culture. And just outside the cities, is a vast wilderness waiting to be explored.
- Maldives: Seeking sunshine, sand and sustainability for your next holiday? Look no further than the Maldives. The 1,200-island archipelago in the Indian Ocean, has been paving the way for forward-thinking sustainability initiatives for decades. It's incredible coral reefs is a playground for a diverse range of marine life, including schools of colourful fish, turtles, and whale sharks.
- Namibia: When it comes to rugged natural beauty, Namibia is the place to be. The country's name derives from its oldest desert, the Namib. Its remote wilderness and diverse wildlife, including the Big 5, offer insight into the great continent of Africa. Namibia is also home to many traditional people, including The Himba, in the country's far northwest.
- Madagascar: With the new year finally here, it's time to "move it, move it" to Madagascar. From lemurs to baobabs and rainforest to desert, this island country has so much to offer. Madagascar is the world’s fourth-largest island and a one-of-a-kind destination. You can enjoy hiking, diving, mountain biking, kitesurfing, rock-climbing, as well as natural pools and beaches for relaxation. And if you really want to "move it" you can partake in the Friday night discos.
For more personalised information tips and advice, or to book this incredible holiday contact your local TravelManagers’ personal travel manager here.