20 Emerging Destinations for 2020
New year, new #travelgoals? Where’s somewhere you’ve always wanted to go?
We’ve done some thorough research and painstakingly narrowed down a list to 20 destinations that deserve attention on your travel wish-list for 2020.
Discover the unsung heroes of Europe, the heart of Central Asia, the birthplace of wine and more!
Ready? Let’s go. Here’s our 20 for 20
1. Guadalajara, Mexico
Famous for tequila and mariachi—what’s not to love about Mexico’s second largest city? Guadalajara moves at a slower pace than Mexico City, with all the stunning architecture, museums and festivals.
2. Courtenay, Canada
Located in the stunning Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, here you’ll find ultimate boho vibes amongst the rolling mountains and alpine meadows.
3. Tokyo, Japan
Not exactly off-the-beaten-track, though Tokyo is about to have it’s spotlight moment as the host of the 2020 Summer Olympics! Watch this space.
The obvious drawcard here is the ancient city of Petra, but there’s so many reasons to visit Jordan. Swim in the Deep Sea, camp in the desert and feel like Lawrence of Arabia.
5. Costa Rica
We’re not the only ones saying Costa Rica is the place to visit in 2020. Lonely Planet has this Central American gem listed on their Top 10 countries for ‘Best in Travel 2020’. With sustainable tourism at the forefront, here you can explore tropical paradise, spot sloths, hike volcanoes or enjoy a spa treatment, responsibly.
One of the two countries in Africa that was never colonised (along with Liberia) Ethiopia has stayed at the back of travellers minds. But there’s plenty of reasons why this picturesque country should be at the forefront. Here you’ll find 70% of the mountains on the entire African continent. And, legend has it the first coffee cherry was found in Ethiopia—a coffee ceremony here is nothing short of a religious experience for coffee lovers.
7. Tbilisi, Georgia
Georgia’s mighty Caucasus mountains give the Swiss Alps a run for their money and Tbilisi's Old Town exudes Praguesque vibes, but more bohemian. Plus, have you ever tried Georgian wine? Wine was invented here and they’ve got it down to a fine art! The best part? Visiting Georgia is like a European-style holiday on an Asian holiday budget.
Sure Bali is a great intro to Indo, but you’d be remiss not to explore further through this intriguing nation made up of over 17,000 islands. Visit the ancient World Heritage-listed Prambanan Temples in Yogyakarta, or Borobudur Temple the world’s largest Buddhist temple. Explore the stunning uninhabited islands of Wayag by diving it’s surrounding waters or scaling its peaks.
One of Europe’s least visited countries, wedged between Romania and Ukraine, you’ve likely never even heard of it, and as a country, it’s pretty young—a millennial in fact—forming in 1991! A former member of the Soviet Union, here you’ll find plenty of history and some excellent wine country!
If you’re not Jewish and not on a ‘birthright’ tour, there are still many reasons to pay your own way to the Holy Land. This tiny country is blessed with both beaches and urban vibes in Tel Aviv, pure magic in the Dead Sea, rolling green hills, desert valleys and even wine country! Plus, it’s Mediterranean climate makes it ideal for year-round travel.
There’s a lot to love about Romania, from it’s rolling hills to it’s cobblestone streets and colourful buildings. So much of the country seems untouched, like you’ve stepped back in time.
Looking to spot the Big Five AND see one of the most impressive natural wonders of the world, Victoria Falls? It’s all nature, beauty and welcoming smiles here.
13. Busan, South Korea
Dubbed the ‘San Francisco of South Korea’ the country’s second biggest city shines with seaside beaches, historic temples and more hip breweries, vintage stores and artsy hangouts than you can tip your hipster cap at.
14. Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Australia has some pretty epic natural monuments, but if you want to see some jaw-dropping architecture, Central Asia has some of the world’s oldest preserved medressas. Feel as though you’re being transported back in time as you explore a city that was once the beating heart of the Silk Road.
15. Kerala, India
India is vast, and the north and south have incredible contrasts. In Kerala, you’re closer to Sri Lanka than New Delhi. Here you’ll experience a southern oasis where palm trees line the coast and eco-friendly adventure awaits.
16. Ubatuba, Brazil
Looking for the best surf in Brazil? You got it. Some 200km north of Sao Paulo you’ll find perfect waves and pristine nature. Explore the coast from catching waves to hiking through lush rainforest.
17. Sicily, Italy
We almost didn’t want to include this one—we’d rather keep Sicily to ourselves. What with all the fresh Italian produce growing out of the rich volcanic soils of Mt Etna, Europe’s largest volcano. Then there’s the stunning Baroque architecture and sparkling turquoise waters—nope—nothing to see here!
18. Yangon, Myanmar
Once known for its political exile, Myanmar is back on the map, the country’s largest city is rousing with new bars, restaurants, shops and building developments. Expect open-air markets, an awe-inspiring golden Buddhist monument and some of Southeast Asia’s most impressive colonial architecture.
19. Nairobi, Kenya
Welcome to East Africa’s most cosmopolitan city. Start by exploring the concrete jungle—from interesting places to eat, a bustling nightlife and fascinating museums and cultural centres. Then, step into the real wild at the Nairobi National Park.
20. Northern Territory, Australia
Saving seeing Oz for when you’re “older”? Hey, if you can see yourself camping under the stars, jumping into waterholes in Kakadu and scaling Kings Canyon as a grey nomad, then sure, wait until you’ve got that dodgy knee complaint! The NT is an adventure that can’t wait.
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