Where to go in 2020
Here is our pick of the year’s hottest destinations...
A small teardrop-shaped island fringed by sparkling Indian Ocean coastline, Sri Lanka has long been one of our most popular destinations. After a challenging year, travellers are gradually returning to this beautiful island. As the country seeks to rebuild its confidence as a holiday destination, Sri Lanka needs our support more than ever and visitors can expect the warmest of welcomes, along with more practical benefits such as lower prices and fewer crowds. Infused with natural beauty, the island is packed with colourful temples, lush tea plantations, glorious beaches and wildlife-rich national parks, making it an appealing destination for both couples and families alike. Go and experience the country’s spellbinding allure in 2020 and help Sri Lanka get back on its feet.
One of life’s great travel adventures, an expedition cruise to the magnificent polar landscapes of the Arctic is an unforgettable experience. Added to our portfolio just last year, the northernmost region on Earth is waiting to offer intrepid explorers unforgettable adventures. Our cruise itineraries focus on Greenland, Iceland, the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, and the islands of the Russian High Arctic. From deep fjords and glistening glaciers to alpine forests and the colourful wildflowers of the Arctic tundra, the ever-changing scenery will never fail to wow. Visit Inuit settlements, sail through pack ice, marvel at large colonies of nesting seabirds and scout for polar bears, walruses, reindeer and Arctic fox in the land of the midnight sun.
A country of striking landscapes and dramatic contrasts, Namibia is located between the Kalahari Desert to the east and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of independence for Namibia, making it the perfect time to visit and enjoy the celebrations planned to mark the occasion. Head to Sossusvlei to experience the iconic red dunes set against a bright white pan and deep blue sky. Wildlife lovers can enjoy sightings of desert-adapted elephants and rhinos in Damaraland, or experience great game viewing in Etosha National Park, where animals famously gather around watering holes en masse. For those who yearn to truly escape from it all, Fish River Canyon provides the ideal wilderness setting for a hiking and camping adventure.
With not one but two major sporting competitions in Japan in as many years, it’s safe to say the country is enjoying its moment in the limelight! The buzz surrounding this intriguing island nation is infectious, and we're experiencing more interest than ever before. While taking in the Games themselves comes with its own complications (though is not impossible), it’s worth booking a trip for 2020 to soak up the electric atmosphere that will be spreading across the country all year long. Our specialists can craft an itinerary beyond the Games to help you go for gold and tick off everything Japan has to offer, from iconic sights to hidden gems you didn't even know existed.
Boasting one of the most biodiverse environments on the planet, Brazil is home to both the world’s largest rainforest, the Amazon, and the world’s largest wetland, the Pantanal. Alongside amazing wildlife sightings including the elusive jaguar, fabled pink dolphin and an incredible array of exotic birdlife, visitors can also embrace the opportunities for ecotourism. An Amazon jungle adventure or safari through the Pantanal staying at eco-focused properties allows travellers to give back to this incredible environment, with the money from tourism being invested back into conservation and education initiatives to preserve the region’s biodiversity and benefit the local community. After a year when the Amazon has had a lot of media attention, responsible tourism is a positive way to support this unique place.
South AfricaOne of the most diverse countries on the African continent, South Africa will always be a popular destination for travellers, but for 2020, we’re tipping one of the country’s less-visited regions as the place to go – the Northern Cape. National Geographic Traveller have chosen our Off-the-beaten-track South Africa itinerary as one of their best trips for 2020, which explores the rugged beauty of this little-known wilderness with its open savannahs, rich red Kalahari sands, beautiful wild flowers and perhaps the darkest sky in Africa. With a growing demand for ‘digital detoxes’, we're finding more and more travellers are keen to leave their gadgetry at home and escape to somewhere really remote. There are few places more unplugged than the Northern Cape.
Already one of only two carbon negative countries on the planet, the exclusive kingdom of Bhutan is set to become the world’s first fully organic nation by 2020, with a nationwide ban on the use of pesticides and chemical fertilisers. This is just another reason to visit this enigmatic land of Buddhist culture and traditions, fabulous mountain scenery, historic hilltop monasteries and lush green valleys. In a country that measures success in terms of Gross National Happiness, Bhutan is one of the few places to maintain a real sense of ‘otherness’, helped by restrictions on the number of tourists allowed in. The country welcomes only a limited number of visitors each year, but invariably sweeps them off their feet with its enigmatic charm and staggering beauty.
From the world's driest desert in the north, to the lush vineyards of the Central Valley, and the glaciers, fjords and glistening lakes of the south, Chile is a land of contrasts. In 2020, the country will celebrate the 500th anniversary of the discovery of the Strait of Magellan, after Ferdinand Magellan located a stormy route through the fjords and islands at the southernmost tip of Patagonia. For a truly memorable travel experience, why not join the celebrations with a trip to Patagonia to explore the jewel in Chile’s crown – Torres del Paine National Park. This UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve is a wild and rugged wilderness, where dramatic mountains rise more than 2,500 metres overhead.
Despite being a wildlife wonderland, Zimbabwe has long been overlooked in favour of neighbouring countries, Botswana, South Africa and Zambia. However, in recent years it has gained popularity with safari veterans looking to break fresh ground. Now, as the country maximises the opportunities for development in the post-Mugabe era, it continues to build on its reputation as a truly authentic safari destination. Many former ‘poached out’ areas are now abundant with game, thanks to the efforts of conservationists and the resurgence of safari tourism, while highly trained and passionate guides really set Zimbabwe apart from the rest. Along with Victoria Falls, major attractions include sightings of the Big Five in Hwange National Park and the chance to spot the elusive African wild dog in Mana Pools. Go now before the crowds arrive and the prices rise.
In recent years responsible travel has become a truly hot topic, and Costa Rica has responded accordingly, with its sustainable tourism policies going from strength to strength. Thanks to its unique biodiversity, Costa Rica is home to 5% of all the world’s species, and safeguarding this natural idyll has always been high on the agenda. The country is constantly striving to be yet more sustainable and to lead the way for other countries – 2020 could be another milestone year, as Costa Rica continues in its goal to become fully carbon neutral. All this is making the country very popular with travellers, who can enjoy the endless adventure activities and picture-perfect beaches, while resting assured they will leave only their footprints in the sand and not a large environmental burden.
Speak to our specialists to plan your new adventure
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