You’d think after millennia of people traveling, not to mention how quickly the world has shrunk with access to the Internet, that we would have seen it all, but our top spots might surprise you. Here are four beautiful and intriguing highlights from places that might not be as familiar. …
You’d think after millennia of people traveling, not to mention how quickly the world has shrunk with access to the Internet, that we would have seen it all, but our top spots might surprise you.
Here are four beautiful and intriguing highlights from places that might not be as familiar. If you’d like a full list from National Geographic of the best trips for 2019 – some familiar, some not – check it out here.
WHY GO NOW: Live the fairy tale
Picture-book castles lead to romantic fantasies in the Dordogne, but the true charm of this region in southwestern France lies in the richness of its long cherished culture. Marking 100 years in 2019, the Félibrée is an annual celebration of all things Occitan, including food, music, dance, and a language that resembles French, Spanish, Italian, and Catalan. “We are very attached to our country and our differences, but at the same time we are a true land of welcome,” says Jean Bonnefon, a dedicated Occitane. “The Félibrée is proof of this.”
WHY GO NOW: Welcome to the jungle
Amazon rainforest covers more than half of the country of Peru. “We have low jungles, high jungles, cloud forests, flooded forests, vast swamps, waterfalls, jungle ruins, creepy isolated mountain peaks, and even the world’s largest documented thermal river—the Boiling River of the Amazon,” says Peruvian geothermal scientist and National Geographic Explorer Andrés Ruzo. “One of my favorite things here is the blending of cuisines and cultures,” Ruzo says. “Chefs are exploring the wilds of the jungle for the next bold flavor.”
WHY GO NOW: Climb through a sea of clouds
Fanjingshan, China’s newest UNESCO World Heritage site, is worth the climb. A sacred Buddhist site (48 temples once stood on the mountain), Fanjingshan rewards hikers with bizarre rock formations and above-the-clouds views of China’s Wuling mountain range. The steepest climb is to 7,664-foot Red Clouds Golden Summit, two temple-topped peaks linked by a bridge. You could skip the climb and ride the summit cable car, but hiking offers an up-close look at Fanjingshan’s rich biodiversity, which includes endemic and rare species, such as the gray snub-nosed monkey.
WHY GO NOW: Discover West Africa’s center of style
Senegal’s capital at the tip of Cap Vert, Africa’s westernmost peninsula, defies easy definition—both stylish and chaotic, proudly West African but with French as the official political language. Luxury SUVs share roads with horse-drawn carts. Lively beaches draw surfers, sun-worshippers, professional wrestlers, and Senegalese sheep. “Driving along the seaside Corniche, you have sweeping views of the ocean on one side and the excitement of a bustling market on the other,” says academic researcher Abhit Bhandari, who splits his time between Dakar and New York City.
One of the many reasons we love planning travel is that there is just so much to see, to take in, and to learn. We all have the amazing opportunity to launch out into new places, to find some new adventure that will change us forever — and we love getting to be a part of that process.
If you’re feeling that pull to places that are new to you, contact us today and let’s start planning your next adventure!