By Bobbie Edsor/Business Insider
November 11, 2017

No matter how many countries you’ve been to, there’s always somewhere new to discover.

But with so many cultures, countries, and landscapes to explore, it’s hard to prioritize one dream destination over another.

Business Insider UK asked 20 top travel bloggers and writers/editors from the likes of Lonely Planet, Suitcase, and Airbnb for the top five destinations they’ve ever visited — or the ones that are at the top of their bucket list.

Based on their advice, we’ve compiled a list of must-see places across the globe that everyone should visit in their lifetime.

From off-the-beaten-track hidden gems to well-recognised yet stunning locations, prepare to get hit with some serious travel envy as you scroll on to see the 100 destinations everyone should visit in their lifetime — along with why everyone should experience each trip.


Brent Stirton—Getty Images

See mountain gorillas in Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo.

India Dowley, Digital Editor of Suitcase Magazine, told us this is the best place to see mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.

“Climb 3,470 metres to the summit of Mount Nyiragongo, an active volcano that last erupted in 2002 and spend the night in a shelter overlooking the world’s largest crater lake,” she said.


Visit the chocolate box fishing villages of the Lofoten Islands, Norway.

“This remote archipelago in Norway is known for dramatic peaks and dark glassy seas,” Dowley said. “Dotted with chocolate-box fishing villages such Henningsvær, it’s not hard to imagine it when the Vikings ruled the north seas.”


Pretend you’re on a desert island at Motu Tiapaa in Maupiti.

“This islet in the South Pacific archipelago is as close to a desert island as you’re going to get,” Dowley said. “Simultaneously wild and tranquil, volcanic black rock meets powder-white beaches, beyond which, between July and October, humpback whales glide past on their annual pilgrimage from Antarctica.”


Explore the sci-fi landscapes of Cappadocia, Turkey.

“Volcanic eruptions nearly four million years ago left the landscape dotted with rock structures known as fairies, leaving the region looking like something out of a Star Wars film,” Dowley said. “Now scattered with underground cities and carved out cave dwellings, Cappadocia has only begun to attract visitors in recent years.”


Camp in the Caucasus Mountains in Kazbegi, Georgia.

“This small town in the Caucasus Mountains is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been,” Dowley said. “Tbilisi locals go in the summer months to camp among wild horses on the lush carpet of the mountains, with vertiginous views of waterfalls and towering peaks.”


Chill out in Levi, Finland.

James Asquith, who holds the world record for being the youngest person to visit every country in the world, picked this as one of his hotspots.

“Located over 100 miles north of the Arctic circle, it gets seriously cold here,” he said. “I was there when the Mercury dropped to -34 degrees centigrade, but once you acclimatise to having your breath taken away every morning, you can get busy with some truly unique activities. Ride snowmobiles and skid around on ice in go-karts, and be sure to check out the Ice Hotel.”


Have a star-gazing sleepover in Tuvalu.

“This Polynesian island nation is one of the smallest countries in the world,” Asquith said.

“Only two flights a week depart from the island. After these go, the airport runway becomes a gigantic open air sleepover at night. What feels like the entire population of the country drag their mattresses out to the runway and sleep in the open as a cool nightly breeze runs across the flat land here.”


Try the nightlife scene in Accra, Ghana.

“Ghanaian people are super friendly in the cosmopolitan capital Accra,” Asquith said. “The vibrant young population continue to pioneer what is cool in Africa, [and] bars set around swimming pools where waiters speed around on roller blades to serve drinks certainly make this a constantly evolving and happening city.”


Watch a world-renowned sunrise in Kiribati.

“Kiribati has the most Eastern inhabited islands in the world, so if you’re lucky enough to have these east-facing beaches to yourself, you’ll be one of the first people to watch the sunrise,” Asquith said.


CALLE MONTES—Getty Images/Photononstop RM

Travel back to Babylon in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

“With beginnings that make Samarkand as old as Babylon, this beautiful city on the Silk Road has survived many of history’s major upheavals including Alexander the Great and the Arabic conquest,” according to Asquith.


Look down into Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA.

Daniel Houghton, CEO of Lonely Planet, told Business Insider: “Incredible snow, beautiful views, Jackson is a skier’s heaven. Exhibition Run, one of the toughest in North America, is a particularly difficult but rewarding feat.”


Surf at Point Roadknight, Melbourne, Australia.

“I fell in love with the surf beaches south of Melbourne,” Houghton said. “Bells Beach and Point Roadknight offer exhilarating and beautiful spots to catch a wave or two.”


Explore London’s edgy urban scene.

“London’s unique character of ancient pubs, edgy street art, eclectic food from around the world and, of course, Londoners themselves make London a place like no other,” Houghton told Business Insider. “Hampstead Heath is a beautiful spot to take in the sheer size of the city.”


Get to know Hawaii’s islands.

“Hawaii is the only US state I’ve never been to,” Houghton said. “I have to get there soon. As a surfer, it’s a travesty I haven’t made it there yet.”


Be inspired by the ancient temples of Angkor Wat, Cambodia.

“Lonely Planet named Angkor Wat the number one site in the world to visit,” Houghton said, selecting his final pick. “Catching sunrise over the temples overrun with tree roots is a sight that every traveler should have top of their bucket list.”


Take a road trip around Louisiana, USA.

As a travel writer and journalist, Inside The Travel Lab owner Abi King knows a thing or two about destinations. Of her first pick, she said: “Gators, grits, and gumbo. I loved the famous Southern hospitality, the heady jazz-fuelled life of New Orleans, and the silence over the beautiful landscape like the Creole Nature Trail.”


Build an igloo at Kamakura Festival in Yokote, Japan.

“Arrive in Yokote at the right time each year to find igloos popping up on the streets like mushrooms in the dark,” King said. “Over 260 miles from Tokyo, the whole village joins in with this night-time festival and children hand out hot sake to everyone.”


Be rendered speechless by Tsingy Rouge, Madagascar.

“Describing them as a natural rock formation barely does them justice — the rivers of sand that sparkle at their feet, the bold blue sky just visible overhead, the rocks themselves,” King said. “The rock formation’s rust red curves ripple like a concertina. It’s indescribable.”


Light a candle at Birgufest, Malta.

“Birgufest’s beauty lies in its simplicity: lit candles across the city create a glittering illusion,” King said. “Of course, this city’s narrow cobbled streets and towering honeycomb walls look stunning all day long, but this is other worldly.”


Yasuni National Park is in Ecuador with an area of 9,820 km2 between the Napo and Curaray rivers in Napo and Pastaza provinces in Amazonian Ecuador. The national park lies within the Napo moist forests ecoregion and is primarily rain forest. The park is about 250 km from Quito and was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1989. It is within the claimed ancestral territory of the Huaorani indigenous people.
Danita Delimont—Getty Images/Gallo Images

Cycle through the air in the cloud forests of Ecuador.

“From the earth, it is hard to see the sky; from the sky no-one can see the earth,” King said. “But in the middle of those places, beneath a canopy of trees, visitors to eco-resort Mashpi Lodge can cycle through the air, fully immersed in the impressive emerald beauty that lives beneath the treetops.”


Take on Britain’s toughest trek at Cape Wrath, Scotland.

Alex Roddie, Sub-Editor of Sidetracked Magazine, told Business Insider: “The Cape Wrath Trail — Britain’s toughest long-distance hike — is used as a Ministry of Defence training zone and must be accessed either on foot or by ferry, making it an unusual place to visit.”


Reach Norway’s peaks, stopping off at Gjendesheim cabin.

“The Jotunheimen National Park contains Norway’s highest glaciated peaks,” Roddie said. “On the edge of this wilderness, the DNT (Norwegian Trekking Association) cabin of Gjendesheim makes a comfortable base from which to explore the mountains or kayak along the magnificent Lake Gjende.”


Venture up the Alps, stopping off in Arolla, Switzerland.

“This high mountain village in the Swiss Alps is a quieter alternative to the mini-metropolis of Zermatt nearby, yet is surrounded by some of the finest peaks in the Alps,” Roddie said.


Backpack through Lairig Ghru’s sub-arctic plateau in Scotland.

“The Cairngorms form one of Britain’s highest and most remote mountain areas — a haven for rare plants and animals and a Mecca for mountain-lovers, Roddie said. “A classic multi-day walk links Braemar with Aviemore through this glen, and is a must-do for all Scottish backpackers.”


Stay in the Loch Ossian Hostel, Scotland.

The eco-hostel has an 85-year history and is located on the edge of the remote and beautiful Ben Alder area of the Highlands,” Roddie said. “Solar-power and locally sourced hydro- provide hot showers and electricity.”


Scuba dive in the Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique.

Kiersten Rich, owner of travel blog and Instagram account The Blonde Abroad, told Business Insider: “Situated in the protected Bazaruto National Park, the Bazaruto Archipelago is one of the best places I’ve ever been scuba diving, and is one of the more memorable and naturally beautiful places I’ve traveled.”


Be one with the animal kingdom in the Galápagos Islands.

“Never have I encountered wildlife so unafraid and curious of humans,” Rich said. “The Galápagos National Park has taken incredible measures to protect all forms of nature and, in doing so, we can observe birds, reptiles and marine life more than anywhere else I’ve been in the world.”


Discover the lesser-known isles of French Polynesia.

“Instead of joining resort-goers at Bora Bora, you need to explore the vanilla plantations of Taha’a Island, the tropical ‘blue lagoon’ of Rangiroa, and the lava tubes and secret waterfalls of Tahiti,” Rich said.


Road trip through Namibia.

“Namibia has one of the lowest population densities in the world which means long drives with nothing but nature,” Rich told Business Insider.


Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Take in some magic — and food and wine — in South Africa.

“From the big-little-city of Cape Town to the delicious food and wine of the Stellenbosch Winelands [and] the game reserves helping to conserve and protect the Big Five [safari animals], South Africa is a magical place that everyone should experience,” Rich said.


Immerse yourself in the culture of Moscow, Russia.

Airbnb’s General Manager for Northern Europe James McClure said of Moscow: “I love the mix of history, art and architecture here — everything from 17th century townhouses to big Soviet blocks — combined with the energy of a massive and dynamic city. Next time I visit, I’m keen to try Airbnb’s Local Georgian Food Experience which explores the tasty Georgian food you can discover in Moscow’s food markets.”


Get to know the different sides of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

“When I lived in Singapore, I used to travel to Ho Chi Minh City every month,” McClure said. “It’s a city that rewards repeat visits once you get to know the local people there. The variety amongst the different districts is really stark, plus there’s narrow lanes teeming with street vendors, river life, and fantastic food and nightlife.”


Grab a coffee in Sydney, Australia.

“Whether you’re going for an early morning surf at Bronte beach, or drinking [what is] arguably [the] world’s best coffee, Sydney is overall a stunning city with access to sporting heritage and national parks very close by,” McClure said. “I couldn’t recommend the lifestyle highly enough.”


Stay in a homestay at Lake Toba, Indonesia.

McClure said Lake Toba is “the biggest lake in Southeast Asia, with an island in the middle which is bigger than Singapore.”

“You can laze around on truck inner tubes in the lake, cycle around the island and stay in traditional homestays. It doesn’t get much better than that.”


Party with the best at Rio Carnival, Brazil.

“Surprisingly, I’ve never been,” McClure said, adding: “I know it’s fairly cliche but I really want to experience Rio Carnival one day.”


Scuba dive off of Raja Ampat Islands, Indonesia.

Melissa Hie, the food and travel blogger who runs Girl Eat World, said: “The scuba dive sites here are pristine, colorful, and abundant with sea life. We saw everything from big fish like sharks and manta rays, to the small stuff like seahorses and nudi branches.”


Visit post-earthquake Kumamoto, Japan.

“The city of Kumamoto was hit with an unfortunate series of strong earthquakes in 2016 that left the city without water and damaged the precious Kumamoto Castle,” Hie said. “I visited the place a few months after but it didn’t stop us from taking a rental car and exploring around the beautiful mountain surrounding this region.”


Tour the rosy mountains of Petra, Jordan.

“Petra is known as the ancient rose city and it’s easy to see why once you visit,” Hie said. “Everything here is rose-colored due to the color of the stone from which its architectures are carved out of.”


Take in some history — and sample smoked chocolate — in Lviv, Ukraine.

“Lviv is the historical center of Ukraine, and there’s a lot to see and learn here,” Hie said. “Of course, it also helps that they have [some] of the best chocolate in the world.”


Auscape—UIG via Getty Images

Scuba dive in quiet northern Bali.

Srin Madipalli, CEO and Co-Founder of travel website Accomable which specializes in disabled travel, told Business Insider: “Before I started Accomable I was working as a City lawyer and took six months out to go traveling. One of the most exciting things I did was go diving in Bali.”

“I have SMA (spinal muscular atrophy) which means I have very little muscle function and need a motorized wheelchair to get around. With the help of Bali’s best accessible stay I was able to do some full-on open water dives in some of the quieter, less visited parts of the island.

“For the best sites, we drove north east across Bali to Tulamben, a small fishing village which stands out for its unusual black rocky beaches, verdant volcano views and incredible marine life.”


See the “Big Five” — black rhinoceros, cape buffalo, and African elephants, lions, and leopards — on a South African safari.

“Waking up before dawn to hear hyenas cackling before setting out into the bush and seeing families of elephants, great prides of lions and the occasional, elusive leopard in the early morning light is a one-of-a-kind experience,” Madipalli said. “It’s also something that’s really fun to do in a group.”


Get lost in the tangled streets of Barceloneta, Spain.

“Barcelona is hardly off the tourist trail but I absolutely love it there,” Madipalli said. “The city, with all its grand architecture and atmospheric passageways, is surprisingly and brilliantly accessible. While most tourists make a beeline for the Gothic Quarter, I always head to Barceloneta, a little tangle of streets just behind the city beach, which has the best tapas bars and a great vibe for a cheeky, just-off-the-plane caña (small beer).”


Attend a whisky tasting in Mechelen, Belgium.

“With Accomable I’m lucky to be able to discover some unusual places for our customers in the name of work,” Madipalli said. “One of my favorites was buzzy Mechelen in the north of Belgium, with its imposing cathedral and colorful townhouses. Being Belgium, they obviously had great beer, but this area is also known for its whisky distilleries.”


Fly over England’s Wiltshire countryside like you’re in ‘Top Gun.’

“I’ve always thought that you don’t have to travel far to do something that takes you out of your comfort zone,” Madipalli said. “A few years ago I was able to prove it while sat in the cockpit of a Shadow glider cruising over the Wiltshire countryside.”


Explore local sites in Bamiyan, Afghanistan.

Sebaastian Rijntjes, Co-Founder of travel blog Lost With Purpose, told Business Insider that in Bamiyan, “crumbling Silk Road caravanserais and towering fortresses high in the Hindu Kush Mountain and hundreds of Buddhist monastic caves punctuate the surrounding sandstone cliffs. No need to worry about crowds of tourists here — it is in Afghanistan, after all.”


Witness the piled-up houses of Palangan, Iran.

“Locals like to joke ‘one man’s roof is another man’s garden’ in the stepped villages of Iran,” Rijntjes said. “Head to Palangan in Iranian Kurdistan to see how true this really is!”


Trek to India’s best kept secret — Mechuka.

“Touted as ‘the last Shangri La,’ the Buddhist town in Arunachal Pradesh, India lies low in a green valley ringed by snow-capped peaks,” Rijntjes said. “The vistas should attract more tourists, but Arunachal Pradesh is one of India’s least visited states.”


Stuff yourself with street food in Lahore, Pakistan.

“Stands selling sizzling kebabs and frothy lassis lean against majestic Mughal-era buildings in Lahore’s old city,” Rijntjes said. “But unlike its Indian counterpart, Delhi, Lahore sees few tourists. Visitors are guaranteed to a warm welcome from the hospitable Punjabi population.”


Traverse Goris’ mountain trails and stay in a cave home in Armenia.

Rijntjes said: “Cappadocia gets all the credit regarding rocky spires, rolling hills, and cave houses, but Goris, Armenia ticks all those boxes — minus the hordes.”


*** EXCLUSIVE *** RAINBOW MOUNTAIN, PERU - SEPTEMBER 07: Linh Tran seen trekking on September 07, 2016 in Rainbow Mountain, Peru. THERE aren't many heights this adventure seeker won't reach to get the perfect view. Linh Tran is an avid mountain hiker and captures the peak of her treks in breathtaking fashion. It took just one camping and hiking trip in 2014 to hook the sales adviser to the sport and she has since visited view points such as Rainbow Mountain in Peru, Tent Ridge in Kananaskis in Alberta, Johnston Canyon on Banff National Park, a cape in Nova Scotia and most recently The Big Beehive overlooking Lake Louise. Linh and her partner Andrew used to hike together but after an encounter with a grizzly bear a Grizzly bear in Banff National Park the pair decided safety in numbers was the key. PHOTOGRAPH BY Fortitude Press / Barcroft Images London-T:+44 207 033 1031 E:hello@barcroftmedia.com - New York-T:+1 212 796 2458 E:hello@barcroftusa.com - New Delhi-T:+91 11 4053 2429 E:hello@barcroftindia.com www.barcroftimages.com (Photo credit should read Fortitude Press/Barcroft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
Barcroft Media—Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Hike up Rainbow Mountain, Peru.

Lloyd and Yaya of travel blog Hand Luggage Only said: “Although it’s a challenging hike (due to the altitude), it was a once in a lifetime experience to catch a glimpse of this incredible mountain range.”


Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Faroe Islands.

“It’s only a one hour flight from Scotland but feels like a million miles away,” said Lloyd and Yaya. “Imagine towering waterfalls, vast glacial landscapes, and an island nation that is amazing to explore.”


Observe the wildlife in Chitwan National Park, Nepal.

“Most people think of Nepal and head straight to the Himalayas, but the country is so much more than this,” said Lloyd and Yaya. “Head to the very southern border with India and explore the unspoiled beauty of Chitwan National Park. You’ll find tigers [and] rhinos amongst many other endangered species that call this region home.”


Delve into the hidden side of Madeira Island, Portugal.

“This might sound like an obvious choice to visit from the UK, but head into the deep mountain ranges and visit the volcanic landscape that’s an hour or so from Funchal and you’ll feel like you’re in another world,” according to Lloyd and Yaya.


Explore the Arctic Circle, Norway.

“The Arctic Circle is a very special region to visit, especially around Tromso in northern Norway,” Lloyd and Yaya said. “Head out into the icy tundra, go dog sledging in the forest, and jump into the freezing Arctic Ocean.”


Unwind in Bozcaada, Turkey.

Gizem Toker, a community member of travel website Passion Passport, told Business Insider: “In Bozcaada, time passes slowly and nostalgically. It’s easy to understand why it’s known as one of the most relaxed islands in the area.”


Wade through the Amazon Rainforest.

Passion Passport study abroad correspondent Avery Stolte said: “I was only an insignificant speck in the vast rainforest around me. And yet, never before have I been part of something so significant.”


Ride rickety buses through Tunisia.

“Tunisia is difficult as a tourist, but also highly rewarding,” said Passion Passport community member Zach Murphy. “Each frustrating bus ride leads to huge ruins of past civilisations waiting to be explored.”


Experience the warm hospitality of Muscat’s locals in Oman.

“As you walk the streets, you can’t help but notice the diversity of its residents,” said Dan Clarke, another community member at Passion Passport. “With an ever-growing international community, the food, stores, and clothing shift from street to street. It feels safe and welcoming for a capital city. The smiles appear friendly, not forced.”


Take part in the masked celebrations of Carnevale in Venice, Italy.

“Venice is still the only place I’ve traveled where I’ve frozen in my tracks, unwilling to blink for fear I might lose a moment forever,” said Passion Passport community member Deb Fong.


Wolfgang Kaehler—LightRocket via Getty Images

Visit the steaming mountain geysers of Kamchatka, Russia.

Moscow-based photographer Murad Osmann is famous for his “Follow Me To” series on Instagram. He told Business Insider: “Kamchatka is a place where volcanoes sleep side by side with the vast Pacific Ocean. Go to Khalaktyrsky Beach to try your hand at surfing, rent a boat in Avacha Bay and sail to Cape Kekurny to look at the rockery of sea lions. Also be sure to hike to the famous volcanoes of Kamchatka.”


Celebrate New Year’s Eve at Shwegugi Pagoda temple in Bagan, Myanmar.

“Cambodia and Myanmar (Burma) are our favourite countries for New Year’s celebrations,” Osmann said. “The Shwegugi Pagoda temple in Bagan is one of the most beautiful landscapes on Earth, in our opinion.”


See Tokyo’s cherry blossom season in the flesh.

Osmann said: “Japan isn’t just a country, it’s a whole new universe! As well as Tokyo’s bustling and vibrant Akinabara District, visitors must see Shibuya Crossing and Senso-ji Temple.”


Tour the “true face” of Xingping, China.

“We revisited China recently — we barely slept because we wanted to see the most unique hidden places and catch the best light which appears at sunrise,” Osmann said. “Some days we didn’t have any mobile or network connection. However, we had a great tour guide, who helped us to see the ‘true face’ of the country.”


Be transported back in time by Cuba’s capital — Havana.

“The things you see with your eyes are completely different from what you see through the lens of the camera — thus Havana must be experienced to be understood, or even believed,” Osmann said. “But national dances, narrow streets and retro cars, when experienced in the flesh, make this city feel like a magical myth transported from the 60s or 70s.”


Explore the Cuban countryside in Vinales.

Tom McDermott, editor at online shop and journal Huckberry, told Business Insider: “Be sure to arrange a horseback ride through the hills surrounding the town square for a tour of local tobacco fields and the chance to sample rum and cigars.”


Dance around the evening bonfires in Lijiang, China.

“Lijiang is a quaint town which rests in the shadow of huge snow-capped mountains,” McDermott said. “Take a stroll along the cobblestone streets before stopping in Sakura Kim for a drink. Don’t miss the bonfires and dancing that take place in the center of town at dusk, and make sure you arrange a hike up Jade Dragon Snow Mountain before you leave.”


Take a beach trip to Quepos, Costa Rica.

“If you only do two things in Quepos, make sure you book a beachfront property so you’ll be able to step right off your deck and into the sand,” McDermott said. “Secondly, order an Imperial — it’s one of the few beers brewed in Costa Rica and a local favorite.”


Watch eagles hunt amongst the Altai Mountains, Mongolia.

“The Altai Mountains are one of the few places where a traditional form of hunting with eagles is still practiced by a small number of villagers,” McDermott said. “Spending some time learning this obscure offshoot of falconry is at the top of my bucket list.”


Watch the flames of “The Gates of Hell,” Turkmenistan.

McDermott said: “Commonly referred to as ‘The Gates of Hell’ this massive crater near the village of Darvaza throws off an eerie glow that can be seen from miles away. It’s the result of a Soviet drilling accident which was later set alight, and the crater hasn’t stopped burning since 1971.”


Sail to Pulau Lapang, Indonesia.

Stuart McDonald, Co-Founder of Australian company Travelfish, told Business Insider: “I hired a boat in Baranusa for the two hour trip out to the uninhabited island of Pulau Lapang. Within minutes of dropping over the edge into the fast-flowing crystal waters, I’d seen an Eagle Ray, turtle, and a fast school of tuna all above a healthy, vibrant coral reef. There probably wasn’t another snorkeler within 30km of me.”


AGF—UIG via Getty Images

Take a dip in the clear waters in Sumba, Indonesia.

“Forgotten, lost and/or ignored, Sumba’s rich and varied ancient culture and stunning landscapes will have you wondering why you’ve never heard of it,” McDonald said. “Don’t make the mistake of assuming it is all just fancy-pants digs and beaches — there is far more to it.”


Sample the street food in Hanoi, Vietnam.

“Hanoi’s street food scene is huge, so big it’s hard to know where to start,” McDonald said. “Excellent guides [make] all the difference when it comes to getting a handle on the food scene there… and a full stomach!”


Ride the Tha Khaek Loops in Laos.

“Wrapping up Laos’ rugged and spectacular landscape, the highlight of the Tha Khaek Loop is the mind boggling Konglor Cave,” McDonald said. “It winds through kilometers of solid limestone and you travel down the mirrored waters in a lamp-lit sampan. Absolutely unforgettable.”


Navigate the sunken pathways of Shwe Ba Taung’s sandstone labyrinth in Myanmar.

“While Bagan gets all the attention, just a half day of travel away lies Shwe Ba Taung,” McDonald said. “It was originally a flat sandstone outcrop, but deep, narrow pathways have been hacked out of the rock by hand. Some have taken to calling it Burma’s Petra, but we think it is more of a Burmese take on Ethiopia’s Lalibela.”


Take part a hot air balloon safari over a nature reserve in Tanzania.

Travel blogger JohnnyJet, who was recently named ones of Forbes’ Top 10 Travel Influencers for 2017, told Business Insider: “You have to get up super early to be there for sunrise but it’s well worth it. Within the first five minutes, we saw elephants, zebras, hippos, impalas, hyenas, and two lionesses with a fresh kill.”


Take a Robinson Crusoe-esque excursion to Tapuaetai in the Cook Islands.

“Tour operators take turns serving a fun and delicious lunch and then invite you to explore the small inhabited island,” JohnnyJet said. “They even set up a post office to sell you postcards and stamps and will offer to put a huge barefoot stamp in your passport (I’m not sure that’s legal for an island, not a nation, to do so I passed).”


Stay in a designer cabin in Comporta, Portugal.

Pauline Egge, journalist, photographer, and owner of the travel blog Petite Passport, told Business Insider: “You’re staying at old fishermen’s huts transformed by one of the best architects from Lisbon into a designer place to stay. It’s in the middle of nowhere and you look out onto the nature and lots and lots of birds.”


Visit a Thai architect’s edgy cluster of designer warehouses in Bangkok, Thailand.

Egge said: “Duangrit Bunnag, one of Thailand’s most famous architects, transformed old warehouses into a library, a shop, a coffee bar, and two restaurants. One of them is ‘The Never Ending Summer’ where you can try Thai food with modern influences.”


Shop in Het Industriegebouw in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

“Rotterdam is one of those cities you need to do a little bit of research before you go otherwise you’ll end up in the main shopping streets and you miss the more hidden spots,” Egge said. “Like Het Industriegebouw, a post-war building which now houses famous Dutch architect MVRDV and several restaurants and shops. Visit Groos if you want to shop for cool local design and art, and try By Jarmusch for all-day breakfast.”


Spend the night in a glamorous bed and breakfast in Knokke, Belgium.

“Knokke is a posh sea side town in Belgium with a huge villa that’s been transformed into a stunning bed and breakfast,” Egge said. “The place to go if you love intimate bed and breakfasts with lots of design and art.”


Dine in the glass houses of Cape Town’s wine estates.

“Cape Town is the place to be this year because of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art that is set to open in September,” Egge said. “If you want to escape The Waterfront go to Babylonstoren, a wine-estate with a few rooms, for a delicious lunch.”


Michael Runkel / robertharding—Getty Images/Robert Harding World Imagery

Island hop on an expedition in Palawan, Philippines.

Award-winning food and travel blogger Anton Diaz of Our Awesome Planet told Business Insider: “The best islands are the undiscovered ones in between Coron and El Nido that you can only explore via an island hopping expedition. It’s a back to basics, humbling encounter with nature.”


Indulge in pintxos plates on a bar-hopping evening in San Sebastian, Spain.

“San Sebastian is known for its pintxos culture,” Diaz said. “The best way to experience it is to go on a bar-hopping food trip with your foodie friends. It’s also the town with the highest concentration of Michelin stars and home of a trio of three-star Michelin restaurants.”


Wander until you’re lost in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, Turkey.

“Istanbul is where Europe meets Asia, and is teeming with culture and experience thanks to its rich Ottoman history,” Diaz said. “It’s unforgettable going on your first cruise in the Bosphorus or experiencing authentic Turkish bath or getting lost in the Grand Bazaar.”


Take an Ayurveda retreat in the central jungles of Sri Lanka.

“I dream of going on an Ayurveda retreat for a holistic mind and body rejuvenation,” Diaz said. “Sri Lanka is the home of the traditional art of Ayurveda and the ancient practice of Yoga.”


Immerse yourself in Oia’s artistic community in Santorini, Greece.

“Oia is an artistic community in Santorini with the blue Aegean sea, mesmerizing sunset, and cool Greek architecture as the backdrop,” Diaz said. “It’s a place to fall in love again and best experienced staying for a few days with your special someone.”


Hunt for pirate treasure in Providencia, Colombia.

Sam Katterfield, Editor at travel search platform HolidayPirates, told Business Insider:

“Henry Morgan used Providencia as a base for raiding the Spanish and it’s rumoured some of his treasure is still buried on the island — making this the perfect holiday for a true pirate!”


Trek through Brazil’s bed sheets in Lençóis Maranhenses National Park.

“The vast white sand dunes of Lençóis (bedsheets in Portuguese) lend an otherworldly quality to the landscape of this part of the Brazilian northeast,” Katterfield said. “Make sure to visit between July and September, when the lagoons are at their most full.”


Explore Ireland’s ancient history in the Aran Islands in Galway Bay.

Niam Walsh, senior editor at HolidayPirates, said: “The island of Inis Mór is home to miles of hand-built stone walls, a prehistoric hill fort, and knitted woolly jumpers. Each year, the Red Bull Cliff Diving festival takes place at Serpent’s Lair; a perfectly rectangular, naturally created pool overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.”


ARUTTHAPHON POOLSAWASD—Getty Images

Sail through the valley of Tam Coc, Ninh Binh, Vietnam.

“The valley is best viewed on a lazy boat ride down the river, as you weave your way through the rice paddies and caves of the limestone mountains,” Walsh said.


Go for a cocktail in Yukon, Canada’s ghost town — Dawson City.

Pauline Beneat, Senior Communications Manager at HolidayPirates, said: “This town used to be the epicenter of the gold rush, but now barely has 1,000 inhabitants. In the evening, go watch an old-school “Cancan show” at Diamond Tooth Gertie’s Gambling Hall. If you’re brave enough, head to the local saloon and order a Sourtoe cocktail — a notorious drink garnished with an amputated human toe!”


Watch out for wombats in Cradle Mountain, Tazmania.

Michael Reay, Editor at HolidayPirates, said: “Tasmania’s unspoiled wilderness, spectacular views, and incredible wildlife makes it a place that simply has to be on your bucket list. Keep your eyes peeled when driving as wombats and pademelons have a habit of wandering into the road at inopportune moments!”


Stand under the bone chandeliers of Sedlec Ossuary, Czech Republic.

“Just a couple of hours on the train from Prague lies the town of Kutna Hora, whose star attraction is the slightly macabre Sedlec Ossuary,” Reay said. “This Roman Catholic chapel is decorated with the bones of upwards of 40,000 people — a rather grisly but strangely compelling sight.”


Ski through four countries on one trip in Zermatt, Switzerland.

Charlotte Niemann of food and travel Instagram account and blog Food In The Air told Business Insider: “If you love to ski, imagine having the option to ski down into four different countries (no passport required). The views from the top of the Matterhorn are breathtaking.”


Walk through the wild-meets-landscaped gardens of Sintra, Portugal.

“Our parents went on their honeymoon here and we would love to visit one day,” Niemann said. “A picturesque town filled with exquisite landscaped gardens, mountains, and more.”


Explore Carmelo’s quaint horse country, Uruguay.

“This town is filled with beautiful beaches, vineyards, and horse country,” Niemann said. “A quaint getaway with not a tourist in sight.”


Sit on Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat’s beaches in the South of France.

“Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is one of our absolute favourite places to experience amazing food, wine, and beaches in the South of France,” Niemann said. “It doesn’t get better than this.”


Witness the sunset at Goðafoss, Iceland.

“It’s called the land of fire and ice for a reason,” Niemann said. “Waterfalls, volcanoes, glaciers, and the Icelandic hospitality are our favourite things about this country.”


Heli-ski through Haines’ breathtaking landscapes in Alaska, USA.

John-Lee Saez, Travel Expert at holiday comparison site Kayak, said: “Take a chopper at the dead end of Haines valley, climb up to a few hundred or thousand meters, and suddenly you see an endless natural playground in front of your eyes. You pick your slope and its angle, you pick your summit, you make your own trail while feeling like an ant in the immensity of the landscape.”


Fly over Russia and witness the Earth’s curvature.

“One thing on my to-do list is definitely flying a MIG29 (military aircraft) at edge of space, going as high as 23km up and being able to see the curvature of the Earth,” Saez said. “Only Russia offers the unique opportunity of flying a military aircraft that is still officially in use.”

This article originally appeared in Business Insider.

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