Top 50 destinations to visit in 2016.

Travel + Leisure recently compiled this list of the most captivating and up and coming destinations to be visited in 2016. The list varies from remote Indian islands to cosmopolitan South American cities. Some of the destinations offered as desirable this year include the classics perennially visited by adventure-hungry travellers; such as Bali (#12) and Borneo (#40) in Indonesia, whilst also suggesting fresh, and less well-trodden regions for the intrepid explorer, like Siberia (#37).  There are also the bucket-list destinations like Canouan, Grenadines (#39), Costa Rica (#32) and… sunny Wales (#31).

Other destinations I found interesting include:

  • Bozeman, Montana, USA (#41)
    • Former Cowboy outpost turned All-American hot-spot.
  • Zimbabwe (#38)
    • Relatively cheap but increasing in price since the adoption of the US dollar. Good for family safari trips.
  • Placencia, Belize (#35)
    • A back-packing gem, Placencia holds the largest coral reef system on the planet and is due to open a new hybrid resort with waterside villas.
  • Tasmania, Australia (#33)
    • For outdoorsy types, this island territory offers walking, cycling, and riding as well as peaceful remoteness from the bustling cities of mainland (coastal) Australia.
  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (#30)
    • As if Rio needs an introduction, the Olympic Games are being held there this year. An array of aggressive building projects have been undertaken improving the general infrastructure of the city, including some of the slums by the beach.
  • The “Great Comeback City” Detroit, Michigan, USA (#27)
    • Formerly a foreboding pace famous for its gun crime, Detroit has started to reinvent and remarket itself as a city with heart and culture.
  • The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador (#26)
    • The main reason to visit the Galapagos Islands is for the incredible biodiversity that thankfully continues to thrive there. You cannot visit unaccompanied by naturalists as tour guides, but the huge selection of animals native to the islands (some exclusively so) makes the Galapagos sit very near to the top of my personal list.
  • The Andaman Islands, India (#24)
    • A system of islands off the south coast of India which is only accessible by flying from cities like Chennai and Kolkata. Many of the islands remain uninhabited and inaccessible to tourists, though for those intrepid enough to seek unspoilt sands, the Andamans are perfect.
  • Havana, Cuba (#21)
    • Recently emerging from the frosty shoulder of American scepticism, Havana is one of the most exciting destinations on the list. Tourists are enjoying more and more freedoms and there is now even mobile/cell phone access. Antique cars populate the wide streets which are framed by vintage colonial style buildings reminiscent of the swinging ’50s.  Also very high on my personal list.
  • Ljubljana, Slovenia (#20) – Always fun to pronounce this one.
    • Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital, is similarly designed to Prague except it is undamaged by war and relatively uncorrupted by the tourism industry. 2016 is the year the the city becomes an eco-champion, following in the footsteps of Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Hamburg by becoming the official European Green Capital.
  • Aarhus, Denmark (#17)
    • Denmark’s picturesque second city is permeated by canals and increasingly fashionable Nordic cuisine, for which Michelin stars have been awarded. It is one of two European cities of culture for 2017.
  • The Margaret River Wine region in Western Australia (#15)
    • Just about three hours from Perth, Australia’s western-most frontier, the Margaret River is one of the pre-eminent wine regions in a country famous for its Sauvignon. It produces 15% of Australia’s premium wines and accompanies it with carefully chosen menus across a range of hotels and restaurants.
  • Guatemala (#13)
    • With political unrest being quelled by the election of President Alejandro Maldonado, Guatemala is rapidly becoming one of the most sensible and spendthrift destinations in South America. Adventure seekers may choose to visit national parks whilst also extending their exploration to archaeological dig sites in the north.
  • Lanai, Hawaii (#6)
    • One of Hawaii’s most deserted islands after the large Four Seasons chain was closed for renovations last year, Lanai currently plays host to only one 11-room hotel. This is due to change when the brand spanking Four Seasons is reopened with new restaurants and attractions. The views and the marine life are the main attraction.
  • Iran (#5)
    • There are 19 World Heritage sites in Iran and its vibrant capital, Tehran, is ‘surprisingly cosmopolitan’. The nuclear agreement achieved last year has removed some of the stigma of travelling to this underrated country.
  • Guadalajara, Mexico (#2)
    • Prominent jazz scene, sun, Mexican food, art, International Book Fair and Film Festival.
  • Bocas Del Toro, Panama (#1)
    • Some of the most untouched and pure natural beauty in Latin America; jungles, beaches, coral reefs, and savannahs.

There are clearly many more on Travel + Leisure’s list which I have not mentioned, and they are all worthy of further investigation; whether for an annual holiday, or as part of a longer trip itinerary. I hope to fit some of these destinations in at some point over the coming 18 months. You should too!

See the full article here: Best places to travel in 2016.

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