20 destinations for 2020
Are you looking for some fresh travel inspiration for your upcoming 2020 adventures?
We’ve created a list of 20 unique, fascinating and stunning destinations to explore in 2020.
The world awaits! Where do you want to go?
1. Travel the world’s most scenic route
Think: pristine landscapes, fragile ecosystems, rich history and diverse cultures in a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Spanning a whopping 2,800km, the eco-trail stretches along one third of Chile, and reaches all the way to Cape Horn and covers the remote Aysen region as well as Torres del Paine.
SPECIAL OFFER – Book a Route of the Parks experience in 2020 and get a free meet and greet with a local guide upon arrival.
2. Explore the threads and festivals of Northern India on our exclusive tour
Delve into the delights of relatively-undeveloped Assam and Nagaland in far northeast India in 2020.
Journey through the lush and captivating landscapes of these fascinating destinations and immerse yourself in their unique cultures.
Highlights include encounters with gorgeous eri silk, the fabric of peace; UNESCO-acclaimed Majuli Island and its Mishing weavers; glamping in Kohima’s luxury camp; one-horned rhino safari in Kaziranga National Park; and three stunning festivals, two celebrating local textile traditions and Nagaland’s renowned Hornbill Festival.
Check out our brochure here.
3. Spot leopards in Yala National Park
Yala is the most famous national park in Sri Lanka for a reason – it hosts the most densely populated leopard presence on earth. In fact, more than 40 leopards are said to roam the park, which covers around 950 square kilometres of the country’s south-east coast.
Along with leopards, Yala National Park also offers great opportunities to spot a huge range of other local residents, including elephants, deer, crocodiles, jackals, monkeys, buffalo, boar, sloth bears and many species of birds.
4. Climb a volcano in Vanuatu
Tanna Island is just a 1hr flight from Port Vila, but seems like a distant land. Perched on the coast near Sulphur Bay, Mount Yasur is touted as the most accessible live volcano in the world.
Mount Yasur has been spilling lava every single day for over a millennium. In fact, eruptions occur almost like clockwork several times every hour.
It is said that the volcano’s glow was what attracted Captain James Cook, the first European to discover it, in 1744. You can climb to the crater edge and look down at the bubbling lava; Mount Yasur pairs priceless views with an unforgettable, unique experience. Starting at $2,000 per person for a 7-day package, it is a great short break.
5. Get up close and personal with polar bears in Churchill
Canada’s Manitoba is home to a small town called Churchill. While the town itself is modest, its reputation is not. Famous for its pre-winter polar bear action, Churchill is known as the ‘polar bear capital of the world’. Yes, really.
Come October and November, the town experiences a mass migration event of these beautiful creatures as they make their way to Hudson Bay for the beginning of seal hunting season.
In fact, during these months, the town hosts more polar bears than people. Put polar bears on your list for 2020!
6. Get cool in Antarctica
Magical landscapes and bountiful opportunities to explore off the beaten path are just two reasons why Antarctica should always be on your travel to-do list.
From the mind-blowing glaciers, snow-covered peaks and emerald bays of South Georgia Island to the beautiful Falkland Islands, home of the King Penguin, Antarctica is truly a must. And who could forget the untouched beauty of the Antarctic Peninsula?
There are just so many reasons for why Antarctica should be at the top of your 2020 travel to-do list!
SPECIAL OFFER: Book before 1st March and get up to 30% off.
7. Go bush in Australia’s wilderness
Australia has done it tough lately, so now is the perfect time to reignite your love and appreciation for our beautiful country.
Park Trek specialises in walking tours that take you through the remote, the beautiful and the inspiring.
Experience our unique alpine environment with the five-day Snowy Mountains trek.
Travelling through the Kosciuszko National Park, you’ll marvel at the incredible granite formations, expansive views and green meadows littered with wild flowers.
Alternatively, head south to marvel at South Australia’s largest mountain range – the Flinders Ranges. Visit renowned landmarks including Wilpena Pound, Mount Remarkable National Park, Brachina Gorge and Alligator Gorge.
8. Mingle with the locals in Cuba
Passionate, frenetic and colourful, Cuba is a great destination for your 2020 travels.
Walk along Havana’s cobblestone streets and revel in its rainbowed architecture, before exploring the grand cathedrals of Cuba’s cultural capital, Santiago de Cuba.
For a truly quintessential Cuban experience, Halguin is a must, as is the Spanish colonial magic of Trinidad.
Make sure to also pay a visit to Bayamo for its incredible history and Santa Clara for its youthful, bohemian vibe and the chance to pick up some local art.
Our journeys include small guesthouses and lots of local interaction to give you a truly Cuban experience.
9. Take time out to relax at a luxury lodge in Patagonia.
Don’t let the vast array of hiking tours in Patagonia put you off the region – it really is so much more.
The sheer grandeur of the natural wonders is luxury enough… but when you pair that with the luxury Patagonia hotels, that is where the magic happens.
One of our favourites is The Lodge at Valle Chacabuco, nestled in Parque Patagonia, about a 6hr drive from Balmeceda in Patagonia.
This lodge is one of many secluded and luxurious lodges in Chile, and a true Forward Travel favourite… for very good reason!
Spend your days exploring the rich landscapes of Parque Patagonia and spend your nights relaxing on overstuffed couches by a crackling fire. Make sure to venture out to the patio at night to witness the endless spread of stars and the bounty of local wildlife.
10. Search for jaguars in Brazil’s Pantanal
Sprawling an estimated 210,000 sq km, the Pantanal is the world’s largest wetlands, and has more wildlife than the Amazon.
Start your day with horse riding in the jungle, jump aboard a scenic boat safari on the Mutum River and then wrap things up by going piranha fishing in Sia Mariana bay. Yes, really! Before heading back to the Pousada do Rio Mutum for a well-deserved slumber, make sure to do some nocturnal animal spotting – Pantanal jaguars are the largest of the species.
11. Take a walking safari in Africa
There is no better way to experience Africa’s wilderness than on foot. It brings a whole new way of understanding your surroundings – your senses sharpen as everything around you becomes a lot more real and tangible.
Walking safaris often last between two and four hours with a guide taking you through every facet of what surrounds you, from fascinating fauna to smaller wildlife that is often missed when riding in a vehicle.
12. Follow the mammoths to the Russian Arctic
North of Siberia is Wrangel Island – a remote, federally-protected island in the Arctic Ocean, nestled between the Chukchi Sea and East Siberian Sea.
While the island itself offers pretty landscapes and lots of opportunities to spot arctic wildlife, there is a very special reason why it made our 2020 travel planning list.
Wrangel Island is famous for being the last place where woolly mammoths survived after they perished on the mainland due to mass extinction. And we’re not talking a few years here – these almost-mythical creatures endured for some 6,000 years after the mainland mammoths died off. If you’re looking to visit a truly untouched destination off the tourist trail with an incredible backstory, this is it. Start planning in 2020 and join us there in 2021.
13. Find your happiness in Bhutan
Discover for yourself why Bhutan is noted for being the happiest country in the world.
Begin your Bhutan adventure in the historic town of Paro. Inhale the fresh mountain air while marvelling at the many special and sacred sites. From the ‘fortress of the glorious religion’ Trashi Chhoe Dzong, to the local bazaars, there is so much to see and do.
A trip to Bhutan is incomplete without a visit to the capital Thimphu. Explore the revered Memorial Chorten where the huge statue of Buddha Dordenma commands a spectacular view of Thimphu Valley. Afterwards, visit the Simply Bhutan, National Library and the School of Traditional Arts and Folk Heritage Museum.
Last but not least, visit Punakha for the Chimi Lhakhang and Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang temples, Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang Nunnery and abundance of stunning nature and vibrant culture.
14. Experience the unique magic of Christmas, Cocos and Keeling Islands
Gone are the days when Christmas Island was a no-go for travellers. This unique, natural paradise is ready and waiting to be explored – and it’s the perfect starting point for your 2020 travels!
Perched on the sea cliff on Christmas Island is the ultra-luxe Swell Lodge.
This jaw-dropping eco-lodge offers all the luxury trimmings paired with environmentally-sound features. Think floor-to-ceiling windows, expansive views and Italian tiled bathrooms. Did we mention that the lodge is 100% solar-powered? Get ready to experience the islands in 2020!
SPECIAL OFFER – Book a 7-night stay at Swell Lodge with Forward Travel and receive a free massage.
15. Cross the world’s driest desert to its largest salt flats
It has been 400 years since it has seen regular rainfall… but Chile’s Atacama Desert is a fertile oasis that sustains an astonishing diversity of life in what is the driest desert on earth.
Home to endless salt marshes and dormant volcanoes, the experience of the Atacama Desert is like stepping into another world.
It is known for its crystal clear skies and many astronomical observatories, allowing you to journey to the stars.
Cross from Chile to Bolivia and the scenery expands further. Lagoons of red and green are home to flamingos, and the Uyuni Salt flats stretch to the horizon. Size loses perspective and even up and down are confused when water acts like a mirror, and separating sky and land become difficult. The vast salt flats, active geysers and intense colours create wonderfully photogenic settings.
16. Discover paradise on Indonesia’s lost islands
2020 is the perfect time to embark on an authentic expedition through Indonesia’s remote and little known tropical islands.
Comprised of some 18,000 islands, this South East Asian archipelago’s fascinating human history dates back almost 2 million years to the fossilised remains of Homo erectus/‘Java Man’ discovered in the early 1890s.
Swim with the whale sharks in Kwatisore Bay and explore the turquoise waters and rainbow corals of Raja Ampat. Inhale the beauty of powdery white sand beaches and untamed jungles home to Red, Wilsons and Lesser Bird-of-paradise and World War II relics, and visit the lost tribes on the voyage from Sorong to Madang.
17. Meet the wildlife in The Galapagos
We all know the history of The Galapagos – the inspiration for Charles Darwin’s theory on the evolution of species – and the 19 islands that make up the region offer many delights for 2020 travel.
A haven for wildlife, the way the plants and various animal species have adapted to each island is absolutely fascinating.
You can choose to stay on land or on water… and enjoy close up encounters with much of the wildlife, including the famous marine iguanas, sea lions and more.
18. Witness the Northern Lights in Yellowknife
2020 is a great time to witness the magic of the Northern Lights at Yellowknife. Both the capital and only city in Canada’s Northwest Territories, this destination is often claimed to be one of the best spots in the world to encounter the colour of aurora borealis first-hand.
Make your way to Yellowknife from August – early April to experience crisp, clear nights and one of nature’s most breathtaking spectacles.
19. Meet the Himba Tribe in Namibia
Witnessing Namibia’s indigenous tribes is a must for those who want to explore the globe and truly experience its people.
The semi-nomadic Himba Tribe often calls the Damaraland region of Northern Namibia home. A tribe that still keeps close to its centuries-old ways, the Himba people are warm and traditional – and often enjoy visitors who want to learn their ancestral ways.
Sit amongst the mud huts and learn about the Himba’s extraordinary traditions before buying a handful of homemade souvenirs to take back home.
20. Unique culture in Georgia & Azerbaijan
Why not immerse yourself in the indulgent history of Azerbaijan and Georgia in 2020? Experience quaint, old towns, medieval ruins and monasteries sitting alongside towering skyscrapers in this land of spellbinding juxtaposition.
The locals of Azerbaijan and Georgia exude warmth and you’ll no doubt fall in love with their cultural ways.
Wander through one of Europe’s largest open-air rock museums and break bread with a local Kakheti family.
So, there it is – 20 amazing destinations to explore in 2020! Keen to start your new year adventures? Contact us to create your dream itinerary.