10 Emerging Travel Destinations You Need to Visit NOW

Italy. Australia. Thailand. These popular destinations are on most everyone’s travel bucket list, and for good reason. They’re rich with history, vibrant culture and sensational food. And while the language, landscape and customs may be different in each country, they share one thing in common: tourist crowds.

Some people may not mind sharing their vacation with hordes of strangers, but for those who prefer to visit places that are off the typical tourist’s radar, here are 10 incredible locations you should consider traveling to now before the secret’s out and the crowds start rolling in.

10. Nepal

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Since a devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake shook the country in 2015, Nepal’s tourism industry has suffered tremendously. In the two years since, the people have been doing all they can to repair infrastructure and treasured monuments to draw travelers back to the area.

Home to Mount Everest, Nepal is most commonly visited by those who dare to climb the Earth’s tallest mountain. But this South Asian country, which is landlocked between Tibet and India, has plenty to offer for adventurers of all kinds—including trekking, wildlife safaris, rafting, paragliding and bungee jumping, among others. If your preference is to visit urban areas, the country’s capital city, Kathmandu, is overflowing with bustling markets and historic temples to explore.

9. Myanmar

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For many decades, it wasn’t possible to visit Myanmar (formerly Burma) due to the military dictatorship that ruled the country. And even though it’s now welcoming of tourists, Myanmar is often overlooked in favor of more popular neighboring countries like Thailand and Vietnam. But that will most certainly change in the near future.

Known as the “Golden Land,” Myanmar is home to the historic region of Bagan, a vast landscape dotted with over 2,000 temples and pagodas built between the 9th and 13th centuries. This magnificent landscape can be explored on foot or by bike, but a hot air balloon ride offers the view of a lifetime.

8. Mongolia

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With over 250 sunny days per year, Mongolia is aptly known as the “Land of the Eternal Blue Sky.” It is also one of the least densely populated countries in the world, which makes visiting feel like a truly off-the-beaten-path experience. An adventure lover’s paradise, Mongolia offers pristine landscapes that extend as far as the eye can see, perfect for trekking mountains, horseback riding and searching for dinosaur fossils in the Gobi desert. You can also camp anywhere for free (yes, really).

In fact, half of the country’s population still lives nomadic lifestyles, endlessly traveling and setting up their gers (white felt tents) wherever they stop. But this number is shrinking, as many are abandoning the pastoral lifestyle for work within the cities. So if you wish to experience Mongolia at its most authentic, be sure to get there sooner than later.

7. Canada

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The United States’ northern neighbor turns 150 this year, and to celebrate the country is offering free admission to all of its near 50 national parks. This incentive, along with a favorable US dollar, has drawn international travelers to many of Canada’s most popular areas, including the mountainous coast of British Columbia in the west and the laid-back vibe and wildlife of the Maritimes in the east, a region that consists of Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. This sudden spotlight on the country’s beauty has skyrocketed it to the top of many people’s bucket lists; so don’t delay your visit if you wish to experience the land as if it were your own private paradise.

6. Montenegro

This small country, which gained independence from Serbia in 2006, has attracted the famous and wealthy for many years. But the rest of the population is only just starting to catch on to the pristine beaches and the historic medieval villages it boasts. The adventurous can explore the dense forests and beautiful waterfalls of Durmitor National Park or raft along the river in the Tara River Canyon. And with over 250 days of sunshine each year, it’s a sailor’s heaven. Needless to say, this paradise likely won’t stay under the radar for much longer!

5. Madagascar

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After breaking off from India 88 million years ago, Madagascar became a secluded island paradise home to countless plant and animal species that cannot be found anywhere else on Earth. Its landscape is diverse, ranging from dense jungle to desert to incredible coastline. Visit Parc National de Ranomafana for its relaxing natural hot springs or head to Camp Bandro at Lac Alaotra for a day of lemur spotting. But such untouched beauty won’t last forever, as some of the landscape is already transforming into the tourist resorts. Visit now to experience the country at its most natural.

4. Serbia

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Western Europe gets all the attention. Consisting of countries such as France, Spain, Switzerland and Portugal, it’s no wonder. But those who’ve already visited such places, or others who simply want to experience a different side of the continent, are now looking to Eastern Europe for their next adventure.

Serbia is just one of the emerging countries in this region. Its capital, Belgrade, boasts not one, but two riverfronts, as it’s located where the Danube and Sava rivers meet. The pedestrian-friendly streets make it easy to take in the elaborate nineteenth-century buildings of the old town, and its nightlife is among the best in Europe. This gem of a city certainly won’t stay hidden for long!

3. Patagonia

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Mountains, abundant wildlife and a sprawling coastline are just a few of reasons drawing people to Patagonia, a region that is shared between Chile and Argentina. You can trek across glaciers in Los Glaciares National Park or travel to Península Valdes, a UNESCO heritage site that is home to Magellanic penguins and a stunning location to go whale watching. You can also drive inland and visit an authentic Estancia (ranch) in Argentina to learn about the country’s history and culture from the locals. Head there soon to enjoy Patagonia’s unspoiled land; this adventure lover’s paradise won’t be kept secret for long!

2. Colombia

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Long associated with drug cartels and corruption, Colombia has transformed from a nation in crisis to a budding new South American travel destination. Urban explorers should travel to Bogota, the country’s capital, which has seen a recent boom in unique hotel and restaurant offerings. Or visit Cartagena on the Caribbean coast, one of the best-preserved colonial cities on the continent.

Or, if you’re feeling especially adventurous, trek the six-day hike to the lost city of Ciudad Perdida, located atop the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range. Only just discovered in 1976, the city’s construction dates back some 650 before Peru’s famous Machu Picchu.

1. Sri Lanka

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India is a popular travel destination at the moment, but it can be quite challenging to navigate. For a similar experience, tourists are now turning to Sri Lanka, which is just as rich with history, culture and customs, but without the complications. The country is home to vast amounts of wildlife; visit Yala National Park to spot elephants, leopards, sloth bears and buffalo roaming in the wild.

Or see the country’s spectacular landscape by train. Board the Yal Devi Express for an unforgettable journey from Colombo to Jaffna. You can also surf some waves in Arugam Bay, with a beach of golden sand located in the south east of the island. You can truly choose your own adventure in Sri Lanka, but get there soon before others catch on to its abundant beauty!

8 Best Things to See and Do in Argentina

Throughout Argentina, visitors find a huge diversity of things to do and see all around the country. Many points of interest are conveniently close enough to travel between by bus or car, making it easy to plan a mix of activities, from easy-going sightseeing to heart-pounding excursions. The Argentinean people are welcoming, the backdrop gorgeous, and costs for amenities can fit almost any pocketbook, from budget trips to luxury vacations. Explore this list of eight impressive attractions across Argentina to find out what this captivating South American country has to offer.

8. Delve Into Buenos Aires

Argentina occupies a large swath of South America, sidled up against Chile, in an opportune location on the mid-eastern side where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Rio de la Plata. The spectacular Buenos Aires backdrop sets the perfect stage for the lively café cultured, neo-classically styled, European-inspired city—yet the city still exhibits strong ties to cultural roots evidenced throughout tango halls, local artisan shops, and distinctly Argentine cuisine. Historic neighborhoods filled with character, romantic dining spots, and wide, grand avenues set the mood for fun. Get your dose of retail therapy via Palermo Viejo and Palermo Viejo; become mesmerized by a Tango show at a milonga; and hit the jazz clubs at San Telmo and Palermo Soho. Explore European and Latin American arts along museum-laden Avenida del Libertador and don’t forget to try one of the famous grill houses and try world famous Argentine beef.

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Druid007 / Shutterstock.com

7. Ski San Carlos de Bariloche

Almost a full day’s travel southwest of Buenos Aires is San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina’s winter Mecca for skiers and snowboarders within a national park of the same name. Tucked into the foothills of the Andes, it’s the biggest of South America’s ski areas—often seeing almost six feet of powder by season’s end—and a warm weather hotspot for paragliding, climbing, boating, horseback riding, cycling, and trekking. Frigid Lake Nahuel Huapi, which doesn’t get much warmer than 14 degrees Celsius, is perfect for the courageous to take a plunge, and sits below stunning alpine peaks towering over 6,500 feet. Breathtaking beaches Villa Tacul and Playa Bonita are fantastic summer destinations but beware the influx of students come July. As Argentina’s chocolate capital, Bariloche’s shop fronts display a huge array of the sweet stuff—a definite must-try if you’ve got even the slightest sweet tooth.

San Carlos de Bariloche

6. Drink Wine in Mendoza

A short three hours from San Juan is Argentina’s celebrated wine country of Mendoza. Mendoza city is a lively center set on the eastern side of gorgeous Mount Aconcagua, the Western Hemisphere’s tallest summit. Just a quick drive from the downtown core, the countryside is the consummate playground with plenty of opportunities for hiking, rafting, climbing, cycling and more, but it’s still the wine that draws the biggest crowds. With over 1,000 lush vineyards in Mendoza, it’s easy to imagine the hundreds of options for tours and tastings (most wine bodegas are friendly, family-run operations). Oenophiles from around the globe flock to Mendoza for the rich offering of incredible award-winning blends; most famously Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Malbec varieties. Scenic drives throughout the magnificent region are popular, most notably from Mendoza through the mountains to Upsallata along Route 52, also called El Camino de las 365 Curvas.

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T photography / Shutterstock.com

5. Hike El Chalten

If horseback riding, hiking, or cycling is on your hit list, head to El Chalten, a small mountain hamlet in Argentina’s Santa Cruz Province. Towered over by glacier fringed Cerro Torre and craggy Monte Fitz Roy, and found on the banks of the Rio de las Vueltas inside Los Glaciares National Park. El Chalten’s neighboring area holds a series of unforgettable waterfalls, forests, peaks, glaciers, and lakes rivaling almost every South American landscape. Enigmatic and untamed, the Southern Patagonian Ice Field is here, beckoning climbers across its wild terrain. Set off between December’s end to late February and enjoy longer daylight hours and encouraging weather. Test your will on an alpine adventure but know that at trail’s end you can chow down at a local parilla (grill) where Argentinean asado, a style of barbequing, will quickly bring you back to reality—if not into a food coma.

El Chalten

4. Relax in Villa La Angostura

There’s definitely a mountain theme throughout Argentina and the upscale resort town of Villa La Angostura follows through. An easy going village in northern Patagonia, Angostura is an ideal escape to misty mountains, alpine forests, and sublime views. Just an hour north of Bariloche near Argentina’s western border, Villa La Angostura is a choice departure point to incredible Los Arrayanes National Park but also a worthy destination on its own. It’s a popular egress for those heading off along Ruta de los Siete Lagos (The Seven Lakes Route) which ties San Martin de los Andes to Angostura in the most breathtaking way: trek through densely forested glens, below mountain passes, and alongside almost a dozen glassy lakes—the fishing is world class and campsites on route are good. If sticking to town, explore the village center’s quaint stores offering artisanal goods like trout, chocolate, and beer.

Villa la Angostura

3. Sightsee in San Martin de los Andes

Spread across the banks of magical Lake Lacar, San Martin de los Andes is Patagonia’s shining star. Smaller and more chilled out than Bariloche but retaining the same magnetic charm, San Martin de los Andes is a birder’s paradise, a mountain biker’s dream, a skiers Eden, and perfect for hitting the water in any vessel. The landscape is absolutely gorgeous, so entrancing it’s hard to get away. Culture buffs will adore the lakeside town for the many charming arts and crafts tiendas and all the incredible, artisan foods anteing up a gratifying sensory experience. On the town’s west side, the lake attracts those who don’t mind cooler waters and a nice sandy stretch to kick back on. It’s on during the winter months for skiers and boarders at Cerro Chapelco and bustling in summer for Parque Nacional Lanin’s excellent climbing, trekking, and cycling.

San Martin de los Andes

2. Touch the End of the Earth in Ushuaia

Ushuaia is Tierra del Fuego’s beloved capital: a bustling port and center for worldwide explorers. As the world’s southernmost settlement, Ushuaia gives way to Argentina’s most exciting attractions, promising to spark eyes open and get hearts pumping wildly. This essential access point leads swiftly into Glaciar Martial and Cerro Castor for premier skiing; to the Beagle Channel where orcas, penguins, and other wildlife abound; and to astounding Tierra del Fuego National Park, Argentina’s foremost coastal park filled with easy-to-navigate trails along rivers and bays, leading through thick evergreen forests, and radiant vermillion hillsides in autumn. Ushuaia draws some pretty interesting characters too: this is where you can knock back a few brews and swap stories with some of the world’s most intrepid vagabonds and plot the next day while sharp, ocean waves crash into shore and the Andes taunt from the clouds.

Ushuaia Argentina

1. Listen to Deafening Iguazu Falls

There are some pretty spectacular waterfalls around the world—then there’s other-worldly Iguazu Falls, a natural wonder resonating in the memories of those lucky enough to experience its resounding flow and incredible power. The setting can easily lead to so many other adventures: Iguazu is set directly between Argentina and Brazil in a sweeping area of rainforest and national park (makes you wonder just who set the boundaries back then). Taking a day tour of both the Argentine and Brazilian sides of the falls offers a broad experience while in Puerto Iguazu. Go independently and find easy route to the falls and area, and a lot to explore including the Tancredo Neves Bridge, the Mborore Museum of Images of the Jungle, and world-renowned Iguazu National Park. West of the center visit Hito Argentino, a vibrant bazaar at the confluence of Iguazu and the Ríos Paraná.

Iguazu Falls - Iguazu National Park