6 Hot New Destinations You Need To Visit This Year
It’s the New Year, and no matter how good your Christmas vaycay was, being back in the grind of work is bound to give you itchy feet. So instead of daydreaming at your desk about your next epic trip, why not actually plan it? And how about going somewhere completely off the usual grid? Here are 6 hot new destinations set to make your 2016 awesome!
1. Iceland, Greenland, and Norway
Sun and sand is so 2015. There’s something to be said for experiencing the freezing temperatures of the Arctic, particularly when dog-sledding, snowmobiling, and skiing are legitimate modes of transport. Watch polar bears and seals on top of majestic blue-white ice floes, and witness ethereal aurora borealis lighting up the sky and snow. Go to Greenland this March and see the international Arctic Winter Games in the capital city, Nuuk! The best time overall to travel is May to September.
If you’re looking for raw adventure in a place where dinosaurs once roamed, this is the spot. Madagascar has 8000 species of animal not found anywhere else in the world. That’s five per cent of the planet’s biodiversity. Trek through tropical rain forests, then fight your way through semi-arid desert canyons. Afterwards, enjoy the world class beaches! And for those who like stargazing, September 1st is the annual solar eclipse. The best time to travel is April to November, as Famadihana, an intense ‘turning of the bones’ ritual held in honor of the ancestors, takes place yearly between July and October.
3. North Cascades National Park, Washington State, USA
Regardless of its natural beauty, North Cascades National Park hosted only 24,000 visitors in 2014, making it America’s best kept secret. It’s perfect for those wanting to avoid the tourist tirade, and boasts white-tipped mountain peaks, lush, mysterious valleys and forests to rival the beauty of the Alaskan national parks. The park is connected to the North Cascades Range of mountains, and visitors will experience glorious glaciers and streams, black bears, cougars, and mountain lions. So for those looking for adventure somewhere largely uncharted, this is the place for you!
Best known for the stunning white-sand beaches of the Bay Islands, the Mayan ruins, and eclectic colonial cities, Honduras has pretty much everything. For those keen on an urban experience, the capital city of Tegucigalpa boasts a sizzling arts, music, and culture scene. A friendly local will guide you to all the best hot spots! If you fancy the great outdoors, head to the wilderness for mountains, jungles, coral-clad dive sites, and fascinating wildlife such as the majestic, mysterious jaguar. The best time to travel is October to June.
This up-and-coming tourist destination rivals any other hot spot in Asia, and will soon be on everyone’s bucket list. Originally named Ilha Formosa, the stunning island instigated the global Chinese Buddhism movement. It’s headquarters, a high-tech, 100-acre Fo Guang Shan monastery, is a huge attraction. Experience Taiwan’s indigenous culture by seeing the fabled Sun Moon Lake, the energy centre of the island.
For a more fast-paced trip, head to the capital city, Taiwan and immerse yourself in night markets, designer shops, and tiny alleys dotted with lanterns and neon signs. September to October is an ideal time to visit, as well as February to April for the cherry blossom festivals, Lantern Festival, and Peace Day.
6. Papua New Guinea
Shrouded in legend and mystery, this mirage of islands in the South Pacific is home to vibrant reefs, volcanoes, and the deep jungle. In fact, much of the region is still a secret, with the Spice Islands and Indonesian Papua still largely undiscovered. Visitors can arrive by ship, or stay on land and head out on boats to experience some of the most fantastic snorkeling and diving on the planet. Travelers can also brave the world's third largest rain forest.
The best time to visit is May to October. You can attend one of the region’s several annual festivals. Buzzing tribes paint their faces and wear elaborate headdresses, celebrating with traditional chanting and dancing. A cultural treat!