With 2020 now upon us and everyone around us dusting off those bucket lists to see where to travel to this year, we’ve put our heads together to come up with our top destinations we think you should visit in 2020.
Bhutan only opened its doors to the outside world in 1974. Since then, its spectacular scenery and hospitable charm has been luring travellers hungry for adventure. In many ways Bhutan remains untouched by modern civilisation, with an ethos of preserving its ancient culture and natural environment. It’s so focused on these values that it’s the only country in the world to measure its success in terms of Gross National Happiness and is the only carbon-negative country in the world. If you want a totally different destination, Bhutan is for you.
Recommended tour: Wonders of Bhutan
19. Costa Rica
The tiny nation of Costa Rica is a peaceful and staggeringly beautiful oasis located along the narrowest strip of Central America. Bordered by the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, the country boasts idyllic white-sand beaches with world-class surf waves and colourful marine life. It’s one of the most biologically diverse places on earth and its landscape varies from smouldering volcanoes and lofty mountains to lush cloud forests and marshy lowlands.
Recommended tour: Classic Costa Rica
India is a whirlwind for the senses. Colourful, loud and full of fragrance, there’s certainly more to experience in India beyond the picture-perfect views of the Taj Mahal. In 2020, why not travel like a local across India’s magnificent colonial train system, spot a Bengal tiger in Ranthambore National Park or sample curries in the Golden Triangle? If you time your visit right, you can even lose yourself in the sparkling lights of Diwali or splatter yourself with the bright colours of Holi festival.
Recommended tour: Shere Khan
Despite being one of the smaller countries in South America, Ecuador is incredibly diverse and has plenty to offer travellers. All roads lead from UNESCO-listed Quito, a vibrant and charming capital with a beautiful colonial centre. Star attractions of Ecuador have long been the wildlife-rich Galapagos Islands and the Amazon rainforest. Ecuador should definitely be on your list if you’re a nature lover.
Recommended tour: Highlights of Ecuador
Kyrgyzstan is still not on most travellers’ lists and we can’t understand why! Set in the heart of the Tian Shan range, Kyrgyzstan is famed for its natural beauty and fascinating history. Pristine mountain landscapes and the stunning Song Kol and Issyk Kol lakes are perfect for trekking and horse riding. The high pastures are home to the country’s yurt-dwelling herders during the summer months and contrast with the imposing ex-Soviet architecture of the major cities. Get in now before everyone else finds it!
Recommended tour: Kyrgyzstan Explorer
There’s so much more to Colombia than Narcos. From the soaring peaks of the Andes to the pristine beaches of the Caribbean coast, Colombia is home to a great natural diversity thanks largely to its position on the Equator with a third of the country occupied by the wildlife-dense Amazon rainforest. Colombia also boasts some of South America’s finest colonial cities from the extraordinarily preserved Cartagena to the white-washed city of Popayan with cinematic cobbled streets and wide plazas. It’s recovering well after its well-known troubles and offers a huge amount for the intrepid traveller.
Recommended tour: Classic Colombia
14. South Korea
South Korea is known as the land of the morning calm and is the hidden gem of the Far East as far as we’re concerned. It’s the country where cherry blossom blooms, history stands proud, and age-old tradition thrives. In South Korea, nocturnal cities of the future lie beside tranquil plains of spotless beauty. South Korea really is a harmonious balance of serenity and futurism, and remains pretty untouched by the tourist track. No trip to the Far East should be complete without stopping in.
Recommended tour: South Korean Express
13. Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is the land where history endures and waterfalls flow. Here, stunning beaches abound and lush tea plantations thrive. There’s more to Sri Lanka than UNESCO World Heritage sites – the local culture. From tuk-tuk rides to traditional cultural shows, our Sri Lanka tours are brimming with authentic and memorable experiences. Sri Lanka is a wildlife paradise too, with large elephant herds to be found in Udawalawe and Yala national parks, and whale-watching opportunities from Mirissa.
Recommended tour: Wild About Sri Lanka
Vibrant market streets. Mouth-watering food. Fragrant Buddhist temples. Awaken your senses with a trip to Vietnam. You might be hoping to dive into the captivating history, maybe you can’t wait to tuck into the incredible street food, or perhaps you’re after the breath-taking scenery of Halong Bay. Whichever way you discover Vietnam, you’re bound utterly lose yourself in the country’s hustle and bustle, and to discover an unforgettable culture that’s worlds away from home.
Recommended tour: Very Vietnam
Strong spirits, saunas and sledging, what’s not to love? Most visits to Finland start with a stop in the capital Helsinki renowned for its underground winter culture and festive locals. Outside of the capital, you’ll discover the winter wonderland of Lapland where you might get to glimpse Santa or the magnificent Northern Lights. Although Finland is a stunning year-round destination, it’s in winter that it really comes into its own.
Recommended tour: Lapland & Husky Highlights
Live ‘la dolce vita’. A trip to Italy will take your breath away. Vivid cultures, culinary delights, captivating cities, and idyllic countryside. A visit to Italy is a gondola ride along the Venetian canals. It’s getting lost on the cobbles of Roman ruins, it’s cheese and wine-tasting in the rolling hills of Tuscany, it’s relaxing on the shores of Cinque Terre. Italy is irresistible. It’s impossible not to love. What are you waiting for?
Recommended tour: Italian Expresso
Japan is a stunning harmony of total contrasts. In the Land of the Rising Sun, age-old tradition blends with futuristic living, bamboo forests meet towering skyscrapers, and samurai shows follow robot restaurant experiences. It’s fair to say that Japanese culture is taking the world by storm in 2020.
Recommended tour: Land of the Samurai
8. South Africa
South Africa is a dynamic country where vast plains of wilderness meet vibrant cities and rich cultures. With game reserves and vineyards, cosmopolitan cities and coastal roads, soaring table-top mountains and sweeping bays on the Indian Ocean, the Rainbow Nation is an incredible place to be in 2020. If you’re an adventurer with a taste for distinct landscapes, diverse cultures and the warmest welcome, South Africa is where you should be.
Recommended tour: Falls to Cape
Words can’t capture how incredible it is to be in Georgia. Nestled on the frontier between Europe and Asia, and bordered to the north by the Russian bear, Georgians are fiercely proud of their unique identity, and rightly so! The historic capital of Tbilisi is packed full of beautiful balconies while the rural north of the country boasts pristine alpine meadows and fabulous skiing – there’s a lot to be proud of here. That’s before you discover the food! Boasting some of the finest cuisine in the world, from Khachapuris dripping with cheese to Khinkali bursting with flavour. The only problem with Georgia is that you won’t want to come home!
Recommended tour: Caucasus Discovered
Visit Cambodia and be moved by its tragic past, inspired by its spectacular beauty and captivated by its archaeological sites. The jewel in Cambodia’s crown is undoubtedly the iconic Angkor Wat – as seen in Angelina Jolie’s Tomb Raider – one of the great wonders of the world. With wild jungles and national parks, pristine beaches and offshore islands, beautiful temples and vibrant cities, Cambodia has so much more to offer.
Recommended tour: Classic Cambodia
Pyramids. Ancient Gods. Architectural Wonders. If that hasn’t got you sold on Egypt, I’ll say one more word: Pharaohs! Nowhere else in the world can match Egypt’s unique cultural richness. Add to that the natural jewel that is the Nile river and Egypt’s fabulous food (ask for their falafels!) and it’s hard to see why you’d go anywhere else. Sailing up the Nile on a traditional felucca, seeing the contrast between the lush green of the Nile’s banks and the desert beyond is an experience that has to be experienced on a tour of Egypt in 2020.
Recommended tour: King Ramses
This is one from left field but one we wholeheartedly recommend. From the fascinating capital of Tashkent, to Silk Road cities and a beautiful desert lake, Uzbekistan is not to be missed. There are beautiful rolling plans, fascinating local culture and a rich history woven straight out Uzbekistan’s pivotal location on the ancient silk road. Travellers who aren’t afraid of blazing their own trail should go now, before everyone else discovers the delights of Uzbekistan.
Recommended tour: Uzbek and Turkmenistan Adventure
At number 3, Iceland tops most bucket lists, and it’s not hard to see why. Thundering waterfalls, rumbling volcanoes, lively geysers, and inviting hot springs, it’s like nowhere else on Earth. As well as being unlike anywhere you’ve ever seen before, the land forged by ice and fire is also one of the best places in the world to spy the magical Northern Lights.
Recommended tour: Northern Lights Discovery
Think Argentina and you’re likely to conjure up images of wild roaming gauchos, world-class wine and the sexy Tango, but the country’s top natural attractions – the magnificent Iguazu Falls and the awe-inspiring Perito Moreno Glacier – demonstrate that Argentina is a land of remarkable variety. It’s simply stunning.
Recommended tour: Argentina, Eclipse and Chile 2020
Peru is trekking to Incan ruins and watching the sun set over the Andes. It’s exploring the Amazon rainforest and meeting the indigenous islanders of Lake Titicaca. It’s a day immersed in nature and an evening wandering the city. Peru is unforgettable. It has it all. And it captures the hearts of all those who travel there. For these reasons and more, Peru has to be at the top of your travel list in 2020.
Recommended tour: Amazon, Incas & Titicaca 2020
If you’d like to visit any of our top picks for 2020, why not consider a tour with On The Go Tours? We’ve got award-winning tours to all of the above destinations in 2020 and we’d specialise in making difficult destinations easy. Get in touch to find out more!