From classic adventures to over-the-top expeditions, 2020 is going to be an exciting year for topping up your bucket list.
Six Bucket List Travel Destinations You Dream About
EGYPT BOUNCING BACK
The great pyramids of Giza, King Tut’s treasures and the tombs in the Valley of Kings continue to draw modern day explorers to Egypt alongside these ancient historical sites. Egypt continues to reveal secrets from dynasties of pharaohs long past, just recently, in December 2018, the country’s Ministry of Antiquities announced that a new tomb belonging to a priest, believed to be more than 4.000 years old was unearthed south of Cairo. Another reason to plan a future trip to Egypt is the Grand Egyptian Museum, expected to open in this year. With a price tag of $1 billion, this highly anticipated (and much-needed) modern museum will showcase the country’s precious relics. The United Nations World Tourism Organization reported in December 2018 that travel to Egypt is on the upswing. Look for tour companies in Southern Travel Agency trusted network, such as Insight Vacations, to take you there.
EXPERIENCE YOGA IN INDIA
Wake up at dawn and salute the sun looking over one of India’s most sacred rivers, The Ganges, with the misty Himalayas as your backdrop. India is the ultimate destination for a wellness retreat. Head to the Yoga Capital of the World’, Rishikesh, north of Delhi, where ashrams and temples line the holy river and traffic is limited to rickshaws in pedestrian-only areas. Following ancient sacred scriptures, yogis only eat vegetarian cuisine – as such, non-vegetarian food is banned from Rishikesh. Wellness-seekers have been traveling to The Ganges for decades now – even The Beatles stayed at an ashram in Rishikesh to practice yoga and meditate in the 1960s. Top your visit off with an authentic Ayurvedic treatment to balance your body, mind and spirit. Ask your travel agent about Goway’s four-day itinerary, Rishikesh Wellness Retreat and cross this one off your bucket list.
From the tips of South America, Antarctica has long enticed voyagers and explorers to discover its polar delights in icy solitude. With its glacial mountains inhabited only by wildlife, the South Pole is sure to leave you wondering if you’ve reached another planet altogether. Traveling from Ushuaia in Argentina, plan for the ultimate polar expedition: spend a few days cruising through the legendary Drake Passage (named after a 16th-century explorer, Sir Francis Drake, and known for its rough waves). The passage eventually gives way to the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula where Zodiacs, kayaks and even polar snorkeling are just a few ways to get close to ice floes, icebergs and extraordinary wildlife, including seabirds, seals, whales and penguins. As part of its Earth Journeys, Tauck offers itineraries created in partnership with BBC Earth that are sure to appeal to adventure travelers looking to experience this polar region with experienced naturalists.
AUSTRALIA’S ROMANTIC TRAIN JOURNEY
Travel for hours and take in the vast desert that somehow gives way to jungle – the trip between Alice Springs to Darwin in Australia will leave you in awe. This journey can be made by bus but doing it on the legendary Ghan Train with Globus is that much more romantic. This extraordinary experience begins in the Outback, where travelers flock to see Uluru / Ayers Rock.
More than just a massive sandstone, Uluru is a place with cultural and spiritual significance for indigenous people. The overnight train ride ends in the lush national parks of Darwin in Northern Australia where travelers come for a glimpse of saltwater crocodiles. There are more bucket list experiences to be had: dive the Great Barrier Reef or marvel at the country’s iconic wildlife on Kangaroo Island.
DEEP SEA EXPLORATION
For the ultimate bucket list adventure, Kensington Tours has partnered with the Nekton Ocean Research Institute to offer a truly historic, once-in-a-lifetime experience aboard a deep-ocean science submersible in Seychelles. Aside from diving in previously unexplored waters and having access to a remote tropical location. Mysteries of the Deep allows travelers the chance to participate in activities on a working scientific research vessel. “Nekton’s last mission in Bermuda with leading scientists from Oxford University resulted in the discovery of a new ocean zone called the Rariphotic,” said Jeff Willner, Kensington Tours founder. “Every time we dive in Aldabra, it will be a first descent for humankind. This is true science and adventure.” Expeditions are scheduled with prices for eight people starting at $350,000 per tour.
OFF THE BEATEN PATH
Now’s the time to explore Africa on your terms with this bucket list tour that’s affordable for young travellers. Take your love for all things furry and wild to the next level on a nine-day animal-spotting overland adventure in Uganda. Spot chimps in Kalinzu Forest and join experienced trackers while travelling deep into the Ugandan forests for an opportunity to spot endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. Our Landos (overland adventure vehicles) are an adventurous and affordable way to see the highlights, while wilderness camping will keep you in the thick of the action.
Go big or go home rings true in Uganda’s natural splendours – if you’re going to have a lake, it should be Africa’s biggest, if you’re going to cross the path of a river, it better be the Nile. But in terms of large and impressive sights, there’s none here quite as famous as the mountain gorilla. Half the world’s surviving population of these endangered primates lives in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. If sights of charming chimps or the Big Five aren’t enough to capture your heartstrings, there’s always some of the world’s best whitewater rafting and kayaking to give you an entirely different type of thrill through G Adventures.
By Karen Leiva