As we enter a new year, but also a brand new decade, lists of must-see countries in 2020 are becoming increasingly popular. Spring getaways, out-of-the-ordinary or off-the-beaten-track destinations, once-in-a-lifetime must-sees… Whatever your 2020 plans, these suggestions of countries to visit in the New Year, according to seasoned travelers, will inspire you to expand your bucket list! Where will you go this time?
Table Of Contents
- 1 The destinations to see in a lifetime are presented in no particular order!
The destinations to see in a lifetime are presented in no particular order!
1. Île El Hierro aux Canaries — Spain
El Hierro, the westernmost island of Spain’s Canary Islands, has remained untouched by mass tourism. In 2019, the detective series “Hierro” on European TV screens revealed the beauty of the island: a landscape that changes face at every turn, lying trees, many breathtaking viewpoints, natural pools, the smallest hotel in the world. It’s an island where nobody locks their house and car. El Hierro is easy to visit by car and hiking. Here you can taste typical Canarian dishes in a bimbachinche, the local wine and the famous quesadilla (a cheesecake). El Hierro is a destination not to be missed in 2020 before the island is overrun by tourists.
2. L’Ouest américain — United State
The American West is a destination not to be missed once in a lifetime. Why a trip to this part of the United States in 2020? Between the mythical cities of Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and its nightlife with its fairytale sounds and lights and finally San Francisco, a megalopolis on a human scale, the second face of the American West is its national parks. You will be charmed by Monument Valley.
Its glowing nature and impressed by the force of nature that has shaped one of the largest canyons in the world: the Grand Canyon. Nobody is unaware that all this nature is in danger with all the recent climatic events. Warming is causing more and more forest fires in its parks. One of the oldest trees in Sequoia Park was destroyed by lightning in 2018. Heavy rains damaged the Oroville Dam. Finally, there is a strong seismic risk on the San Andreas fault that threatens cities like San Francisco or Los Angeles. All this makes the American West endangered and it is, therefore, urgent to visit it in 2020 before it is no longer visible.
2019 has been an eye-opener on the imminent impact of climate change. Tourist areas that contribute to the over-exploitation of natural resources have a front-row seat to Mother Nature’s response. Among them, Mexico’s Caribbean has been invaded by tons of sargasso, turning its idyllic beaches into dirty land. This is scaring away tourists and panicking those who are betting heavily on the region. This is an opportunity to redirect your trip to Mexico in 2020 towards paradisiacal places… far from the tourist masses! In this immense country, there are 1001 ways to make a dream trip in an eco-responsible way: observe the grey whale in a protected sanctuary in Baja California, visit an ecological vineyard in the Guadalupe Valley, enjoy a sustainable beach in Oaxaca Playa Chahué which has obtained the famous “Blue Flag” label. It’s about combining business with pleasure!
4. Sumatra – Indonesia
Whenever we think of Indonesia, Bali inevitably comes to mind. Island indeed pleasant and beautiful, the fact remains that mass tourism has invaded Bali for a long time. Sumatra is, in my opinion, an ideal alternative to discover a more authentic side of Indonesia. The Sumatra is the 7th largest island in the world, one could spend months without being bored. Sumatra will have seduced me with its deserted beaches near the city of Padang, its Harau valley where it is good to walk around without any specific goal, its lake Toba where the Batak culture is in the spotlight and of course for its orangutans, these endearing animals with such a pure look.
In 2020, it’s time to finally go and explore less frequented regions of Indonesia where the local population is still delighted to meet foreigners. Sumatra is an original destination in Southeast Asia that is worth discovering now!
t’s one of the trips that one would recommend to everyone with eyes closed, Japan is one of them. If it is impossible to enumerate the (very) numerous assets of the archipelago, it is worth mentioning the incredible variety of landscapes and activities that can be found there. Let’s add to this that it is childish to travel in Japan, and in complete safety. This is the strength, almost magnetic, of Japan: every traveler, whatever his profile, will find what he is looking for.
A trip of a lifetime, certainly, and why not in 2020? As Japan prepares to host the 32nd edition of the Olympic Games, it is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the good atmosphere of the Japanese summer while taking part in the global event that is the Olympics. Crazy fireworks, matsuri (festivals) and sporting highlights: the promise of a unique stay!
6. Ecuadorian Amazon – Ecuador
We are all witnessing the climate change that is affecting our planet. Deforestation, forest fires, greenhouse gases threaten the Amazon from year to year. The largest tropical forest in the world, also known as the green lung of our planet, is nevertheless home to very diverse fauna and flora. So, if you are looking to travel in the heart of nature, far from mass tourism, why not discover the Ecuadorian Amazon?
Indeed, this jewel of biodiversity is home to thousands of plants, freshwater fish, birds, reptiles, and mammals that are still resisting climate change and human pressure. A trip to the heart of the Amazon in 2020 would be an opportunity to reconnect with nature and become aware of the treasures of our planet. Observing birds and mammals in their natural habitat, admiring blazing sunsets in the heart of the rainforest, falling asleep to the sound of insects singing… so if you feel like a trip out of the ordinary, go to Ecuador!
7. South Africa
South Africa has surprises in store for you in many ways. Its culture, its history, its cities, but above all its nature and animal reserves will certainly delight the eyes and souls of young and old alike. An ideal destination to discover the happiness of making a safari, whether it is organized or in autonomy, on foot or by vehicle, day or night… You will be able to give free rein to your dreams and desires!
Go in search of the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo) and other savannah animals (giraffe, cheetah, zebra, kudu, wildebeest, hyena, wild dog, monkey, warthog, hippopotamus, etc.) for a few hours or a few days. With its 2019 Rugby World Cup consecration, South Africa is once again making a name for itself and is definitely the destination to discover in 2020 before everyone rushes there!
Not the Dominican Republic, we’re talking about Dominica, that small Caribbean island wedged between Guadeloupe and Martinique. The one that is nicknamed the Nature Island is a real paradise for hikers and lovers of fauna and flora. On land and at sea, discover its lush forests, waterfalls, lakes, volcanoes, beaches, rivers, and seabeds.
This small country is slowly recovering, with its means, from the passage of Hurricane Maria which razed 90% of the island in 2017. The natural sites are reopening, the hotels are half rebuilt, 2020 is the year to visit this Caribbean jewel! The agricultural lands being destroyed, the main sources of income of the island, ecotourism is more than ever a necessity for the inhabitants.
9. New York – United States
New York may be a classic destination, but it’s still a good idea!
There are a lot of activities to do, such as going to a game, a musical, or a gourmet restaurant; in short, there’s always something to do. Here are a few suggestions for 2020:
The Hudson Yards district with its 1100-foot hanging terrace “Edge NYC” with a panoramic view of Manhattan! It is scheduled to open in March 2020.
The photographic exhibition of Dorothea Lange’s work will be on display at the Moma from February to May 2020. This artist paid particular attention to the human condition. Her black and white photographs are beautiful and express poignant stories of daily life.
To eat or drink a cocktail, what better than the kitchen of the famous Eataly and its rooftop that changes colors with the seasons.
Often when you announce that you are going to Kyrgyzstan, the answer is, “Where to? Gradually, this small country of Central Asia is becoming more and more visited, that’s why I advise you to discover it in 2020 while it is still preserved from important tourism. What did I like about it? First of all, the magnificent nature. Kyrgyzstan is a mountainous country, almost half of its territory is located above 3000 meters above sea level. You will also discover lakes and canyons with extraordinary colors.
Then, to go to Kyrgyzstan is to discover the nomadic culture. Every summer, the shepherds take their herds and yurts to the mountain pastures. Nomadism is omnipresent and is part of the national identity. In fact, on the national flag, the roof of a yurt is represented: quite a symbol! A destination that I loved and that I can only recommend to you.