Our Wanderers in Residence have come together once again to put together their picks of travel destinations for 2014. Scroll through and get inspired to see some of this big beautiful planet of ours.
A great base for exploring the southern region of the continent, South Africa offers a variety of experiences. Lap up the luxury of Cape Town’s celebrated wineries, camp under the stars on safari or explore the endless coastline of the Garden Route.
A destination that has begun to open its doors to tourism after years of war and strife, Sierra Leone has much on offer. The adventurous traveller will find a country with beaches, rainforests, and a citizenry looking to share its unique culture.
With the somber ten-year anniversary of the 1994 genocide on the horizon, a lot of travellers are turning their attention back to Rwanda. Enticing curiosities include gorilla-trekking excursions and a lush countryside that offers a contrast from neighbouring countries.
India recently started offering visas upon arrival to travellers from the United States, Canada, and most of Western Europe. By removing this bureaucratic hurdle, the country is poised to become a much more attractive destination for travellers. With recent negative press primarily focused on the northern regions, more readers have indicated they are heading to the south.
Often overlooked, Guyana is the only English-speaking nation in South America and offers a culture similar to the Caribbean, as well as the rainforests of the Amazon basin.
With a new president (who makes music videos) and international accords on the books, the spotlight is shining upon Iran’s jewels of Islamic architecture and the heritage of the Persian Empire. Tourism is already up an estimated 35% over last year, and the government has announced plans to ease visa regulations, allowing visa upon arrival for many nationalities (including US citizens).
Reportedly one of the happiest places on Earth, Colombia continues its trend of positive transition. Mix together colonial towns, friendly people, sunny coastlines, a slice of the Amazon, and an increasing attention to the environment and you have a fine recipe for adventure travel.
From volcano hikes to colonial grandeur to Pacific surf – and all at budget prices – Nicaragua is fast becoming a hotspot for travellers in Central America.
With vast tracts of mountains, coastlines, and a fascinating “crossroads” culture, the Balkans are an appealing destination for those looking to go beyond Europe’s traditional destinations.
Combine a country that is over 90% mountains with nomadic culture, yurts, Soviet-era funkiness, close proximity to the Silk Road, and a strong community-based tourism network, and you have a winning combination for outdoor and adventure travel.
Heavy-hitting cities like St Petersburg and Moscow may come to a mind at first thought of this historical country, but more and more, off-the-beaten-path seekers are discovering that Russia is much more than a history lesson. Epic train rides through Siberia mix with spa treatments at Lake Baikal. Curiosity is especially piqued this year as Sochi is set to host the 2014 Winter Olympics.
With prices expected to increase and the government adding new policies and tourism marketing tactics, Bhutan will see an increase in visitors in the upcoming year. Gross National Happiness for everyone!
Reputed as a party destination for Australians and New Zealanders, Indonesia is much more than just the island of Bali. Travellers are aware of the cultural nuances between the many islands and are eager to get there in order to see it all with their own eyes.
With the 2014 FIFA World Cup set to take place in Brazil, the country is well-positioned to welcome throngs of travellers to its already energetic pace of life.