Top Ten Places to Travel in 2019!

Oh the Places You’ll Go...in 2019! The New Year is the perfect time to plan for new adventures. Here are some of the destinations we are most excited about for the coming year. Read on, and join us to hike from France into Spain, see the massive colonies of King penguins on an Antarctica cruise, snorkel amid the phenomenal coral gardens of Raja Ampat, and savor a gorgeous camp in the Sahara. As Dr. Seuss says, “Today is your day. You’re off and away!”

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Andasibe Park, Madagascar

Lemurs leaping from tree to tree, rare orchids peeking up from the rainforest floor, and dramatic hues of the Parson’s Chameleon—this is otherworldly Madagascar. Andasibe Park is home of the famed Indri indri lemur—whose haunting song carries for miles. Watch these incredible treetop acrobats swing, sing, and snooze in this amazing wildlife reserve. Both of our trips—Magical Madagascar and Madagascar: Off the Beaten Path—will take you deep inside the wonders of Andasibe Park, and to other corners of this extraordinary island-nation where more than 80% of all plant and animal species are found nowhere else on earth.

Zimbabwe

You’ve thought about going on a safari, but may not have considered Zimbabwe. Zim is lesser-known, yet has some of the most thrilling wildlife in all of Africa. Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe’s game-rich treasure, sees only a quarter of the tourists of Serengeti National Park. Think active: walking safaris to get up close to giraffe chewing on acacia leaves, look-up blinds for waterhole-level perspectives, sundowners right next to elephants gathering to drink, canoeing on the Zambezi River, even game-viewing from an open-air vintage rail car! Wild Zimbabwe may just be the safari of the year.

Chachapoyas, Peru

Sometimes you really want to get off the beaten path, and that is exactly what we do on our Chachapoyas hiking adventure. Set between the upper Amazon and the páramo (grasslands) of the Andean highlands, the Chachapoyas region is little visited and largely unknown, but that won’t last long. Now is the time to see this region’s impressive ridge-top citadels, eerie cliff tombs, and incredible painted sarcophagi. Ninth century Kuélap, an enormous, walled pre-Inca city of pilgrimage perched on a mountaintop at nearly 10,000 feet, is not to be missed. And, yes, we even go off trail to find some truly hidden gems.

South Georgia Island

Any cruise to Antarctica is the trip of a lifetime, but if you have the time, the ‘long cruise’ that includes South Georgia Island is the one to take. Massive southern elephant seals lounging, King penguins colonies numbering in the thousands, and giant albatross with 11-foot wingspans drifting above are just a few of the spectacular wildlife experiences on this isolated land that juts 10,000 feet out of the sea. We offer several voyages to Antarctica; our most comprehensive trip—Antarctica, South Georgia, and the Falkland Islands—features a variety of ships with incredible teams of on-board naturalists, Zodiac fleets for go-anywhere expeditions, and advanced safety equipment to get you up close to the icebergs of Antarctica.

The Moroccan Sahara

Imagine setting out on a camel through the wind-sculpted dunes of the Sahara and spending the night in a private canvas tent adorned with bright fabrics and richly-hued Berber rugs. Dinner is served on white tablecloths with china, silver, and a glass of wine while you listen to Gnaoua musicians under the dazzling desert stars. This is just one stop on our Morocco Camels to Casbah trip. Visit dreamy, medieval Fez, the storied casbahs of Marrakesh, and stay in riads and mansions with tiled courtyards and rooftop gardens. Or customize your own adventure on our Private Journey in magical Morocco!

Raja Ampat

Don your mask and snorkel, and dive beneath the surface of the clear blue water to find a whole new universe—the snorkeling in Raja Ampat is nothing short of mind-blowing. Home to 75% of the world’s coral species and over 1,400 types of fish, the Coral Triangle is one of the most biodiverse places on Earth. We’ve chartered a classic 100-foot Indonesian schooner and designed a special itinerary in this incredible realm. Our 12-day Snorkeling Raja Ampat adventure has you swimming above coral reefs in shallow bays to experience rare shrimp gobies, wobbegong sharks, pygmy seahorse, manta rays, hawksbill turtles, and a myriad of other creatures in this aquamarine wonderland.

Montenegro

Europe has it all—culture, cuisine, natural beauty, and sometimes too many tourists. But Montenegro remains un-trampled, protected by her namesake mountains looming over the sea. Our adventure, Montenegro and the Adriatic Coast, will take you hiking from Durmitor National Park and Biogradska Gora National Park to the coast at Kotor Bay, Europe’s southernmost fjord. Secluded woodlands and wild limestone mountains by day, medieval towns, fresh-caught seafood, and wine made from ancient grapes by night. Cheers to Montenegro!

Georgia

This is a country where hospitality is a way of life. Guests are considered a gift from God, and the warm Georgian welcome will put you right at home. In this region of craggy mountains, ancient wines (the oldest wine tradition in the world!), and stone-built villages, we’ll be greeted with songs, poems, toasts, and feasts at family-run guesthouses. The Hiker’s Journey to the Caucasus takes us past fortresses, watchtowers, and onto the rugged trails of the Tusheti and Kasbegi Mountains. “Gamardschoba!—Welcome!”

Basque Country

Shepherds and cider houses, pintxos and pilgrim trails, Michelin-starred restaurants and modern museums—these are just a few of the delights the Basque Country has to offer. Basque Country spans borders, and we cross a historic pass from France to Spain on foot in our Hiking in the Land of the Basques journey. From the salty seaside village of Biarritz, France, to sacred mountains, along spectacular portions of the legendary Camino de Santiago, and into the charismatic cities of Pamplona, San Sebastian, and Bilbao, this trip defies borders just as the delightful Basque people do. Oh, and the food—it’s legendary!

Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan’s landscape of alpine peaks and lakes is a spectacular—yet secluded—wonderland. Join Hashmat Singh, Trip Leader extraordinaire, to explore this mountain realm and its fascinating Silk Road heritage. We’ll hike trails through red-rock canyons and to high meadows below glaciers, meet families in their summer jailoo camps at idyllic Lake Song Kol, join a family for a traditional dinner, explore the petroglyphs of Cholpon Ata, meet eagle hunters with their noble birds, and see thrilling horseback games that evoke the land’s deep nomadic traditions.

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