28 once-in-a-lifetime trips you should take in 2019, according to National Geographic

Erika Larsen/National GeographicMexico City is a must-visit destination according to National Geographic.
  • National Geographic has revealed its top travel destinations for 2019.
  • Mexico City was named number one on its list.
  • Places selected ranged from specific parks and counties to whole countries.
  • Other destinations include Montenegro, Mexico City, and Oman.

As National Geographic published its annual Best Trips issue, the magazine’s team has put together what they think are the best vacation spots for 2019. The magazine’s writers and editors have compiled expert opinions to give the best possible options for travellers.

Keep reading to see National Geographic’s 28 top places to travel this upcoming year.

28. South Walton County, Florida, is marine paradise.

Paul Winterman/ShutterstockWalton County’s beautiful marine life attracts visitors.

With a thriving marine life population and diverse set of beaches, South Walton County has made itself a noteworthy destination for snorkelling and diving enthusiasts.

Located in Northern Florida, organisations like the South Walton Artifical Reef Association and other similar municipal initiatives show the county’s commitment to the protection of its rich nature and landscape.

27. Montenegro might be small, but it’s rich in scenery.

S-F/ShutterstockMontenegro is home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site and other landscapes.
Montenegro may be a small country, but there is plenty to see and do there – especially if you like hiking. In the nation’s northwest, Durmitor National Park covers 39,000 acres of land made up of scenic canyons and mountains. The park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

26. Perth’s remote location doesn’t prevent it from having fun.

ruchos/ShutterstockPerth is both a center for lively culture and picture-perfect scenery.

Located on coastal Western Australia, Perth is the capital city to one of Australia’s most remote states. Despite that, the city has a lively population, plenty of vineyards, and scenic beaches, making Perth a great alternative to more popular Australian cities like Sydney.

25. Macedonia is a gem among the Balkans.

Chris McGrath/Getty ImagesMacedonia is a budget-friendly destination.

Though Balkan countries get a fair share of attention, they aren’t often considered conventional vacation destinations. But Macedonia should change all that. With gorgeous mountains, waterfalls, and an affordable cost of living, tourists get a nearly endless supply of opportunities for leisure and relaxation.

24. Germany’s Bauhaus Trail is a crash course on Germany’s rich art culture.

Sean Gallup/Getty ImagesExperience the origins of one of architecture’s most unique movements.

Following the Bauhaus trail gives tourists a taste for different parts of Germany, all unified in the education and architectural movement of Bauhaus.

Even without a love of architecture, travelling through cities like Dessau and Berlin will expose visitors to distinct and novel parts of German art and culture.

23. Isla de los Estados is a serene escape from the rest of Argentina.

Ionov Vitaly/ShutterstockIsla de los Estados has an abundance of marine life and comforting scenery.

Approximately 18 miles away from the Argentinean part of Tierra del Fuego lies a quiet and picturesque escape from what the rest of Argentina has to offer. In Isla de los Estados, tourists can find idyllic mountainous landscapes, fjords, and a healthy wildlife population, all in pristine condition.

22. Salvador, Brazil, might be the world’s party capital.

Yadid Levy/National GeographicIt’s common to see residents dancing in the streets of Salvador.

Located in the Brazilian state of Bahia, Salvador is known to be both a city of great cultural diversity and tradition as well as a center for much of the country’s partying.

Carnival, a Brazilian tradition of dance and celebration prior to Lent, is one of the city’s biggest highlights, with some of the largest and longest parties a tourist could experience.

21. Oakland has become a more diverse and unique alternative to neighbouring San Francisco.

trekandshoot/ShutterstockOakland maintains a multifaceted and distinct identity.

Even in the face of recent gentrification in neighbouring San Francisco, Oakland has maintained a free, unique, and multicultural identity. Restaurants and other local establishments owned by a diverse local populace make up the city’s rich social landscape. Cambodian stews and Lebanese flatbreads are as much at home in Oakland as are enigmatic secret societies and a bonsai garden curated by the first female and only American bonsai master to be trained and certified in Japan.

20. See thousands of different animals at Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park.

Jen Guyton/National GeographicMozambique wildlife is largely well-protected.

At around 1,500 square miles, Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park gives visitors plenty of opportunities to witness large swaths of wildlife. Thanks to conservation efforts made in the past decade, the revitalized park now houses over 70,000 animals.

19. Galway is becoming Ireland’s cultural center.

Shutterstock/littlenyCommunity, culture, and art have all become a central part of Galway.

Galway has quietly become one of Europe’s culinary gems. Recently named the 2018 European Region of Gastronomy, the city is now known for its arts and cultural clout. The city will soon host a culture fair called Galway 2020, featuring pop-up installations, performances, and other events.

18. Diversity is what upholds Toronto’s reputation.

Kiev.Victor/ShutterstockWidespread diversity and urban scenery intertwine in Toronto.

Despite its frigid climate, Toronto’s population is extremely diverse and continuing to grow at a fast rate. As a result, visitors can enjoy a variety of cuisines and art from Torontonians hailing from different corners of the globe.

17. Enjoy ancient artifacts and architectural wonders in Cairo.

Prin Adulyatham/ShutterstockCairo remains a history nerd’s go-to destination.

Historic artifacts and monuments are scattered across the city. In addition to the Sphinx and the upcoming $US1 billion Grand Egyptian Museum, the city hosts a variety of other ancient artifacts that any history buff would enjoy seeing.

16. Witness rainbow-colour rivers in Colombia’s Caño Cristales

Sebastian Delgado C/ShutterstockDespite looking too good to be true, the river’s colourful scenery sets a serene tone for much of the year.

Known as the “River of Five Colours,” Caño Cristales produces vivid visuals (best between July and October), and is also located next to Serranía de la Macarena, a massive national park known for its jungles and animal-watching opportunities.

15. Matera is an underrated spot for history-loving tourists to visit.

Kite_rin/ShutterstockMatera is set to become a European ‘Capital of Culture.’

Set to be a 2019 European Capital of Culture, Matera has experienced a recent mini-renaissance of its own. The ancient city used to be a slum, but has now become a hotspot of tourism where people can visit an ancient UNESCO World Heritage Site, a famed contemporary sculpture museum, and enjoy a rich local culinary scene.

14. Belize has a remarkably rich natural marine life population.

Jad Davenport/National GeographicOne can experience the revitalization of ocean reefs and beaches at a once-marred Belize.

Amidst a rush to restore and revitalize its ocean life, Belize has become home to unadulterated marine experiences rarely found elsewhere. Amergris Caye, Belize’s largest island, has been previously named best destination in Central America for its diving and shark-watching opportunities.

13. Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness is New Mexico’s hidden gem.

Andaman/ShutterstockBisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness is home to some of America’s most wondrous natural rock formations.

Though not a name that immediately comes to mind, Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness is as wondrous as any attraction travellers might come across on a road trip in the American southwest. Near Albuquerque, the 41,170-acre area has no roads and is remote enough for visitors looking for a quiet escape.

12. Wine and serenity are what mark Vevey, Switzerland.

canadastock/ShutterstockVevey is a part of Swiss wine country.

Vevey is comparitively small, with its 16,000 residents, but it’s a popular holiday resort and wine-growing region. Tourists might understand why the city was popular with Charlie Chaplin, who called Vevey his home until death, when they take charming strolls at spots like Vevey’s old town, home to the town’s famous market, or ride historic trains through neighbouring wine country.

Nestlé’s Alimentarium will also give any visitor a fascinating crash course in the history of food and nutrition.

11. French Polynesia is an affordable alternative to similar rich tropical destinations.

Ryan Moss/National GeographicSurf Oceania’s shores in French Polynesia.

French Polynesia, a collection of islands in the South Pacific belonging to France, has flown under the radar as an ideal tropical travel destination. The islands give tourists the opportunity to go snorkelling in its crystal clear waters, or bask in its various scenic peaks and waterfalls. It also probably helps that it’s a cheaper expedition than what you’d expect.

10. Kansas City has become a new Midwestern oasis thanks to recent city developments.

Scruggelgreen/ShutterstockKansas City’s current cultural renaissance makes it a must-see

Kansas City is going through a bit of a renaissance moment right now. Thanks to recent developments that add to a revitalized arts district(complete with a free trolley service), tourists can see shows at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts or shop at various creative boutiques, while also experiencing city staples like its world-famous barbecue and passionate sports culture.

9. Oman’s natural beauty and historical significance make it one to watch in 2019.

Anastasia Taylor-Lind/National GeographicThe country is a storied part of the present day Gulf.

Once a Middle Eastern backwater, Oman has transformed itself into a center for stunning architecture and culture. The government has recently set its sights on tourism, and developments in local culture and attractions have already sprung up as a result. From plenty of old military forts to the beauty and ferocity of the Gulf desert, it’s clear why Omani adventures will be worth your time next year.

8. Greenland is a land of adventure with great scenery.

Keith Ladzinski/National GeographicGreenland and its serenity are far more accessible than one would think.

There’s far more to see and do in Greenland than the average person might expect. Those who like adventure can go dogsledding or heli-skiing. For sightseeing,take a helicopter ride overlooking the country’s fjords and the Northern Lights after dark.

7. Experience the Himalayans at Hoang Lien Son.

VLADYSLAV DANILINIn the past few decades, Vietnam has collectively grown to be a culturally rich destination for visitors.

Hoang Lien Son is a national park and a part of the Himalayan Mountains. Trekking the destination isn’t an easy feat, but Hoang Lien Son has memorable views worth seeing in your lifetime.

6. Canterbury Region will look familiar to “Lord of the Rings” fans.

NigelSpiers/ShutterStockNew Zealand has gorgeous scenic views.

In the middle of New Zealand lies Canterbury, a region with diverse cities like Christchurch, Kaikoura, and Timaru. The region served as a backdrop for most of the “Lord of the Rings” movies, and there are plenty of tours for die-hard fans.

If you’re not a fan of the fantasy series, visit Caterbury’s various bustling cities on your own.

5. Dordogne is an enduringly charming region of France.

Gunnar Knechtel/National GeographicMedieval architecture is plentiful in Dordogne.

Dordogne is a department in the South of France that gives every tourist a taste of what makes the region so wonderful. With its abundance of quaint and picturesque villages, tourists can see a scenic and unadulterated side of France. Just north of Dordogne is also the Vézèrze Valley, where tourists can find nearly untouched prehistoric caves and cave paintings.

4. Senegal’s food and friendliness make visiting a no-brainer.

EyesWideOpen/Getty ImagesBeaches like ones in Dakar are all over Senegal’s coastline.

Scenery, safety, and friendliness are all hallmark traits of a visit to Senegal. Within the country, you wouldn’t be hard-pressed to find plenty of amazing beaches to visit (thanks to its over 300 miles of coastline), a bustling and diverse capital city, and a culture innately tuned to hospitality and friendliness.

3. Fanjingshan’s history and beauty coincide.

clkraus/ShutterstockFanjingshan is a sacred site for Buddhism.

Fanjingshan, one of China’s highest peaks, was made a UNESCO World Heritage site this year. The area has been a major holy site for Buddhism, and various temples and shrines are scattered throughout the area. In addition to its historical significance, Fanjingshan also has a thriving and diverse ecosystem, with over 2,000 types of plants and various endangered animal species.

2. The Peruvian Amazon is rich with wildlife.

Charlie Hamilton James/National GeographicPeru’s portion of the Amazon boasts a trove of exotic wildlife.

Though the Amazon is most closely associated with Brazil, the forest covers over half of Peru and is home to a variety of wildlife. The country’s government is taking its involvement in the Amazon to heart, recently opening a national park meant to protect the forest’s vast plant and wildlife populations from endangerment or extinction, making the Peruvian Amazon a must-visit for any tourist passionate about environmentalism.

1. Mexico City’s food is not to be missed.

Erika Larsen/National GeographicEnjoy history, hospitality, and deep culinary culture in Mexico City.

Though its luche libre displays and neighbouring historic relics already garner sizeable audiences, Mexico City also boasts a burgeoning food scene that’s not to be missed. With restaurants that consistently rank amongst the best 50 in the world, and delectable street snacks like elotes – corn cobs skewered and cooked with mayonnaise, cheese, and chilli – Mexico City is a multifaceted city anyone can enjoy.

The latest issue of the new National Geographic Best Trips Traveller magazine is now available.

National GeographicNational Geographic releases their best trips edition annually.

You can also read it online.


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