Where to Go in 2016: Top Up-and-coming Destinations Around the World
The best stories come from the road less traveled. http://cnn.it/1QVCAqi
- •MongoliaMongolia's mystique lies in its primal lifestyle. Nomadic herders move to the beat of the seasons, raising yaks and camels and pitching up in gers across endless green steppe.
- •Papua New GuineaPristine reefs, smoldering volcanoes and steaming tracts of jungle envelop a travel destination that was once mostly banished to legend and lore.
- •The Arctic: Iceland, Greenland and NorwayYou can see the northern lights, go dogsledding and skiing. Here, polar bears hunt for blubbery bearded seals atop large floes of ice while blue, bowhead and beluga whales tumble below.
- •MadagascarVisitors can hike tropical rainforests and semi-arid desert canyons, winding up on exotic sun-soaked beaches, often alone.
- •IranNowhere stirs the imagination quite like Iran. Go skiing or hit the beach, explore exquisite mosques, markets and madrassas, hear classic Persian poetry and eat spiced cuisine to the scent of water pipes.
- •TaiwanTea and Taiwanese foods are major draws in trendy capital Taipei, a confluence of night markets, designer shops and miniscule alleys studded with lanterns and neon signs.
- •India's national parksThe country's fabled tiger parks offer some of the world's best opportunities to see the big cats up close.
- •UgandaRich in nature, it's an outdoor sanctuary of crater lakes, white-sand beaches on lake islands, thundering waterfalls and national parks.
- •GeorgiaBlessed with 750 miles of Southern Caucasus mountains, this canvas invites walkers, horse riders and skiers.
- •United States: North Cascades National Park2016 will toast the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service, of which 409 parks exist today.
- •Patagonia CorridorThe Chilean side is a maze of inlets, islets and winding waterways, while Argentinian Patagonia dominates vast empty lands and estancias.
- •PalauCalled the "Serengeti of the Sea," it's one of the world's premier dive spots.
- •South Georgia Island and AntarcticaColonies of thousands of noisy king penguins sprawl across the tundra of this British Overseas Territory. Three million fur seals bark as Arctic reindeer gather, grazing for hours in a sea of horns. Birdlife thrives too, as 5 million macaroni penguins, albatross and the songbird South Georgia pipit nest here.
- •HondurasIts primary allures are the fine white-sand beaches of the Bay Islands, Mayan ruins and colorful colonial cities.
- •GabonA forward-thinking beacon of ecotourism, this tiny West African country, which straddles the Equator, largely flies under the tourism radar.
- •RomaniaHead here for hiking, birding and fishing. Or go gallery hopping in Cluj-Napoca, a hotly-tipped future art scene. But of course the nation is best known for bloodsucking myths of Dracula, werewolves and ghosts.