It’s time to say adios to another decade of adventures! The last few years have been incredible. The cookie cutter holiday and photocopy experiences are being replaced by trips that touch your soul.
2020 is the year of travel creativity, thinking outside the box and looking for new experiences.
Could 2020 mark the moment you look back over the past 10 years and take note of what YOU have wanted to experience from your holidays? Take it from us, the experiences are endless. Today, Antarctic and Arctic cruises are not only for the hardest explorers, but are ultra-comfortable and affordable. An Amazon cruise is now a world-class relaxing experience, with spa pools, massages and super tasty food. Patagonia’s wilderness is vast but easily accessible, you do not need to camp to really enjoy it.
If you’ve felt like you’ve followed the well-trodden path in 2020 it could be time to step off it. Try something new. Something you have only dreamed about.
For a bit of travel inspiration we have spoken to our destination experts at Viva Expeditions with some ideas on experiences that step off that well-trodden path. Read on to update your 2020 bucket list of adventures!
SNORKEL WITH SEALS IN THE GALAPAGOS
Home to giant tortoises, flightless cormorant, the mating albatross, the boobie with the fluorescent feet, hammerhead sharks and friendly lazy sea lions, the Galapagos archipelago is an animal lover’s ultimate dream destination for 2020.
The Galapagos archipelago is an animal lover’s ultimate dream destination for 2020.
One of the most coveted experiences is to snorkel with the seals, something that two of Viva’s destination experts said was the best moment of their whole Galapagos cruise. Many of the boats provide snorkelling gear and no previous experience is required. And you can forget about mourning the end of Game of Thrones - here you can find real-life dragons!
PLAY WITH THE PENGUINS IN ANTARCTICA
Gone are the days of being wedged into steel polar expedition vessels designed for scientific expeditions that are more adept at transporting crates than travellers. These newly launched or ‘still in production’ Antarctica cruise ships close the gap between expedition and comfort. Multiple restaurants and dining experiences are all part of today’s Antarctic experience. You no longer have an excuse to skip your workout routine as gyms, spas and swimming pools are now a standard feature. New activities including paddle boarding, helicopter rides and camping, and updated technologies bring further relief for seasickness sufferers.
Newly launched or ‘still in production’ Antarctica cruise ships close the gap between expedition and comfort.
However, with all these opportunities, the best ones are often the simplest. Viva’s destination expert Pia Knarston just loved watching the penguins. She recommends exercising a little patience and these curious creatures will come and say hello!
WALK THE ANCIENT PATH TO MACHU PICCHU IN PERU
Hiking the famed Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru is one of the most coveted highlights for many visitors to South America. But remember, there isn’t just ‘one’ Inca Trail – Peru is traversed by thousands of kilometres of ancient Inca trails and there are actually several which lead to Machu Picchu. For tourist purposes, however, the ‘Inca Trail’ is a 4-day hike starting at KM 82 of the railway line to Aguas Caliente. This line runs for 42km across the Andes, finally guiding you to the famed Sun Gate, usually on the fourth hiking day. This is known as the Classic Inca Trail.
Peru is traversed by thousands of kilometres of ancient Inca trails and there are actually several which lead to Machu Picchu.
The Inca Trail isn’t just about reaching Machu Picchu; you’ll visit important yet lesser-known Inca sites along the way, some of which are just as spectacular as Machu Picchu. You’ll cast your eyes on some of the most magnificent landscapes in the entire continent, see wildlife, walk by remote villages and get a glimpse of what life is like in the high Andes.
HIKE TORRES DEL PAINE IN PATAGONIA
Patagonia is South America’s hiking capital, bar none. Exploring the region and its overwhelming nature is best done on foot, about the best way to totally disconnect from the rest of the world and immerse yourself in the region’s untamed wilderness.
The treks in Torres are the most famous and coveted hiking trails in all of South America.
Aside from the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, the treks in Torres are the most famous and coveted hiking trails in all of South America. You need not be an Olympic-level athlete to enjoy trekking here but if you are, you’ll certainly find plenty of exhilarating challenges. Most walking routes are designed to soak up the sight of the park’s crown jewel – the Cuernos del Paine peaks – from varying angles, all the while guiding you through an astonishing array of spectacular landscapes.
CRUISE THROUGH THE AMAZON RAINFOREST
The Amazon Rainforest is home to over 400 mammals (among them jaguars, giant otters and tapirs the size of a small car), more than 1,300 birds and almost 400 different reptiles, alongside thousands of invertebrates and unique fish like the toothy piranhas.
The Amazon Rainforest is home to over 400 mammals, more than 1,300 birds and almost 400 different reptiles.
Now, the only tricky aspect of wildlife-watching in the Amazon is that due to the luscious rainforest cover that allows all these creatures to thrive, spotting them can be a little challenging. Nevertheless, for an iconic wilderness and wildlife-spotting experience, an Amazon Rainforest cruise can be the best!
MEET POLAR BEARS IN THE ARCTIC
Adventure polar travel is perhaps the fastest-growing travel trend of this current decade and this specific destination, in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, is the top contender for ‘King of the North’ status.
Adventure polar travel is perhaps the fastest-growing travel trend of this current decade.
Known as the ‘polar bear crèche of the Arctic’ and attracting an untold number of Arctic wildlife species, Spitzbergen is not only an immensely rewarding place to visit in 2020 but also one that’s insanely easy to get to. One short flight from Europe and voilà, you’re in the glistening white wonderland that is the Arctic region, most likely surrounded by polar bears, whales, walruses and seals.
So what are you waiting for? Tick off one (or maybe more) of these bucket list destinations in 2020 and have yourself an experience you'll remember forever. Find out more about these experiences here, or get in touch with a World Travellers consultant to start planning your own bucket list adventure with Viva Expeditions today.