As we welcome in the new year, notable travel media outlets such as Condé Nast Traveler, National Geographic and Travel + Leisure are singing the praises of their bucket-list destinations for 2020. With Nat Hab operating trips in many of the featured places, we’ve created a roundup highlighting 10 must-visit nature destinations that span across the globe, from Antarctica to the Swiss Alps.
Condé Nast Traveler’s 20 Best Places to Go in 2020, Travel + Leisure’s The 50 Best Places to Travel in 2020, Departures 2020 Vision: Top 20 Destinations, Fodor’s 2020 Go List, Forbes 27 Best Places To Travel In 2020
For a once-in-a-lifetime wildlife encounter, look no further than an Ultimate Gorilla Safari. You’ll sit in silence among a family of mountain gorillas, gaining a window into the life of these fascinating, highly intelligent primates. As you trek deep into the jungle, you’ll have the chance to photograph huge silverbacks in the most intimate of settings. As you watch a mother cradle a wide-eyed infant in her arms, you’ll come to see just how similar we are to these creatures, who share 98% of our DNA.
2. Montreux, Switzerland
Switzerland’s mountains are calling. Travelers will be spellbound by the Alps, glittering with a dusting of snow, on hikes past cerulean glacial lakes, fields of wildflowers and storybook villages. Your historic hotel in Montreux is fit for a fairytale, nestled among a garden of roses and gnarled old trees. Lush wisteria drapes from the balcony, overlooking sparkling Lake Geneva, pastoral hills and grand mountains.
A sailing and paddling odyssey through the azure waters of the Adriatic is a dream come true. As you explore Wild Croatia by Land & Sea, sea kayak along the Dalmatian Coast, discover secret coves and grottoes and explore Croatia’s cultural treasures. Feast on the catch of the day aboard a private yacht, gaze up at cascading waterfalls and meander through fishing villages with red-tiled roofs.
Bhutan has long intrigued and entranced travelers seeking tranquility—a blissful Himalayan kingdom of verdant valleys, misty mountains and ancient monasteries sheltered by pines. These wonders wait for you on a journey to see the Natural Jewels of Bhutan & Nepal. As a global leader in sustainable travel and ecotourism, Nat Hab applauds Bhutan’s groundbreaking conservation initiatives. “It is already the world’s only carbon-negative country,” Lonely Planet notes, “and the kingdom is set to become the first fully organic nation by 2020, so it’s only going to get more beautiful.”
5. The Dolomites, Italy
The majestic spires of the Dolomites bathed in the golden light of dawn are glorious to behold. You’ll wander through emerald forests and alpine meadows bursting with alpine roses and edelweiss, eyes alert for chamois and ibex balancing on the limestone cliffs of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. A taste of the region’s citrus groves, olive orchards and vineyards add further flavor to your adventure. Experience a different side of Europe and feast your eyes on the Italian Alps: South Tyrol & the Dolomites.
6. The Polar Bear Capital of the World
Churchill, Manitoba, a tiny town located on Hudson Bay, is known as “The Polar Bear Capital of the World.” Here, magnificent white bears congregate each fall in anticipation of their annual seal hunt. On a Tundra Lodge Adventure, you’ll stay in a rolling hotel situated directly in their wild realm, where you may see playful cubs and sparring juvenile males just outside your window.
Astounding geothermal features, abundant wildlife and expansive grassy plains greet you on a Hidden Yellowstone & Grand Teton Safari. During the quieter seasons of spring and fall, join a small group of nature travelers as you uncover the secrets of America’s first national park.
As you traverse across the Antarctic Peninsula, this far-flung land will entice you like no other. Icebergs rise before you as your vessel glides through rippling waters and whales spout bursts of spray. As you camp onshore amid vast penguin colonies and blubbery elephant seals, you’ll understand why Antarctica holds its own as the Ultimate Polar Nature Expedition.
For animal enthusiasts, The Great Kenya Migration Safari will spur your excitement with its unparalleled sightings and striking sunsets. Dubbed “the world’s most luxurious wildlife destination” by Fodor’s, you’ll marvel at massive herds of wildebeest and zebra as they follow the seasonal rains and watch wild cats give chase across the golden plains of the Maasai Mara.
From snorkeling amid colorful corals to exploring the oldest rain forest on Earth, Australia’s Wild North: Kakadu, Daintree & the Great Barrier Reef allows you to venture into the unknown and uncover the secrets of the Australian Outback. If koalas and kangaroos come to mind when you picture a safari down under, an exploration of Tasmania, Kangaroo Island & Australia’s Southern Coast will delight and inspire. Travel + Leisure hailed Australia as the Destination of the Year, and National Geographic singles out its southernmost state of Tasmania as “the stuff outdoor adventures are made of…no matter where you base yourself, opportunities to become immersed in nature are never far away.” Regardless of which trip you pick, you’ll be in awe of the rare marsupials and tropical marine life found in this biodiversity hotspot.