Dreaming of your next great adventure! Notable media outlets, from AFAR to Travel + Leisure, have been curating their top trips of 2024, and many Nat Hab destinations have made the list. Here are 24 enticing nature journeys to ring in the New Year.

1. Kangaroo Island, Southern Australia

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2024, Travel + Leisure’s 50 Best Places to Travel in 2024, Condé Nast Traveler’s Best Places to Go in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific in 2024

Koalas and wallabies were out in abundance when I visited the island, a sign of resilience and recovery after the 2019-20 summer bushfires.

Koalas and wallabies were out in abundance when I visited the island with Nat Hab, a sign of resilience and recovery after the 2019–20 summer bushfires.

“There’s an otherworldliness to Kangaroo Island—or KI as you’ll hear locals call it—which dazzles, bewilders and intoxicates,” writes Lonely Planet. From pristine beaches strewn with sea lions to the kangaroos from which the island gets its name, KI is home to abundant wildlife, which is happily recovering from the devasting bushfires of 2019 to 2020.

“Australia’s third largest island—often called the Australian Galapagos—is an incredible success story. The island has literally risen from the ashes and regenerated,” celebrates CNT’s Monique Kawecki. KI’s resilient spirit is evident as wildlife is restored and people rebuild—2024 marks the reopening of the sustainability-focused Southern Ocean Lodge, which was razed to the ground.

Spend three blissful days on KI on our new 21-day Ultimate Australia Safari or on Australia South: Tasmania, Kangaroo Island & the Great Ocean Road. Having traveled on the latter adventure, I can attest to the island’s magic—from photographing fur seal pups at Admirals Arch and baby koalas perched in eucalyptus trees to bottle feeding an orphaned wallaby joey.

Another vivid memory is spotting a barred red feather on the she-oak forest floor. It was the tail feather of a critically endangered glossy-black cockatoo, a rare treasure—our seasoned local guide hadn’t found one in 10 years! While exploring some of the 300 miles of coastline, we learned firsthand about the island’s ecology and how locals are rewilding land destroyed by the fires.

Food and wine are another highlight. “South Australia is known as the wine state for a reason,” says Aussie winemaker Tim Duval in T+L. My fellow travelers and I were treated to a wine tasting on KI and had the chance to savor local favorites, from blackberry pavlova and paella to lavender tea with a dollop of honey from the island’s hives, which support the only pure strain of Ligurian bees left in the world. As we gazed upon turquoise lagoons and grottos, we enjoyed gourmet picnics and listened to the sounds of the bush while dining under the stars.

Check out our Australia adventures

2. Indigenous Tourism in Canada

Virtuoso’s 24 Best Places to Travel in 2024, Fodor’s Go List 2024, U.S. News’ World’s Best Places to Visit 2024

© Nat Hab Expedition Leader Eddy Savage

“Across Canada, growing attention to and support for Indigenous tourism initiatives is helping travelers connect with authentic experiences guided by the people who know their land best,” writes Virtuoso. “It’s a win-win: Travelers gain a deep, respectful understanding and appreciation of Native culture while directly supporting Indigenous communities’ livelihoods and ways of life.”

On our Aurora & the Arctic: Women in the Wild adventure, meet women who are the backbone of Churchill’s Indigenous communities that have thrived on the tundra for centuries. In addition, Dave Daley, a Métis musher, will show you the ropes of dog sledding. Search for bears with a Git’gat guide on our Spirit Bears, Humpbacks & Wildlife of BC trip and glacier walk with an Indigenous guide in the Canadian Rockies.

Our Haida Gwaii adventure offers a total immersion in Haida culture as we hear from tribal members about their traditions, efforts to reclaim sovereignty over unceded lands and enduring commitment to conservation. Watch totem pole carvers at work at the Haida Heritage Center, enjoy a Haida-hosted lunch of traditional specialties and meet Haida Watchmen who stand guard over ancient cultural sites. We’ll also see the remains of cedar longhouses at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of SGang Gwaay.

Check out our Canada adventures

3. Costa Rica

Travel +Leisure’s 2024 Destination of the Year, Virtuoso’s 24 Best Places to Travel in 2024, Travel + Leisure’s 50 Best Places to Travel in 2024, Fodor’s Go List 2024, U.S. News’ World’s Best Places to Visit 2024, NYT’s 52 Places to Go in 2024

Arenal volcano. Costa Rica

Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica

“The land of pura vida just keeps getting better, which is why Costa Rica was just named T+L’s 2024 Destination of the Year,” declares T+L’s Samantha Falewée. “National parks cover a whopping 25% of Costa Rica, a country whose other bragging rights include a deep bench of biodiversity and a conservation-focused ethos that’s made it a darling of sustainable tourism,” adds Virtuoso.

Costa Rica has long beckoned nature enthusiasts—I traveled to the Caribbean coast to intern at a wildlife rescue center in 2014, helping to rehabilitate orphaned animals and reintroduce them into the wild. I hope to return one day to explore the country’s national parks, of which Nat Hab visits four: Tortuguero, Corcovado, Arenal and Monteverde.

On Nat Hab’s Natural Jewels of Costa Rica, you’ll stay at secluded eco-lodges, watch sea turtle conservation in action and meet those protecting the country’s biological diversity for future generations. “From volcanic mountains and verdant rain forests to tumbling waterfalls and miles of stunning shoreline, Costa Rica is a Central American gem. Explore the beaches…hike along Arenal Volcano and spot exotic wildlife (think: river turtles, otters and howler monkeys) in remote Tortuguero National Park,” remarks U.S. News’ Elizabeth Von Tersch. You’ll do all this and more with Nat Hab.

Check out our Costa Rica adventures

4. Mexico

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2024, Forbes 24 Best Places To Travel In 2024, Virtuoso’s 24 Best Places to Travel in 2024, National Geographic’s Cool List 2024, Frommer’s Best Places to Go in 2024, Fodor’s Go List 2024, Travel + Leisure’s 50 Best Places to Travel in 2024, Travel Lemming’s 50 Best Places to Travel in 2024, AD’s 24 Best Places to Travel in 2024, NYT’s 52 Places to Go in 2024

In Angangueo, gateway to the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, you'll be immersed in the cultural and culinary traditions of Mexico's Central Highlands. Magnificent murals are found throughout the town, celebrating the importance of butterfly tourism to the community.

In Angangueo, the gateway to the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, you’ll be immersed in the cultural and culinary traditions of Mexico’s Central Highlands. Magnificent murals are found throughout the town, celebrating the importance of butterfly tourism to the community. On this photo tour, take snapshots at a lively market and try local specialties cooked over a wood fire, such as squash blossoms, cactus and huitlacoche.

Mexico has something for everyone, luring lovers of natural realms, “adventure, culture, history, food and art,” states Lonely Planet. Nat Hab travelers will experience all of these attractions on a Kingdom of the Monarchs — Photo Tour, which I had the pleasure of joining this year.

Arrive in Mexico City a day early and head to the world-famous anthropology museum within walking distance from your hotel. After meeting your fellow travelers, ride on horseback to monarch sanctuaries, explore traditional Mexican mountain villages and witness the benefits of butterfly ecotourism for local people. For another dose of art and history, gaze upon Angangueo’s magnificent murals that Nat Hab helped restore, depicting the importance of monarchs to the community.

You’ll capture beautiful images of your own on our photo departure—your Expedition Leaders are accomplished wildlife photographers full of tips and tricks for getting the right shot. My guide was Court Whelan, a pro photographer who, as Nat Hab’s Chief Sustainability Officer, was able to give us much insight into the meaningful conservation work World Wildlife Fund is doing in the region. And with a Ph.D. in Entomology, there was no shortage of bug jokes!

You’re sure to return home in awe of the monarch migration and inspired by the efforts to help preserve the butterflies’ ancestral wintering grounds for eons to come.

Check out our Mexico adventures

5. Scotland

Frommer’s Best Places to Go in 2024, National Geographic’s Cool List 2024, Travel Lemming’s 50 Best Places to Travel in 2024

Craigievar castle in Scotland

The pink spires of Scotland’s Craigievar Castle are spellbindingly beautiful.

“As soaring temperatures turn the Greek isles and other popular Mediterranean getaways into literal hot spots, Scotland’s wildly scenic islands deliver a breath of fresh air, with summertime temperatures rarely climbing out of the 60s,” advises Frommer’s Stephen Brewer. “All of these islands are just a ferry ride away from the mainland, but a world apart, with more than a hint of magic to each of them.”

Venture to Scotland’s Wild Highlands & Islands with Nat Hab, where windswept moors, sandy beaches, silver lochs and ancient forests await. Search for bottlenose dolphins on a private cruise and walk through wildflower meadows past skylarks and Shetland cows. Explore castle ruins and secret coves, and end the day sampling the world’s finest whiskies at a cozy pub.

Check out our Scotland adventure

6. India

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2024, Travel + Leisure’s 50 Best Places to Travel in 2024, Travel Lemming’s 50 Best Places to Travel in 2024, Forbes 24 Best Places To Travel In 2024, National Geographic’s Cool List 2024, Condé Nast Traveler’s Best Places to Go in Asia in 2024, NYT’s 52 Places to Go in 2024

mother tiger licking and cleaning cubs in India

“See wild tigers and other native Indian species on a Jeep safari through the country’s rugged northern terrain. Ranthambore National Park promises nature lovers an unforgettable experience,” advises Travel Lemming’s Betty Hurd.

Nat Hab’s India Tiger Safari Photo Pro Expedition offers travelers the best chance to photograph tigers in the wild. In addition to these regal cats, capture surreal shots of leopards, exotic birds, Delhi’s spice bazaars, the Pink City of Jaipur and the Taj Mahal at sunrise and sunset.

Having experienced the diversity of South India during a college study abroad, I’m eager to explore the broad array of cultures, cuisines and wildlife of the North. It’s easier than ever to get there, according to Lonely Planet: “New flight routes are providing easy access from Europe and America to much-loved hubs such as Delhi, Mumbai, Goa and Kerala.”

Check out our India adventures

7. New Zealand

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2024, Travel + Leisure’s 50 Best Places to Travel in 2024, Fodor’s Go List 2024, Condé Nast Traveler’s Best Places to Go in 2024, U.S. News’ World’s Best Places to Visit 2024, AD’s 24 Best Places to Travel in 2024, NYT’s 52 Places to Go in 2024

Glow worm caves New Zealand limestone

The bioluminescent pearl strands of glowworms mimic the starry night sky in New Zealand’s cave systems.

With its lush rainforests and aquamarine lakes framed by snowcapped peaks, New Zealand’s South Island is steeped in superlatives—and United Airlines’ new nonstop service from San Francisco to Christchurch starting December 1 will make it all the easier to immerse yourself in it,” proclaims CNT’s Jessica Wynne Lockhart.

On Nat Hab’s New Zealand Nature Explorer, walk through meadows laden with lupines, cruise past waterfalls through the fjords of Milford Sound and search for kiwis on a guided night walk. Maybe you’ll even spot a pūteketeke—New Zealand’s newly-crowned Bird of the Century thanks to late-night host John Oliver’s self-described “alarmingly aggressive” worldwide campaign on the bird’s behalf (this included commissioning billboards in Paris, Tokyo, London, Mumbai and Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and putting up “Lord of the Wings” posters at a bus stop in New Zealand’s capital.)

Avid hikers will appreciate new trail offerings. “In October 2024, the 38-mile-long Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track will become New Zealand’s 11th Great Walk, offering panoramic views of Fiordland National Park,” says Lockhart. Meanwhile, the Pounamu Pathway is bringing Māori storytelling to the forefront with four immersive visitor centers across the West Coast of the South Island, designed by the Ngāi Tahu tribe and the visual effects studio for Lord of the Rings.

And speaking of LOTR, my dad and I are headed to the real-life Shire in 2024. We’ll be visiting the Hobbiton Movie Set in the heart of Waikato and boating through the Waitomo Glowworm Caves before joining Nat Hab’s travel partner Lindblad on Roots of the Pacific: A Voyage through New Zealand and Melanesia.

“It’s time to take it off your once-in-a-lifetime list and just go,” emphasizes T+L’s Peter Terzian. “If the outdoors are a priority, turn an eye to the Wairarapa Dark Sky Reserve, the country’s second, which was certified earlier this year.” New Zealand’s skies are a celestial treasure trove due to the lack of light pollution. On a Nat Hab trip, you’ll stargaze beneath some of the darkest skies on Earth in the Wanaka region and on Stewart Island, an International Dark Sky Sanctuary.

At Lake Moeraki, we listen to a star talk and look for glowworms, whose bioluminescent pearl strands dangle from the trees. “New Zealand’s South Island brims with majestic landscapes at every turn, from dramatic mountains to spectacular fjords,” applauds U.S. News’ Elizabeth Von Tersch. We certainly agree!

Check out our New Zealand adventure

8. Madagascar

Condé Nast Traveler’s Best Places to Go in 2024, National Geographic’s Cool List 2024, NYT’s 52 Places to Go in 2024

colorful chameleon Madagascar

The remote isle of Madagascar is a “land of undiscovered species and bizarre biological riches,” describes CNT’s Lee Middleton. New sustainable lodgings are popping up as the “pioneers responsible for some of the continent’s finest conservation tourism offerings are upping the ante on the world’s fourth largest island.”

On our Madagascar Wildlife Adventure, you’ll stay at boutique ecolodges designed in harmony with the environment and committed to sustainable tourism development in cooperation with the local community. With national parks and nature reserves at your doorstep, search for silky sifakas, colorful chameleons, giraffe weevils and more rare endemic creatures.

It’s no wonder World Wildlife Fund calls Madagascar a priority place—more than 80% of the island nation’s flora and fauna, including more than 100 species of lemur, exist nowhere else on Earth.

Check out our Madagascar adventure

9. Ecuador

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2024, Condé Nast Traveler’s Best Places to Go in 2024, NYT’s 52 Places to Go in 2024

deluxe conservation-oriented lodge, Ecuador

Says Lonely Planet:

“Home to sprawling rain forests, wild rivers, 20 active volcanoes and an estimated 6% of all species on Earth, megadiverse Ecuador has a lot to protect. As a result, responsible tourism runs through its veins—caps on visitors, solar-powered ecolodges, a new marine reserve and the first renewable powered airport. The Napo Wildlife Center, owned and run by the Añangu Kichwa community, is a stylish Amazonian lodge with compost toilets and solar panels, sitting deep in the jungle of Yasuní National Park.”

Our Amazon Lodge Extension offers the chance to stay at this deluxe conservation-oriented lodge. From a rainbow array of tropical birds to pink river dolphins, myriad wonders unfold on naturalist-led excursions deep into the jungle by trail and canoe. You’ll also gain insight into the lives of Indigenous people we meet on village visits. Our Napo Wildlife Center extension can be added to our 17-day Galapagos Wildlife Photo Pro Expedition, new for 2024, which offers another sustainable stay—Nat Hab’s Tortoise Camp.

You’ll arrive for your adventure in Quito, Ecuador’s capital. “Quito’s dining scene is finally catching up to culinary neighbor Lima,” CNT’s Adam H. Graham asserts. There’s the critically acclaimed restaurant Aura, which “leans into native Ecuadorian ingredients like Mashua honey and Manaba cheese from the coast; and Nuema, where chef Pia Salazar’s sweet-salty hybrid desserts”—like orange blossom with cassava and lemon verbena with leek—won her World’s Best Pastry Chef 2023.

Check out our Ecuador adventures

10. Greenland

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2024, BBC’s 10 Sustainable Travel Destinations to Visit in 2024

travelers on zodiac ride through glaciers in Greenland

© Colby Brokvist

Greenland’s “epic ice and tundra have long intrigued and lured curious and intrepid travelers,” proclaims Lonely Planet. “Now, getting to the world’s largest island will become easier with two new international airports opening in 2024…Greenland will also enjoy a spike in aurora sightings as the sun reaches peak activity in the next few years.”

In August of 2024, join Nat Hab’s Greenland: The Fate of the Arctic in a Warming World, a part of Nat Hab’s Climate Change & Our Wild World series. You’ll discover an epic Arctic wilderness on the frontline of climate change at Nat Hab’s Base Camp Greenland, in view of the planet’s second-largest ice sheet. Confront melting glaciers and learn how climate change is affecting northern habitats, wildlife and Indigenous communities.

Check out our Greenland adventure

11. Croatia

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2024, AD’s 24 Best Places to Travel in 2024

Antique city Motovun Croatia Istria. Picturesque panorama age-old village at hill with pink cloud and sunny light and authentic home with red tegular roof and green vineyard garden.

The hilltop village of Motovun, Istria, Croatia

Croatia is a country of “sun-kissed coastline, myriad islands, dramatic mountains and historic walled cities,” raves Lonely Planet. Nat Hab’s Wild Nature of Croatia & Slovenia adventure includes a stay at a 4-star boutique hotel in the Opatija Riviera. Overlooking the Adriatic Sea and backdropped by the green slopes of Mount Ucka, this romantic escape was popular in the 19th century with the Austro-Hungarian elite.

In turn, the cuisine is heavily influenced by Hungarian, Austrian and Turkish culinary styles. While there, we walk along the seafront promenade to a traditional restaurant where we dine on seafood caught daily from Kvarner Bay and handmade pasta with Istrian white truffles. Says Architectural Digest:

“Off the beaten path on the Istrian peninsula, savvy travelers know this relaxing seaside destination for its incredible beaches and natural grottos, but also its seafood, roasts, olive oil, wine and truffle hunting…Fittingly, Opatija celebrates 180 years of tourism next year with special cultural programming, like a dedicated chocolate festival, retro music festival and holiday markets by the sea…The peninsula’s picturesque towns offer plenty of hillside hiking, medieval scenery and baroque palaces for exploration.”

Check out our Croatia adventure

12. South Africa

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2024, Travel + Leisure’s 50 Best Places to Travel in 2024, Fodor’s Go List 2024, Forbes 24 Best Places To Travel In 2024

lion cubs, South Africa

South Africa is where I’ve taken some of my best big cat photographs, and having the advice of a photo instructor at the private game reserve where I stayed proved invaluable. I came home with treasured pictures of two cheetahs stretching in sync, four lion cubs looking into the camera lens and thrilling shots of a pride taking down a wildebeest. © Emily Goodheart

“With Earth’s biodiversity at a precarious juncture and an impressive crop of ecolodges committed to its protection, now is the time to take in South Africa’s wild beauty. Spend star-studded nights glamping and if you’re lucky, walk among giraffes and zebras like the humans of yore once did,” advises Lonely Planet.

Our Secluded South Africa — Photo Tour has just six travelers—you’ll visit remote private reserves where big cats abound and visitors are few, allowing for a truly immersive nature experience. Elegant safari lodges and luxury eco-retreats offer incredible wildlife viewing in exclusive settings. Get expert tips from your Expedition Leader, who is a professional photographer, and come together after each day on safari to share your best shots, discuss image editing and add to your photo skill set.

Check out our South Africa adventures

13. Rwanda

Condé Nast Traveler’s Best Places to Go in Africa in 2024, National Geographic’s Cool List 2024, AD’s 24 Best Places to Travel in 2024

Nat Hab travelers on a gorilla trek in Uganda Rwanda Africa wildlife photography

© Richard de Gouveia

On our Ultimate Gorilla Safari — Photo Tour, you’ll capture stunning close-ups of Africa’s most charismatic primates. You’ll have four separate gorilla treks, including two in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park. Famed primatologist Dian Fossey made her groundbreaking studies on mountain gorillas amid these jungle-draped volcanoes. Are you a serious photographer eager for an even deeper immersion into wildlife photography? Keep an eye out for our Gorillas & Chimpanzees Photo Pro Expedition, launching in 2024.

Hikers will delight in the new 15.5-mile Cyinzobe Trail in Nyungwe National Park that leads past three cascading waterfalls and a rushing river. “Spend your days learning about wild orchids, spotting silver monkeys and gray-cheeked mangabey, and marveling at some of the 345 bird species inside the park—30 of which are Albertine Rift endemics,” elaborates CNT’s Alicia-Rae Light. For white water rafters, Rwanda’s 30 intermediate-grade rivers will more than suffice.

Check out our Rwanda adventure

14. Coastal Alaska

Travel + Leisure’s 50 Best Places to Travel in 2024, Travel Lemming’s 50 Best Places to Travel in 2024

Nat Hab's Alaska Bear Camp

Nat Hab’s new Alaska Bear Quest Photo Pro Expedition is an in-depth wilderness immersion with mighty brown bears. This 13-day adventure, debuting in June 2024, offers the world’s best opportunities for close-up bear photography. Our exclusive itinerary takes you to both Katmai and Lake Clark, two of the most challenging national parks to reach in the U.S.

Take chartered bush planes to Nat Hab’s Alaska Bear Camp in Lake Clark and then on to Katmai, where you’ll board the Natural Habitat UrsusDepending on your itinerary, you’ll begin or end in historic Kodiak. Visit the Kodiak History Museum to better understand the island’s Native and Russian heritage before joining a private cruise in search of sea otters, bald eagles and whales.

You’ll “discover a treasure trove of hiking trails, unique cultures, and small-town charm on Alaska’s Emerald Isle. Outdoor lovers will find endless adventures. Local museums preserve Native Alaskan and Russian colonial artifacts,” remarks Travel Lemming’s Matthew Reppond. “This hidden gem is also home to one of the densest bear populations in the world”—3,500 brown bears reside within the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge.

Check out our Alaska adventures

15. Okavango Delta, Botswana

Condé Nast Traveler’s Best Places to Go in 2024, Fodor’s Go List 2024, Travel + Leisure’s 50 Best Places to Travel in 2024

Okavango Delta, Botswana

Deep blue channels surround over 150,000 emerald islands, an Eden for wildlife. As you watch herds of elephants make their way across this watery oasis of riverine forests and lagoons, look for kingfishers among the reeds in a mokoro canoe and see regal lions prowl on 4×4 drives. you’ll connect with nature on a deeper level than ever before.

This year, Nat Hab has taken an exciting step to further our mission of conservation through exploration—we’ve created a new off-grid electric safari vehicle, which is currently operating in the Okavango Delta. This innovation, charged with the sustainable power of the sun, is an important step toward the goal of decarbonizing safari transportation.

Fodor and Good Nature contributor Lavanya Sunkara writes:

“If you are seeking heaven on Earth, Botswana’s vast wilderness has remained unchanged for eons; nearly half of the country is protected, and the country is a leader in sustainable tourism. Bear witness to the vastness, absence of people, and abundance of wildlife—in the mighty Kalahari Desert or the UNESCO World Heritage site of Okavango Delta—to appreciate the glorious solitude and peace that comes with being present amidst remarkable beauty.”

Enjoy the solitude of a small expedition camp in the heart of the Okavango Delta. You’ll savor intimate moments in nature you can’t get at a typical safari lodge. Spacious walk-in tents at our private mobile camps evoke the ambience of old, yet luxury amenities ensure your comfort is not compromised. Stay at Nat Hab’s Explorer Camp on Botswana Explorer, a 9-day luxury tented camp safari deep into the Okavango Delta and the Kalahari Desert, and at Nat Hab’s Gomoti Camp on Botswana: Kalahari, the Delta & Beyond, a 12-day green season safari when Victoria Falls is at its mightiest and new babies abound.

“Go. Go now,” urges CNT’s Richard Holmes. “If you’ve always dreamed of discovering Botswana’s Okavango Delta, where seasonal floodwaters transform parched sands into a filigree of shimmering channels.”

Check out our Botswana adventures

16. Montana

U.S. News’ World’s Best Places to Visit 2024, Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2024, Travel + Leisure’s 50 Best Places to Travel in 2024, Condé Nast Traveler’s Best Places to Go in North America & the Caribbean in 2024

Hidden Lake Trail, Logan Pass, Glacier National Park, Montana, USA

Hidden Lake Trail, Logan Pass, Glacier National Park, Montana

“The great state of Montana contains some of the most majestic scenery in the U.S. with a growing emphasis on conservation, culture, food and drink. Go for the miles of backcountry wilderness [and] its rich history of Native culture,” says Lonely Planet.

On Nat Hab’s Glacier & Waterton: Women in the Wild adventure August 8-16, 2024, you’ll uncover the scenic splendors of Glacier National Park on a special departure exclusively for women travelers. Hear stories of women pioneers and conservationists from two women Expedition Leaders.

You’ll also learn about Blackfeet cultural traditions and contemporary challenges from tribal members. The Blackfeet Nation’s ancestral connection to the land is evident as we join a narrated hike in the Badger-Two Medicine region and attend a presentation that features a smudging ceremony and traditional dances.

Glacier National Park ranks #3 in U.S. News’ World’s Best Places to Visit 2024, and it’s no surprise why: “Snow-capped peaks, alpine meadows and azure lakes are just a few reasons why Glacier National Park is one of America’s most striking parks,” applauds Elizabeth Von Tersch. “There are more than 700 miles of hiking trails in this Montana crown jewel, and a scenic drive along Going-to-the-Sun Road can’t be missed.”

Check out our Montana adventure

17. Amboseli National Park & Nairobi, Kenya

Travel + Leisure’s 50 Best Places to Travel in 2024, Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2024

National Park for Rothschild Giraffes Giraffe Manor in Kenya

Giraffe Manor, Nairobi, Kenya

Amboseli National Park is one of the best places in the world to view elephants. Herds make their way across the plains, backdropped by Mount Kilimanjaro —a timeless image of one of the continent’s most famous scenes. Keep an eye out for Cape buffalo, impala, lion, cheetah, spotted hyena, Maasai giraffe, Grant’s zebra and blue wildebeest. “This 151-square-mile expanse, close to the border with Tanzania, is famed among safari insiders for its big-time wildlife,” T+L’s Paul Brady praises.

Experience Amboseli National Park on The Best of Kenya—Custom Safari, which begins in Nairobi. “Kenya’s capital is staking its claim as a global center of culture, sizzling with unmissable travel experiences. The city is shrugging off the colonial gaze and embracing its unique rhythms, with a dynamic array of restaurants, food carts and cafes, along with a steady rotation of arts and cultural venues,” Lonely Planet writes.

Stop at a local spot to try Swahili pilau flavored with spices from the “Spice Island” of Zanzibar and chipsi mayai, a potato omelet. Then head to the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage to greet rescued baby elephants, feed Rothschild’s giraffes at the Giraffe Center or check out the historic home of the author of Out of Africa.

Flexibility is a big plus when putting together a Custom Africa safari: Nat Hab’s Custom Africa team and Adventure Specialists work directly with you to determine your preferred dates, budget, number of travelers, lodgings and activities.

Check out our Kenya adventures

18. Xi’an, China

National Geographic’s Cool List 2024

panda eating bamboo in China

© Nat Hab Expedition Leader Brad Josephs

You may have seen the news that all zoos in the U.S. must return their pandas to China as loan programs expire. Travel to the giant panda’s homeland with Nat Hab to see these bears up close at Sichuan’s panda breeding and research bases.

Volunteer with panda care and capture photos of adorable cubs on The Wild Side of China: A Nature Odyssey — Photo Tour. With personalized coaching from a top photography guide, capture scenes of daily life in traditional Tibetan villages and the ancient walled city of Xi’an. Delve into Chinese culture in the imperial capital of 13 dynasties and photograph the famed Terracotta Warriors.

“It’s strange to think that just 50 years ago, an icon of Chinese culture was resting unknown beneath the fields of Shaanxi province,” writes National Geographic. “Farmers digging a well on March 29, 1974, discovered the head of a figure who turned out to be one of more than 8,000 soldiers in the Terracotta Army. Their duty was to guard the nearby tomb complex of China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, after his death in 210 B.C.—the low, forest-covered pyramid remains unexcavated to this day.”

China opened 382 museums in 2022 alone, including Xi’an’s Shaanxi Archaeological Museum, leaving travelers with plenty to explore.

Check out our China adventure

19. Sacred Valley, Peru

Virtuoso’s 24 Best Places to Travel in 2024, AFAR’s Where to Go in 2024, Travel + Leisure’s 50 Best Places to Travel in 2024

Peruvian indigenous quechua woman in traditional clothing walking along Inca Trail, Sacred Valley, Cusco, Peru.

Peruvian indigenous quechua woman in traditional clothing walking along Inca Trail, Sacred Valley, Cusco, Peru.

You’ve heard of Machu Picchu, but how much do you know about the Sacred Valley’s other ancient wonders? One of Nat Hab’s new trips for 2024 is an in-depth journey to the “Lost City of the Incas” and less-frequented sites in the Sacred Valley. Many of these areas are enveloped in mystery, from circular terraced farming areas to architectural ruins. Along the way, you’ll meet Quechua locals, such as in the Andean village of Chinchero, the mythical birthplace of the rainbow according to the Incas.

The Peruvian capital of Lima, where our trip begins and ends, gets a shout-out for its food scene in National Geographic’s Cool List 2024: “Lima’s culinary star shows few signs of dimming. [It is] the only city with two spots in the top 10 of the most recent World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards…Central, regarded by many as having placed Lima on the global food map, came first for its innovative focus on indigenous ingredients.”

Check out our Peru adventures

20. Iguazu Falls, Argentina & Brazil

Forbes 24 Best Places To Travel In 2024

Water cascading over the Iguacu falls with rainbow in foreground in Brazil

Iguazu Falls, Brazil

Iguazu Falls puts on a remarkable display of power. “Considered by most as the eighth Wonder of the World and named in 1984 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the falls comprise hundreds and hundreds of cascades, which spread for miles,” writes Forbes’ Christopher Elliott.

Add an Iguazu Falls Extension to Nat Hab’s Jaguars & Wildlife of Brazil’s Pantanal adventure. Witness the most dramatic section of the falls, Devil’s Throat, where 14 separate waterfalls plunge 350 feet into the canyon, creating a perpetual plume of rainbow-accented spray. Birdwatchers will enjoy searching for elusive saffron toucans in the lush forests and rufescent tiger herons fishing among the rocks.

Check out our Brazil and Argentina adventures

21. Portugal

Travel + Leisure’s 50 Best Places to Travel in 2024, Forbes 24 Best Places To Travel In 2024, Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2024, Travel Lemming’s 50 Best Places to Travel in 2024

Portugal sightseeing culture art museum history Douro River Valley

Get ready to paddle Portugal’s River of Wine on a Dionysian odyssey. Kayak through Douro International Natural Park and stay the night at vineyard estates after feasting on the finest local fare and sampling acclaimed Port wines. Get a taste of Old World Europe and savor the romance of this sun-drenched river.

“As recently as a decade ago, almost nobody was talking about wine tourism in Portugal. These days, you have to see the Douro River,” declares Sheree M. Mitchell in T+L. “It’s non-negotiable.”

Check out our Portugal adventure

22. Sri Lanka

Forbes 24 Best Places To Travel In 2024, Travel + Leisure’s 50 Best Places to Travel in 2024, Condé Nast Traveler’s Best Places to Go in 2024, Fodor’s Go List 2024, AD’s 24 Best Places to Travel in 2024, NYT’s 52 Places to Go in 2024

Sri Lanka: Wildlife & Cultural Treasures woman photographing

A Nat Hab traveler on Sri Lanka Wildlife & Cultural Treasures © Greg Courter

According to Fodor’s Apeksha Bhateja, this pear-shaped “Indian Ocean island delights with exceptional food, wildlife safaris in national parks, whale watching on beaches, and tea trails in the hills.”

You’ll be treated to all this and more on Nat Hab’s Sri Lanka Wildlife & Cultural Treasures safari. Seek out sleek leopards in the golden light of dawn at Yala National Park, search for blue whales from our private chartered boat in Mirissa Harbor and stroll the verdant grounds of a tea estate. You’ll also visit several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Sigiriya, a 5th-century palace and fortress built in the shape of a monumental lion.

Sri Lanka has plenty of new things in store in 2024. The Galle Literary Festival returns in January after a five-year hiatus, and a new food festival Gourmet Galle features internationally renowned chefs.

“Inland, development of the Pekoe Trail, a new nearly 200-mile network of hiking routes that snakes its way through Sri Lanka’s highlands, continues,” adds CNT’s Zinara Rathnayake. “Traversing historic tea plantations, colonial estates, local villages, holy shrines, and forests brimming with biodiversity, it’s a novel way to experience Sri Lanka’s lush hill country.”

Check out our Sri Lanka adventure

23. Patagonia

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2024, Condé Nast Traveler’s Best Places to Go in Central & South America in 2024

Los Glaciares National Park, Patagonia, wildflowers

Nat Hab’s Patagonia Wilderness & Wildlife Explorer adventure has many of the activities recommended this year by global media outlets, such as exploring glaciers in Los Glaciares National Park (Lonely Planet) and cruising in search of dolphins, whales and vast penguin colonies (Condé Nast Traveler).

Our expedition also includes an excursion to Perito Moreno Glacier and day hikes from our luxury ecocamp beneath the Torres del Paine’s towering spires. Be on the lookout for new itinerary changes coming in November of 2024, such as a conservation safari in search of elusive pumas.

Rewilding efforts are restoring biodiversity across Patagonia, making now a great time to go. Over the past two years, Fundación Rewilding’s Patagonia Azul Project has scaled up its efforts to protect Magellanic penguins, marine birds and mammals in Argentina. “Chile has successfully rewilded pumas, rheas and endangered huemul deer,” adds Lonely Planet. “New trails, expanding parklands and an ambitious rewilding project make Patagonia more compelling than ever.”

Check out our Patagonia adventure

24. Nepal & Bhutan

Frommer’s Best Places to Go in 2024, Forbes 24 Best Places To Travel In 2024Travel + Leisure’s 50 Best Places to Travel in 2024, Condé Nast Traveller’s Best Places to Go in Asia in 2024, AFAR’s Where to Go in 2024, AD’s 24 Best Places to Travel in 2024, NYT’s 52 Places to Go in 2024

local market in nepal bhutan

Nepal has declared 2023-2033 the Tourism Decade as it seeks to promote the country as a prime tourist destination, with improved roads and air connectivity. Travelers on Nat Hab’s Wild & Ancient Himalaya: Nepal & Bhutan adventure will start by heading to the storied capital of Kathmandu.

Backdropped by the Himalayas, the city has long been a center of Hindu and Buddhist religious art and architecture. “Kathmandu Valley’s standing as Nepal’s cultural hub will be revived in early 2024 with the return of the International Folk Festival, Nepal…and South Asia’s premier documentary festival,” CNT’s Amulya Gyawali mentions.

In more good news, Nepal has recently launched its first trekking guide training program for LGBTQ+ individuals. “Nepal is one of Asia’s most progressive countries for LGBTQ+ people due to laws that forbid gender identity discrimination,” remarks John Clifford in T+L. From Nepal, Nat Hab travelers head on to Bhutan.

The world’s first carbon-negative country is known for its commitment to sustainability, along with “its majestic Himalayan landscape, multitude of monasteries and colorful festival heritage,” adds AD.

AFAR’s Kathleen Rellihan recalls:

“I soon realized I was in a place unlike anywhere else. It was easy to understand Bhutan’s deep reverence for nature as we trekked through thick pine forests and fog-blanketed mountains—some with peaks that have never been scaled to avoid disturbing spirits. Hearing that made walking under their shadow feel only more sacred.”

Check out our Nepal and Bhutan adventure

Bonus: Boulder, Colorado—Our Home Office!

Fodor’s Go List 2024

group photo of Natural Habitat Adventures staff in boulder colorado office dogs

With 300 days of sunshine each year, “there’s never a bad time to visit Boulder, Colorado,” declares Fodor’s Becky Kivlovitz O’Connor, adding: “Bike lanes abound, the local trail systems are accessible and world-class, and outdoor adventurists flock to this charming place for mountain biking, hiking, climbing, and even tubing—all found within minutes of the city center.” After a day spent in nature, say cheers at a local brewery on Pearl Street. You’re certain to love it here—we know we do!

Where will your travels take you in 2024?