Planning new adventures as the new year approaches is always exciting, but discovering the best destinations for 2023 is something special. After more than two years of border closures, cruise cancelations and travel restrictions abounding, we expect to return to our favorite places and cross new ones off our list.
According to NatGeo, these places are must-sees in the categories of Adventure, Community, Family Culture, and Nature.
Hike to Choquequirao, Peru, a remote Inca site that is currently off the beaten path but will soon be easier to reach. Reignite your spirit of adventure after the pandemic by going bungee jumping in New Zealand, the nation that developed the sport. Get your adrenaline fix in Utah, a state known for its adventurous activities. Trek the cross-country Bergsteigerdörfer network of climbing communities in Austria to experience the native way of life. Finally, add a trip to Mexico’s Revillagigedo National Park to your itinerary. Supported by National Geographic’s Pristine Seas initiative, the protected waters are home to one of the largest concentrations of sharks and manta rays in the world.
Discover the stunning and unexpected Greek island of Karpathos, where female-owned businesses are pushing the boundaries of sustainable tourism. Spend a long weekend in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a thriving Great Lakes city that honors both its brewers and its cultural communities. Experience the intersection of enduring traditions and modern views with indigenous tour operators in Alberta, Canada. Ride a brand-new high-speed railroad that is opening up untapped tourist destinations in Laos and offering new job prospects to local residents. Visit Ghana to learn about black ancestry and hang out with a stylish crowd in the capital, Accra.
Take the train to Switzerland‘s picturesque Alpine communities to eat chocolate, hike and ski. Trinidad and Tobago is home to one of the most important leatherback turtle colonies in the world, so please help rescue the turtles there. Gather around a bonfire overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge at Presidio Tunnel Tops in San Francisco, California, and hike the city’s Crosstown Trail. Visit Colombia, the birdwatcher’s paradise and the setting for Disney’s Encanto. Visit the stadium where a legendary soccer team plays and be inspired by the local art culture in Manchester, England.
View Luxor’s Avenue of the Sphinxes and King Tut’s new Egyptian residence at the Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo. In Busan, South Korea, the second-largest city in the country, tap into the creative spirit of the continent’s top film festival while drinking artisan beer. Travel across history on the Appian Way in Italy, the earliest “superhighway” in Europe. The International African American Museum in Charleston, South Carolina, offers cultural and historical exploration along with a taste of Low Country cuisine. Visit Longmen Grottoes, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Henan Province, China, to see one of the greatest collections of stone figures anywhere on earth.
Admire Botswana‘s biodiversity and the initiatives to save threatened species, establish wildlife corridors, and build community-owned tourism initiatives. Spend some time in the Scottish Highlands, where a rewilding movement seeks to recreate the region’s original topography and native animal and plant life. Set off on brand-new bike routes for gastro-tourism in Slovenia, a country that has long been a pioneer in sustainable travel, and stop at farms, vineyards, cheesemakers, and other food producers. The Texas frontier mythology is brought to life in Big Bend National Park, but you’ll also be surprised by the scenery. Applaud the award-winning environmental initiatives in the Azores that protect the untouched beauty of this volcanic archipelago noted for its thermal springs and whale-watching.