As the year closes and a new decade begins, we want to help you greet 2020 with a sense of adventure—Wilderness Travel style! From a rare conservation safari in the Namibian desert to hiking on the remote islands in the Azores and a once-in-a-lifetime experience swimming with humpback whales in tropical Tonga, we’ve hand-picked our top 10 most outstanding travel destinations for the coming year (and many brand new trips!). Now’s the time to start dreaming of where 2020 will take you.
Lake-filled volcanic calderas, lush green pastures, and timeless Portuguese fishing villages—welcome to the Azores, an utterly delightful and undiscovered archipelago. Surrounded by the blue Atlantic, each island has a culture and beauty all its own. Discover their magic as we walk trails on “the blue island” of Faial, through historic vineyards on Pico (the youngest of the islands), and along the dramatic, mountainous spine of São Jorge. Throughout our journey, we’ll delight in fresh-caught seafood and stay in lovely island lodgings.
Experience the otherworldly landscapes of Namibia. Far from the beaten path, our Namibia Expedition will have you sleeping beneath the stars of a Dark Sky Reserve, climbing Sossusvlei’s dunes, and tracking big game in Etosha. On our world-exclusive In the Realm of the Desert Lion, you’ll accompany researchers as they work with the big cats, and track endangered black rhino on foot. Our newest trip, Ultimate Namibia and Botswana, brings unforgettable experiences with the San tribes and thrilling wildlife encounters.
Partway between France and Italy, surrounded by crystal blue waters, you’ll find one of the Mediterranean’s least-known treasures—Corsica. Known as the “Island of Beauty,” the hiking here is phenomenal. Our adventure embraces the dramatic landscape, from white sand beaches to trails beneath towering granite peaks. Along the way, we’ll sample delectable cuisine including brocciu cheese, Corsica’s renowned charcuterie, and distinctive local wines. From its breathtaking coastline to its Old World ambiance, Corsica casts an enchanting spell.
Enter a land of snow-capped Himalayan peaks and traditional villages as we explore the “Land of the Thunder Dragon”. We’ll make our way along ancient trails amid oak forests and waterfalls in a land that time seems to have forgotten. Our expert Trip Leaders share the heart of Bhutan through authentic cultural encounters including a vibrant Tibetan Buddhist tsechu festival in a monastery courtyard. From the inspiring cliffside Tiger’s Nest hermitage to the sacred Bumthang region, our journey into this isolated mountain kingdom will create memories you’ll cherish for years to come.
With a surreal landscape of jagged fjords and ice fields that glisten under the midnight sun, Greenland is made for adventure. This is a land where shaggy muskox roam the tundra, humpback whales glide through icy seawaters, and colorful houses spill along the rocky shore. We’ll cruise the Western Fjords on a private charter and walk on the great Greenland Ice Cap (the second largest in the world!). Visits to Inuit settlements—both ancient and modern—give us a window into the enduring culture of this rugged, yet delicate, island.
The Pantanal of Brazil is the world’s largest tropical wetland and home to toucans, capybara, and the magnificent jaguar. Join our new wildlife expedition, Brazil: Jaguars of the Pantanal and Hiking in the Chapada Dos Guimarães to explore this UNESCO-designated biosphere on foot, in 4WD vehicle, and by boat. We’ll cruise the Cuiabá River where jaguars gather, and in Chapada Dos Guimarães National Park we’ll hike through stunning red rock canyons and swim below tranquil waterfalls. Guided by our expert Brazilian naturalist, this adventure is truly wild!
From the subterranean rock-cut churches of Lalibela to the painted tribes of Omo, Ethiopia is a destination of staggering diversity. Our adventures through this remarkable country take us to the former royal capital of Gondar as well as to the ancient city of Axum, where the Ark of the Covenant is said to rest. We’ll hike the high grasslands and clifftops of the Simien Mountains (home to troops of curious gelada baboons), and our Lost Worlds of Ethiopia expeditions are timed to culminate with a festival—either the exuberant Timkat or the colorful Meskel.
Join us in northern Argentina for Adventures in Salta and Jujuy, as we travel from the colonial city of Salta across the high-altitude Calchaquí Valley to the surreal “Salinas Grandes” salt flats. Argentina’s intriguing culture is front and center, as we taste the wares of a local geologist-winemaker, learn how to make empanadas in an outdoor oven, and stay at a private estancia. A landscape of wind-carved rock spires, chromatic canyons, and fertile valleys is the stunning backdrop for this rich cultural journey.
The coral reefs and tropical waters that surround the Polynesian Kingdom of Tonga teem with life. On this thrilling snorkeling adventure, we’ll swim with one of the sea’s most impressive creatures—the humpback whale. By day we’ll have exceptional opportunities to observe humpback behavior including spy-hopping, breaching, and mother-calf interactions, while evenings bring tropical sunsets and cozy nights at our beachside resort. Snorkeling in Tonga’s crystal-blue water while gentle giants glide below is both a thrill and a privilege—the true experience of a lifetime!
Discover a hiker’s paradise of green mountain trails, crescent-shaped beaches, and exotic wildlife on our Down Under journey through Tasmania. Unsurpassed coastal views reward our ascent to the top of Mt. Wellington while giant, 250-foot eucalyptus tower above us in Mt. Field National Park. A picnic lunch awaits at Wineglass Bay (Tassie’s most famous beach) and we’ll watch for wallabies, wombats, and the rare Tasmanian devil along the paths of Cradle Mountain National Park. Each night we’ll relax in splendid accommodations including wilderness lodges and cozy seaside cottages.