Where to go 2020? Destination for life – We go find now!
When you do not know what to do? Where to go and where in 2020. Let We Go Find help you.
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The 25 destinations that will be especially hot this year — and the data you need to plan your trip.
The best way to plan a trip is to think about what you love to do and when you need a break—not which destination you have yet to check off some list. With these key points in mind, we tapped our network of in-the-know editors and global correspondents to deliver two dozen inspiring spots that will be particularly enticing this coming year.
Among them are far-flung places you may have never considered, such as the nomadic villages of Kyrgyzstan, the archaeological ruins deep in Guatemala, and the pristine landscapes of Lombok, Indonesia. There are also sleepy beach towns getting glammed up by posh hotels, or classic cities revitalized by hot restaurants and fresh cultural institutions. And if you’re looking for a chance to commune with the great outdoors or go on an animal adventure, we’ve got those, too.
All that’s left is for you to pick and explore your favorite.
Move over, Croatia: This tiny Balkan nation has slowly positioned itself as the new jewel of the Adriatic with a mix of centuries-old villages, aristocratic mansions, and activities beyond its pebbly beaches. Local adventure outfit Black Mountain is beginning conservation-centric journeys to see the brown bear, gray wolf, Eurasian lynx, and other threatened species in Durmitor and Biogradska Gora national parks. Connect those destinations with the sun-drenched, crowd-freecoast, where Iberostar, Melía, and Karisma Hotels & Resorts have opened properties in the past year. And don’t miss Portonovi, a billion-dollar, 60-acre yachting playground on Boka Bay. In June its marina will welcome Europe’s first One&Only resort and an Espace Chenot spa. Cruise right in, or fly Lufthansa to the port town of Tivat. Either way, you’ll bypass hectic Dubrovnik.
When not to go: It’s not Dubrovnik, but summer—especially July and August—still lures relatively crazy crowds.
Whom to call: Jill Taylor of Jetset World Travel
Sicily and Puglia will continue to trend, but 2020 is the year to head north. Start in Milan, where the owners of Galleria Vik have adorned 89 stuccoed rooms with their fabulous contemporary art. One of the world’s best chefs, Massimo Bottura, and his wife, Lara, have done the same at their new 12-room country estate, near Modena—Casa Maria Luigia has Warhols and Hirsts to spare. Even further up, the Dolomites region is busily preparing for the 2026 Winter Olympics in Cortina. Depending on your interests, you can book into Lefay Resort & Spa, a wellness retreat with thermal pools, fitness trails, and a medicinal garden in Trento; Castel Hörtenberg, with 24 elegant rooms in medieval Bolzano; or the Adler Lodge Ritten, a hypermodern chalet kissing the Austrian border.
When to go: April, May, and June are particularly good months in every destination throughout the region; you’ll get good weather for hiking, even in the far north, as well as excellent produce on your plate. Fall is a close second best for all the same reasons.
When not to go: As in Paris, much of the region shuts down for vacation in August—especially in the Dolomites. High summer is generally too hot and humid, anyway.
Whom to call: Andrea Grisdale of IC Bellagio
Free from the high prices and tempestuous winds that plague Mykonos and Santorini, the island chain where Odysseus set sail is emerging as a slower, more peaceful, and—dare we say—more epic twist on Grecian summer. For those spoiled by the Cyclades’ famed resorts, Kanoni Estate on Corfu can be booked via Red Savannah for groups of 18; it featured as Hector Gonzales’s mansion in the James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only. On Meganisi, villa rental agency Thinking Traveller offers the stunning Galatea, whose wraparound floor-to-ceiling windows face the sea. But best of all might be climbing aboard the fully staffed Alexa J, a 38-meter schooner yacht with just one opulent cabin. She’ll spend her maiden season between Corfu and Zakynthos come April.
When not to go: Athenians head to the islands for their own vacations in August, which means the capital shuts down and the islands are overrun. Smaller islands are dead from November to March; nothing will be open.
Whom to call: Jacoline Vinke of Trufflepig Travel
Sleeping in the shadow of El Capitan never fails to send a chill up your spine. Unfortunately, that’s been due in part to a lack of comfortable accommodations. Thankfully, plush (and low-impact) digs are sprouting up: Since April, AutoCamp has offered “rooms” in converted Airstreams—each with a private patio, fire pit, and walk-in shower—outside the gateway town of Mariposa. In the park, Camp’d Out has added pop-up glampsites, complete with mud-cloth throw pillows, s’mores kits, and butler service. And Under Canvas Inc., which pioneered lifestyle camping in U.S. national parks, will open in the fall. Its 90 wood-platformed tents will be set on 85 acres just 15 minutes from Yosemite’s entrance. An adventure concierge will get you as close to the cliff faces as your daring heart desires.
When to go: You’ll have the most peaceful hikes by visiting before the snow starts falling, in autumn. Want to see the waterfalls at their best? Try a spring trip instead.
When not to go: Major road closures make access very limited through the winter.
Whom to call: Sheri Doyle or Pacific Northwest Journeys
It’s a logistical challenge to hit this destination’s nomadic villages, picturesque mosques, and Brutalist architecture on one luxury trip. But Steppes Travel, which has led vacations in Kyrgyzstan since the ’90s, now offers en suite yurts along the mystical shores of Song Kol Lake and helicopter service to sidestep bumpy back roads to see the country’s three 23,000-foot-plus mountains. Voygr, another high-end adventure operator, offers your best chance at sighting a snow leopard with guided walks in the Tien Shan mountain range. And for the easiest (and plushest) CliffsNotes introduction, Golden Eagle Luxury Trains will inaugurate its Republics of the Silk Road route in the spring.
When not to go: November through March. Winters here are harsh, with lots of snow and hard frost rendering the country’s spectacular lakes and mountains inaccessible.
Whom to call: Jarrod Kyte of Steppes Travel
When to go: You’ve got two key opportunities for great weather: mid-April through June and the wine harvest season from September to mid-October. That said, Christmas markets and sparse crowds make December quite magical.
When not to go: Avoid the summer, when Danube River cruisers flood the city.
Whom to call: Gwen Kozlowski of Exeter International
While Bolivia has been in crisis, its citizens have been busy taking tourism into their own hands. What they’ve created is impressive: an all-in-one luxury vacation circuit spanning mountains, desert, jungle, and city. La Paz, already recognized for its surprising dining scene, is getting a hotel to match. The 10-room Altu Qala in the capital’s colonial core opens midyear with meticulous artisan tile work and Murano glass fixtures. Around the same time, South American luxury operator Explora will begin welcoming guests in three spare but spectacular lodges along the salt flats of Uyuni, allowing them to take hikes and four-wheel-drives between the properties. Then there are Hershey’s Kiss-shaped glamping tents from Bolivia Milenaria, a husband-and-wife-run outfit. They set up shop wherever guests desire, be it Torotoro National Park, where dinosaur footprints are baked into the clay earth, or the so-called Valley of the Condors—one of the only places in the world to view the enormous birds.
When not to go: Rainy season should be avoided, even though it’s when you’ll get those incredible, mirror-like photos of the salt flats; if roads are impassable, you’ll get zero snaps. That said, the months that bookend rainy season are filled with cultural events in the cities, including Day of the Dead in November and the Oruro Carnival in February.
Whom to call: Charlie Lockwood of Red Savannah
With dozens of white-sand islets ringed by vibrant marine life, Mozambique is Africa’s under-the-radar answer to the Maldives. Despite weathering back-to-back cyclones last year, the country is more enchanting than ever. Its most impressive newcomer, Kisawa Sanctuary, will command rates of $5,500 a night when it opens this summer; each of its 12 rooms sits on a full acre of sand on Benguerra Island. The resort is purportedly the first in the world to (at least partly) 3D-print its structures, combining sand and seawater to make mortar. Better yet, its nonprofit arm, the Bazaruto Center for Scientific Studies, will use the technology to help propagate local coral reefs. When the hotel opens, it will immediately become one of the most coveted vacation spots, not only in Africa but anywhere on earth.
When not to go: Rainy season—which can include cyclones—lasts from January to the end of March.
Whom to call: Deborah Calmeyer of Roar Africa
Outside perennially popular Seville, the countryside still holds many secrets. Its carefully safeguarded pueblos blancos—all-white villages nestled in the mountaintops—and rural estates are among Europe’s most unspoiled spots. Explore them on horseback with George Scott, a professional rider and second-generation co-owner of the bohemian estancia Trasierra. His three-day circuits, starting and ending at the property, visit rugged corners of the outback. Another family-owned Andalucían destination, Hacienda de San Rafael, is being taken over by the next generation, with a focus on hiking and culinary excursions. Bookend your trip in charming Málaga. Delta flies there directly from New York, and you can stay at Palacio Solecio in an 18th century Moorish-inspired palace.
When not to go: Avoid Holy Week in April, when congestion and hotel rates peak. July and August aren’t especially peaceful, either, amid hot and humid weather and Northern European crowds.
Whom to call: Virginia Irurita of Made for Spain and Portugal
Named for its 11 digit-shaped lakes, this bucolic region in central New York is better known for its waterfall-studded state parks than its worthy food scene or cultural heritage. But the area counts more than 100 wineries—of which Red Tail Ridge was the first to win a coveted James Beard nomination last year. It’s roughly an hour south of the wine-centric new-American restaurant Redd, an offshoot of the Michelin-starred Redd Wood in Napa Valley. For sophisticated accommodations, American Girl founder Pleasant Rowland owns five inns in her beloved college town, Aurora, and the Brooklyn-based design wizards at Studio Tack will open the Lake House on Canandaigua this summer, complete with a spa and timber-framed event barn. The Finger Lakes are also a birthplace of the women’s rights movement and will commemorate the 19th Amendment’s centennial with parades, museum exhibits, and a new home for the National Women’s Hall of Fame.
When not to go: It’s downright frigid from December to February, though wine makers tend to compensate by being generous with their attention and their pours.
Whom to call: Gregory Nacco of Food and Wine Trails
Jamaica’s powerful tourism industry will get extra buzz after the April release of No Time to Die, Daniel Craig’s last James Bond movie, which was filmed partially in Port Antonio. That’s where owner Jon Baker has expanded the beloved Geejam Hotel to include a sea-facing infinity pool, a stage for live music, and 12 “studio” rooms each designed by a different emerging artist. Meanwhile, an offshoot of Half Moon resort, which the fictional spy patronized in 1973’s Live and Let Die, will open in Montego Bay in March. The 57-room Eclipse at Half Moon will have hammocks slung on coconut trees outside its casual restaurant, Spice—perfect for sleeping off a mai tai or piña colada. Even Dr. No would say yes to that.
When not to go: Hurricane season stretches fromJune to early November, with August through October containing the greatest storm risks.
Whom to call: Lindsey Epperly of Epperly Travel
Ancient history never looked so fresh. When the Grand Egyptian Museum finally opens in the fall, the entire collection of precious objects from the Upper and Lower kingdoms will be showcased together for the first time with the respect it deserves—in a half-billion-dollar space near the Giza pyramids. It’s one of several improvements that will help the Egyptian government continue the upward trend of post-revolution tourism, which grossed an all-time-high of $12.5 billion in the year ending in June 2019. More forthcoming draws include renovated historic Jewish synagogues such as the 116-year-old Sha’ar Hashamayim and a sumptuous St. Regis by Michael Graves Architecture & Design. Book through Abercrombie & Kent, and you’ll have access to flexible flights on private jets to get around the country—a relief from EgyptAir’s strict early morning schedules.
When not to go: From May to September, Saharan weather is even more punishing than you’d think.
Whom to call: Rami Girgis of Abercrombie & Kent
Overwater bungalows, a rarity in the Caribbean, are shaking up Antigua’s bland reputation. So will direct flights from four major airlines and a smattering of fresh five-star hotels. The biggest splash comes courtesy of Royalton Luxury Resorts, which planted its flag on the island’s northwestern shore last summer. Its stilted thatched-roof pavilions have plunge pools, and hammock nets jut out above the ocean. Access is increasingly easy from New York, Miami, and the U.K.—to an airport that’s especially efficient and modern. And if sleeping above the surf isn’t your thing, there’s Carlisle Bay, an island institution that’s been thoroughly renovated, or the just-opened, all-inclusive Hammock Cove, where the bathrooms are larger than many Manhattan apartments.
When not to go: August through October presents the greatest hurricane risks, and July is plain hot and humid.
Whom to call: Margie Hand of Andavo Travel
The cruise crowds are racing against climate change to see this northernmost state, where glaciers are shrinking at record clip. That shouldn’t discourage anyone; instead, it’s reason to delve deeper inland, where the landscapes are (still) frozen in time and insulated from the coastal traffic. Mother Nature has a strong year in store for Alaska’s dark skies; the practically inaccessible Sheldon Chalet, a glamorous oasis inside Denali National Park & Preserve, has planned a year of programming around celestial events, including some penumbral eclipses. If daytime explorations are more appealing, Tordrillo Mountain Lodge—fresh off a multimillion-dollar renovation—now includes the state’s only via ferrata (protected climbing route) and heli-biking trails.
When not to go: Shoulder season—in this case, fall and spring—is usually a great opportunity for deals. That’s not the case in Alaska, where nearly everything shuts down.
Whom to call: Judith Root of Entrée Destinations
Channel your inner Indiana Jones at newly accessible Mayan sites such as Holmul, a buried city so large it’s taken two decades to excavate. On private trips with Big Five Tours & Expeditions, you can even meet the archaeologists currently at work. Meanwhile, Black Tomato is bringing beautiful mobile tents to the turquoise lakes of Semuc Champey; they’re like a series of desert oases surrounded by thick jungle instead of sand. Dust off in the colonial capital of Antigua, where Villa Bokeh, opening in September, will be the city’s first design hotel. The 16-key mansion, formerly owned by acclaimed Guatemalan photographer Lissie Habie, is being meticulously reimagined by the hospitality team responsible for the standard-setting Casa Palopó on Lake Atitlan. When it’s complete, it’ll be both a gallery for Habie’s work and a throwback to the city’s glory days.
When not to go: Rainy season—May through early October—can make for landslides on the unpaved roads leading to Guatemala’s most interesting places. Don’t risk it.
Whom to call: Tom Marchant of Black Tomato
Mexico’s next go-to vacation spot is across the Sea of Cortez from Cabo and feels worlds away. Instead of rugged shores and desert landscapes, Riviera Nayarit has 200 miles of tranquil coast and verdant jungle. Golf clubs trump nightclubs in Punta Mita, the area’s flagship resort community, where the St. Regis and Four Seasons just got face-lifts. But Cabo and Nayarit will eventually have one thing in common: hotels from every conceivable luxury brand, including Rosewood and Auberge. Conrad opens first, in May, with seven restaurants and a Mexican steam bath, or temazcal; June will welcome a One&Only with a polo club and zip line.
When not to go: You’ll fight crowds during major holidays—Christmas, New Years, and Easter—or fight Mother Nature from mid-August to mid-October.
Whom to call: Zach Rabinor of Journey Mexico
Even if you’re one of the 20 million visitors that made it the world’s most visited city in 2018, for the fourth year running, chances are you’d return to find the Thai capital reborn. IconSiam, a $1.8 billion shopping complex, has revitalized the Chao Phraya River’s western bank with an indoor floating market, a fancy bistro by Alain Ducasse, and an illuminated fountain as long as the Empire State Building is tall. On the other shore, the 143-year-old, newly renovated Mandarin Oriental has two glitzy neighbors: the Capella Bangkok, with its Mauro Colagreco restaurant, and the Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok, with a pool large enough to host yoga classes on stand-up paddleboards. Add the observation deck atop Thailand’s second tallest building, the King Power Mahanakhon, and a fleet of electric ferries that will zip passengers to the Grand Palace by summer, and you’ll find Bangkok more alluring than ever.
When not to go: You’ll get the stickiest weather from March to June. That’s far worse than the short but intense bursts of rain that ward off tourists (and drive down prices) from July to October.
Whom to call: Lesa Clarkson of ATJ
Bali’s unsung neighbor may lack Hindu temples, but it has pristine, undeveloped beaches and waterfalls to spare. Following the expansion of Lombok’s airport (and a major earthquake) in 2018, resorts such as the garden-shrouded Oberoi and the antique-filled Hotel Tugu have lured sun seekers to a tiny peninsula facing the Gili Islands. Nearby, in March, the Legian Sire will add 46 suites and 15 pool villas along with boat service to explore pearl farms, markets, and brilliant coral reefs. Farther afield, Aqua Expeditions’s first non-river ship, Aqua Blu, is now sailing in the eastern archipelago, with chef Benjamin Cross (of Spain’s three-Michelin-starred Can Fabes) drawing inspiration from the Spice Islands.
When not to go: November through March is the wet season. Don’t go, unless you’re a surfer looking for truly epic breaks.
Whom to call: Jack Ezon of Embark
The first step to getting on travelers’ bucket lists is to have a tourism ministry that cares, and few care like Ethiopia’s. In 2015 it set out to make the country a top five African destination by 2020; in 2018 tourism grew 48.6% from the previous year, faster than any other country. Its formula is a mix of history (the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela), cultural experiences with the tribes of the Omo Valley, and wildlife viewing in the Bale and Simien mountains. Plus, Ethiopian Airlines is offering new routes from Houston and Chicago, and Journeys by Design has added helicopter safaris in the north with an anthropological twist. Travelers see species such as walia ibex and gelada baboons as well as religious sites and 1,000-year-old fortresses—with expert guides including one of the paleontologists who discovered Lucy.
When not to go: July and August are especially torrential, but avoid January, too. It’s when locals flood sites for Ethiopian Christmas and Timkat, which commemorates Jesus’s baptism in the Jordan River.
Whom to call: Michael Lorentz of Passage to Africa
The Great Barrier Reef is in a precarious state, but eco-friendly ways to see it are flourishing. In April artist and activist Jason deCaires Taylor will unveil his Museum of Underwater Art, a multisite installation that includes a greenhouse on the ocean floor and a sculpture of a young girl that changes color as a harbinger of climate change. Local outfit Cruise Whitsundays just opened Reefsuites, Australia’s first underwater accommodations, built under a floating platform. For daytrips, the private Hamilton Island resort choppers guests to a wind- and solar-powered pontoon near the previously inaccessible Heart Reef lagoon. Divers often pit-stop in Brisbane, which will soon accept flights from San Francisco and Chicago. The workaday state capital is suddenly cool with a 50,000-square-foot exhibition space, a craft brewery, and an art-inspired hotel called the Fantauzzo lining its formerly derelict shipping port. A Rosewood and Ritz-Carlton are on the way, too.
When not to go: December marks the start of rainy season, with the worst months February and March. Expect heavy tropical rains, humidity, and the possibility of cyclones.
Whom to call: Cassandra Bookholder of Camelback Odyssey Travel
Biblical landscapes will get a modern edge this April, when Six Senses Shaharut opens on 46 acres of desert dunes. It’ll have saunas and hammams, camel rides through the Negev, minimal artificial lighting, and a tented restaurant featuring a traditional Bedouin sand oven. Get there via the recently completed (and architecturally dazzling) Ramon Airport, only an hour’s drive away. Upgrades continue in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv as well—where Brown Hotels, the local authority for stylish stays, is working on a major expansion. Prioritize JLM, near the new Museum of Tolerance, and Hotel BoBo, with a funky aesthetic that accentuates the Mediterranean Sea views.
When not to go: Fall temperatures are some of the best in Israel, but this is when major Jewish holidays drive up crowds and hotel rates. The same goes for much of April, when Passover shuts down a majority of local restaurants.
Whom to call: Joe Yudin of Touring Israel
Within its 1.9 square miles, WeHo has always claimed an unfair number of attractions, whether the Troubadour or Chateau Marmont. Now it’s making a push for even more stars—Michelin stars, that is. A pair of them were awarded to the 16-seat Sushi Ginza Onodera and more may go to Wolfgang Puck’s two restaurants, coming in the spring to the Martin Brudnizki-designed Pendry West Hollywood hotel on Sunset. Likewise, the kitchen of the nearby Edition is run by New York chef John Fraser. Find more conventional cinematic stars at the 1 Hotel West Hollywood and San Vicente Bungalows—the latest project from Sunset Tower’s Jeff Klein—or memorialized just beyond the district’s borders, at the long-delayed Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.
When not to go: June to August. It’s peak tourist season, plus the weather can change in a second from “June gloom” to sweltering.
Whom to call: Lia Batkin of In the Know Experiences
It’s a wonder so many travelers never make it past Victoria Falls when some of Africa’s biggest concentrations of wildlife, most qualified guides, and best all-around values are just beyond its roaring depths. Now that the Robert Mugabe era is over, though, Zimbabwe is a better bet—and laws that encourage hunting in next-door Botswana are driving some adventurers here instead. An hour from the falls, you’ll find newly thriving packs of wild dogs in Mana Pools National Park, where Wilderness Safaris’ Chikwenya Camp has seven tents at the confluence of the Sapi and Zambezi rivers. Nearby, the Nyamatusi Camp by the Zimbabwean-owned African Bush Camps team offers canoeing, walking safaris, and the chance to catch the famously ferocious tigerfish. And with conservation work getting a boost from African Parks, the venerable nonprofit backed by the U.K.’s Prince Harry, the spotlight has never been brighter.
When not to go: Most camps are closed during the green (rainy) season, from December to March.
Whom to call: Teresa Sullivan of Mango African Safaris
Hotels on the Hawaiian Islands are getting ever more serious about the health factor that luxury travelers increasingly crave. Auberge Resorts’ reboot of Mauna Lani—one of the oldest and most beloved hotels on the Big Island—will open in January with a sports program designed by surf legends Gabby and Laird Hamilton. It’ll focus not on cutbacks and foam climbs, but on breathing—a hot trend. The new Halepuna Waikiki resort, an extension of the popular Halekulani, includes qigong and tandem yoga in its lineup of daily fitness classes. And on the tiny island of Lanai, where Four Seasons already runs a best-in-class resort founded by Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison, the same company just opened its first Sensei Retreat, a 96-room, all-inclusive getaway with a high-tech spa and farm-to-table restaurant by Nobu Matsuhisa.
When to go: Insiders book trips in May, late September, early October, and the first week of December. These are narrow windows when prices and weather are equally favorable. November can also be worth considering. It’s one of the quietest months on the island, but it comes with a higher risk of rain.
When not to go: The holiday season (from Christmas to the New Year), isn’t just expensive: Most resorts require seven- to 10-night stays, and you need to book a year in advance. And if it’s peaceful honeymoon vibes you’re after, steer clear of spring break and summer vacations.
Whom to call: Jay Johnson of Coastline Travel
(Corrects the name Jetset in the Montenegro paragraph and the owner of Geejam Hotel in the section on Jamaica.)
Editors: Nikki Ekstein, James Gaddy, Justin Ocean, and Chris Rovzar
Reporters: Eleni Chrepa, Sara Clemence, Nikki Ekstein, Lisa Fleisher, Naureen Malik, Jen Murphy, Brooke Porter Katz, Brandon Presser, Chris Rovzar, Antony Sguazzin, Zoltán Simon, Randy Thanthong-Knight, Hailey Waller, Gisela Williams
Graphics: Hannah Recht
Photo Editors: Leonor Mamanna and Evan Ortiz
Producer: Michael Frazer
Explore Hang Son Doong, the world’s largest cave
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park: Vietnam’s Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is home to the world’s largest cave – a place like heaven.
Son Doong Cave, a cave belongs to the Phong Nha-Ke Bang grotto system in central Quang Binh Province, has been discovered to be the biggest in the world.
Son Doong cave in Vietnam is one of the most beautiful natural caves and the largest ever found in the world. Hang Son Doong cave complex of Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, located in Son Trach, Bo Trach district, Quang Binh province of Vietnam Son Doong cave is one of the largest natural cave ever found in the world. Who first discovered as a peasant named Ho Khanh. In 1991, he happened to shelter in this cave while looking deep into the fores.