Nat Geo’s hotly anticipated best trips of 2020 list – 25 amazing adventures, new discoveries, cool cities and natural wonders

With the publication of its annual Best Trips list, National Geographic announces the 25 must-see destinations and travel experiences for 2020. Within the list, 17 of the 25 destinations were nominated, researched, reported, and written in collaboration with National Geographic Traveler magazine’s 17 international editorial teams.

The list champions Nat Geo’s sustainable tourism goals, which include supporting cultural engagement, community benefit, geographic and thematic diversity, affordability and value. The list is organized into four general categories: Culture, City, Nature, and Adventure.

“Best Trips is our annual list of where to go, what to know and how to see the world in the year ahead,” says George Stone, Executive Editor, Travel. “The list features 25 timely and global destinations and experiences that make for a year of transformative travels. To build the list we worked with National Geographic editors around the world as well as photographers, writers, explorers and, of course, passionate travelers to report on the essential sites to see and places to be in 2020.”

Twr Mawr Lighthouse backed by Lleyn Peninsula, Llanddwyn Island, Newborough, Anglesey, North Wales best trips of 2020

The Twr Mawr Lighthouse in Anglesey is a scenic stop along the United Kingdom’s new North Wales Way. (Alan Novelli/Alamy Stock)

National Geographic’s Best Trips 2020 destinations:

Culture

  1. Asturias, Spain
    Why go now: Relish an Iberian province capped with snowy summits and steeped in tradition
  2. Guizhou Province, China
    Why go now: Step into villages almost untouched by time
  3. Gobekli Tepe, Turkey
    Why go now: Feel your paradigms shift at the world’s oldest known temple complex
  4. Maya, Guatemala
    Why go now: Meet the Maya—past and present
  5. Mendoza Province, Argentina
    Why go now: Drink a mighty Malbec and delve into the roots of its flavor
  6. Abu Simbel, Egypt
    Why go now: Enjoy a private audience with Ramses II
Colossal statues of Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II guard the entrance to Abu SimbelÔs main temple. (Shutterstock/Dan Breckwoldt)

Colossal statues of Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II guard the entrance to Abu SimbelÔs main temple. (Shutterstock/Dan Breckwoldt)

City

  1. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Why go now: Rediscover an American classic
  2. Telc, Czechia
    Why go now: Be charmed by a fairytale setting
  3. Fort Kochi, Kerala, India
    Why go now: Track artful trends in creative Kerala
  4. Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Why go now: Mark 25 years of peace
  5. Parma, Italy
    Why go now: Savor a multisensory feast
  6. Puebla, Mexico
    Why go now: Because baroque is back!
The Magdalen Islands lie in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, one of two Northwest Atlantic harp seal birthing grounds. (Jennifer Hayes/National Geographic)

The Magdalen Islands lie in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, one of two Northwest Atlantic harp seal birthing grounds. (Jennifer Hayes/National Geographic)

Nature

  1. Magdalen Islands, Quebec, Canada
    Why go now: See a beautiful but diminishing world of ice—and the harp seals that depend on it
  2. Kalahari Desert, Southern Africa
    Why go now: Count the stars in one of the darkest spots on the planet
  3. Bialowieza Forest, Belarus/Poland
    Why go now: Discover one of Europe’s last true wild places
  4. National Blue Trail, Hungary
    Why go now: Take a hike on a lesser known European path
  5. Canary Islands, Spain
    Why go now: Reach an end of the world
  6. Maldives
    Why go now: Explore forward-thinking islands on the front lines of climate change
  7. Grand Canyon, Arizona
    Why go now: See a geological wonderland eons in the making
Ice Monsters In Zao tohuku japan

Ice-covered trees, known as snow monsters, transform southern Tohoku’s Zao ski resort into a winter wonderland. (Asahi Shimbun/Getty)

Adventure

  1. Tasmania, Australia
    Why go now: Venture to an epic isle that’s wild and beautiful, faraway yet familiar
  2. Grossglockner High Alpine Road, Austria
    Why go now: Drive to views once accessible only to mountaineers
  3. Wales Way, United Kingdom
    Why go now: Follow far-reaching routes that get the blood pumping
  4. Tohoku, Japan
    Why go now: Escape the Olympic crowds naturally
  5. Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia
    Why go now: Jump through the Ring of Fire
  6. Zakouma National Park, Chad
    Why go now: Support an African elephant haven
A herd of several hundred elephants heads toward a watering hole in Chad’s Zakouma National Park. (Brent Stirton/National Geographic)

A herd of several hundred elephants heads toward a watering hole in Chad’s Zakouma National Park. (Brent Stirton/National Geographic)