Only seven weeks into 2017 and some clear trends are already emerging in travel. We have seen quotes, bookings, and a lot of activity on Project Expedition
that indicates that these ten attractions are going to be headliners this year. Be sure to beat the crowds and book
your next trip to one of these incredible destinations soon.
The Galapagos Islands
are a group of volcanic islands 563 miles west of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean. First made famous by Charles Darwin and his Theory of Evolution, these islands have become a must-visit for nature lovers from around the world. Unique species like marine iguanas, giant tortoises, sea lions, and a variety of birds can be encountered on land, and snorkelers and divers who venture beneath the waves will find a wildly diverse array of sea life as well.When to Go:
You can choose between cool and dry (June to November) or warm and wet (December to June).
Located in North Africa, the Sahara Desert is the world's largest hot desert - and we mean hot! This vast expanse of land reaches from the Red Sea to the Atlantic Ocean, and evolves across multiple ecosystems along the way. The allure of the Sahara is difficult to describe. As with most deserts, it can be vast and barren, yet full of life and culture. The plants, animals, and people that call this harsh environment home have weathered the elements to tell a story unlike anywhere else.
Our favorite place to experience a taste of the Sahara is in Morocco
(Egypt is also a great choice). We like Morocco because you can combine a trip into the desert with rich culture, great food, and reliable tourism infrastructure. You can even cool off with a high altitude trip into the Atlas Mountains when you are done.When to Go:
October to April, when day time temperatures are lower.
The ruins at Tulum
offer a unique look into centuries ago, when the Maya civilization was at its peak. The ruins themselves are well preserved, and their location is remarkable. Perched high on a cliff overlooking pristine beaches and turquoise waters, the view is one where history and natural beauty coincide for that picture perfect moment. A trip here can be combined with many other activities, among which include a swim in a local cenote, which is an underground freshwater pool. There are hundreds of cenotes throughout the Riviera Maya, and they are not to be missed!When to Go:
As Tulum remains warm year-round, temperature won't be much of a factor in your decision. You will, however, want to avoid the rainy months of June, September, and October, along with Hurricane Season, which runs from June to November.
The Damajagua Waterfalls
in the Dominican Republic are a series of 27 waterfalls located near Puerto Plata. This incredible series of natural features is one of the top things to experience in the entire country. While most tours will start at the 7th or 12th waterfall, a few can take you all the way to the top. You then slide, jump, and swim your way down stream! The result is an action packed day of fun and adventure. Don't forget your waterproof camera!When to Go:
Try and avoid June to November as this is Hurricane Season. December to February is high season, bringing with it larger crowds, but also the best weather. You can find better deals with a chance of intermittent rain during the rest of the year.
Clocking in at an astounding 829.80 meters (2,722 feet), the Burj Khalifa
in Dubai is the tallest building in the world. That is a full 649 feet taller than the second tallest building in the world, the Shanghai Tower! Without question, any visitor to Dubai should pay this engineering feat a visit. You can take an elevator up to the 125th and 148th floors to soak in the views of the surrounding city. If you look into the distance, you may also see the famous sand dunes which are home to a whole different category
of adventure!When to Go:
Try visiting between November to March when the temperatures are cooler.
Shark Ray Alley
The list of things to do in Belize is remarkable given the size of this small country, but one thing that stands out above them all is Shark Ray Alley
. This famous aquatic site used to be where the local fishermen would clean their catch, and the friendly nurse sharks and sting rays would hang out for a meal. Nowadays, snorkelers have replaced the fishermen, and the sharks and rays are still there to pay you a visit. Don't worry though, if you listen to the instruction from your guide, both you and the animals are sure to have a safe and enjoyable experience. Also keep a look out for schools of jack fish and the occasional sea turtle as well!When to Go:
While November to April is the dry season in Belize, the wet season typically does not experience a ton of rainfall, and it usually occurs in the late afternoons. You do want to be mindful of Hurricane Season, however (June-November).
There is no mystery as to why Machu Picchu
is on the list of trending attractions, this place is simply incredible. To get here, one must travel through Cusco, which is worth the trip on its own. With amazing food, rich culture, and picture perfect moments everywhere you look, Cusco sets a great tone for your journey into the Incan highlands. Whether you choose to hike the Incan Trail or simply hop on the train to Machu Picchu, the experience that awaits you is one that you will never forget. The ruins sit in the clouds at almost 8,000 feet above sea level, and on a clear day, create one of the most stunning photography opportunities you can find. Be sure to grab a shot of one of the resident alpacas that roam freely around the area.When to Go:
The rainy season is from November to April, but due to the huge number of visitors during the peak months of July and August, the shoulder months around the rainy season can be the best time to go.
The thought of watching boats slowly cruise through a narrow canal may not sound exciting, but trust us when we say it is absolutely fascinating! The Panama Canal
is one of the 20th Century's greatest engineering achievements, and it is one that has literally changed the fabric of the global economy ever since opening in 1914.
The locks on either end of the Canal, which connects the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, actually function to raise massive ships 85 feet above
sea level! Yes, you heard that right, the majority of the Panama Canal sits 85 feet above sea level. Ships will enter the locks from either end and slowly rise 85 feet in altitude, where they then sail across the Canal, enter the other set of locks, get lowered back to sea level, and head on their way. Time saved? Only a trip around all of South America.
You can visit the Panama Canal to watch the locks in action, or you can even board a ship that will pass through the locks. To go through one set of locks is called a 'partial transit' and to go across the entire Canal is called a 'full transit'.When to Go:
December to April is the dry season, but it is worth noting that the Caribbean and Pacific sides can have very different weather, despite their relatively close proximity to one another.
At 5,328 feet tall, the Arenal Volcano
isn't just an impressive natural feature, it is a landmark for adventure. The volcano itself is home to hikes, horseback rides, mountain biking, and more, plus it is home to an astounding variety of plants and animals. The lush jungles, rivers, and lakes in the immediate area offer up countless activities for all types of travelers. One of the most recognizable features that the volcano provides its guests are the numerous natural hot springs that offer the tired traveler a place to soak and relax. Most visitors will stay in the town of La Fortuna, but there are a number of more remote eco lodges to be had as well.When to Go:
The dry season in Costa Rica runs from December to April, however, with it comes higher prices and more tourists. Costa Rica is one place where the rainy season can have many benefits, as the forests become unbelievably lush and green, and there are a number of activities that are unphased by the rain, such as canyoning and white water rafting, and along the coasts, scuba diving and fishing.
Grace Bay Beach
As a regular contender for "Best Beach in the World," Grace Bay Beach
never fails to impress. This stretch of sugary sand in the Turks and Caicos is popular for its idyllic beauty, warm turquoise waters, and its reputation as the essence of relaxation. There are many other benefits of making the trip here though. This beach is actually so large that most people won't have any issue find a stretch to enjoy all to themselves. There are also a number of fishing and leisure tours that leave from the immediate area.When to Go:
Peak season is from December to March, but April and May can be very nice, as they are less busy and less expensive. You should be wary of June to November as this is Hurricane Season.
That wraps up our coverage of ten trending destinations in 2017. Be sure to add each one to your bucket list, and if you need help planning tours and activities to experience these attractions, never hesitate to let us know