The Olympics, key anniversaries and political changes are just some of the reasons behind our choices for the top 8 destinations for 2016… From scenic Nepal to lively Cuba, we have your 2016 travels covered!
1. Nepal: Open For Tourism
Following the catastrophic earthquake in April 2015 and with the Tourism Minister having officially declared that Nepal is “safe for travel” – the return of visitors can only support the recovery of the landlocked country, which relies heavily on tourism. Its two main trekking regions, Annapurna and Everest, are fully operational, and there are a range of community projects are available for those who wish to physically contribute to the rebuilding effort.
Ideal for the first time trekker in the Himalaya, Trek Annapurna and Everest (15 days) is a short introduction to Nepal’s highest and finest mountain ranges, combining two of its most famous trails whilst showcasing their contrasts. Find our more here.
2. Iran: Hospitable People, Ancient Treasures – And Unfairly Avoided
Iran has a long history of 7,000 years and prospered as the “Great Persian Empire.” Although a small part of the country remains off-limits (most notably some border areas with Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan), the vast majority of the country is fine.
We have been offering trips to Iran for more than two decades, with its Best of Iran including iconic must-sees such as capital Tehran; Shiraz, home of the famous Poets Tombs; Persepolis, an incredible example of the Achaemenid Empire rule; and Yazd, the second most ancient city in the world. Find out more here.
3. Cuba: Before It Becomes Too Touristy
The United States and Cuba have now reopened their embassies in Havana and Washington, DC respectively after more than half a century. John Kerry becomes the first US Secretary of State to travel to Cuba since 1945. Non-stop flights to Cuba are readily available from a number of American cities. Cruise lines start getting permission to offer cruises to Cuba from as early as next spring. If you feel that Cuba is already getting too touristy, better go sooner rather than later.
Let our local guides introduce you to their favourite haunts and hideaways as you discover Cuba By Bike (12 days). From the music-filled capital Havana, set off to explore the lesser known parts of the island, as you pedal into the rural heartland through an ever changing landscape. Find out more here.
4. Australia: Value For Money
Exchange rates make travel more affordable at present. Take the opportunity to be amazed at World Expeditions' own backyard. Check out some of Tasmania’s untouched wilderness or go outback to the incredible Larapinta trail.
For 2016 we have added a range of self-guided options to trek the iconic Larapinta Trail and the classic 6 day guided remains a firm favourite. The Classic Larapinta Trek in Comfort is a chance to enjoy the facilities of the third semi-permanent exclusive campsite, by far the most comfortable – and stylish – accommodation option on the trail. Find our more here.
5. Brazil: Olympic Fever
Two years after the World Cup, the biggest sporting event on the planet kicks off in Rio de Janeiro on Friday 5 August 2016, putting once again a spotlight on Brazil. But Olympic fever is just the beginning: the country of samba, caipirinha and the most famous carnival in the world is one of the continent’s most diverse and captivating destinations, whether you want to explore its lush green rainforests or discover one of the many bustling metropolises.
The new Best of Brazil’s Bahia (14 days) ventures into some of the least-visited yet most striking corners of Brazil. Prepare yourself for sun-drenched beaches, colonial towns with lively culture, flat-top mountains and subterranean lakes of crystal clear blue waters. Find out more here.
The breathe taking views of the Pachi Valley in Lencois, Brazil - Image Credit Melissa Menghi
6. Siberia: The Trans-Siberian Reaches Its Centenary
A train journey that has captured the imagination of travellers for decades, the Trans-Siberian celebrates its centenary in 2016. The longest railway line in the world (9,289km), work started in 1891 and took 25 years to complete. Considered today by many as one of the world’s greatest journeys, it connects Moscow with Vladivostok passing over the Urals, across timeless steppe landscapes and alongside the shore of Lake Baikal, the world’s deepest and largest freshwater lake.
Starting in Beijing, the Trans-Siberian Explorer (23 days) crosses the Gobi desert for a taste of nomadic life, including staying in comfortable ‘ger’ camps. Venturing into the heart of Siberia, you will start soaking up Russia’s vast history as you make your way to the iconic cities of Moscow and St Petersburg. Find out more here.
7. Costa Rica: Possibly The Greenest Country In The World
A global leader in sustainable practices (its protected areas comprise a quarter of its landmass!) and one that can boast using renewable energy for 100% of its energy for the first 75 days of 2015, Costa Rica is home to five per cent of the known biodiversity in the world thanks to an abundance of unique wildlife, landscapes and micro-climates.
We are the only operator to offer a multi-activity crossing in Costa Rica, from its Pacific coast to the Caribbean Sea. The Costa Rica Traverse (12 days) is a chance to cross the entire country under your own steam - on bike, foot, raft and kayak – mostly across spectacular natural wilderness. Find out more here.
8. Hawaii: Pearl Harbour Anniversary
The 7th December 1941 was a day that would live in history, with the attack on Pearl Harbour thrusting the United States of America into World War II; 75 years later, people from all over the world will gather in Hawaii to pay tribute to those who lost their lives on that fateful day by marching at the Pearl Harbour Memorial Parade, which commemorates the attack under the theme “remembering our past and celebrating our future”.
From Honolulu’s landmarks such as Waikiki Beach, Pearl Harbour and Diamond Head, our new Oahu By Bike (8 days) lets you discover Hawaii's most famous island on two wheels as you take in spectacular views and with the magnificent Koolau Range along the entire route. Find out more here.