First and foremost, we’d like to express a big thanks to our faithful readers for submitting their suggestions for the ‘Uncharted 101 – Bucket List of Destinations’ for 2015. We’ve selected 12 locations and highlighted why you should travel there this year.
Go ahead and print out the list, put it up on your fridge and start planning your vacation(s) for the year. If you travel to one of the destinations on our bucket list during 2015, then we’d definitely love to hear from you!
JANUARY – Taos, New Mexico, USA
Taos is great any time of year, but why not hit the slopes in the Taos Ski Valley this season? Take the lift to Kachina Peak, which rises 12,481 feet above the Sangre de Cristo mountains, and experience one of North America’s ideal terrain for skiing and snowboarding on 110 trails. Taos boasts 300 inches of annual snowfall and just as many pristine days with beautiful sunshine.
FEBRUARY – Cook Straight, New Zealand
The journey by ferry across the Cook Straight covers 43 miles in waters that are famously unpredictable. When crossing between Picton and Wellington, you will not only admire the picturesque seascape at the tips of the North and South Islands, but you may also spot local marine life, such as dolphins and whales. On a clear day, you’ll be able to see directly across this beautiful Straight.
MARCH – The Fjords of Norway
Norway’s breathtaking landscape draped in winter is another illustration of Mother Nature outdoing herself. Sail along a dramatic coastline and discover the beauty of the country’s famed fjords. At night, cast your gaze skyward to the heavens that become a canvas for the colored wisps of the Northern Lights.
APRIL – Mompox, Colombia
The world heritage site of Mompox first celebrated Holy Week, or Semana Santa, in 1574, and has continued with the traditions of integrating Catholic customs and the religious elements of the region ever since. The highlight of the processions on Holy Thursday and Good Friday is by the Nazarenes, who take two steps forward and one step back in a rhythmic march through the city’s streets.
MAY – The Azores, Portugal
The eight-island archipelago in the eastern Atlantic is a nature-lover’s paradise and a top destination for whale watching. Sperm whales, bottlenose and common dolphins are regular residents throughout the year, but in mid-spring you can also spot humpbacks, orcas and blue whales among others. For a thrill of a lifetime, arrange to swim with dolphins in the cobalt blue ocean.
JUNE – Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Safari means ‘journey’ in Kiswahili, and that’s what you should do in June. Over one million wildebeast, along with herds of zebra and gazelle, reach the Western Corridor of the Serengeti and congregate at the series of pools and channels of the Grumeti River—crocodiles included. However, the animals still have their greatest challenge ahead of them when they must cross the Mara River in September.
JULY – Alaska Marine Hwy Ferry, Alaska, USA
Alaska’s coastline is one of the most striking in North America, and what better way to admire its beauty than to sail along its shores. You can travel either north or southbound and choose to stop and stay at any of the 33 different ports of call the Alaska Marine Hwy Ferry offers along its 3,500-mile route. You may also book a cabin on board or simply sleep on deck under the stars.
AUGUST – Igauzú Falls, Argentina /Iguaçu Falls, Brazil
Allow at least two days to cherish the sheer wonder of these 275 individual, majestic falls that line a 1.7-mile gorge. Hike the Upper and Lower Circuits on the Argentinian side, all the while experiencing the flora and fauna and the falls up-close. You’ll have a spectacular panorama from the Brazilian side, with the most memorable being the view of the 262-foot drop of the Devil’s Throat.
SEPTEMBER – Eilat, Israel
September and October are great months to go diving in the Gulf of Aqaba—it’s quieter and not as hot as in summer. Many of the dive sites are just off Eilat’s shore, and the average visibility range is 131 feet, with little to no current. Snorkeling is another great option to appreciate the stunning reefs and marine life from Coral Beach to the Egyptian border.
OCTOBER – Berlin, Germany
October 3, 2015, marks the 25th anniversary of a reunified Germany. Since the German parliament, or Bundestag, moved to the Reichstag in Berlin in 1999, over 34 million people have come to visit this historical building. Its glass dome, designed by Sir Norman Foster, is certainly the focal point, providing a perfect view of the sprawling capital and the parliament chamber itself directly below.
NOVEMBER – Goa, India
The monsoon has faded into memory, the ocean waters are calm and the day’s temperature is just right. It’s also the month to experience the Hindu Diwali Festival of Lights in 2015. To commemorate the victory of light over darkness, shimmering illumination and dazzling fireworks, vibrant colors and the aroma of delicious food fill the city in this five-day festival to celebrate the good in life.
DECEMBER – Paris, France
End the year in Paris when it lives up to its name as the City of Lights. The Champs-Élysees drips in luminescence, building façades emanate a warm radiance, and designers transform department store display windows into whimsical Holiday worlds. Indulge in some retail therapy in Europe’s fashion capital by day, then revel in the yuletide cheer of Christmas markets by night.