With travel slowly returning, 2022 promises to be the year in which we can finally travel peacefully, after so long with closed borders to several countries. No wonder, the lists of current destinations start to attract attention: after Lonely Planet recommends exotic countries like Slovenia, Oman and Mauritius, now it’s the magazine’s turn National Geographic pick your list of best places to see next year.
There are 25 “must see” destinations, according to them, divided into five categories: nature, adventure, culture, sustainability and family. The main focus, of course, follows the editorial line of the publication and is on national parks and wildlife, outdoor activities and experiences, ecological travel and multigenerational travel.
reflect and regroup
“In many ways, the pandemic was a time for travelers and communities around the world to reflect and regroup about how we explore the world,” said George Stone, executive editor of National Geographic Travel.
“With this year’s list, Nat Geo takes a look at what is different, new and inspiring, from France’s new Seine River bike path to Chimanimani National Park, a new national park in Mozambique that demonstrates the commitment of the country with the environment”.
In the culture category, Procida, a small island off the coast of Naples, was voted the Italian capital of culture in 2022, while London’s legendary music center Tin Pan Alley has had a recent renaissance, with the opening of three new music venues.
Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island, is famous for its natural beauty, breathtaking waterfalls and rich flora and fauna, but also for the unique heritage of its Ainu indigenous people.
In terms of sustainability, National Geographic chose Ecuador’s Yasuní National Park, a biosphere reserve in the Amazon that is under threat (last week, parts of the jungle were cut down to build an oil highway and pipelines).
In Poland, the post-socialist industrial city of Łódź has become a thriving center of alternative culture, business and finance. The cotton factories that dot its urban landscape have been converted into galleries, museums, convention halls and community centers, while the city center is adorned with impressive murals.
In terms of nature, the Caprivi Strip in Namibia is a safari destination that promises to stand out. For years, tours were banned by the long border war that ravaged the region, but now safari camps and lodges are re-emerging there. Visitors can enjoy several national parks, many waterways and a vast and impressive array of wildlife.
sun and adventure
The millenary waters of Lago Baikal, known as the “Sacred Sea” of Russia, are larger than all of the Great Lakes of North America combined, making up about a quarter of our planet’s freshwater reserves.
Tourism here is controversial: it is currently the scene of a fierce battle between the state, a local population that depends on tourism income, and environmentalists concerned about the massive development that damages its delicate ecosystem.
Anyone looking for adventure is recommended to try the new bike path The Seine by bike, with 420 kilometers, which runs from Paris to the Normandy Sea. Or, if you prefer hiking, there’s the 147-kilometer Sentier Nepisiguit Mi’gmaq Trail in New Brunswick, Canada. The tip is to follow the Nepisiguit River from the Daly Point nature reserve to Mount Carleton Provincial Park.
Skiers and snowboarders should head to Arapahoe Basin, Colorado, a resort with slopes for experts and beginners.
For family travel, National Geographic’s selection includes Turkey’s extensive southwest coast, a not-so-known Mediterranean destination once called the Lycia in ancient times. The perfect way to explore its secluded bays and coves is by water.
Another option for sunbathing is Bonaire – known, along with Aruba and Curaçao, as one of the ABC islands – which is close to South America and a little outside what is considered the hurricane belt. Snorkeling and diving are perfect practice options in its crystal clear waters, where underwater visibility can exceed 100 feet, allowing for wonderful views of coral reefs and shipwrecks.
Check out National Geographic’s “Best of World 2022” list:
Montanha Jingmai, Yunnan, China
Tin Pan Alley, Londres
Ruhr Valley, Germany
Yasuni National Park, Equador
Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon / Washington
Chimanimani National Park, Mozambique
Caprivi Strip, Namibia
Lake Baikal, Russia
Belize Mayan Jungle Reserve
Seine Bike Route, France
Nepisiguit Mi’gmaq Trail, New Brunswick, Canada
Arapahoe Basin, Colorado
Costa Leste, Maryland
Reference: CNN Brasil