While some travel destinations struggle with overcrowding, the world still retains many hidden gems just waiting to be discovered. If you are looking to escape the ordinary, break new ground and walk the path less travelled, let us introduce you to our top emerging destinations. But do plan a visit soon, because as word spreads, their popularity will soar.
Here are some of our favourite off-the-beaten-track destinations to explore without the crowds.
A stronghold of Himalayan Buddhist culture, the remote Kingdom of Bhutan has preserved its unique traditions, customs and identity. Visitor numbers are controlled making a trip to Bhutan an exclusive experience. With spectacular mountain hikes, iconic hilltop monasteries, green terraced rice-paddies, fluttering prayer flags and colourful masked dancers, there is much to see and do. Stay in a luxury hotel or lodge and soak up the spiritual calm in a land where success is measured by Gross National Happiness.
For marvellous bird and wildlife viewing, together with epic African scenery, a combined trip to Uganda and Rwanda is a privilege few get to experience. The misty mountains in this corner of East Africa are home to abundant birdlife and wild chimpanzee and are one of the last places to see endangered mountain gorilla in their natural habitat. Gorilla tracking is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience and the scenic backdrop including towering volcanoes, dramatic waterfalls and tropical forests is a delight.
Only recently accessible to the outside world, Mongolia is a land of endless deserts, soaring mountains, shifting dunes and vast grassland steppes, and the country is almost untouched by tourism. Celebrated for the legacy of Genghis Khan and its nomadic tribespeople, Mongolia will appeal to adventure enthusiasts and while the buzzing capital, Ulaanbataar has a cosmopolitan feel, the essence of the country lies in its untamed beauty, wild landscapes and warm hospitality.
Fast gaining in popularity as a ‘must see’ destination, Colombia is one of Latin America’s most beautiful and alluring countries. With its new-found stability and thriving economy, Colombians are proud of their emerging tourism industry and you can expect a warm welcome. Highlights include the UNESCO-listed colonial treasures of Cartagena; the Sierra Nevada mountains and rugged Caribbean beaches; the highlands coffee plantations, as well as the chance to explore the lively capital, Bogota and visit the famous salt cathedral Zipaquira.
Enjoying a secret slice of paradise in the Caribbean is still possible in the Bahamas. With over 700 beautiful coral islands and cays to explore, the Bahamas archipelago is a chance to relax, recharge and island-hop in undiscovered beauty. Enjoy fabulous year-round weather, pink sand beaches, swimming pigs, delicious Caribbean food and some of the best diving and snorkelling in the world. Steeped in British history and infused with old colonial charm, the accommodation and service are world-class.