Lonely Planet ranks final journey locations in new checklist
(CNN) – Many of us have been forced to reconsider our travel plans after Covid-19, but if you have to calm your canceled vacation blues by dreaming about future adventures, Lonely Planet’s new “Ultimate Travel List” might be just what you need .
The new list, compiled by Lonely Planet’s team of experts, reveals what has to be seen and seen, from watching wildlife in the Galapagos Islands to admiring the spectacular Iguazú Falls that stretches across Argentina and Brazil, to hiking through the geothermal landscapes of Yellowstone National Park.
The team searched the Lonely Planet travel guides and also checked each travel destination’s commitment to sustainability.
“Travel options are clearly limited right now, but the list is set to inspire through 2021 and beyond when travel recovers,” Tom Hall, vice president of experience at Lonely Planet, told CNN Travel.
“This is supposed to be something that really drives people’s bucket list not only for the moment but also for the future.”
Read on for Lonely Planet’s top 10 and see which destination took first place.
10. Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
The Annapurna Circuit Trek is a hike that you will not forget.
This breathtaking hike is a must for climbers, hikers, and pedestrians. On the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal you will pass rice fields, yak meadows and a snow-capped mountain pass called Thorung La.
Parts of the hike are very high, including the stunning Tilicho Lake, which only adds to the thrill-seeker’s appeal. According to Lonely Planet, the Annapurna Circuit is “everything a good hike should be”.
9. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
When you visit Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt desert in the world, you will feel like you are walking through the clouds. After rains, water creates a shiny, glass-like illusion on the lake’s salty surface that turns the lake into a mirror that reflects the sky above.
Salar de Uyuni is also quite impressive when it’s dry and the surface becomes cracked with geometric patterns. When it’s dry, you can visit the two sea islands, Isla Incahuasi and Isla del Pescado.
8. Angkor temples, Cambodia
Buddhist monks enter the Bayon Temple at Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
The atmospheric setting of Angkor, a collection of beautiful, crumbling temples surrounded by jungle, ranks eighth on Lonely Planet’s list. This vast UNESCO World Heritage Site is Cambodia’s main tourist attraction and a place of note.
Angkor Wat, the most famous Angkor temple complex, was designed as a visual representation of Mount Meru, home of the Hindu gods, and Lonely Planet calls Angkor “a monument to human ingenuity”.
7. Iguazú Falls, Argentina-Brazil
The Río Iguazú Falls is a spectacular waterfall between Argentina and Brazil. Seeing the water over the vertical ledge is an incredible experience – also because of its size: Iguazú consists of 275 waterfalls and the highest, the Devil’s Throat, is 80 meters deep.
It’s the drama of Iguazú and its beauty that makes it a spot on this list: “The thundering vibrations of the crashing water are no doubt reminders of the power and magnificence of nature,” says Lonely Planet.
6. Lake Bled, Slovenia
The stunning Lake Bled is number six on Lonely Planet’s list.
Justin Foulkes / Lonely Planet
The picturesque Lake Bled is home to a quaint, white church that sits on a green island and is surrounded by aqua blue water that stands out against the backdrop of the Julian Alps.
Pilgrims used to travel to the church for worship and later it was the meeting place for 19th century kings. Today, tourists enjoy walking and cycling around the lake – while those who want to test the water can opt for a ride on a Pletna boat – a type of Slovenian gondola.
5. Yellowstone National Park, USA
Ponng! Bluughh! Poowee! Once smelled, Yellowstone is not easily forgotten, but this US national park is also the largest geothermal area on earth and dances to burps and bubbles.
Visiting the park, home to more than 500 active geysers, including the famous Old Faithful, is a wondrous experience. The park is also home to wildlife such as bighorn sheep, elk, grizzly bears, and wolves.
Grand Prismatic is another Yellowstone attraction – the largest hot spring in the United States, a glowing rainbow of colored water.
4. Okavango Delta, Botswana
Every year when the Okavango River is flooded with water, it turns into a spectacular wilderness.
The Okavango River is flooded each year by water from the Angolan highlands, transforming this extraordinary wilderness.
The Okavango Delta is also a hotspot for wildlife – home to majestic elephants to exquisite reptiles – and one of the largest and most exclusive safari destinations in Africa.
Visitors to the Okavango Delta can ride along its rivers by motorboat and in traditional dugout canoes called mokoro. Lonely Planet believes this is the perfect trip for travelers who want to be one with nature.
3. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia
Visiting the spectacular Uluru sandstone monolith – an Australian landmark – is an unforgettable experience. Brass bronze in color and beautifully glowing when the sun goes down, Uluru is considered sacred by the indigenous people, the Anangu, who believe that the spirits of their ancestors live on there.
Go to Uluru to go around the perimeter of the rock and learn about its history and tradition.
2. The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Wildlife is one of the main attractions of the Galapagos Islands.
The Galapagos Islands are a nature lover’s dream and an eco-travelers paradise. Some of the most colorful creatures in the world live here, including magnificent iguanas, ancient turtles, diving penguins, and vibrant seals.
Volcanic rocks, turquoise blue water, and an amazingly diverse ecosystem are some of the reasons this destination ranks second on Lonely Planet’s list.
1. Petra, Jordan
While the ancient city of Petra is simply a famous archaeological site for most of the world, it is home to university professor Sami Alhasanat
Petra is a once almost abandoned “lost city” that has been largely forgotten by Europeans for 1000 years. It is the perfect place for adventurers who want to visit a destination like no other. The Nabataeans lived from the 4th century BC. Until the 1st century AD in Petra. This sandstone city is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Tom Hall from Lonely Planet calls the place a “truly mysterious and evocative place”.