Need a little travel inspiration for your 2017 travel planning? Take a look at my top trips that you should take this year. Play with elephants in Thailand, go island hopping in Panama, explore the primary rainforest in Costa Rica, go camping in Joshua Tree, hike glaciers in Canada and snorkel with giant sea turtles in Mexico. Get to these places while they're still remote, untouched and pristine.
1. Drake Bay, Costa Rica
Resting on the Northern Pacific side of Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula, lies the adventure seeker's paradise of Drake Bay (Bahia Drake). Off the beaten path Drake Bay boasts the protected Corcovado National Park, one of the most biologically diverse places in the world as well as the uninhabited Caño Island, one of the top snorkeling and scuba diving locations on this Earth. Experience one of the last untouched primary and secondary rainforests and pristine coastlines in the world and venture to this remote dream before it gets overrun with tourists.
2. Tulum, Mexico
Situated on the Yucatan Peninsula Coast, lies Tulum, with all its jade green waters, soft as air sand beaches, clear as crystal cenotes, balmy breezes and Mayan ruins. While Tulum is somewhat developed with businesses, accommodations and restaurants, it seems to still be largely untouched by overwhelming development like Cancun and Playa Del Carmen, making it the perfect place to explore, adventure and relax in the stunning beauty of the Caribbean. While it is a tad remote, it is a little piece of paradise that you should visit this year to unwind, sign off and snorkel with giant sea turtles.
3. Chiang Mai, Thailand
Thailand's Northern capital is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok with some of the best experiences Thailand has to offer. It's incredible foothills make for stunning views as you explore the city and experience the culture. Play with elephants at the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary, make an umbrella in a country village, shop at the famous walking markets, release a floating lantern into the night sky at the Yee Peng Lantern Festival, take in the incredible city sights and dine on the best food in Thailand. You'll never get bored here and it will be one of your favorite stops in Thailand.
4. Koh Lanta, Thailand
Once the destination for backpackers and traveling gyspies, Koh Lanta Yai has transformed into a a calm destination for backpackers, adventurers, and relaxers alike looking for a mid-range to luxury experience. With it's stunning coastlines at every turn, charming town, and small crowds, Koh Lanta is the perfect Thai Island hopping destination during your travels known for its efortless, laid back, real and culturally rich quality. Grab a motorbike and travel around the whole island in a day stopping at the best viewpoints, beaches, national parks, restaurants and swings. Take a stop here on your way to or from Koh Phi Phi and the even more remote and less touristy destination of Koh Lipe. Pro tip : Stay HERE on Koh Lanta.
5. Isla Bastimentos, Bocas Del Toro, Panama
Situated right off of the melting pot surf town of Bocas del Toro, Panama, lies Isla Bastimentos, the largest Island and a little slice of heaven boasting crystal clear turquoise waters, gorgeous reefs with various marine life, endless soft, white sand beaches, luscious jungles and opportunities for amazing adventures. This tropical island is like a different world and only a short boat ride away for island hopping the other incredible Bocas Islands and not too far from Bocas Town for a little liveliness and culture. Pro tip : Stay HERE on Isla Bastimentos.
6. Whistler, B.C., Canada
This charming and incredibly scenic alpine village not only looks like a Christmas card and is one of the most popular ski destinations in the winter, but also has some of the most beautiful waterfalls, hiking and outdoor adventures in the summer. Endless glaciers await to be explored, gondolas await to be ridden, waterfalls await to be found and mountainous views await to be taken in.
7. Joshua Tree, CA, United States
The convergence of the Colorado and Mojave deserts brought about the 794,000 acre Joshua Tree National Park. Known for it's whimsical Joshua Trees, the best climbing in California, jumbo rock formations, vast starry night skies and popular camping, this National Park is a must see on your California travels. Every destination within the park feels like you're on another planet and there's nothing quite like watching the sun set behind figures of Joshua trees and experiencing the milky way in all of it's glory in the middle of the desert.
What are your travel plans for 2017? I hope this inspired you to go on some adventures and travel your heart out!