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17 Destinations on our Must-Visit List for 2017

Introduction

The New Year is here  and everyone is busy making New Year’s resolutions and plans.

While deciding to spend more time at the gym or eating and drinking more healthfully is always a good thing, over here we’d much rather resolve to spend more time in new places, try new foods and explore new cultures.

We’re lucky to live in a time where travel is so seamless and accessibility so ready, even to some of the more isolated places in the world. There are times when we crave to be alone, one with nature while other times where we want to be in the thick of things. That’s the beauty of travel – you can indeed have it all.

So here’s to the new year – and 17 places we’d like to visit in 2017:

 

1. Argentina

JT: This has long been on my list of must-visits, and I’m hoping 2017 is the year I finally make it down to Argentina. Other than having Iguazu falls high on my bucket list, I’m a big lover of a good glass bottle of Malbec, and it’s would be a shame to skip over a country that grows the Malbec grape in over 50,000 acres of land. Plus, how could I pass up a trip to the unique cosmopolitan capital of Buenos Aires?

Iguazu Falls. Credit: Wikipedia

Iguazu Falls

 

2. Palawan, Philippines

JT: After Travel & Leisure named Palawan the top beach in the world, this one might come off as incredibly obvious, but I would be remiss not to include this gorgeous archipelago of gorgeous islands located in none other than my home country. With over 1,700 islands, there’s tons to do – from snorkling, to island hopping, to visiting the underground river, or hey, just laying on the beach. Did I mention miles and miles of breathtaking beach shores?

El Nido, Palawan

 

3. Myanmar

JT: Compared to much of the region, Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) is fairly untouched, with the country brimming with culture, historic landmarks, and is well, almost lost in time due to years of closed borders. I’ve been meaning to visit Bagan and Inle Lake for ages.

Sunrise over Bagan

 

4. Kauai, Hawaii

JT: While Hawaii needs no introduction, this tiny island is bursting with picture-perfect landscapes and beaches.  You won’t find the same city feel you might find in Honolulu here – just miles and miles of canyons, parks, and rivers as far as the eye can see.

kauai pixabay

Kauai coastline

 

5. Bolivia

JT: After my trip to Peru last year, I’ve become captivated by the culture and history of the country. Naturally, with the tales of the historic Inca empire, comes the myth of the birth of the Inca in Lake Titicaca, located at the border of Peru and Bolivia. While Bolivia may not be the top of most travelers’ lists, the country boasts a unique natural landscape, including stunning sights like Salar de Uyuni and Laguna Verde. What can I say, I’m a sucker for a breathtaking view.

Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia

 

6. South Korea

JT: Even if I don’t factor in the unique culture, amazing food, and interesting pop stars (remember Psy?), the Demilitarized Zone is enough to peak my curiosity about this fascinating country.

Wonhyo Bridge in Seoul

 

7. Copenhagen, Denmark

JT: If the charming canal houses in Nyhavn weren’t enough, I’m so intrigued by the striking architecture, the world-class museums, and miles and miles of bike lanes in this incredibly eco-friendly city. Bonus: Crossing the river by train or by car to Malmo, Sweden and picking up some bites at Saluhallen, an indoor market with local (and global)  food

Copenhagen

8. Cape Town, South Africa

AS: After seeing endless iterations of photos of Table Mountain, the beautiful cityscape, sumptuous seafood, and the vast array of outdoor activities both on land and sea just a stone’s throw away, Cape Town remains close to the top of my list of cities to visit.

9. Istanbul, Turkey

Yes, recent terror attacks in the country have deterred many away from the iconic city that straddles both Asia and Europe but that isn’t enough to stop my interest in visiting. The unique and rich cultural vein of Istanbul coupled with the city’s immense culinary scene keeps this city on the list.

 

10. Jaipur, India

AS: The Pink City it is called – and not only for the wide array of gem markets Jaipur is known for but also for the many pink palaces that the Maharajas of Rajasthan built at the height of their powers. Oh, and the world famous Murgh Makhni (butter chicken) comes from this city. Yes.

Jaipur the Pink City

11. Shanghai, China

AS: A vibrant major Asian metropolis that remains a gaping hole on my regional itineraries. Between the amazing Shanghainese cuisine, the interesting post modern art scene and the ever evolving and exciting nightlife, I intend to conquer this city in 2017.

The metropolis of Shanghai, China

12. Lima/Cuzco, Peru

AS: Two words: Lomo Saltado. Two more words: Macchu Picchu. Joey went to this beautiful country and city this past year and had only good things to say – and to be honest her photos said it even better. Peru perennially remains on my go to list, and for good reason.

One of the seven man made wonders of the world, Macchu Picchu

13. Koror, Palau

AS: I’m not a huge diving guy, which these islands just east of the Philippines and west of Saipan are best known for. But they’re also known for pristine untouched beaches with a unique blend of Pacific Island and Asian culture so that’s a big pull for me. Being based in Asia, it’s only a 2.5 hour flight away from Manila so that’s a plus as well.

The islands of Palau

14. Sapporo, Japan

AS: Ideally to be visited in the winter, I’d like to try out the much vaunted ski slopes of Northern Japan and Sapporo, the largest city in Hokkaido, the northern most major island of Japan, is the ideal jumping off point. It also helps that the city is known for a very strong food scene, with Hokkaido beef (often rated better than Ohmi and Kobe) being most famous among them.

Sapporo, Japan

15. Rarotonga, Cook Islands

AS: Word on the street is, if you were to visit a Pacific Island and were looking to unwind on an unspoiled beach of unparalleled beauty, give the more traditional options of Fiji and Tahiti a miss and head to Rarotonga. I say yes, please.

The Cook Islands

16. Port Louis, Mauritius

AS: Having some friends who are crew with one of the big Middle East airlines, Mauritius is constantly a topic of conversation with them and how much they love their layovers there. It’s always a point of excitement for them when they see the three magical letters MRU on their monthly rosters and given the photos I’ve seen them post, it’s with good reason.

Port Louis, Mauritius

17. Cairns, Australia

AS: One of my biggest regrets of my last trip to Australia was missing out on the Great Barrier Reef, which Cairns is the port of call for. Given recent reports that the world heritage site is quickly being decimated by global warming, it’s literally now or never to visit and swim in this natural wonder.

The Great Barrier Reef

 

So there you have it. Our 17 of ’17.

Some (most) might agree that 2016 was a mixed year of mixed baggage so we here at Change Your Altitude are greatly looking forward to 2017 and what adventures lie waiting for us. Whilst some of these trips might not materialize in 2017 there’s no harm in hope – something all of us are in dire need of these days. And once again, there’s the beauty of travel – it inspires hope, joy and the excitement of doing something for the very first time.

We hope you continue to stick with us in 2017 as we share our journeys both on the road and at home with you.

-Arun and Joey

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