Is visiting every continent on your bucket list? Not sure what to do in Antarctica or Asia? This brief guide will give you 7 must-see places on your intercontinental travels.
Let’s start with the real puzzler, shall we?—what do at the South Pole?
Apart from shivering in the frigid weather, you may not have any idea what there is to do down South. Well, here are a few ideas:
- Deception Bay This bay is warmed by a volcanic caldera, making it a delightful place to swim. It is also home to a large colony of chinstrap penguins, making this travel destination the perfect, two-for-one Antarctic experience.
- Antarctic Peninsula Take a tour that lets you actually walk around this frozen land. Usually accessed by small, zodiac boats, a landing tour will allow you to get up-close to majestic icebergs and native wildlife like leopard seals.
- South Shetland Islands Take a cruise around the South Shetland Islands. Maybe you’ll spot some whales if you’re lucky!
- Ongol Island Monument This is just one of many historical sites left to honor explorers who lost their lives in this stark terrain. Other monuments include a statue of Lenin, rock cairns and crosses.
- Point Lockroy Send a letter from the southernmost post office in the world at Point Lockroy Post Office and Museum.
- Ellsworth Mountains If you are truly an adventure-seeker of epic proportions, consider running an Ice Marathon in the sub-zero conditions of the antarctic.
- South Coast Camp with emperor penguins on the South Coast of the Weddell Sea, take photographs and get up close with these majestic creatures near their rookeries.
On a continent as culturally and geographically diverse as Africa, it is impossible to say that any 1–or even 7– sites can stand as a monument for the entire continent, but we’ve done our best to give you an itinerary of must-see places.
- Victoria Falls If you want to get a taste of Africa, we recommend the majestic Victoria Falls, which straddles both Zambia and Zimbabwe. The area around the Falls is rich with possibilities as well; the adventurous may choose to bungee jump or abseil while the animal lovers may choose to take in local flora and fauna in the shadow of the largest curtain of falling water in the world.
- Mt. Kilimanjaro If you want to make a difference from your yoga mat, volunteer for the Africa Yoga Project on a visit to Mt. Kilimanjaro.
- Botswana Get up-close and personal with some of planet’s most beautiful and diverse animals on a safari in the plains of Botswana.
- KenyaVisit the Maasai tribes in Kenya and learn more about this rich, vibrant culture and African wildlife.
- Egypt Visit the Great Pyramids at Giza in Egypt, relics of an incredible, ancient civilization. Consider taking a tour that includes the pyramids and some of Egypt’s other ancient sites, like Luxor and Karnak.
- Madagascar Visit the isolated island of Madagascar. Enjoy beaches and lemurs, museums and markets. Consider the Experience Madagascar or Madagascar Adventure tours.
- Morroco Get a taste of the Middle East in Marrakech, Morocco. With incredible dining options and the rich blend of history and cultures, you can enjoy the height of luxury in this African paradise.
Let’s start out trip to the European continent out right, for who can resist the charms of Paris, the city of love?
- Paris Specifically, Paris’ Louvre museum, home to centuries of the world’s greatest works of art. While in the museum, you can also taste some traditional French chocolates at the Maison du Chocolat and pass an hour or two in a traditional, French café.
- BudapestBudapest, Hungary is one of those European cities that leak history from every crack and crevice. Eat a picnic along the Danube river and take in the UNESCO World Heritage sites that this city has to offer.
- London The seat of power of a once global empire, London, England offers a surprisingly modern experience. Although the Brits love their history as much as any other country on the European continent, London offers innovative cuisine, the theatre of the West End, nightclubs and ‘pubs’ galore.
- Scottish Highlands Another country that makes up the United Kingdom, Scotland may surprise you. Take a Haggis tour through the Highlands, taste real Scotch whiskey and visit the breathtaking Isle of Skye, where many Hollywood films have been made. You’ll fall in love with the rugged landscape and the rugged Scots to boot.
- Barcelona Barcelona, Spain is the perfect destination for beaches, dancing and music for the traveler who just wants to have fun! Sample incredible seafood tapas and meet young travelers from around the world just looking to kick back and party hard.
- Stockholm It would be a mistake to pass up a visit to Scandinavia while on the European continent. We recommend the modern charms of Stockholm, Sweden and its archipelago of tiny islands.
- Naples Although France is famed for its food, Italy is a close second and potential contender for the best cuisine in Europe. Why not try pizza where it was first created in Napoli (Naples to the rest of us), then visit the nearby ruins of the ancient city of Pompeii?
- Rio de Janeiro Start your South American journey in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and witness the grandeur of the towering Christ the Redeemer monument on Corcovado mountain.
- Amazon Jungle The Amazon jungle, which takes up large portions of Brazil, Peru, Colombia and smaller portions of 6 other South American countries is home to more diverse flora and fauna than even we know. A stunning 20% of the world’s oxygen is produced in the Amazon Rainforest alone, making this this the ultimate eco destination. Go swimming with pink river dolphins or take a jungle survival tour.
- Macchu Picchu and Chichen Itza This is a blatant two-for-one. If you love history, then Machu Picchu in Peru and Chichen Itza in Mexico should be on the top of your list. Explore the remains of these ancient cultures, from human sacrifice to incredible wealth to the invention of the ball that led to the creation of nearly every sport we know today.
- Buenos Aires Known as ‘the Paris of South America,’ Beunos Aires offers the sophistication of Europe and the beauty of this tropical continent. Take a tango class or sit stadium-side at a world-class futbol match. Be prepared to stay up late in this gorgeous city and stroll its wide avenues in an unforgettable and unrivaled atmosphere.
- Galapagos Islands If you love nature, then a visit to the Galapagos is a must. Get up-close and personal with penguins, blue-footed boobies, giant turtles and ocean lizards. Dive with whale sharks and explore an island barely touched by humanity.
- Easter Island A list of South American destinations wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Easter Island in Chilé. An incredible destination for surfing, horseback riding, diving, spelunking and hiking, you’ll of course want to snap a pic with the famous heads: there are hundreds of them scattered throughout the island.
- Ushuaia The southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia, Argentina marks where the snowy Andes mountains meet the ocean. Home to penguins, seals and glaciers and the end of the world train, Ushuaia attracts visitors from all over the world for its beauty and as a launch site for Antarctic cruises.
- Mount Fuji See the iconic pink cherry blossoms of Japan’s five lakes region frame the majestic Mount Fuji, capped with snow. The best time to visit Japan for this natural phenomenon is from late March to early May. Join the crowds who come to picnic under the candy-pink blossoms before they fade with the summer heat.
- Angkor WatAngkor Wat in Cambodia is the site of ancient temple ruins surrounded by the Angkor Archaeological Park which provides dozens of historical ruins to explore. The 3-day Siem Reap tour offers boat tours, temple exploration, up-close observation of endangered creatures in a conservational biosphere and a chance to visit the local fishing villages.
- Taipei Taipei is the cultural and financial center of Taiwan and home to 2.6 million people. In the 80’s Taipei went through a huge remodel and now has wider streets, more open spaces and is very safe. Check out what you can do in just 36 hours in this glittering city, including High Tea, night shopping and a visit to one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world.
- Great Wall of ChinaThe Great Wall is at least 8,850 km (5,500 miles) long and is visible from space. Although certain sections are very popular with tourists, the adventurous should go hiking along some of the parts of the wall that are less maintained and offer a more rugged, exhilarating journey.
- Maldives If eating juicy, tropical fruit on a beach overlooking crystal blue water sounds like your dream destination, then we have the perfect travel spot for you. The Maldives offer the ultimate luxury getaway.
- Bali If you want a complete travel experience, you will find no better place than Bali, Indonesia. History, culture, volcanoes, forests, beaches, thrilling nightlife and incredible cuisine, Bali lives up to its nickname as “the Jewel of the East.”
- Hong KongHong Kong is a city unto itself, separate from Chinese identity and the British culture that once occupied it. A visit to Hong Kong offers both lush parks and monumental skyscrapers, theme parks and museums. Explore the range of tours on offer, day or night.
- Vancouver A trip to the North American continent has to include a visit to Vancouver, Canada. With a distinct United Kingdom or European vibe, this island boasts not only a charming city center in Victoria and whale watching tours, but also the Butchart Gardens, one of the finest botanical gardens in the world.
- Florida A popular tourist destination, Florida is tropical and humid and has countless entertainments on offer. Perhaps most famous for its theme parks, Florida is home to Disneyworld, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Universal Studios.
- New YorkNew York, New York— the city that never sleeps. Broadway, Central Park, the Statue of Liberty; NewYork is one of those destinations that leaps to the top of any bucket list.
- New Orleans Cajun cuisine, big band music and Southern charm flow freely in New Orleans, Louisiana. Once a French colony, this American city has a personality all its own. If you like to party, Mardi Gras in New Orleans is the biggest party you’re likely to find on the planet.
- Vermont Go on a maple syrup tour in Vermont in March and April and learn how this delicious confection is made. Get a feel for the rich history and classic architecture of elegant New England.
- CaliforniaWine Country in California’s Napa Valley is nothing but rolling hills and lush vineyards, home to some of the best wineries in the world. The ultimate romantic getaway, Northern California offers wine tastings, horseback rides along the West Coast and unrivaled cuisine. Sign up for a wine tour that includes a visit to the Golden Gate bridge, Alcatraz prison and San Francisco’s trolley-lined streets.
- Grand Canyon Again, North America is so diverse that you’ll be surprised when you visit this destination that you’re on the same continent and snowy Canada and tropical Florida. The Grand Canyon in Arizona, U.S.A is arid and stark, with colorful layers of sedimentary rock in stunning array. This is the ultimate hiking,rafting and hang-gliding destination and offers an almost Martian landscape that cannot be found anywhere else on the 7 continents.
- Sydney Start your trip to the Land Down Under with a visit to the iconic Sydney Orpera House. The Opera House offers a number of tours to its visitors from its backstage tour to its tasting sampler from the Opera House chefs. If you’re craving some time with local critters, you may choose the Opera and Koalas tour which includes a visit to the Taronga Zoo, or the Sydney Opera House and Seaplanes tour which includes a Sydney Highlights flight.
- Australian Outback Australia is home to some of the most unusual and deadly animals in the world. Take an Australian Wildlife tour and learn about these fascinating and fearsome creatures, like the shy platypus, strange kangaroo, snakes and spiders.
- Great Barrier Reef Snorkel or dive along the Great Barrier Reef, another vital ecological resource that needs our protection. Swim with whales and great whites and spot thousands of varieties of tropical fish at the largest living structure on the planet.
- New Zealand New Zealand is not technically part of the Australian continent, but part of its own, submerged continent called Zealandia. However, we would be remiss in not including this tiny country on our list of must-see destinations. Famous for its lush beauty and stunning mountain ranges, making it the perfect hiking or adventure destination. Pick from any number of gorgeous tours and get ready for epic zip-lining, hiking, spelunking, rafting, jet-boating, off-roading and skydiving.
- Papua New GuineaPapua New Guinea has a colorful native culture and equally colorful reefs and marine life. Home to over 800 languages and 300 islands, visitors could spend weeks just exploring this beautiful land. Visit native tribes and their festivals and go land diving at multiple locations.
- Tasmania You may have only ever heard of Tasmania in the context of that wild cartoon character from your childhood. A visit to Tasmania might include an encounter with those Tasmanian devils, but this island has a lot to offer, from food and culture to yet more outdoor activities on the continent that can’t seem to get enough of epic adventuring.
- Whitsundays Whitsundays, Australia is the ultimate watersports destination with a nightlife that’s just as active and energetic. Its exceptionally clear water is one of the big draws for boating enthusiasts who gather here from all over the globe.
Because every continent on the planet has so much to offer, we hope that this list will inspire you not only to visit these 7 must-see places but to expand your view of the world and add even more destinations to your growing list.