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Top 20 Destinations for 2020

The year 2019 is coming to a close and if you’re anything like me you’re probably wondering where it went! While this year has gone by faster than ever I’ve visited almost 20 new countries and countless cities and towns. Some of the best adventures I have ever had have been this last year so I decided to put together a list of my Top 20 Destinations for 2020 so that you can start planning your 2020 vacations & adventures now and maybe pass along those little hints for Christmas. 😉

Floreana Island, Galapagos Ecuador

Galapagos, Ecuador

The Galapagos Islands are like something out of a dream! This place lives on its own time and moves to its own rhythm. If you love seeing animals in the wild, this is the place for you with sea lions pretty much everywhere. There are snorkeling, scuba diving and plenty of hiking and walking. It’s right on the equator so it stays hot here and the sun is intense so I highly recommend you take the proper swimming clothing not just suits. If you like eating seafood then this might be the best place to get it. Andrea Y Valerio on Santa Cruz island had fresh seafood daily and became one of my favorite restaurants while there. Be sure to visit at least a couple of different Islands if you have time!

Market in Oaxaca City, Mexico

Oaxaca City, Mexico

Oaxaca is a state but it is also a city and by far one of my favorite cities in Mexico. The city is walkable and what isn’t can be arranged by Taxi or bus fairly easily. It is known for being the food center of Mexico and rightfully so with the highlight being the seven different types of Mole that they make. Don’t miss a day trip to Hierve del Agua and a Mezcal tasting tour. If you want a real cultural experience plan to go around Dia de Los Muertos at the beginning of November but be sure to book far in advance as this small city fills up quickly.

New Orleans, Louisiana USA

Music in the streets of New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

New Orleans is and will probably always be my favorite city in the United States. There is no other place that comes close with the amount of spirit, soul and delicious food that is offered here. It can also be one of the hottest and most humid cities so you can visit this city even in February for Mardi Gras and still be sweating buckets. There are probably hundreds of different tours in and around New Orleans, so go on a Ghost Tour if you like scary stories or a food tour if you simply wanna try a bite of everything. Don’t miss the Beignets at Cafe du Monde but get there early cause it fills up fast and The French Market, Take your stretchy pants… You’ll need them.

Banos, Ecuador South America

Banos, Ecuador

Baños is a jungle playground! There are so many outdoor activities that can be done here I wouldn’t have time or space to list them all. There are waterfalls on each end of this little town and hot springs to soak away any stress or pain from backpacking through South America. You’ll want to visit the treehouse with the famous swing at the end of the world. One of the coolest experiences in all of South America for me was taking a Jungle day tour into the Amazon Rainforest. It was educational and an adventure that I would do all over again in a heartbeat.

Medellin, Colombia, South America

Medellin, Colombia

The city of eternal spring. Medellin was by far one of my absolute favorites in Colombia and probably South America. It has a difficult history but the people are some of the most resilient and joyful people I have ever met. The public transportation system here was beautiful and easy to navigate making exploring this city such a pleasure. The popular area for bars & restaurants, El Poblado is a fantastic area to stay in as well. To learn more about the history of Medellin and it’s people, I recommend going on a free walking tour of Comuna 13. There you will also experience the incredibly talented artists this country holds. If you give yourself enough time in Medellin you can even do a day trip to Guatape.

Easter Island, Chile

Rapa Nui – Easter Island, Chile

Rapa Nui is the actual name of Easter Island and once you land here, you may never want to leave. If you are looking for a place that will reconnect you to the energy of the Earth, this should be your next destination. The people emanate love and honor for the land and their ancestors. This island is a bit bigger than I initially thought so I do recommend renting a car or a 4-wheeler to drive around to all of the different locations. You can find maps of all the sacred sites to visit the tourist office. There is a lot to see and do here including watching the sunrise at Ahu Tongariki, hiking in and around the national park and you can spend a whole day at the white sandy beach of Anakena. This is the island paradise you’ve been looking for.

Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Boston, Massachusetts USA

Boston is such a beautiful city filled with history. The architecture here made me want to walk around for days on end and there are some amazing places to eat here including but not limited to Eataly’s (check out their cheese display), South St Diner’s late-night (or early morning) greasy burgers and you have to make sure to try a Lobster Roll. While all of this was amazing, my favorite part was fulfilling a dream and going to a Red Sox game at Fenway Park, the oldest baseball park in the United States.

Aarhus, Denmark

Aarhus, Denmark

Although much smaller in size compared to Copenhagen, Aarhus has plenty to offer including an insane amount of delicious restaurants, like Hentwerk, Hærwærk, and Møf. For the history buffs, visit Den Gamle By, you’ll appreciate the collection of older buildings and homes from all over Denmark, creating a unique village to roam around in. I also recommend checking out the library, Dokk 1, if you’re lucky you’ll get a chance to hear the cylindrical bell ring announcing the birth of a baby at the nearby hospital. If you are looking for the perfect fall getaway, Aarhus will give you all of the Hygge feels!

Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia, South America

Here is it raw and gritty and beautiful and everything I hoped a coastal Caribbean town would be. It gets hot even in the winter/spring time so life pours from the buildings at night as people fill the streets and squares with dancing, music, and food everywhere. Walking around the old city, you’ll see Palenqueras (the women selling fruit) and they are more than happy to pose for photos but remember to tip! Centenario Park is right outside the old city walls and if you’re lucky you can see sloths creeping along the branches. The highlight is watching the sunset over the water while up on the old city walls, drinking an ice-cold beer. The epitome of the good life.

Machu Picchu, Cusco, Peru, South America

Cusco/Machu Picchu, Peru

When will Machu Picchu ever not be on a list like this? Seriously though, there is a reason this place has been so popular for so long. I’ve spoken to people who visited 20 years ago and returned this last year and say it just speaks to their soul. It can, however, be crowded so I recommend going with the first group of people in the morning at dawn. Yes, it’s early but you won’t regret it. Some people choose to do the hiking trails to Machu Picchu but with the altitude, I just couldn’t manage. The high mountain peak, Waynapicchu was a great alternative for me though. I also recommend giving yourself several days before and after in Cusco to adjust to the altitude and explore. Cusco is a fantastic city in its own right with plenty to do and see.

Lagoons, Uyuni, Bolivia, South America

Uyuni, Bolivia

Otherworldy is probably the best way to describe Uyuni in Bolivia. Unless you rent a car and know exactly where you are going, I suggest just going with a tour. There are different options for the number of days and where you stay or get dropped off but for the most part, they are all very similar in what you do and see. Cactus island in the middle of the dry salt desert, rainwater covering the salt flats creating a heaven-like scene, Volcanoes, hot springs and geysers all make this an extremely memorable trip. If you struggle with the altitude, be sure to ask if the tour driver carries oxygen tanks in the car.

Santiago, Chile, South America

Santiago, Chile

The architecture, the art dotted around the city and just the overall feel of coziness, Santiago reminded me of Barcelona, another of my favorite cities. To get a great view of the city go to Cerro San Cristobal and head to the top of the fort that is there. Markets are one of my favorite things to explore while traveling and if you are a foodie like me then head to Mercado Central to wander around! You can also plan a trip to some of the surrounding wine regions for a day of wine tasting. Emiliana is a winery, not too far and it’s all organic plus the vineyard itself is stunning.

Buenos Aires, Argentina, South America

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Many people call it the Paris of South America and I can certainly see why. It has all the charm of Paris with the soul of the Latin culture, making it easily one of my favorite cities ever. You could explore this city for months and never see everything it has to offer. Teater Colon, Casa Rosada, Recoleta Cemetery where Evita Peron is buried, La Boca neighborhood with all its color and of course the San Telmo Food Market were just a few of my favorites to explore in Buenos Aires. It’s also conveniently situated on the water so you can take a day trip by ferry to Colonia in Uruguay!

Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland

When people think of Dublin, often they think of drinking but there is a lot more to see here than just the inside of a pub but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the time to visit a couple while in this fun city. Dublin is home to people from all over the world and you’ll find food to match. The Greenhouse will give you a fine & fancy lunch or dinner and California Burrito & 777 will feed your Mexican food cravings. Dubliners know how to have a good time and tell fantastic stories so make sure to head to The Little Museum of Dublin to hear a bit of Ireland’s history and get some comedic relief while there.

Torres del Paine, Chile, South America

Torres del Paine, Chile

This place looks like a painting that can’t possibly be real. I am not a huge hiker so going on a 4-8 day hiking circuit was just not for me but there are plenty of smaller trails that can be enjoyed as well. You’ll need to rent a car especially if you go during the off-season and remember they are in the southern hemisphere so make sure you plan accordingly. I went during their fall time and the colors were spectacular and there were significantly fewer people around. Just be sure to bring your big coat!

Glasgow, Scotland

Glasgow, Scotland

If you are looking for a weekend trip, Glasgow might be the place for you while there is plenty more to do than what a weekend can hold, you can still get a great feel for the city in just a couple days. The Necropolis is super interesting and worth checking out along with The Lighthouse, they probably have the best views in Glasgow. Kelvingrove Art Museum is small but their exhibitions are larger than life, be sure to check out the floating heads. Glasgow also has a Mural Trail that is almost like a scavenger hunt for massive art pieces all over the city, so wear your walking shoes. And if you like The Big Lebowski there is a bar with over 30 different types of White Russians to appeal to your inner dude.

Valparaiso, Chile, South America

Valparaiso, Chile

Climbing the hill by the bay, Valparaiso reminded me a bit of San Francisco. There is so much street art hidden all over this place it would take ages to discover it all. This city is not only home to some amazing artists past and present, but it also was the home of Pablo Neruda, well one of his homes anyway. La Sebastiana is a uniquely designed place with incredible views of the bay and surrounding areas. Valparaiso is also situated close to several vineyards making it a perfect place for a day trip for wine tasting and a delicious lunch. The views of the vineyards at Viña Indomita just took my breath away.

Malta

Malta

The perfect Mediterranean island getaway. If you are determined, you can walk around this whole island in 8 hours however you can also just take a taxi and save some time. Valletta is the most popular old town on this island so you’ll find plenty of shops and restaurants around this area. There is a huge mix of cultures and cuisines here, grab lunch at Valletta Food Market for a sample of everything. If you are looking for fun activities you can go scuba diving, snorkeling or just take a boat ride around the island towards St Pauls Island. You can also hop on a helicopter or small plane to get a view of the island from above!

Porto, Portugal

Porto, Portugal

This city is bursting with life, music, delicious food and art. It’s conveniently located on the Douro River which allows for easy day trips into the Douro valley for wine & port tasting. If you don’t want to leave the city there are plenty of cellars in the city that offer port and wine tastings as well. The photography museum has exhibits that rotate throughout the year and simultaneously show off some great views of the city from inside this building. Be sure to try a Francesenia but beware it’s not for the faint of heart. This meat, cheese, and tomato sauce filled dish is heavy and might give you the meat sweats afterward but it’s worth it!

Marrakech, Morocco

Marrakech, Morocco

Close to the west coast of Morocco is the bustling city of Marrakech. Mome to many gardens, palaces, and museums. The Medina which is the old city dates back almost a thousand years ago and walking through the densely packed markets and vendors you will feel transported in time. Be sure to visit the Majorelle Gardens and the Bhai Palace. Staying somewhere outside the Medina like Gueliz will give you a bit of a breather from the heat and excitement of the city. You can also take a day trip or overnight trip into the Sahara desert or the coastal town of Essaouira.


Coco Betty Travels About Me

Hi Friends!

My full name is Courtney Elizabeth and growing up some of my nicknames were Coco & Betty, thus the name Coco Betty. Feel free to call me Coco, I still answer to it. I empower women to love themselves through travel, one trip at a time.

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Coco Betty Travels About Me

Hi Friends!

My full name is Courtney Elizabeth and growing up some of my nicknames were Coco & Betty, thus the name Coco Betty. Feel free to call me Coco, I still answer to it. I empower women to love themselves through travel, one trip at a time.

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