Updated: July 2019
This place we are so lucky to call home is filled with so many remarkable cities, beautiful places that will take your breath away, and locations we were made to wander. It’s easy to start compiling a list of all the must-see places…
and then become overwhelmed.
I know, I know—there are just *too* many epic places that you want to experience. I hear ya! However, to make that list of must-see places a bit more manageable for you, I’ve crafted the ultimate list of 25 destinations you have to visit in your lifetime!
From islands in Indonesia to seriously sweet abodes in Spain to the most vibrant cities out there…
in no particular order, here are 25 destinations to visit in your lifetime!
25. Raja Ampat
Raja Ampat is an archipelago of about 1,500 remote islands located in Indonesia’s West Papua province and is known for the beautiful beaches, pristine coral reefs, and turquoise waters. It is part of the “Coral Triangle” which is considered the global center of marine biodiversity, and has the richest marine life I’ve ever seen while scuba diving.
Most of the islands are only accessible by cruise or diving liveaboard!
With more than thirty-eight million people, Tokyo is the largest city on the planet. It’s a vibrant, fun and busy city full of culture and adventures for all types of travelers!
Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
23. Plitvice Lakes
Often referred to as the home of fairies, Plitvice Lakes in Croatia might just be one of the most naturally beautiful places on the planet. Its cascading lakes in hues of green and blue are a true feast for the eyes.
22. The Alhambra in Spain
The Alhambra is a palace from the Moorish rule of the 14th century located in Granada, Spain. For math whizzes and design buffs, the Alhambra is a great treat because of its remarkable architectural symmetry.
21. Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system in the world located just off the coast of Queensland, Australia. Unfortunately, the reef is rapidly disappearing due to climate change, pollution and chemicals in certain sunscreens.
Always opt for reef-friendly sunscreen for any tropical destination!
20. The Ring Road in Iceland
One of Europe’s most magical and unforgettable spots; Iceland is the ultimate road trip destination. The Ring Road, or Route 1, is the prime Icelandic route, circling the entire country (along with a few essential detours!).
We drove the Ring Road road trip in 10 days and journeyed around the entire island—don’t miss my tips for driving the Ring Road and how to survive in a camper van for ten days before taking your adventure!
19. Las Vegas
Also known as “Sin-City,” Las Vegas is located in the Nevada Desert and is famous for being a place where almost anything goes. From amazing hotels to world-class restaurants to fantastic nightlife, this is a city that has to be visited at least once.
Tiger's Nest Monastery
18. Tiger’s Nest Monastery
High in the mountains of Bhutan, Paro Taktsang (known by many as the Tiger’s Nest Monastery) is a sacred Buddhist site that appears to be precariously located halfway up a cliff face.
17. Iguazu Falls
On the border between Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay, Iguazu Falls sees huge volumes of water drop down several hundred feet, and it is a truly one of a kind sight that dwarfs other huge waterfalls such as the Niagara Falls.
Cape Town20 Photos to Inspire You to Visit
16. Cape Town
Cape Town has stunning landscapes, delicious cuisines, and so many activities for all ages! The city is full of eclectic neighborhoods and a growing foodie scene. Plus, it’s just an hour from the Stellenbosch winelands, and 5 hours from Gondwana Game Reserve, you truly can have the best of South Africa within your reach!
15. The Colosseum
Rome has so many attractions that it is hard to pick one favorite but, for history buffs, the Colosseum is one of the most impressive sites in the world. It’s a stadium from nearly 2,000 years ago, where chariot races and gladiators once entertained the citizens of the Roman Empire.
Maybe it’s the movie magic of Indiana Jones or the incredible history of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, but Petra is one of the most incredible places on Earth. This 312 BC ancient city in Jordan is carved out of a sandstone rock face and is considered one of the 7 New Wonders of the World.
I loved Petra so much I even crafted one of my TBA Escapes around visiting it!
13. Uyuni Salt Flats
On a 4-day Uyuni Salt Flats tour through Bolivia, you can see everything from pink flamingos to blue lagoons. On your final morning, you arrive at the salt flats before sunrise where white stretches as far as the eye can see. It’s a magical place!
The city of romance is an amazing destination for cuisine, sightseeing and for simply enjoying the atmosphere. Whether you climb the Eiffel Tower, roam the streets of Montmartre, or examine the stunning art collections of the Louvre, Paris is a must-visit.
The Pyramids Of Giza
11. The Pyramids Of Giza
Built around 2560 BC, the Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest and only remaining Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still intact. Historians are still amazed at the methods used by the ancient Egyptians to create the giant pyramid complex of Giza.
10. Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon National Park is located in northwestern Arizona and is the United States’ 15th oldest national park. Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, there are stunning views, and you’ll be overwhelmed at the beauty of the gigantic landforms.
9. Galápagos Islands
The superb wealth of natural life in these islands is second to none. The Galapágos Islands make a wonderful destination for scuba diving and nature cruises around the islands.
8. Greek Islands
Greece—where historic ruins, volcanic cliffs, and friendly locals meet the blue Mediterranean Sea!
There are some islands that are famous for their beaches and natural features, while others have a significant nightlife scene or strong cultural traditions. Mykonos, Athens, and Santorini are the most popular spots to visit!
Maasai Mara, Kenya
7. The Maasai Mara
The migration of the wildebeest on the Maasai Mara is one of the world’s most amazing sights. Taking a safari here is one of the most desirable nature travel experiences in the world for a chance to see the big five—lions, leopards, elephants, buffalo, and rhinoceros.
6. Ha Long Bay
Seeing the columns of stone rising from the waters of Ha Long Bay in Vietnam is an amazing sight, particularly on those misty mornings when each one appears to be an isolated peak. Take a junk boat cruise for a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
5. New York City
Hiking the Inca TrailHow to Prepare
4. Machu Picchu
This once forgotten temple in the highlands of Peru is now one of the world’s premier historic tourist attractions, and whether you arrive by bus or on foot on the Inca Trail, the remarkable views and the history of the site will take your breath away.
3. Mount Everest
Exploring the majesty of Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world, is something that many people do every year. While it takes approximately 18 days, the view from the summit is described as life-changing.
Home of arguably the greatest party in the world, Rio Carnival is a festival of dancing, music, drinking, and celebration. Parades, floats, and Samba make Carnival one of the best times to travel to Rio!
1. Angkor Wat
Angkor spreads over 400 square kilometers and consists of temples and structures from the Khmer Empire. Watching the sunrise at the Angkor Wat temple is one of the most incredible sights on Earth!