Tours of a Lifetime
Intrepid Travel – Where to go in 2020
Each year, Intrepid Group—a collection of small-group adventure travel brands, Intrepid Travel, Peregrine Adventures, Urban Adventures and a not-for-profit, The Intrepid Foundation—collates a list of Where To Go destinations, crafted by its product managers and on-the-ground staff in more than 40 global offices. In 2020, its list of must-see destinations is heavily influenced by social and political interest, which piques travellers’ curiosity, plus an increased interest in the world’s undiscovered regions. According to the business, expect to see significant growth in countries that have a tie to American politics as the country prepares for another election—whether Russia, Cuba or Washington D.C.—and lesser-known destinations that are poised for tourism, like the Quadra Island in Canada or Benin in West Africa.
Ground zero of the most catastrophic nuclear accident in history, Ukraine’s Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, is drawing travellers’ attention and surging tourism in the country to an all-time high. As a result of the growing interest in visiting Chernobyl and Ukraine, Intrepid Travel launched a brand-new, dedicated Highlights of Ukraine tour, which begins departing in May 2020. Led by a local leader, the eight-day tour offers travellers an in-depth look into a place that holds huge historical significance, providing education beyond what a textbook or historical literature can offer.
Peregrine Adventures’ new 12-day Russia in Depth tour where travellers will learn from a local leader about the country’s political and social history steeped in its culture. Start with an unconventional tour to the Novodevichy Convent and Cemetery in Moscow where some of the greatest minds in Russia are buried, have lunch in Tolstoy’s mansion made from his family recipe and follow his journey at the “last station.” Relive the last days of the Romanovs in Yekaterinburg, toast to the great continent of Euro-Asia while stepping on the two at the same time, uncover the mystery around Grigory Rasputin in a charming private museum and learn about the true Siberia through the life and story of a local artist in Tobolsk.
Haida Gwaii Islands, Canada
For the first time, the world’s largest adventure travel company launched a limited-edition Haida Gwaii Islands Expedition, departing June 30, 2020 so travellers can hear the First Peoples’ stories of challenge and triumph during Canada’s National Indigenous Peoples Month. Led by a local leader making the remote islands more accessible, visit traditional Haida villages that live in harmony with the pristine wilderness in Naikoon Provincial Park, and learn about the Haida nation with visits to coastal villages, including sharing conversations over home-cooked meals with fresh fish and locally-inspired dishes.
Despite the horrific Easter attacks, Lonely Planet kept Sri Lanka as its top country to visit in 2019. To support the country’s rebound into 2020, Intrepid Travel is encouraging travellers to forge their own understanding of the Asian island, proving the country’s resilience and strength. On its brand-new 14-day Sri Lanka Expedition: Village and Tea Treks tour, travellers will head into Sri Lanka’s central mountainous area, Knuckles Range, which was recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, trek through tea plantations, jungles and rice paddy fields, hike Adam’s Peak at sunrise, explore Kandy and spend some time relaxing on the coast.
With the rise in tourism, Urban Adventures is reminding travellers that at each street corner, visitors will feel like they’re visiting a different country, bringing to life Toronto’s inclusivity and acceptance. On Urban Adventures’ New York Times Journeys – Cool Toronto: Queen St. W. tour, travel through Queen St. W., voted one of the coolest neighborhoods in the world, to learn about the stories behind street art, including the brand-new Kawhi Leonard mural dubbing him the “King of the North” in Regent Park. On the Urban Adventures Kensington Market & Chinatown tour, head into China Town, where Chinese and Canadian influence collide into an array of shops, vendor stalls and markets – including a stop at Rol San, where Serge Ibaka, the NBA’s MVP of 2019, was spotted after Toronto Raptors win.
Glen Coe, Scotland
Three decades ago, J.K. Rowling began writing the famed Harry Potter series, drawing inspiration from many European destinations, including Scotland’s cemeteries and dramatic landscapes. To commemorate Harry Potter’s 30th anniversary and the growth in Scotland’s tourism, Intrepid Travel launched its first Scotland-only tour, Highlights of Scotland 10 day tour, which spends a night in Glen Coe, so travellers can see in person what inspired J.K. Rowling and enjoy the mountainous views and remote charm.
In the first half of 2019, the Israel Ministry of Tourism recorded a total of 1.9 million international travellers, compared to 1.75 million in 2018. Given the demand for the country in 2019 and the preparation for extended growth into another year, Intrepid Travel is encouraging travellers to learn about the country’s history and most famous sights while providing insight into the country’s contrasting neighbor, Palestine, on an immersive nine-day food tour that bridges the cultural gap in both countries through culinary exploration.
Newly upgraded for 2020, Intrepid Travel’s Japan: Hike, Bike & Kayak active tour, allows travellers to experience Tokyo – prepped and primed for its second Olympics – while also escaping the crowds to experience the small, charming villages outside the bustling cities. Walk the Nakasendo highway that connects the quintessential Edo-era post towns, follow the footsteps of the pilgrims on the sacred Kumano Kodo, cycle to the inland sea islands on the picturesque Shimanami Kaido and kayak on the inland sea while not missing out the glorious ancient capital of Kyoto and the gourmet food in Osaka.
Fortin Nogueyra, Argentina
Known for Tango, soccer and the Andes Mountains, there’s another reason for travellers to flock to Argentina in 2020: To witness a total solar eclipse, a rare celestial event that occurs only when a new moon crosses the sun, in the beautiful barren desert. Given the success of its Solar Eclipse tour last year–which sold-out two years prior to departure because of eclipse-chasers, prompting the business to open more spaces on the tours–Intrepid Travel is continuing its Solar Eclipse tour range, with eight-, 11- and 13-day tours in Argentina, each departing in early December 2020.
Given the demand for Washington tours during the 2016 election, Urban Adventures expects similar interest during this year’s election; in 2020, the company is highlighting its Urban Adventures’ American Politics & Debate on Capitol Hill tour, which travels to the iconic U.S. Capitol Building, the Supreme Court and Library of Congress, while offering a chance to debate and learn from a local leader, who lived in the city during both elections.
Adventure tour operator Intrepid Travel has noted a 24% increase in global bookings to Montenegro over the last year. For those eager to experience both the coastal beauty of the Adriatic destination and the country’s historic charms on land, Intrepid Travel is introducing a brand new 8-day sailing tour of Montenegro that will begin departing in 2020 – an affordable option for those not willing to splurge on the superyachts that will call Portonovi home.
Quadra Island, Canada
To view these stunning whales in the wild, Intrepid Travel is launching a new eight-day Discovery Islands & Orca Camp Expedition in 2020, with two departures on July 7 and September 8. Travellers will witness the mammals breaching while they paddle on the Johnstone Strait, hear their calls with underwater microphones on a zodiac experience, and see the Discovery Passage in style with waterfront lodging on Quadra Island and a unique orca glamping experience, with safari-style tents, hot tubs and a native-style sauna.
Benin, West Africa
The world’s largest adventure company, Intrepid Travel, has launched a brand-new 11-day Benin, Togo & Ghana Expedition to cater to the increased interest in West Africa tourism. On the tour, visitors will travel from Ouidah, Lome and Togoville, where voodoo still forms an important part of everyday life, and on to the museums of Accra and pristine shores of Anomabo Beach. For those who want to dive further into the often misunderstood religion, travellers can join the January 10, 2020 departure that coincides with the 27th annual Voodoo Festival of Benin.
About Intrepid Travel
Intrepid Travel is a global adventure travel company that has been taking travellers off the beaten track to discover the world’s most amazing places for 30 years. The company offers more than 1,500 trips in more than 120 countries and on every continent. Every trip is designed to truly experience local culture – to meet local people, try local food, take local transport and stay in local accommodation. A world leader in responsible travel, Intrepid’s award-winning tour leaders, small group sizes and included activities mean they offer travellers great value for money.