Thanks to my new favorite website, Black Tomato, I know the "it" places to visit next year.
So if you have yet to book a vacation, here are some hot ideas for destinations that will be buzzing in 2010.
Turkey --one of the top places on my own list--will be a popular place for many tourists. Since it is out of the "eurozone" it's a bargain trip for sure. Istanbul, the thriving capital city, has a mixture of everything. It brings in aspects from other countries, while maintaining it's Turkish Style. And if a city scene is not your thing, there are plenty of mountain ranges and stretches of beach to keep you satisfied.
Colombia! Yeah, emphasis was necessary. I mean, the country has gotten a bad reputation in the past, but it also has so much to offer a willing traveler: The Caribbean Sea, the Andes, colonial cities and the Amazon. Jungles, Mountains, Beaches, Oh My!
How about a safari in Africa? On a boat? Yeah, if you head to Botswana. Journey to the Okavango Delta and you'll see plenty of wildlife. And it's an added bonus if you are viewing from a river cruise ship. But don't worry, you can venture on land as well.
Australia is always popular. But there is more to see than the Sydney Opera House. Venture to Western Australia for a more rugged landscape. The reefs here rival the Great Barrier Reef, and the wine is some of the best in the world. And who wouldn't want to swim with whale sharks?
The Middle East does not seem like the most ideal place to visit right now, but give Syria a chance and you may come back singing a different tune. Hit up Aleppo, poised to be the hippest new city in the Middle East, and you will be greeted with a culture rich in history, tradition, and food.
As for Central America, head to Nicaragua. Why you ask? Two words: volcano surfing.
For a bit of a slower, more relaxed vacation, Bhutan is the place for you. With a zen-like atmosphere, you're sure to leave your worries behind in the office. Plus, the scenery is simply breathtaking. So cross your legs, breathe deep, and say Om.
India is definitely on the list, and why wouldn't it be? One can explore the psychedelic cities of Delhi, Jaipur and Udaipur; and watch wild tigers in the thick jungle of Pench. Plus, venture into Amber--the ancient capital of religion--on the back of an elephant.
Wandering back over to South America, Chile has made the list. I don't know about anyone else, but I have been dying to go here for years, ever since my friend showed me pictures of Changara Lake. And with a long list of "best of's"-best landscape, best activities-there is plenty to see and do. Sip some of their heavenly wine along the way, too.
Finally, make time to visit colorful Tanzania. Black Tomato provides an exclusive safari destination that few have ever heard of. So if you want to see a place full of animals and devoid of other tourists, check out their website.
So there you have it, the top places to go to next year compliments of me and Black Tomato. Honestly, I'm going to be adding some of these locations to my list.