Best of 2017: National Geographic Traveler's Destination Picks | Mountain Travel Sobek

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Best of 2017: National Geographic Traveler's Destination Picks


Every year National Geographic Traveler magazine selects their own annual bucket list of the world's most interesting places to visit. For 2017, we were delighted to see that their top travel destinations included many of our own adventure favorites: the long-distance Via Dinarica path, Baja "the aquarium of the sea," vibrant Marrakesh, and culture-rich Papua New Guinea. Great minds think alike! In total MTS has six trips that encompass these must-see destinations and, like National Geographic, we've split them by the themes of Nature, Cities, and Culture. Can't wait any longer? Here they are:

Best Nature Destinations


"Close encounters of the ginormous marine kind are common in the waters off Mexico's fingerlike Baja California peninsula." Maryellen Kennedy Duckett, National Geographic Traveler


On our Baja Adventure you'll travel with the best local guides on an unparalleled journey from the Pacific to the Sea of Cortez, where marine life abounds. Enjoy a range of multisport adventures—kayak, hike, surf, snorkel, and even swim with sea lion pups at Los Islotes—and relax on pristine beaches. This is a great family adventure and a perfect wildlife alternative to the Galápagos.


"The path is also a cultural corridor, where thru-hikers, cyclists, horseback riders, paddlers, and day-trippers find themselves lost in old-world traditions uncovered after five decades of communism." Alex Crevar, National Geographic Traveler


Spanning more than 1,200 miles, the Via Dinarica connects multiple countries and regions, highlighting a spectacular landscape and promising an epic adventure. Our ambitious, 22-day journey will take you through the beautiful countryside of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo and Albania. Our route will follow some of the region's highest peaks and offers breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea, old growth forests and glacier-fed lakes.



"For wildlife-watchers eager to catch a glimpse of the world’s biggest cats, nothing beats watching the majestic creatures prowl their home turf." Maryellen Kennedy Duckett, National Geographic Traveler


Travel to India and Nepal to see the magnificent and endangered Bengal tiger in Bandhavgarh National Park, located in central India’s Madhya Pradesh state. Here you’ll learn from local experts about the life of the tigers, their habitat, the many threats to their survival, and the conservation efforts being made to protect them. To create awareness of the plight of India’s tigers and to raise funds, we’ve been running a special Save the Tiger trip since 1994.

Best City Destination

"French fashion icon Yves Saint Laurent plucked some of his most audacious color combinations—think saffron orange with violet purple—from the gardens, skies, and mazelike souks (markets) of Marrakech."  Maryellen Kennedy Duckett, National Geographic Traveler

Marrakesh, the “pearl of the south,” was founded in the 11th century and is one of Morocco’s oldest and most beautiful cities. With the mountains of the High Atlas in the distance, the city is replete with pink Moorish-style buildings and gorgeous gardens. We will spend time exploring this mysterious, walled city, including its vibrant medina and souqs at the start of our Morocco Camel Trek.

Best Culture Destinations

"Time forgot much of Papua New Guinea, an isolated and incredibly rugged Garden of Eden...At Tufi Resort, new sea kayaking expeditions make it possible to paddle between out-of-the-way villages." Maryellen Kennedy Duckett, National Geographic Traveler


For nature and culture at its most primal and remarkable, it’s hard to top Papua New Guinea. Our diverse Heart of Papua New Guinea itinerary will introduce you to the nation’s people and their ancient customs, while exploring looming volcanoes and Tufi's tropical fjords along the way. We've also timed our trip to experience the spectacular Goroka Show, where over 1,000 tribespeople come to perform in a dazzling cultural display.


"If you’ve been to a Sichuan restaurant anywhere on Earth, you can attest to the region’s legendary culinary specialties...It’s no wonder that UNESCO designated Chengdu only its second City of Gastronomy.”  John Krich, National Geographic Traveler

We fly from Lhasa to Chengdu at the end of our Himalayan Passages adventure, giving guests time to sample delicious regional fare and visit Chengdu's highly rated Giant Panda Breeding and Research Center. The center perfectly imitates the habitat of pandas, a threatened species, and is a wonderful place to observe them playing and enjoying bamboo. Stay on to visit Chengdu’s large Tibetan community or relax with a pot of tea in beautiful Renmin Park.