6 Emerging Destinations to Visit in 2016

By Samantha Scott
December 31, 2015

The sounds of Afro-Cuban jazz wafting through the streets of Old Havana, Cuba.

Watching as a majestic humpback whale breaches off the bow of your ship on a fjord in Greenland.

A quiet early morning walk around the ancient temples in Bagan, Burma.

All of these experiences are well within your reach in 2016. Here are our top 6 picks for new and emerging destinations to visit in 2016:

1. Albania



This under the radar gem is sure to become increasingly popular in the coming years. Boasting incredible beauty, a growing food and art scene, and gorgeous beaches, Albania has everything you could ask for in a European vacation. And according to Outdoor Magazine, it is also an up and coming hotspot for adventure travelers

3 Tours to Try in Albania

Kayaking Ionian Sea Kayaking the Ionian Sea with ROW Adventures

Europe's Last Frontier  Europe's Last Frontier with Explore!

Expedition to Kosovo, Albania, Macedonia Expedition to Kosovo, Albania, & Macedonia with Intrepid

 2. Cuba

Cuba Pixabay


Cuba burst onto the scene in a new way this year, with President Obama re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba and implementing further relaxed travel regulations. American’s previously barred from visiting the island nation can now travel there under fewer restrictions than ever before.

There are still some measures you need to take, however. See our article on traveling to Cuba for a comprehensive look at all you need to know before going.

3 Tours to Try in Cuba

Connecting with Cuba's Living History Connecting With Cuba's Living History with GeoEx

Cuba Beyond Havana Classic Cuba with Cuba by ATI

Cuba Family Holiday Hola Cuba: People to People for US Citizens with Intrepid 

3. Greenland



As Iceland's popularity continues to grow, some have been seeking a similiar less-traveled to destination, and Greenland has answered. With gorgeous ice fjiords, hiking, whale watching, hot springs, and of course the Northern Lights, it has all the allure of Iceland without the crowds. Given its remote location Greenland is still rather expensive to visit, but if you can, the trip is well worth making.

3 Tours to Try in Greenland

Northern Discoveries Northern Discoveries: Hiking the Landscapes of Greenland & Iceland with Road Scholar

West and Southern Greenland Greenland Valleys and Fjords with Peregrine Adventures

Arctic Highlights Arctic Highlights with G Adventures

4. Namibia



Namibia is quickly becoming a popular travel destination, as stability increases and tourists begin to flock in larger numbers to the African continent. As pointed out in a recent article from CNN, Namibia provides a quintet of wonderful experiences, including getting to know the indigenous Himba people, adventure activities (ever wanted to snowboard down a sand dune?), and incredibly beautiful landscapes. 

3 Tours to Try in Namibia

Namibia Discovery Namibia Discovery with Intrepid

Namibia Culture and Wildlife Adventure Namibia Culture and Wildlife Adventure with National Geographic Expeditions

Namibia Family Private Family Private Tour in Namibia with Butterfield & Robinson

5. Guatemala



From visiting ancient Mayan ruins, to exploring dense forests, to learning about coffee from local growers, there is much to discover in Guatemala, another country rapidly increasing in popularity. (This wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that it's a Star Wars filming location, of course).

For those who enjoy the activity and vibrancy of Costa Rica but are seeking a more undiscoverd landscape, Guatemala is the perfect choice.

3 Tours to Try in Guatemala

Mexico and Guatemala Highlights Mexico and Guatemala Highlights with Intrepid

Ancient Lands of Maya Ancient Lands of the Maya with Explore!

Mayan Encounter Mayan Encounter with G Adventures

6. Burma (Myanmar)



While Burma was never technically closed to tourists, its political regime deterred many from exploring. Now with a new regime in place, welcoming outsiders in a way not seen before, Burma is poised to become Asia’s next big tourist destination. You might want to explore the local art scene, or visit the many beautiful temples dotting the skyline.

Because mass tourism to Burma is SO new, be prepared to face a few logistic challenges. However these challenges also mean a more authentic experience for the traveler who is up for exploring this ancient kingdom.

3 Tours to Try in Burma

classic Myanmar Classic Myanmar with Intrepid

 Heart of MyanmarMyanmar on a Shoestring with G Adventures

Burma Highlights Burma Highlights with Explore!


Feel Inspired? Search here to find your perfect pre-planned trip.

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10594 Views    2 Comments
By Jared Alster
January 4, 2016 at 9:59 AM
Great to see Albania on this list! Truly an undiscovered country with so much to offer. I would also add Haiti to this list. It's still recovering from the earthquake but the tourism infrastructure is finally taking hold.
By Courtney Kantowski
January 7, 2016 at 7:42 PM
Never thought of Namibia as a guided tour destination, but it looks like quite an adventure!

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