The Travel Experts at Fodor’s have released their “Go List” for 2023, highlighting destinations across the globe that are sure to offer impactful travel experiences. Travel pushes us beyond our comfort zones to try new things and meet new people. In its purest form, travel can reshape our thoughts about the world for the better.
For that reason, we’ve highlighted 10 destinations from this year’s “Go List” that will undoubtedly leave travelers feeling they’ve expanded their horizons and brought more than just souvenirs home with them.
Fodor’s also recently released a “No List,” highlighting destinations they believe travelers should pass on for the coming year, covered here. The “No List” isn’t meant to reflect poorly on the destinations but rather give the areas a chance to lessen the impacts of overtourism.
However, the following 10 destinations are on the “Go List” and are definitely worth exploring in 2023!
Bacalar is a small town in Mexico in the state of Quintana Roo. The town is one of Mexico’s Pueblos Magicos and is steeped in historical significance and beauty. While it doesn’t lie directly on the ocean like some of its more frequented neighbors like Tulum or Chetumal, it has direct access to Lake Bacalar, one of the most beautiful lagoons in the world. Known as the Lake of the Seven Colors, Lake Bacalar is an incredible place to swim and take in the natural beauty of Bacalar.
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Mariposa Grove, California
The perfect blend of nature and history, Mariposa Grove is home to some of the oldest living things on Earth, giant sequoia trees. Some are even estimated to be over 3,000 years old! Mariposa Grove is one of the most popular things to do in Yosemite National Park and can be reached via shuttle bus or by hiking a 4-mile loop. For a unique take on the area, travelers can even ride to the Grove on horseback.
Crete is a beautiful and temperate destination in the summer and winter. Home to gorgeous beaches like Agios Nikolaos, stunning clifftop villages, and wine and food that’s to die for, Crete is an excellent alternative to the over-touristed Santorini. History lovers will feel right at home in Crete, as it is home to relics from one of the oldest civilizations known, the Minoans, who lived on the island from around 3000 to 1100 BCE.
Wadi Shab, Oman
Wadi Shab offers incredible views and is a gorge with clear water, hidden caves, and unique rock pools just outside Muscat, Oman. To get to the main trail, you’ll have to cross a small river for about $2.50 USD, which takes under a minute. Once across, a hike through a true desert oasis awaits. Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes, and definitely don’t forget a camera!
Puerto Iguazu, Argentina
Puerto Iguazu lies on the border of Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil, and is home to an extensive collection of waterfalls called Iguazu that falls within Iguazú National Park. Home to 275 waterfalls, Iguazú National Park is the main attraction frequented by visitors to Puerto Iguazu. The best time to visit is August and September, when the falls have the highest water levers, and the weather is great for hiking the park.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
The Pearl of the Far East, Ho Chi Minh City, is a perfect place to make your first stop on a tour of Vietnam. Also known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh will entertain you with its delicious food, vibrant nightlife, and charming, chaotic atmosphere. As the country’s largest city, it can feel hectic but in an energetic and thrilling way.
Brussels seems to get all the attention when travelers think of Belgium, but Ghent is a worthy destination all on its own. The best time to visit for a unique experience is in July when Ghent has a 10-day celebration that takes over every street corner. Plays, workshops, markets, concerts, and more can be found all over the city, and there’s no time or room to be bored.
Ayutthaya is a popular day trip from the country’s capital of Bangkok. However, Ayutthaya is a worthy destination in its own right and certainly worth a stay of at least two days. It will be hard to see everything there is to see with any less time, and there is plenty worth seeing! Gorgeous temples like Wat Mahathat, bustling markets like Chao Phrom, and fascinating museums like Chao Sam Phraya will leave you with plenty to see and do for a few days in Ayutthaya.
Zanzibar is a nature lover’s dream. Gorgeous beaches give way to stunning coral gardens at Mnemba Island, allowing snorkelers and divers to explore the beautiful scenery below. For those that prefer to stay above water, Chwaka Bay National Park offers one of the best monkey-viewing opportunities in Africa. Tired of exploring? Head to Bwejuu beach for an afternoon of relaxation.
Curaçao is the perfect Caribbean island to visit all year round, as it lies below the hurricane belt. The island is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which is apparent in its unique architecture. Divers love the island, as it is one of the best diving destinations in the world. Many of the resorts on the island are near coral reefs, meaning you can explore the world below right from the beach. For the ultimate relaxing getaway, travelers can book a stay at one of the island’s all-inclusives.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com