12 Must-Visit Travel Bucket List Destination Ideas for 2019

The number of spectacular sights and wonders in the world is incredible. From clear glacial lakes acting like a mirror of the sky to spectacular natural phenomena like the Aurora Borealis, you could visit a different place every day of your life and still not see everything the Earth has to offer.

But you can at least try, and the following bucket list travel destinations would be a great start:

1. Emerald Isle

Emerald Isle Ireland

Ireland’s famous Emerald Isle is a worthy inclusion on anyone’s bucket list.

The old castles that dot the land bring history and a charming allure to the place, and the natural beauty of the coastline can be very breathtaking.

Topping a trip here with a visit to ancient sites like the Newgrange will really make Emerald Isle a magical experience.

And with the hospitality of the friendly locals that inhabit Emerald Isle, there’s no doubt that you’ll want to make a return trip.

2. Montana’s Glacier Natural Park

Glacier National Park in Montana

The nickname “Crown of the Continent” really fits this place. Crystal-clear rivers and turquoise-colored lakes are what await those who visit Glacier Natural Park in Montana, USA. The jagged cliffs that surround the lake offer adventure and excitement, making you feel like you’re above the sky once you reach the top.

But just being there and taking in all the natural wonder of the place can humble any person. Glacier National Park boasts landscapes so beautiful and pristine that it’ll make you feel like you’ve leapt into a postcard.

3. Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru

Hiram Bingham’s discovery of Machu Picchu in 1911 is forever one of archeological history’s most iconic moments.

The lost city of the ancient Incas was very secluded, sitting safely in the mountaintops of the Huayna Picchu mountain range. Even during the period of Spanish colonization in Peru, the existence of the city was unknown to the Spanish living down below.

Perhaps thanks to its concealed nature, the city’s ancient Incan architecture remains well-preserved and intact, allowing today’s travelers to dive into the mystery of this old city.

4. Santorini, Greece

Santorini Village, Greece

The black sand beaches that cover the coastline perfectly contrast the white buildings nestled in the cliffs overlooking the beautiful Aegean Sea. This picturesque Greek city is bursting with wonderful people and delicious Greek cuisine.

This Greek island also once faced one of the deadliest volcanic eruptions in recorded history. Present-day Santorini is built on what remained after the devastating natural calamity.

5. Galápagos Islands

Galápagos Islands Giant Tortoise

Off the coast of Ecuador are the beautiful Galápagos Islands, a bucket list destination you absolutely shouldn’t miss. This island chain is famous for its thriving endemic wildlife, which inspired Charles Darwin to pen his famous theory of natural selection.

There are many activities to enjoy here:

  • A walk across the desolate lava fields makes for an unforgettable stroll.
  • For people who love snorkeling, the islands’ sea lions and turtles will be more than happy to swim along with you.
  • The islands also offer up-close-and-personal guided encounters with the unique flora and fauna that inhabit the island.

6. Scottish Highlands

Scottish Highlands Sky

The natural scenery in the Scottish Highlands is an invitation from Scotland to nature photographers and nature lovers across the globe.

Visiting this place is like jumping into a painting or postcard of the old European countryside, with ancient castles, picturesque creeks, gushing waterfalls, and beautiful mountains as the perfect background.

7. Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

With more than 400 different species of coral, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia is the world’s oldest and largest coral reef. The reef is home to hundreds of species of marine life.

Cute dolphins, charming sea turtles, elegant manta rays, and many more greet those who are lucky enough to experience diving in this world-famous reef. A dive here is definitely an experience of a lifetime worth remembering (just don’t forget the GoPro).

8. Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre Italy

Found along Italy’s northern Ligurian coast, Cinque Terre is composed of five unique, separate towns, each one equally spectacular.

Visiting Cinque Terre is like visiting a live museum. The colorful buildings that line the streets are eye candy for not just photographers, but any visitor. After exploring the towns, feast at the elegant restaurants and sample the excellent wines that Cinque Terre offers.

9. Grand Canyon, Arizona

Grand Canyon in Arizona

This famous 227-mile-long canyon is one of the seven wonders of the natural world.

The 18-mile-wide and one-mile-deep canyon is an artwork of nature thousands of years in the making. The flowing Colorado River carved and eroded the land into the majestic Grand Canyon we see today.

The mosaic colors of the canyon walls also have a very striking natural beauty and are even more remarkable during sunrise and sunset.

10. Big Sur, California

Big Sur California

Along the jagged corner of central California’s coastline is where the Santa Lucia Mountains seemingly dive into the Pacific Ocean.

The gushing waterfalls flowing down into Pfeiffer Beach make for perfect scenery that can captivate any passersby. And if you love road trips, the twisting highway along the seaside cliffs provides the perfect view of the Pacific.

11. Swiss Alps

Stanser Horn Swiss Alps

The Swiss Alps are, without a doubt, one of the most breathtaking areas of Europe. The alpine peaks of Switzerland are like a fantastic dream brought to reality.

The region’s rolling pastures are like the canvas of the land, complete with colorful wildflowers scattered here and there for an added effect. The snow-capped mountains that surround the land complement and contrast the green meadows down below. And in the wintertime, the Alps offer a skiing experience that is truly unlike any other.

12. Alaska

Northern Lights Alaska

Alaska is considered the last great frontier of America.

This beautiful region is best known for the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), a natural phenomenon caused by particles from the sun that enter the Earth’s atmosphere and collide with oxygen and nitrogen. In short, it’s a very beautiful light show from the universe itself.

But don’t miss out on what’s below the lights – the natural beauty of the diverse terrain of Alaska. Glaciers, icebergs, the forest tundra, and the wildlife are all captivating sights that Alaska can offer to its visitors.

If you’re daydreaming right now in front of your computer, trying to imagine the adventures that you can have in places like these, don’t just dream! Plan your trip, book your ticket, and go!

“Twenty years from now, you will be more displeased by the things you did not do, rather than the things you did.”

– Mark Twain

Also published on Medium.

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