Where to Travel in 2020
From the wild rainforest of the Dominican Republic to Cairo’s brand new $1-billion museum, these are the six destinations topping our bucket list for 2020.
By Stephanie Mercier Voyer
Samaná, Dominican Republic
Skip the crowded beaches and resorts of Punta Cana and Puerto Plata and explore the Dominican Republic’s wilder side on the Samaná Peninsula. Set on the northeastern shore, the region is home to Los Haitises National Park, an impressive natural playground dotted with mangroves and caves where ancient petroglyphs and pictographs are on display. Book a trip between January and March for a chance to see humpback whales gathered by the thousands in Samaná Bay (an official Marine Mammal Sanctuary). But here, wild doesn’t mean roughing it – the peninsula is also home to luxury resorts like the Wyndham V Samaná, where you’ll enjoy kicking back by the ocean-facing pool after an adventure-filled day.
All eyes are on Tokyo this year as the metropolis gears up to welcome the 2020 Summer Olympics. Steer clear of the sports-hungry crowds and visit the city during cherry blossom season (from March to May), or take a train to the mountain town of Nikko, a UNESCO World Heritage site located only two hours north of Tokyo. Not only is Nikko home to scenic hot springs, shrines and temples, but it will soon welcome the Ritz-Carlton’s new 94-room property offering views over Lake Chuzenji.
Although not as popular with tourists as Marrakech, Morocco’s most populous city has a lot to offer, from architectural marvels like the art deco Rialto theatre and the world’s second-tallest minaret at the Hassan II Mosque to a vibrant restaurant scene and a bustling waterfront. Film buffs will want to check out Rick’s Café, near the marina. Opened in 2004, it was designed to recreate the famous bar from the 1942 movie Casablanca, starring Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart.
A staple on most people’s travel bucket list, the cradle of the Renaissance is experiencing a new wave of artistic revival thanks in part to the multi-disciplinary artist residency Numeroventi. Founded in 2016, designer Martino di Napoli Rampolla’s brainchild was built inside an old palazzo in the heart of the city. Numeroventi proposes art exhibitions, restaurant pop-ups and stylish minimalist rooms for travellers to rent, where Renaissance-era frescoes contrast with mid-century furniture. For a chance to mingle with locals over a glass of natural wine and small bites like hand-cut prosciutto on homemade bread, head over to Il Santino, a small laid-back restaurant south of the Arno.
Lima is arguably one of the best food cities on earth thanks to a slew of local celebrity chefs and restaurants like Maido and Central, which both sit high in the prestigious World’s 50 Best Restaurants ranking. But the Peruvian capital is more than just a food city. Discover the work of local talents in the chic Miraflores district, where designers like Alessandra Petersen (who got her master’s degree in art direction from London’s Central Saint Martins and worked in Scandinavia before returning to Peru) have set up shop.
Rediscover the charms of the Egyptian capital at the much-anticipated Grand Egyptian Museum, which is set to finally open its doors this year, nearly two decades after its construction began. Located near the Pyramids of Giza, the massive complex will become the largest museum in the world dedicated to a single civilization, housing around 100,000 objects and artefacts, including the largest collection of Tutankhamen relics. The St. Regis Cairo is also planning on opening a luxurious 36-storey property around June, offering towering views over the Nile and Old Cairo.