10 Countries You Need to Add to Your Bucket List

10 Countries You Need to Add to Your Bucket List

By Kelsey KrahnDestinations

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get a weekly dose of discounts and inspiration for adventure lovers

Daydreaming about your next travel destination? Stroke that wanderlust by exploring one or more of the bucket list destinations listed below. We purposely excluded some (not all) of the countries that commonly rank high as go-to places—such as France and Peru—to give other destinations a chance to relish in the spotlight.

Kenya
Croatia
Vietnam
Scotland
Nicaragua
Ecuador
Israel
Nepal
Luxembourg
Uganda

1. Kenya

Imagine exploring colourful markets brimming with mangos, bananas, tomatoes before taking a matatu, a form of public transportation, while local, happy, rhythmic music explodes from the speakers to your new in-country location, a campsite along Lake Naivasha. Tomorrow, you will explore Hell's Gate National Park via a bicycle while giraffes, warthogs, and zebras flank the path.

Kenya is a vibrant country, leaking with adventure and travel opportunities, with safari tours in the Maasai Mara ranking high on top of the list of what to do. However, the country gives more than safaris. It's well worth it to sink into the local culture and get to know the locals, their stories, their food, and they might just show you some hidden natural gems while you're at it!

Friendly elephant met in Kenya

Friendly elephant met in Kenya

2. Croatia

Croatia's fusion of the bright blue Adriatic Sea and pristine white beaches backed by towns lined with ancient walls and cobblestone streets charms all visitors. Travel deeper into the country, and you'll find national parks glistened with fairytale waterfalls and fresh pools of water tucked in a lush forest setting.

Croatia is an excellent destination for a beach holiday fused with culture. Go snorkelling during the day and enjoy night choirs meandering the streets at night after munching on a tasty dinner. If you want to escape the beach, you'll find a range of adventure tours offering hiking, mountain biking, and sailing excursions. Or, you could always hit up Krka National Park for a roaring waterfall and Plitvice National Park, where the fresh fairytale pools shimmer!

3. Vietnam

When you think of travelling to Vietnam, you may focus on Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh, but the country is so much more than these two hustling and bustling cities. Although, the two metropolia do reel you in with their fantastic, party-centric vibes (while the white noise of motorcycles and scooters hum in the background). But you're in for some astonishing surprises and adventures when you step away from these cities—and don't bother seeing the entire country in one go. It's massive with so much to explore.

Typical destinations include the mountainous Sapa, where terraced rice fields cover mountain slopes and Hạ Long Bay and the quaint ​​Cát Bà Island, a destination tailor-made for anyone seeking hiking, kayaking, and beachfront stay. We suggest setting up a tent along the beach at Woodstock Beach Camp.

There's also Phú Quốc Island and Mũi Né for seaside destinations. For more adventure and fresh air, head to Ninh Binh, Mai Châu, or Hà Giang (to name a few). Vietnam simmers with exciting destinations—and the fun culture only adds to the wonder of this country! To narrow down your choices, it could be beneficial to book an adventure tour to start and then go from there.

4. Scotland

We're not here to talk about Edinburgh or Glasgow, as historical and wonderful as they are; we want to focus more on the outdoorsy destinations in Scotland. So, if you're a hiker, you need to add the Scottish Highlands to your bucket list.

The otherworldly, mystical scenery transports you to another time when clans prospered before the Highland Clearances. Yet, the fantasy storybook wonder remains, where tales of the Loch Ness monster continue to thrive and historical moments linger in the air. Exploring these trails, bagging a Munro, and revelling at the various lochs are fantastic ways to learn a little more about Scotland's backstory. Not sure where to start? Checking out some adventure tours in the Highlands may send you in the right direction.

Castle ruins in Scotland

Castle ruins in Scotland

5. Nicaragua

Looking for adventure? Nicaragua will fulfill your wishes while enchanting you with its colourful, welcoming culture. The country isn't as frequented as Costa Rica (another bucket list destination), giving it an authentic, more simple vibe.

Bordered with coastlines brushed by the Caribbean and the Pacific, a visit to Nicaragua grants ample opportunities for water activities. Head to San Juan del Sur or Aserradores for surfing or go to Corn Islands for a quintessential laidback island experience (the boat ride over there is an adventure all on its own) mixed with diving, snorkelling, and hiking.

It's also fun to rent a bike and explore whichever town you're staying in. Lastly, you might notice about 19 volcanoes standing tall across the country. I remember hiking to the top of one, then sledding down. It was exhilarating! Check out some adventure tours in Nicaragua to kickstart your trip planning process.

6. Ecuador

Ecuador boasts two well-known natural wonders: the Amazon Rainforest and the Andes. These wildly scenic wonders are enough to draw visitors to this South American country. Expect never-ending adventures through the Andes or from afar while you horseback ride or cycle in their impressive shadow. Of course, you could also take a boat or cycle through the Amazon—these are just some of the high-end adventures spanning Ecuador.

Meanwhile, an eclectic cultural mix of European, African, and South American influence blanket several Ecuadorian cities. Then there are the Andean villages and off-the-beaten-path Amazonian settlements, where some traditional ways of life continue to flourish. Finally, Ecuador's spectacular scenery and memorable culture make for a once-in-a-lifetime getaway!

7. Israel

Find loud to faint whispers of Israel's storied biblical history sprinkled throughout the country, whether you're floating in the Dead Sea or walking the ancient walls lining Jerusalem and Nazareth. Religion is a dominant force in Israel, with endless buildings and stories harking back to the past.

However, this Mediterranean destination also blossoms with natural beauty! The Negev Desert, Mount Meron, highlands, Judaean mountains, and various valleys are some notable places. Then, when you want to relax or revel in Israel's modern culture, head to Tel Aviv or Galilee! With so much to explore, it's tough to pick where to even begin—hopefully, checking out some adventure tours in Israel can help you out?

Israel

Israel

8. Nepal

Nepal's outdoorsy wonderland is likely enough to convince any adventurer to go. Still, the vivid culture and long-standing traditions that remain strong today will add to your explorations. Discover religious monuments harking back to medieval times or shrines lining backstreets in the ever-so vibrant Kathmandu Valley.

However, the main attraction stealing all the attention in Nepal is Mount Everest. You don't have to climb the entire thing to trek here, though. There's Everest Base Camp Trek that will give you a glimpse of what it's like to hike the world's tallest peak. Hiking Annapurna is another excellent way to bask in the rugged outdoors, among several other Nepal adventure tour options.

Outside of your adventures, it's worth getting to know the people and their ways of life. Take some time to hear their stories to catch a tiny sliver of what life is like as a local in Nepal.

Nepal is home for numerous tallest peaks in the world

Nepal is home for numerous tallest peaks in the world

9. Luxembourg

Whoever thinks, "I'm going to go to Europe to check out Luxembourg?" Maybe your quirky friend? Most travellers bypass Luxembourg due to its proximity to more popular destinations, such as France. But this tiny nation packs a punch! Expect to marvel at fairytale-like imagery while sipping acclaimed glasses of wine. Then, after dropping your jaw at the gothic architecture, head to the Müllerthal region for incredible hiking escapades up craggy peaks.

One of the best ways to revel in Luxembourg's undeniable beauty is to travel this tiny nation by bicycle. Some adventure cycling tours take you across five European countries, including Luxembourg, of course.

10. Uganda

Uganda is a lush landlocked nation near two safari wonderlands: Kenya and Tanzania. When choosing where to go in East Africa, adventurers commonly overlook Uganda for the destinations granting the highest chance of spotting the famed Big Five. We get it.

But Uganda's unspoiled landscapes and welcoming culture makes this a fun destination for newbie travellers! Experience an eclectic fusion of local and tourist culture in Mbale and Jinja or fully immerse in local culture in Masaka. Then there's Lake Bunyonyi, where you can camp lakeside and travel the water in dugout canoes, marvelling at the area's terraced hillsides. A simple word to describe Uganda? Fun. If you're volunteering, just make sure you stick to what you know. Don't act as a doctor or a nurse if you're trained to be a teacher. I travelled to Uganda a few years ago and learned a lot about what I should and shouldn't do here as a privileged Canadian; check out some stuff I wish I knew before going here!

Uganda also boasts the source of the Nile, endangered mountain gorillas, and yes, the Big Five do roam the land. Some adventure tours in Uganda might give you a chance to spot some of these famous animals!

Which country do you want to check out first?

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get a weekly dose of discounts and inspiration for adventure lovers

Tours

Routes

Blogs