Where to Go in 2024 | Fauna Travel

Where to Go in 2024

Galapagos Iguana / Simon Berger / Unsplash

As the end of the year approaches, it’s time to start thinking about 2024 travel plans. 2023 saw a continued surge of post-pandemic tourism, with crowds overwhelming popular European destinations. The coming year looks the same, so we’re highlighting out-of-the-way places to avoid the crowds and immerse ourselves in nature. Here are some of our favorites.

Ecuador

So Much Nature, So Close to Home

Aqua Mare / Courtesy of Aqua Expeditions
Aqua Mare / Courtesy of Aqua Expeditions

Surprisingly, Quito, Ecuador, is only a short 5.5-hour flight from Houston. The Ecuadorian capital is also a UNESCO World Heritage site, has a growing food scene, and is a two-hour drive from incredible hiking around the Cotopaxi volcano. With misty cloud forests and a part of the Amazon rainforest, it is also one of the best birding destinations in the Americas. The Galapagos Islands are the most well-known attraction in Ecuador, and a luxury cruise around the chain is arguably one of the world’s best wildlife experiences. If you can’t decide between Spain, Colorado, and Hawaii for your next trip, consider Ecuador for 2024.

Morocco

Trekking Returns to the Atlas Mountains

Travel dollars are an essential part of the recovery, and you can help by planning an epic trip.

The earthquake that hit Morocco in 2023 devastated many Berber villages in the Atlas Mountains. Fortunately, the area is recovering from the damage, and trekkers have returned to Toubkal, the country’s tallest mountain. Marrakech also felt the tremors, but the ancient city only suffered minor damage. Travel dollars are an essential part of the recovery, and you can help by planning an epic trip to Morocco in 2024. With fantastic culture, food, and outdoor adventures, it will hardly feel like charity. Read our Morocco trekking itinerary…

Zambia

Safari Adventures in Africa’s Hidden Gem

Canoeing the Zambezi River / Courtesy of Anabezi
Canoeing the Zambezi River / Courtesy of Anabezi

Adventurous travelers are always looking for the next exciting destination. Zambia is a classic safari country, but it has long flown under the radar for Americans. This blind spot is surprising because the country is exceedingly safe and affordable compared to the rest of the world, and the wildlife experience is as good as any in Africa. Victoria Falls is a big draw, but there is more to Zambia. The walking safari was created here, and the Zambezi River is an incredible place to canoe. Adventurous wildlife lovers take note. The secret will be out soon, so 2024 is the time to visit. Read our Zambia and Malawi itinerary…

Panama

Our New Favorite Beach Destination

Panama is a solid Costa Rica alternative for adults, and I’m recommending it to honeymooners who want a luxury beach escape in 2024.

Beach at Isla Palenque / Courtesy of Isla Palenque luxury Panama beach resort
Beach at Isla Palenque / Courtesy of Isla Palenque

Costa Rica is on everyone else’s best lists, so I’m picking Panama this year. The small Central American country has two of our favorite beach resorts in the world, Nayara Bocas del Toro and Isla Palenque, and is investing in sustainable tourism. It also has new direct flights from the United States. Combine the beach with cosmopolitan Panama City, and you have an excellent romantic getaway. It’s a solid Costa Rica alternative for adults, and I’m recommending it to honeymooners who want a luxury beach escape in 2024. Note: Costa Rica is still my favorite destination for families.

Ladakh, India

Snow Leopard Trekking in Remote Northern India

Snow leopard in Hemis National Park, India / Surya Ramachandran / Courtesy of Snow Leopard Lpdge
Snow leopard in Hemis National Park, India / Surya Ramachandran / Courtesy of Snow Leopard Lpdge

Ladakh in northern India is one of the few places in the world where you can see snow leopards in the wild. In the wintertime, the elusive big cats descend into the valleys following prey, and local trackers have learned how to find them regularly. Itineraries start in Leh, so visitors can come up to altitude and explore local monasteries before heading deeper into the mountains. It will be cold out, and accommodation is in local lodges, which exposes you to the lifestyle of people who call these mountains home. It’s a wintry take on the Indian safari and an incredible new travel opportunity for big cat enthusiasts. The trip also happens to align with good tiger viewing season in Central India for a combined itinerary. Read our snow leopard itinerary…

New Mexico

North American Safaris at New Turner Reserves Properties

Bison at Vermejo / Courtesy of Ted Turner Reservesluxury nature lodge
Bison at Vermejo / Sean Fitzgerald / Courtesy of Ted Turner Reserves

Ted Turner’s New Mexico ranches offer a vision of what North America looked like before colonization, and there have been many updates to the properties over the past two years that are worth visiting. The 550,000-acre Vermejo Ranch in northern New Mexico recently opened the Bernal Lake Cabin, a secluded lakefront villa perfect for a quiet natural getaway. Their private houses in southern New Mexico are even more remote and give you exclusive access to hundreds of thousands of acres. Spend your days on the ranches fishing, hiking, horseback riding, or on game drives to see the resident bison, elk, and bears. Similar experiences can only be had in Yellowstone National Park, but unlike the park, you have the massive Turner ranches almost entirely to yourself. Read our New Mexico Itinerary…

Shoulder Season Safaris

Fewer Tourists and Better Prices

Traveling off-peak in shoulder season is my favorite way to go. There are fewer tourists to compete with, and prices are better. Occasionally, it means rain, but that is short-lived and more dramatic than disruptive.

Okavango Explorers Camp / Courtesy of Great Plains Conservation

Traveling off-peak in shoulder season is my favorite way to go. There are fewer tourists to compete with, and prices are better. Occasionally, it means rain, but downpours are short-lived and more dramatic than disruptive. October is our favorite time to visit Kenya and Tanzania. The herds of the Great Migration may be harder to find, but the wildlife viewing is still outstanding. If you stay into November, you may even see the first rains arrive at the end of the dry season. Alternatively, the start of the dry season in Botswana is another favorite. The wildlife is less dense than later in the season, but it’s still Botswana. And you can get Great Plains Conservation camps for a fraction of the price you would pay in peak season.

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