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The World's Best Places For A Helicopter Tour

Posted: November 15, 2023 | Last updated: November 16, 2023

<p>Something that visitors can't miss in Hong Kong, China is their skyscraper skyline. Hong Kong has been one of the most diverse cities in Asia due to early British colonization causing it to become a unique metropolitan hub. Many flights also offer stunning views of the Victoria Harbour, as well as the surrounding beaches and bays of South Hong Kong Island.</p> <p>Those who want to add a little luxury to their helicopter tours can opt for packages such as "Fly and Dine" or "Fly and Tea" where people can eat and drink delicious Chinese delicacies onboard.</p>

Earth is filled with the most beautiful natural landscapes of dazzling skylines, crystal-clear water, and majestic mountaintops. These wonders can be reached several ways, but there's something special about traveling by helicopter. Exploring the world in a helicopter gives people an amazing aerial view that can't be seen by any other mode of transportation.

Getting the chance to do this could have you riding over waterfalls, dipping past the Grand Canyon, or seeing a private view of the iconic Hollywood sign. If you're ready for the adventure of a lifetime, consider taking at least one of these scenic helicopter tours.

<p>If you're traveling around the Grand Canyon by foot or car there's only so much you can see in one visit, not to mention having to battle the crowds to get a good spot. The carved rocks were formed billions of years ago and stretch almost 300 miles along the Colorado River and the Arizona desert.</p> <p>This is why it makes for a perfect helicopter tour. Not only do riders get to see the ins and outs of the canyon, but they will also get to fly over the Vegas Strip, Hoover Dam, and the Mojave Desert. Some tours have permission to land inside the canyon where guests can take a riverboat ride or trip along the Skywalk.</p>

Fly High Above The Grand Canyon

If you're traveling around the Grand Canyon by foot or car there's only so much you can see in one visit, not to mention having to battle the crowds to get a good spot. The carved rocks were formed billions of years ago and stretch almost 300 miles along the Colorado River and the Arizona desert.

This is why it makes for a perfect helicopter tour. Not only do riders get to see the ins and outs of the canyon, but they will also get to fly over the Vegas Strip, Hoover Dam, and the Mojave Desert. Some tours have permission to land inside the canyon where guests can take a riverboat ride or trip along the Skywalk.

<p>South America's most-visited city is Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with almost two and a half million new visitors every year. The sights most people want to see are usually flooded with tourists, but taking a helicopter tour can give you a private view of this lively city.</p> <p>Here, tourists can get an aerial view of Ipanema Beach, Copacabana, the Maracanã Soccer Stadium, Sugarloaf, and the statue of Christ the Redeemer. Christ the Redeemer is one of the world's most photographed manmade sites and seeing it by helicopter can give riders unique vantage points.</p>

Escape The Tourists While Riding Around Rio de Janeiro

South America's most-visited city is Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with almost two and a half million new visitors every year. The sights most people want to see are usually flooded with tourists, but taking a helicopter tour can give you a private view of this lively city.

Here, tourists can get an aerial view of Ipanema Beach, Copacabana, the Maracanã Soccer Stadium, Sugarloaf, and the statue of Christ the Redeemer. Christ the Redeemer is one of the world's most photographed manmade sites and seeing it by helicopter can give riders unique vantage points.

<p>Climbing Mt. Everest in Nepal is quite a bucket list adventure, but there are other ways of reaching the top. This 29,029-foot mountain is the tallest mountain in the world, so the trek is nothing short of a challenge. The helicopter tour of the mountain will allow people to reach the top without having to step foot on the ground.</p> <p>The tour starts at Kathmandu and goes upward toward Sherpa village, Lukla, Tengboche, Dingboche, Gorakshep, and the Khumbu glacier. Riders will fly though the majestic Himalayan mountain range and land at the Everest Base Camp, which is located at 17,598-feet above sea level.</p>

Climb Mt. Everest Without Breaking A Sweat

Climbing Mt. Everest in Nepal is quite a bucket list adventure, but there are other ways of reaching the top. This 29,029-foot mountain is the tallest mountain in the world, so the trek is nothing short of a challenge. The helicopter tour of the mountain will allow people to reach the top without having to step foot on the ground.

The tour starts at Kathmandu and goes upward toward Sherpa village, Lukla, Tengboche, Dingboche, Gorakshep, and the Khumbu glacier. Riders will fly though the majestic Himalayan mountain range and land at the Everest Base Camp, which is located at 17,598-feet above sea level.

<p>There's a reason why films such as <i>Jurassic Park</i>, <i>Indiana Jones</i>, and <i>Pirates of the Caribbean</i> shot many of their scenes against the gorgeous backdrop of Kauai. This small Hawaiian island runs along the shores of the Na Pali coastline and features secluded tidal pools, grottos, and waterfalls.</p> <p>There are several helicopter tours in Hawaii that will take guests through Kauai's scenic landscape, but they don't stop there. Most tours go to other islands where guests can see other landmarks including the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the Kohala Coast.</p>

This Kauai Helicopter Tour Is Like A Scene Out Of A Movie

There's a reason why films such as Jurassic Park , Indiana Jones , and Pirates of the Caribbean shot many of their scenes against the gorgeous backdrop of Kauai. This small Hawaiian island runs along the shores of the Na Pali coastline and features secluded tidal pools, grottos, and waterfalls.

There are several helicopter tours in Hawaii that will take guests through Kauai's scenic landscape, but they don't stop there. Most tours go to other islands where guests can see other landmarks including the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the Kohala Coast.

<p>Those who want to fly over Hollywood, California are in luck because there are numerous tours that will do just that. These services offer some luxury amenities including a champagne toast with cheesecake and berries, a private sunset ride, and a recording of a 360-degree virtual reality video.</p> <p>Riders will get to see several famous Los Angeles landmarks including the Hollywood sign, Universal Studios, Griffith Observatory, Dodger Stadium, The Getty Center, the Hollywood Bowl, and more. Flight times usually range from about 10 to 90 minutes and the maximum weight per person is 285 pounds.</p>

See The Stars While Roaming Over The Hollywood Hills

Those who want to fly over Hollywood, California are in luck because there are numerous tours that will do just that. These services offer some luxury amenities including a champagne toast with cheesecake and berries, a private sunset ride, and a recording of a 360-degree virtual reality video.

Riders will get to see several famous Los Angeles landmarks including the Hollywood sign, Universal Studios, Griffith Observatory, Dodger Stadium, The Getty Center, the Hollywood Bowl, and more. Flight times usually range from about 10 to 90 minutes and the maximum weight per person is 285 pounds.

<p>The Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia is the world's biggest coral reef, which stretches over 1,429 miles. Many visitors go there to dive below the water, but a helicopter tour will give them an unforgettable aerial view.</p> <p>Many have reported sightings of sea creatures such as sharks, turtles, and stingrays from their helicopter tours. Also, those who want to see both above and below the reef should find the tours that offer snorkel and dive stops on anchored pontoons. If you choose to take a longer trip, they stop in other areas of Australia including the Daintree Rainforest, Cairns Highlands, and the Mossman and Baron gorges.</p>

Dive Above The Ocean Floor At The Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia is the world's biggest coral reef, which stretches over 1,429 miles. Many visitors go there to dive below the water, but a helicopter tour will give them an unforgettable aerial view.

Many have reported sightings of sea creatures such as sharks, turtles, and stingrays from their helicopter tours. Also, those who want to see both above and below the reef should find the tours that offer snorkel and dive stops on anchored pontoons. If you choose to take a longer trip, they stop in other areas of Australia including the Daintree Rainforest, Cairns Highlands, and the Mossman and Baron gorges.

<p>Anyone looking for a tropical getaway will get all they want and more at the British Overseas Territory of Turks and Caicos. There are swaying palm trees, bright white sand, and clear blue water throughout the 40 islands. Most tours visit many Turks and Caicos attractions including Chalk Sound National Park, Grace Bay Beach, Iguana Island, and Pine Cay.</p> <p>When guests fly over the water they are sometimes able to spot sharks, stingrays, dolphins, and whales. Something helpful about the helicopter tours in Turks and Caicos is how they are very flexible and cater to visitors' time and budgets.</p>

Get Ready To View Island Paradise In Turks And Caicos

Anyone looking for a tropical getaway will get all they want and more at the British Overseas Territory of Turks and Caicos. There are swaying palm trees, bright white sand, and clear blue water throughout the 40 islands. Most tours visit many Turks and Caicos attractions including Chalk Sound National Park, Grace Bay Beach, Iguana Island, and Pine Cay.

When guests fly over the water they are sometimes able to spot sharks, stingrays, dolphins, and whales. Something helpful about the helicopter tours in Turks and Caicos is how they are very flexible and cater to visitors' time and budgets.

<p>One of the best ways to view the famous Iguazú Falls is by helicopter. It's located on the border between Brazil and Argentina and is thought to be one of the great wonders of nature. This area has the largest and longest waterfalls in the world with over 275 drops with the deepest being 269-feet long.</p> <p>When visitors fly over the falls they can get a bird's eye view of the iconic Devils' Throat canyon and the surrounding jungle. Some helicopter tours will stop near walkways where people can step right in front of the waterfalls.</p>

Catch A Glimpse Of The World's Most Majestic Waterfalls In Iguazú Falls

One of the best ways to view the famous Iguazú Falls is by helicopter. It's located on the border between Brazil and Argentina and is thought to be one of the great wonders of nature. This area has the largest and longest waterfalls in the world with over 275 drops with the deepest being 269-feet long.

When visitors fly over the falls they can get a bird's eye view of the iconic Devils' Throat canyon and the surrounding jungle. Some helicopter tours will stop near walkways where people can step right in front of the waterfalls.

<p>Getting to see all of New York City by foot can take several days. It's the most populated city in the United States and not everyone has the energy to get through the crowds. Helicopter tours of the city allow tourists to see how large New York actually is, while getting a grand view of its iconic layout.</p> <p>Most tours start at the southern tip of Manhattan and travel through several famous attractions including the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, One World Trade Center, Wall Street, Yankee Stadium, Central Park, the Empire State Building, and much more.</p>

See New York City From All Angles

Getting to see all of New York City by foot can take several days. It's the most populated city in the United States and not everyone has the energy to get through the crowds. Helicopter tours of the city allow tourists to see how large New York actually is, while getting a grand view of its iconic layout.

Most tours start at the southern tip of Manhattan and travel through several famous attractions including the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, One World Trade Center, Wall Street, Yankee Stadium, Central Park, the Empire State Building, and much more.

<p>Italy's Amalfi Coast is nothing short of an extraordinary view. Their seaside cliffs are a top vacation spot for about five million people every year. While some may want to spend their Italian vacation lounging at the beach or exploring the nearby fishing villages, the town actually makes for a memorable helicopter trip.</p> <p>Seeing Italy by helicopter allows visitors to experience the true beauty of the area. People have the option of viewing additional cities after the Amalfi Coast such as Capri, Naples, Ischia, and Sorrento. There's also an option to fly into Pompeii and explore it from the ground.</p>

Take To The Skies At The Amalfi Coast

Italy's Amalfi Coast is nothing short of an extraordinary view. Their seaside cliffs are a top vacation spot for about five million people every year. While some may want to spend their Italian vacation lounging at the beach or exploring the nearby fishing villages, the town actually makes for a memorable helicopter trip.

Seeing Italy by helicopter allows visitors to experience the true beauty of the area. People have the option of viewing additional cities after the Amalfi Coast such as Capri, Naples, Ischia, and Sorrento. There's also an option to fly into Pompeii and explore it from the ground.

<p>One of the most popular helicopter tour options in Cape Town, South Africa is the "Two Oceans" flight where riders can fly over both the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. You'll also get to fly behind Table Mountain and the Twelve Apostles mountain range, which are some of the greatest natural wonders in Africa.</p> <p>If you get a chance to ride above Muizenberg Beach, you might be able to see some great white sharks. Once you finish with the helicopter tours there are plenty of other ways to see Cape Town including safaris, gourmet picnics, and shark cage diving.</p>

Zip Through The Sights Of Cape Town, South Africa

One of the most popular helicopter tour options in Cape Town, South Africa is the "Two Oceans" flight where riders can fly over both the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. You'll also get to fly behind Table Mountain and the Twelve Apostles mountain range, which are some of the greatest natural wonders in Africa.

If you get a chance to ride above Muizenberg Beach, you might be able to see some great white sharks. Once you finish with the helicopter tours there are plenty of other ways to see Cape Town including safaris, gourmet picnics, and shark cage diving.

Soar Above The Skyscrapers In Hong Kong

Something that visitors can't miss in Hong Kong, China is their skyscraper skyline. Hong Kong has been one of the most diverse cities in Asia due to early British colonization causing it to become a unique metropolitan hub. Many flights also offer stunning views of the Victoria Harbour, as well as the surrounding beaches and bays of South Hong Kong Island.

Those who want to add a little luxury to their helicopter tours can opt for packages such as "Fly and Dine" or "Fly and Tea" where people can eat and drink delicious Chinese delicacies onboard.

<p>Victoria Falls, otherwise known as "The Smoke That Thunders," is one of the most famous waterfalls in the world. It can be found on the Zambezi River on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe and has a width of over 5,604 feet.</p> <p>While seeing Victoria Falls from the ground is still a great experience, seeing it from a helicopter makes it even more special. From the sky people can view the rainbow shining through the waterfall's mist. Some tours get to ride above the Batoka Gorges and Zambezi National Park where people can spot giraffes, crocodiles, hippos, and elephants.</p>

Plunge Into The Magical Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls, otherwise known as "The Smoke That Thunders," is one of the most famous waterfalls in the world. It can be found on the Zambezi River on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe and has a width of over 5,604 feet.

While seeing Victoria Falls from the ground is still a great experience, seeing it from a helicopter makes it even more special. From the sky people can view the rainbow shining through the waterfall's mist. Some tours get to ride above the Batoka Gorges and Zambezi National Park where people can spot giraffes, crocodiles, hippos, and elephants.

<p>Anyone who loves the great outdoors will feel very satisfied after visiting Juneau, Alaska. There are over three million lakes, 16,000 miles of glaciers, and 34,000 miles of shoreline. This southeastern Alaskan city is the second largest city in the United States by area and is the ideal place to take a helicopter tour.</p> <p>Riders can soar over the Mendenhall Glacier and remote ice fields. Some are even lucky enough to spot the dogsled camps for those practicing for the Iditarad Trail Sled Dog Race. One specific tour called the "Icefield Excursion" takes riders on a trip around Alaska's wilderness and ends on a glacier for people do a walkabout.</p>

Witness The Great Heights Of Juneau, Alaska

Anyone who loves the great outdoors will feel very satisfied after visiting Juneau, Alaska. There are over three million lakes, 16,000 miles of glaciers, and 34,000 miles of shoreline. This southeastern Alaskan city is the second largest city in the United States by area and is the ideal place to take a helicopter tour.

Riders can soar over the Mendenhall Glacier and remote ice fields. Some are even lucky enough to spot the dogsled camps for those practicing for the Iditarad Trail Sled Dog Race. One specific tour called the "Icefield Excursion" takes riders on a trip around Alaska's wilderness and ends on a glacier for people do a walkabout.

<p>Safaris may be the perfect way to get an up-close view of wild animals, but a helicopter ride can allow you to take them all in at once. One of the places visitors are bound to see thousands of wild animals is the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.</p> <p>Anyone planning a trip to do this should try and go between July and October to catch the Great Migration. It's the largest animal migration in the world where millions of zebras, wildebeest, and other antelope species make the journey from Tanzania to Kenya. They have to face many threats such as crocodile-infested waters and terrestrial predators (lions, leopards, etc.).</p>

Look Out For Wild Animals At Serengeti National Park

Safaris may be the perfect way to get an up-close view of wild animals, but a helicopter ride can allow you to take them all in at once. One of the places visitors are bound to see thousands of wild animals is the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.

Anyone planning a trip to do this should try and go between July and October to catch the Great Migration. It's the largest animal migration in the world where millions of zebras, wildebeest, and other antelope species make the journey from Tanzania to Kenya. They have to face many threats such as crocodile-infested waters and terrestrial predators (lions, leopards, etc.).

<p>Both the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers in South Island, New Zealand are some of the most visited glaciers in the world due to their easy accessibility. Riding high above the glaciers is a thrill unlike no other because people will get to gander at some of nature's most picturesque landscapes.</p> <p>Not only do helicopter tours show aerial views of the snow-covered mountains, but they also fly over the nearby rainforests. Some of the tours will allow riders to land right on the glaciers themselves, so there's plenty of time to explore.</p>

Fly Around Glaciers And Mountains In New Zealand

Both the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers in South Island, New Zealand are some of the most visited glaciers in the world due to their easy accessibility. Riding high above the glaciers is a thrill unlike no other because people will get to gander at some of nature's most picturesque landscapes.

Not only do helicopter tours show aerial views of the snow-covered mountains, but they also fly over the nearby rainforests. Some of the tours will allow riders to land right on the glaciers themselves, so there's plenty of time to explore.

<p>Anyone with the chance to vacation in Fiji should consider themselves lucky. There are several luxury resorts that offer private villas, plunge pools, in-room spa treatments, five-star dining, and other grandiose amenities. Many of these resorts can only be reached by helicopter.</p> <p>While flying through the air in Fiji, chances are you'll pass the deep gorges, rolling green hills, and crystal blue waters. The pilots are also said to be extremely friendly and will often give commentary about the island and what people should do during their stay.</p>

Find Some Of The Clearest Blue Water In Fiji

Anyone with the chance to vacation in Fiji should consider themselves lucky. There are several luxury resorts that offer private villas, plunge pools, in-room spa treatments, five-star dining, and other grandiose amenities. Many of these resorts can only be reached by helicopter.

While flying through the air in Fiji, chances are you'll pass the deep gorges, rolling green hills, and crystal blue waters. The pilots are also said to be extremely friendly and will often give commentary about the island and what people should do during their stay.

<p>Earth is filled with the most beautiful natural landscapes of dazzling skylines, crystal-clear water, and majestic mountaintops. These wonders can be reached several ways, but there's something special about traveling by helicopter. Exploring the world in a helicopter gives people an amazing aerial view that can't be seen by any other mode of transportation.</p> <p>Getting the chance to do this could have you riding over waterfalls, dipping past the Grand Canyon, or seeing a private view of the iconic Hollywood sign. If you're ready for the adventure of a lifetime, consider taking at least one of these scenic helicopter tours.</p>

View Niagara Falls Without Getting Wet

When people visit Niagara Falls they may choose to ride the Maid of the Mist boat tour, but that usually leads to them getting soaked. For a drier view you may want to try out a helicopter tour. It takes off along Victoria Avenue and glides down the Niagara River.

Riders often spot Whirlpool Rapids, Rainbow Bridge, and Queen Victoria Park along the way. If you're wondering why Niagara Falls has a greenish tint, it's because of the dissolved salts and rock flour that pours over the edge at a rate of about four million cubic feet per minute.

<p>Some may think of Chicago as a city full of deep-dish pizza and home of a couple of the country's most popular baseball teams, but it's actually full of rich history. They have some of the most diverse architecture in the entire country, which is demonstrated through their unique skyline and streetscape.</p> <p>The city has plenty of helicopter tours for guests who want to get a bird's eye view of attractions such as the Willis Tower, Lake Michigan, Millennium Park, Grant Park, Soldier Field, the John Hancock Building, Wrigley Field, and more.</p>

Experience Some Historical Architecture In Chicago

Some may think of Chicago as a city full of deep-dish pizza and home of a couple of the country's most popular baseball teams, but it's actually full of rich history. They have some of the most diverse architecture in the entire country, which is demonstrated through their unique skyline and streetscape.

The city has plenty of helicopter tours for guests who want to get a bird's eye view of attractions such as the Willis Tower, Lake Michigan, Millennium Park, Grant Park, Soldier Field, the John Hancock Building, Wrigley Field, and more.

<p>There's plenty to see at Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They have multiday helicopter tours available where travelers can view the jungle high above the treetops. It's very common to see the mountain gorillas and elephants roaming about, which will seem like a scene out of <i>Tarzan</i>.</p> <p>Some tours also stop at Mount Nyiragongo, which features an active volcano. Virunga National Park is Africa's oldest wildlife park and has been a pristine habitat rich in biodiversity for several decades. Both the lowland and forest are overflowing with diverse species of trees, ferns, butterflies, birds, and more.</p>

Go Deep Into The Jungle At Virunga National Park

There's plenty to see at Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They have multiday helicopter tours available where travelers can view the jungle high above the treetops. It's very common to see the mountain gorillas and elephants roaming about, which will seem like a scene out of Tarzan .

Some tours also stop at Mount Nyiragongo, which features an active volcano. Virunga National Park is Africa's oldest wildlife park and has been a pristine habitat rich in biodiversity for several decades. Both the lowland and forest are overflowing with diverse species of trees, ferns, butterflies, birds, and more.

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Now called VietStar, it is one of the front stores at Eden Center. I came to get a tourist visa ($90 for a year as my passport was expiring the next year so I couldn't do 5 years). My partner was unable to get a tourist visa at the time (May 2022) because he is not Vietnamese (we were told that they are not doing visas for "foreigners" right now, but I was able to due to my last name even though I was born in the United States). I was told that they would contact me in 7-10 days when the tourist visa was ready. I got a missed call from them after 9 days and no voice message. I went in the next day and picked up my tourist visa. They speak Vietnamese and English. They are open daily from 10am-6pm. They take cash, credit (3% processing fee), Zelle and Venmo.

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This is a scam! This company over charges your for tickets and then pretends that they did nothing. You think you are getting a regular ticket, but you get basic ticket for premium ticket price! When you confront them they say that they never did anything wrong. Michael Phu is a scammer and a cheat!

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National Geographic unveils best travel destinations for 2024: See full list

Kenya, kyoto, and paris, west virginia, alaska, and niagara falls all landed on national geographic's list of the best places to travel to in 2024. but this year there's a fun new twist: experiences.

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Looking for exciting locations to explore this year? From diving with sharks on Australia's Coral Coast to rafting the white rapids of West Virginia, National Geographic has some unique ideas for you with its annual Best of the World 2024 list .

The list, released first to USA TODAY on Tuesday, includes top destinations in the world and lesser-known ones. They range from Paris and Niagara Falls to the Caucasus Mountains of Georgia and archeological sites on the Spanish island of Menorca.

Unlike previous years, National Geographic is emphasizing must-do experiences at each destination, instead of just listing out locations. And in another step away from previous editions , the publication has added rankings to help readers prioritize their bucket list.

"I'm so excited about this," said National Geographic Editor in Chief Nathan Lump at an exclusive preview in New York last week. "We've really extended it to be bigger than ever before. And we just think that is a really, really great way to serve our travelers who are looking for great ideas all the time."

Lump said the list was being released on Tuesday to coincide with National Vacation Day, the last Tuesday of every January.

Learn more: Best travel insurance

Millions of vacation days go waste every year, and Lump said that he hopes that this year's list will inspire readers to to get out of their comfort zone and explore the world.

The list of the top 20 travel experiences is curated by National Geographic explorers, photographers, and editors. It's “a celebration” of “travel’s power to transform us and our connections with one another," the magazine said.

What are the best places to visit/experiences in 2024?

National Geographic’s top travel experiences for the year are:

  • Horseback safari in Kenya
  • Olympic Marathon in Paris, France
  • Ski tour through UNESCO sites in Georgia
  • Bear-watching at Katmai National Park, Alaska
  • Live music in Kyoto, Japan
  • Magdalena River Cruise in Colombia
  • Road trip Route 66 in New Mexico
  • Explore ancient rock art in Algeria
  • Dive with sharks on Australia's Coral Coast
  • Volcano hiking in Panama
  • Observe the total solar eclipse in Niagara Falls
  • Trek a glacier in Chile
  • Step back in time at Menorca's archaeological sites
  • Ride classic rails through the Scottish Highlands
  • Indulge your taste buds in Isan, Thailand
  • Wander the tea trail in Sri Lanka
  • Gallery hop in Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Raft the rapids in West Virginia
  • Go antiquing in the Hudson Valley, New York
  • Sleep at a floating lodge on Tofino Island, British Columbia

How did National Geographic decide these places?

Putting together and consolidating a list of places is no easy feat but Amy Alipio, senior editor at National Geographic, told USA TODAY that it's her favorite project every year.

To put together the list, Alipio explained that her team taps into their global network of experts around the world. While work on the list is an ongoing process, National Geographic sends an official call out to its global network in April, said Alipio, who has been heading the list since its inception 12 years ago.

“We asked them, ‘What places do you love? What have you seen or done lately that you were absolutely blown away by or where do you want to go next?’” she said.

This year they also asked their experts to share what exactly they would do in those locations and that made the list even more personal, Alipio said.

“We're not just mentioning places," said Alipio. "We're mentioning where to go, but (also) what to do once you're there. I think we're really pinpointing ways people can connect and immerse themselves in a destination.”

Ranking the list

This is the first time that National Geographic has ranked it's "Best of the World" list to give readers an insight into what is trending and timely.

"For example, like the horseback safari (in Kenya), – just because people are really into slow travel," she said. "But also our number two experience is really timely. It's about the Paris Olympics, which are this summer."

"I think it really was kind of like a mixture of superlative and timeliness," she adds.

The rankings have also been added as a response to audience feedback that they needed help prioritizing their travel plans.

"People do ask us like, 'What's the number one thing on this list?'" Alipio said. "And now this year, we finally can tell people, 'Yeah, well, actually, we do have a number one that we really like.'"

What U.S. sites made National Geographic's 'Best of the World 2024' list?

The following U.S. destination's made National Geographic's list this year: Katmai National Park in Alaska, Route 66 in New Mexico , Niagara Falls and the Hudson Valley in New York and West Virginia’s New River.

National Geographic recommends bear-watching at the Alaska national park along the Pacific Coast, which has the highest concentration of brown bears in the world. However, the publication suggests ditching the popular Brooks Camp visitor center and taking a trip through areas like Hallo Bay and Geographic Harbor. This activity is among the top five activities suggested by National Geographic.

National Geographic also recommends road-tripping on Route 66 through New Mexico, catching the total solar eclipse on April 8 at Terrapin Point in Niagara Falls State Park , antiquing in New York's Hudson Valley and rafting through the rapids in West Virginia's New River .

Where to see it: 2024's total solar eclipse will pass through over a dozen states

Just go to this Alaskan national park: You don't need to fly to Norway to view fjords.

Best places to visit in South and Central America

Colombia, Chile and Brazil in South America are among the best places to visit in 2024, while Panama is the best place to visit in Central America, according to National Geographic.

National Geographic recommends taking a cruise on Columbia's Magdalena River, soaking in the natural beauty and culture through the colonial towns and floating villages that surround the river.

Brazil's largest city, São Paulo, is an art-lover’s paradise, and travelers can gallery-hop through the city's numerous galleries and art exhibitions, browse renowned street art, and check out the Museu de Arte de São Paulo , which holds more than 11,000 artworks from around the world.

In Chile, National Geographic suggests trekking through Patagonia’s Northern and Southern Ice Fields glaciers before they completely succumb to rising temperatures and climate change.

If you're into sustainable tourism, National Geographic recommends exploring Panama, which is currently promoting a government-supported community tourism network that allows travelers to select trips that "provide immersive experiences in less-visited areas of the country."

Among the highlights is the Ruta de la Caldera, a system of five hiking trails around the extinct El Valle de Antón volcano.

Best places to visit in Africa

The number one destination on National Geographic's list is in Africa. Going on a horseback safari in the Borana Conservancy , a 32,000-acre preserve in northern Kenya, is the top thing to do this year, says the publication.

“To journey on horseback is to break down the walls – meant to protect, but also to separate – between oneself and the natural world,” Nichole Sobecki, a photographer and lifelong equestrian, said in a statement provided by National Geographic. “Your horse is your guide, and translator, responding to the low growl of the lion, the soft scent of a herd of elephants, the cool morning breeze descending from Mount Kenya’s glacial peaks."

The North African state of Algeria is also on National Geographic's list, ranking at number eight. Algeria is home to Africa’s largest national park and holds one of the world’s greatest concentrations of ancient rock art, according to National Geographic. Tassili N'Ajjer National Park, also a UNESCO World Heritage site , is a "geologic wonderland of sandstone pinnacles and arches surrounded by orange dunes," says the publication.

Best places to visit in Europe / U.K.

Among National Geographic's best places to visit in Europe and the United Kingdom in 2024 is Paris for the 2024 Summer Olympics, Menorca in the Mediterranean Sea for a taste of history and the Scottish Highlands for a luxury train trip .

While Paris is a bucket list location, National Geographic recommends traveling there for the Summer Olympics and participating in the Olympic marathon course. Twenty thousand regular runners will be allowed to run the 26.2-mile loop that links Paris and Versailles, beginning at the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall) and passing through nine districts before finishing at Les Invalides on the banks of the Seine.

"Amateur athletes will be able to run the same route as the Olympic marathon, by night, enabling as many people as possible to follow in the footsteps of outstanding athletes," according to the race website. "This will be an extraordinary experience, on a unique and original route, celebrating the heritage and history of the Paris region and the whole of France."

Best places to visit in Asia

Among National Geographic's top recommendations for Asia in 2024 are: Kyoto in Japan , Isan in Thailand, the Caucasus Mountains in Georgia – which is located in both west Asia and eastern Europe – and the newly opened Pekoe tea Trail in Sri Lanka.

"Carving a path through cloud-swathed villages and centuries-old tea estates, the new long-distance Pekoe Trail gives hikers a chance to explore Sri Lanka’s quiet central highlands," National Geographic writes .

Best places to visit in Australia

The Coral Coast , stretching almost 700 miles along the Indian Ocean north of Perth, is one of National Geographic top recommended spots for 2024. Underwater activities include exploring the world’s largest fringing reef, Ningaloo Reef, "a stunning counterpart to the over-touristed Great Barrier Reef," and swimming with dolphins, whale sharks, and manta rays.

Between July and October, some 40,000 humpback whales migrate down the Australian coast, giving travelers the opportunity to observe them up-close.

Interestingly, both National Geographic editors, Lump and Alipio, are looking forward to a deep-water adventure at Australia's Coral Coast.

Saman Shafiq is a trending news reporter for USA TODAY. Reach her at [email protected] and follow her on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter @saman_shafiq7.

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Travelling serves different objectives for everyone. Some travel to get away from routines and break monotonies, some want to make friends others are in a quest to find themselves while others are just inborn wanderers. Well whether you fall in the group of wanderers or you just need a break from the chaos of life Morning Star Safaris got you! We are a team of vibrant individuals who are ready to make your safari worthwhile. We provide curated safaris to a variety of destinations.

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3-Day Best Deal Amboseli Park in Private 4 X 4 Jeep

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Guiding Your Group Through Biblical Transformation

Israel travel alert.

Wednesday, October 26, 2023

On Saturday, October 7, 2023, Hamas led a terrorist attack into Israel. At the date of this publication, military conflict between the two is ongoing.

Morning Star has confirmed that our partners in Israel are safe and accounted for, and we have canceled upcoming tours through the middle of December. Tours beyond that are currently on hold, as we monitor the situation.

Morning Star will continue to communicate specific details about each tour directly to the group, and our goal is always to wait as long as possible before making the decision to cancel a tour.

We appreciate your prayers as we work with our tour leaders to make decisions for our upcoming tours.

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It is with great pleasure that I can fully endorse Morning Star Tours.  Over the past 10 years I have personally been the beneficiary of their expertise, their  commitment to excellence , and their sincere desire to provide a Holy Land experience that  transforms  those they serve.  I have found MST's staff to be  first class  in every way providing complete logistical service with a  loving personal touch  that leaves travelers longing for a return to the land of the Bible.  They earnestly seek to provide the trip of a lifetime.  I cannot recommend them more as they have become so much more than a service provider...they have become friends! Jason Elam Former Kicker Denver Broncos

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MORNINGSTAR TOURS & TRAVEL is a Travel Management Company offering Holiday packages and wildlife Safaris within East Africa. i.e Kenya & Tanzania. Our experience , dedication , professionalism , commitment and reliability have made us the most preferred and reliable Tour Operator.

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Another Super Bowl bet emerges: Can Taylor Swift make it from her Tokyo show in time?

Rachel Treisman

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Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift celebrate after the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship Game at M&T Bank Stadium in Maryland on Sunday. Patrick Smith/Getty Images hide caption

Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift celebrate after the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship Game at M&T Bank Stadium in Maryland on Sunday.

The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night, winning the AFC championship and securing a spot in the Super Bowl . They'll battle the San Francisco 49ers next month, hoping for a repeat of their 2020 victory .

The game is, as always, a big deal for fans of football, memorable TV commercials and elaborate halftime shows. And this year, another fandom is joining in full force: Swifties.

As has been well established, history-making global superstar Taylor Swift is dating history-making Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. Her attendance at his games throughout the season has sent NFL ticket sales, TV ratings and Kelce jersey demand soaring , converted scores of new football fans and rankled some rivals along the way.

The Kansas City Chiefs will play the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl

The Kansas City Chiefs will play the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl

Swift has been a visible presence on TV screens and social media memes all season, whether she's cheering Kelce on from his VIP box with an array of family members and celebrity friends, leaving Arrowhead Stadium hand-in-hand with him or simply enjoying a snack .

Travis and Taylor ❤️ pic.twitter.com/9FlGKczWd4 — NFL (@NFL) January 28, 2024

She was on the field to celebrate the Chiefs' win on Sunday, where her embrace of Kelce and interaction with coach Andy Reid made headlines of their own.

"Taylor Swift still managed to be one of the biggest storylines from that game despite not being on the field," Nora Princiotti, a staff writer at The Ringer (and a Swiftie) told NPR's All Things Considered .

Naturally, Swift fans were quick to wonder: Will she be in the stands at the Super Bowl too?

The answer is surprisingly complicated because Swift has stadiums of her own to fill.

A Thanksgiving guest's guide to Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce

Pop Culture

A thanksgiving guest's guide to taylor swift and travis kelce.

Swift resumes the international leg of her record-breaking Eras Tour just days before the big game. She is scheduled to wrap up the last of four performances at the Tokyo Dome on Saturday, Feb. 10 — the night before the Super Bowl kicks off in Las Vegas, at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 pm PT.

Experts say the answer is theoretically yes. And it won't take a time machine, just a private jet. Luckily, Swift reportedly owns two .

"This is a typical international flight and the turnaround is not very tight," says Kevin O'Leary, the president and CEO of Jet Advisors , a Massachusetts-based aircraft acquisition, brokerage and research firm.

Warning: Things are about to get nerdy.

How exactly Swift can "Come Back ... Be Here"

Swift's show is scheduled to open at 6 p.m. local time and generally runs about three hours and 15 minutes. O'Leary — who is not a Swiftie but holds a PhD in aviation operations — predicts a punctual start.

He says Swift could feasibly fly out of either of Tokyo's main airports: Haneda, which is roughly a 30-minute drive from the Tokyo Dome but requires special permission, and Narita, which is about an hour's drive.

"There will be some logistics [and] clearances before the flight will be allowed to depart," O'Leary wrote. "With either airport the flight should be able to depart Japan within 2 hours of the end of [the] concert."

Deepfakes exploiting Taylor Swift images exemplify a scourge with little oversight

Deepfakes exploiting Taylor Swift images exemplify a scourge with little oversight

That puts her potential departure time around 11:30 Saturday night local time, or 6:30 Saturday morning Vegas time.

O'Leary's calculations also assume Swift would be flying in her Dassault Falcon 7X (which has a slightly longer range than her Dassault Falcon 900, according to The Athletic ). He says the jet should be able to fly the 4,821 nautical miles to Harry Reid International Airport (KLAS) in 10 to 12 hours.

There are always possible complications, from weather disruptions to the expected challenge of securing a landing slot at the airport, due to enhanced safety procedures in anticipation of high traffic that weekend.

Real relationship aside, Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce are 100% in a PR relationship

It's Been a Minute

Real relationship aside, taylor swift and travis kelce are 100% in a pr relationship.

But if all goes according to plan, Swift would arrive in Vegas sometime between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. PT on Saturday, Feb. 10, thanks to the time change (see this decades-old West Wing clip for an eerily timely — no pun intended — explanation).

That would leave Swift with plenty of time to rest before the game, though O'Leary says she could do so on the plane.

"The aircraft would typically have berthing seats for 4-5 passengers, so the passengers would be able to lay flat, similar to an international business class seat," he explains.

Swift knows private jet travel "All Too Well"

The journey would cost around $45,000, O'Leary estimates. It would generate more than 87,000 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2), according to a calculator from Paramount Business Jets .

But O'Leary says the Falcon 7X is one of the most fuel-efficient jets in the industry, burning 23% less fuel than the category average.

Swift is no stranger to private jet travel: She has logged days' worth of flights crisscrossing the globe for her Eras Tour shows and Kelce's games in recent months and repeatedly faced criticism for the emissions those flights generate.

Private jet travel is one of the most carbon-intensive things a person can do

"Taylor Swift's Jets," a since-deleted Instagram account that monitors her flights, posted in December that her trips generated 138 tons of CO2 emissions in just the prior three months. A spokesperson for Swift has said that she purchased "more than double the carbon credits needed to offset all tour travel" before the Eras tour started in March 2023.

Fans flying commercial may also notice a subtle nod to Swift (and Kelce) on some of the domestic flights headed to the Super Bowl.

Both American and United Airlines have added flights between Kansas City and Las Vegas in advance of the Super Bowl, with fitting flight numbers: 1989 (Swift's birth year and the title of one of her albums) and 87 (Kelce's jersey number).

Yes way! We also have flights UA 2287 and UA 1587 😉 https://t.co/cGEPrIiRFQ — United Airlines (@united) January 29, 2024

Swift will be rooting for "Red (Taylor's Version)"

The question of Swift's travel timelines has caused a bit of a frenzy, albeit for different reasons.

Former Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy fanned a conspiracy theory about the Super Bowl being rigged to potentially give Swift — who drove a surge in voter registration with a single Instagram post last year — an even better platform to endorse President Biden, hypothetically.

Other reactions were more celebratory. People flooded social media with time travel jokes and jubilant "Traylor" (or Tayvis, or Swelce) videos. Late-night hosts speculated enthusiastically on air about Swift's plans.

Several fans treated for hypothermia at the fourth-coldest game in NFL history

Several fans treated for hypothermia at the fourth-coldest game in NFL history

Fans were quick to draw comparisons to High School Musical , in which the romantic leads' championship basketball game, academic decathlon and theater audition are all scheduled at the same time. (Vanessa Hudgens, who starred in the movie, endorsed the theory as "hilarious.")

Some of the Swift-related questions will likely translate into Super Bowl bets , not only about whether she'll make it to Allegiant Stadium but what she might do there: appear on screen, be accompanied by other celebrities, get engaged, etc.

Sportsbook Review notes that most legal, regulated U.S. sportsbooks "don't generally offer these types of markets, but it's likely they'll try to capitalize on the extra attention Swift brings to the 2024 Super Bowl."

A match made in fandom: Travis, Taylor and the weirdness of celebrity relationships

Pop Culture Happy Hour

A match made in fandom: travis, taylor and the weirdness of celebrity relationships.

Swift isn't just bringing the NFL more viewers, but a whole new — and decidedly more feminine — demographic of fans, Princiotti noted.

"The NFL for years and years has been trying to court women and court more women fans, and to be frank, they haven't always been very good at it," she added. "And they have sort of stumbled into this hyper-influencer who's doing a lot of that work for them really well."

A Swift Super Bowl appearance would all but guarantee a huge boost in ratings, with Poynter reporting that it has the chance to become the most-viewed U.S.-based telecast of all time (even if she's only seen in brief glimpses, which a recent New York Times analysis confirmed has so far been the case).

The star-studded event will also feature pregame performances by Reba McEntire, Post Malone and Andra Day, Tiesto as the first-ever " in-game DJ " and a halftime show headlined by Usher. Swift has reportedly turned that gig down twice.

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AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Clark makes a…

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Subscriber only, at&t pebble beach pro-am: clark makes a record charge to lead.

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PEBBLE BEACH — The new era of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am became historic Saturday but not because the tournament was cut in half, played without a cut or is offering a $20 million purse.

Instead, Wyndham Clark made the history, shooting a 12-under-par 60 at Pebble Beach Golf Links, the lowest score ever posted on the course, in the first full-field Signature Event of the 2024 PGA Tour season.

Clark, the 2023 U.S. Open titlist who trailed three co-leaders after 36 holes, has a one-shot lead over Ludvig Aberg of Sweden and a two-shot margin over Frenchman Matthieu Pavon at 17-under-par 199.

Wyndham Clark plays a shot on the 15th hole during the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am at Pebble Beach Golf Links. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

After a birdie putt on the 17th hole stopped an inch short, Clark birdied the 18th for his 60 after a 26-foot eagle putt stopped short and to the right of the hole.

“It was honestly surreal,” said Clark, who won twice on the PGA Tour last season and is ranked 10th in the world. “To have a chance to shoot 59 with that putt, it was pretty special.Clark’s round included two eagles, nine birdies and one bogey. He eclipsed the previous tournament record shared by Tom Kite, David Duval, Patrick Cantlay and Matthias Schwab. The tournament leader’s score bested the previous overall competitive course record of 61 set by Texas Tech’s Hurly Long at the Carmel Cup, a collegiate event, in 2017. Only 12 rounds under 60 have been recorded on the PGA Tour.

“I started feeling the nerves kind of on 10 and, you know, then making that bogey on 12, making that putt was huge,” said Clark. “But in my mind, I think in the past I would have kind of coasted in and shot a nice 8, 9 under.

“To keep the pedal down and to stay aggressive mentally was the most impressive thing to me. And then obviously making all those putts was, you know, out of the ordinary, it was pretty awesome.”

Aberg, among three leaders after 36 holes at 11, carded five birdies and no bogeys.

Matthieu Pavon lines up a putt on the second green during the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

“I didn’t try to force anything,” said Aber. “I didn’t try to hit shots that I didn’t feel like I could pull off. I felt like we did that great today and yesterday. And hopefully, what the weather looks like, I think that’s going to be key as well for the last round. So we’ll see how that plays out, but hopefully, we’ll play some good golf again.”

Clark could be declared the tournament winner if bad weather, in particular high winds, keeps the final round from being completed. Tournament officials were scheduled to decide on delaying the fourth round on Sunday morning. They will continue to assess conditions before deciding about continuing on Monday and possibly Tuesday.

Clark’s round included other near-miss with 11-footer for birdie at the par-4 16th. His only bogey occurred at the par-3 12th. Clark’s tee shot landed in the sand trap to the right of the green. His second shot landed in the deep rough between the left-side bunker and the green. He chipped left-handed and skulled his third shot, but saved a bogey from about 25 feet.

“Honestly, I think anyone that has ever shot 59 or gets into that kind of zone, you don’t really think about score,” said Clark of his career-best round. “You’re just so focused on the next shot. I really didn’t think about it until I got to the 18 tee box and when I did, I thought ‘Oh, my gosh, it would have been really nice to have one of those last two because then I only have to birdie 18.’”

Mark Hubbard (65) and Thomas Detry (69) are tied for fourth at 14-under-par.

Early in the third round, Clark, Aberg, Pavon, Detry and Scott Scheffler and Patrick Cantlay shared the lead at 11-under. Clark made the biggest move, moving to 6-under through seven holes, with eagles on the second and sixth holes. He extended his improbable day with further stellar play and moved to 10 under after 11 holes.

Clark’s front nine included two eagles and four birdies and his 28 was only the fourth in the AT&T history and the first since Brent Schwarzrock tallied his 28 in the opening round in 2002.

His front-nine spree included a near-hole-in-one at the par 3 seventh, a 30-foot birdie on the eighth and a 28-foot birdie on the ninth. His eagles were recorded with a 39-foot putt on the second hole and a 42-foot putt on the sixth.

But challengers loomed. Clark bogeyed the 12th, while Day had an eagle on the 11th and birdied the 13th and 14th to move to 12 under.

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