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From ‘the end of the world’ to a historic trail reopening in Bhutan: Culture Trip reveals the world’s greatest travel experiences for 2022

Hand-picked by travel experts, this list features 14 experiences from around the world to help inspire you in 2022.

By LLM Reporters  |  February 21, 2022
Ushuaia aerial view. Ushuaia is the capital of Tierra del Fuego province in Argentina.

The world’s greatest travel experiences for 2022 have been revealed by travel booking website Culture Trip, and from ‘the end of the world’ to the to anime subculture in Tokyo to to a historic trail in Bhutan, it’s safe to say that these experiences are worthy of being adding to your travel bucket lists.

Ushuaia in Argentina – often dubbed the ‘end of the world’ due to its location at the southern tip of mainland South America – makes it to the top of the list and is followed by the historic Trans Bhutan Trail, which is set to reopen in spring after more than 60 years. Nigeria’s first major visual-art museum, anime subculture in Tokyo and a hike through the Icelandic wilderness to reach a recently opened natural hot spring also made the list.

The world’s greatest travel experiences for 2022 have been curated by Culture Trip’s travel experts and local insiders; the list has also been informed by traffic data from Culture Trip’s millions of users around the world to pinpoint travel trends. These reflect a growing interest in topics such as food (up over 40 per cent compared to the previous year), hiking (up almost 40 per cent), museums (up 85 per cent), as well as responsible travel (up 25 per cent). 

Cassam Looch, one of Culture Trip’s travel experts, said: “We’ve all been craving those big travel moments for too long – that’s why we curated this list of the world’s greatest travel experiences for 2022. We started with a very long list and whittled it down to some of the most exciting new things to do, once-in-a-lifetime experiences and much-missed bucket-list moments.

“It’s a celebration of the wonderful, quirky, breath-taking activities the world has to offer right now to inspire you to travel like never before. What’s more, with Culture Trip, we take you from inspiration to booking with our curated collections of Places to Stay, Experiences and TRIPS by Culture Trip which are our small-group adventures – all bookable with us.”

Argentina: Reach ‘the end of the world’ 

Ushuaia, Argentina
Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city, sits at the very tip of mainland South America. Image credit: Serg73/Bigstock.com

Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city sits at the very tip of mainland South America. Situated close to the Tierra del Fuego National Park, it is every nature lover’s dream, where you can explore the Esmeralda Lagoon, admire pristine glaciers, trek through dense forests and meet penguins. Take the train to the End of the World Station and enjoy views of Toro Gorge and Lapataia Bay along the way.

Bhutan: Hike a historic 250mi trail reopening after more than 60 years

Trans Bhutan Trail
Pilgrims will be able to walk in the footsteps of their ancestors, while travellers will be able to explore remote parts of Bhutan – the first carbon-negative country – to enjoy nature in all its glory. Image credit: Trans Bhutan Trail

Set to reopen in spring 2022 after extensive restoration, the Trans Bhutan Trail, deep in the eastern Himalayas, was used for centuries by traders, pilgrims and messengers to get across the country. Now it will welcome walkers for the first time in more than 60 years. Pilgrims will be able to walk in the footsteps of their ancestors, while travellers will be able to explore remote parts of Bhutan – the first carbon-negative country – to enjoy nature in all its glory.

Maui: Snorkel in a partially submerged volcanic crater

A designated Marine Life Conservation District, the reefs off this tiny, uninhabited island are home to hundreds of colourful fish and sometimes a reef shark or two

Molokini is a submerged volcanic crater created by an eruption over 200,000 years ago. Its crescent shape blocks currents and waves, creating clear waters with a staggering variety of marine life – making it a snorkeller’s paradise. A designated Marine Life Conservation District, the reefs off this tiny, uninhabited island are home to hundreds of colourful fish and sometimes a reef shark or two.

Antarctica: Kayak among majestic glaciers

Antarctica
An intimate and beautiful way to explore this world up close is by gliding quietly through it in a kayak, past majestic glaciers and imposing icebergs

The Great White Continent is one of the most remote places on the planet with unique landscapes and extraordinary wildlife – coming here is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. An intimate and beautiful way to explore this world up close is by gliding quietly through it in a kayak, past majestic glaciers and imposing icebergs, observing penguins, seals and whales along the way.

Costa Rica: Explore the Monteverde Cloud Forests with natural pools and elfin woodlands

Costa Rica
Named after the nearby town of Monteverde and founded in 1972, the Reserve consists of over 10,500 hectares (26,000 acres) of cloud forest

The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve was once under threat as farmland expansion encroached upon the rainforest. Today, it is fully protected and home to rich biodiversity. Hike amid deep gorges, waterfalls and natural pools, through hazy mists and the low-hanging clouds. The scenery and wildlife are impressive – you can spot orchids, hummingbirds, or even all six species of the cat family that live here (jaguars, ocelots, pumas, oncillas, margays, and jaguarundis).

Los Angeles: Nosh on vegan food at the Vegan Street Fair

Los Angeles
Vegan Street Fair is a vegan food celebration where local vegan and vegan-friendly vendors come together to serve you bite-size portions all in one place

After a two-year hiatus, one of the world’s largest vegan festivals is back for two days (March 26-27, 2022). The Vegan Street Fair, which celebrates all things plant-based, comprises over 150 local vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants, who will come together to serve bite-size portions of drool-worthy green eats. 

Iceland: Hike through the wilderness to a recently opened geothermal pool

Iceland canyon baths
Relax in the soothing waters while taking in the spectacular views of the surrounding canyon and glaciers. Image credit: Giljabod Hot Springs

Follow a short path through the surreal Icelandic landscape to enjoy a soak in the remote Húsafell Canyon Baths, fed from the Giljaböð Hot Springs. Relax in the soothing waters while taking in the spectacular views of the surrounding canyon and glaciers. If you go at night, gaze up and see if you can spot the Northern Lights. This relatively unknown spot only opened recently, with the entire structure being as sustainable and true to the area’s heritage as possible.

Nigeria: Visit Nigeria’s first major visual-art museum

The Institute of Contemporary African Art and Film
The Institute of Contemporary African Art and Film, set to open in Ilorin in spring 2022, will celebrate Nigerian creativity. Image credit: ICAAF

The Institute of Contemporary African Art and Film (ICAAF), set to open in Ilorin in spring 2022, will celebrate Nigerian creativity. Over the past decade, contemporary art has flourished in the country, alongside galleries and art spaces, while films from ‘Nollywood’ are attracting an ever-wider audience. The new museum – designed as an architectural landmark – will feature galleries for exhibitions, post-production studios, film screening rooms, sculpture garden and workshops. 

Budapest: Celebrate music surrounded by stunning architecture in the middle of a forest

The House of Music in Budapest
The House of Music in Budapest opened at the end of January 2022. Image credit: Liget Budapest

The House of Music in Budapest opened at the end of January 2022. This new cultural venue, designed by architect Sou Fujimoto, is dedicated to the history of music over the past 2,000 years with an exhibition space and open-air stage, as well as concert and education halls. Set in a forest, this landmark has an undulating roof with some 100 holes for trees to grow through, making it a continuation of the natural environment. 

Botswana: Canoe along the waters of the Okavango Delta

The Okavango Delta, the largest inland delta in the world, is a fascinating labyrinth of waterways that are home to a huge variety of animals

The Okavango Delta, the largest inland delta in the world, is a fascinating labyrinth of waterways that are home to a huge variety of animals. Gliding through the calm waters of this wilderness brings a sense of peace and tranquillity, while at the same time offering an exhilarating way to experience Botswana’s amazing wildlife. There are elephants (Botswana has the world’s largest concentration), hippos, lions, antelopes, cheetahs and more.

Australia: Marvel at the Milky Way and meteor showers

Australia starry skies
This year has much to offer, and with Australia reopening its borders, it’s the perfect time for stargazers: in March there will be a Planet Parade with five planets. Image credit: bennymarty/Bigstock.com

Two hours north of Perth, in Western Australia, lie the ancient landscapes of the Pinnacles Desert, marked by hundreds of limestone rocks. This and the dark sky make the area one of the world’s best spots for stargazing – with the billions of stars of the Milky Way visible all year.

This year has much to offer, and with Australia reopening its borders, it’s the perfect time for stargazers: in March there will be a Planet Parade with five planets – Mars, Venus, Saturn, Mercury and Jupiter – visible in the sky at the same time; April will see the iconic Southern Cross; and May will delight with the eta-Aquarids Meteor Shower with 50 meteors per hour.

Tokyo: Visit subculture anime spots and go manga shopping

Nerima City
Nerima City, a central, yet beautifully green neighborhood, is well known among anime fans as the birthplace of the industry

Nerima, in eastern Tokyo, has a big claim to fame: it’s where Japan’s anime production was born in 1958 and has flourished ever since. Head to Nerima to snap photos of anime characters chilling on the streets, explore anime memorabilia in the Toei Animation Museum, or find the famous characters under foot with an Ashita no Joemanhole cover.

Near the Oizumi-gakuen station an artwork of Galaxy Express 999 was installed on a manhole cover, while in west Tokyo, Hello Kitty takes centre stage near Tama Center. For manga shopping, pass by the multi-storey malls in the Nakano neighbourhood.

Belfast: Step inside the spectacular ‘Game of Thrones’ studio tour

Belfast, Game of Thrones
Explore the beautiful city of Belfast and enjoy a Game of Thrones Studio Tour. Image credit: romrodinka/Bigstock.com

Newly opened in February 2022, the first ever Game of Thrones Studio Tour is a dream come true for fans of the iconic TV show. Located in the studio where much of the filming in Northern Ireland took place, the interactive experience offers the opportunity to explore the original sets, incredible props, stunning costumes, weaponry and visual effects.

French Polynesia: Explore remote islands on your own catamaran

Bora Bora
Swim with manta rays, enjoy the white beaches of Ana Iti and explore a coral garden on a Polynesian canoe. Image credit: Holger Leue

The remote islands of French Polynesia aren’t easy to get to, but once there, travellers should jump aboard a catamaran to take in this stunning archipelago across the mid-Pacific. Visit the sacred island of Raiatea, said to be where a Polynesian god once resided, and the tiny island of Motu Tautau. Swim with manta rays, enjoy the white beaches of Ana Iti and explore a coral garden on a Polynesian canoe.