Where to Travel in 2016 Moon Travel Guides

Where to Travel in 2016: A Month-by-Month List

Most of us at Moon have an ever-growing list of places we want to visit, a common side effect of working on travel books. This list reflects a few of the destinations that inspired our wanderlust in the last year. There are trip-of-a-lifetime–type destinations, and there are smaller destinations, but all of them triggered that classic reverie, imagining what it would be like to be there, feeling that pull.

Nha Trang Beach. Photo © Dana Filek-Gibson.

Planning Your Time on Vietnam’s South-Central Coast

The bulk of Vietnam’s most-visited mainland beaches belong to the south-central coast, a vibrant, sun-soaked shoreline that runs unbroken from the tumultuous cliffs of Quy Nhon down to Mui Ne’s bizarre tropical sand dunes. Whether you’re an adventure junkie plying the surf of Mui Ne, a party animal living it up on the sands of Nha Trang, or just a traveler in search of some good old-fashioned rest and relaxation on the quieter shores of Phan Rang or Quy Nhon, there are plenty of places to lay your towel here.

The sun sets over the horizon turning a dramatic cloud covered sky from golden to deep purple.

Planning Your Time in Belize’s Northern Cayes

Once the favorite hideout and playground of pirates, the Northern Cayes are Belize’s greatest tourism draw, and with good reason. These postcard-perfect islands offer quick access to the Belize Barrier Reef and Hol Chan Marine Reserve, a dizzying array of outdoor activities, and enough lodging, restaurants, and entertainment options to fit celebrity and backpacker budgets alike.

The main square in La Antigua, Guatemala.

Where to Go in Guatemala

From cosmopolitan Guatemala City and dining beneath Spanish colonial arches set beside a gurgling fountain to finding treasures in highland markets full of Mayan crafts to exploring active volcanoes and sweltering jungles full of half-excavated Mayan pyramids, here’s where to go in Guatemala to experience its culture, peoples, and lands.

Parque Gran Colombiano. Photo © Andrew Dier.

Where to Go in Norte de Santander, Colombia

In the department of Norte de Santander, visitors are drawn to Pamplona, a charming and cool highland town that was important during the colonial era, and Cúcuta, a large, boiling hot commercial city and gateway to Venezuela. Here are notable sights, highlights, and things to do.

Stairs leading to an old building near Perfume Pagoda. Photo © Tuomas Lehtinen/123rf.

Day Trips From Hanoi

Beyond the city limits, Hanoi’s suburbs and surrounding countryside offer a few easygoing day trips. Take a jaunt to the booming traditional handicraft villages of Tam Coc and Hoa Lu, Ninh Binh’s main attractions, and visit the serene pagoda complex of the beautifully austere Perfume Pagoda.

Aerial view of northern cayes. Photo © Lebawit Lily Girma.

Where to Go in the Belize Cayes

Regardless of where you go in the Belize Cayes, days are spent alfresco: kayaking, sailing, fishing, feasting on fresh catch, swimming alongside rays and turtles, gazing at magnificent frigatebirds hovering in blue skies. Or mastering the art of dolce far niente: the sweetness of doing nothing. Here’s an overview of island highlights.

A scenic highway leads south from Petén into Alta Verapaz. Photo © Al Argueta.

Las Verapaces: Guatemala’s Green Heartland

Las Verapaces remains green and lush throughout most of the year. From exploring beautiful cloud forests to remote hikes to discovering a lagoon in the middle of the rainforest, outdoor enthusiasts will find no shortage of vibrant, unique landscapes to experience. Here’s a sampling of the best.