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WHERE TO GO IN 2025 WITH CRYSTAL
Whether you seek the tranquility of a national park or the excitement of a popular destination or bustling capital city, you’ll find your travel nirvana in our handpicked selection of destinations. From pristine sandy beaches to the cultural marvels of the Mediterranean along the coasts of Italy, France, and Spain, we’ve scoured the globe that takes you from tourist to traveler. Fancy a trip to New York City? You’ve got it. Want to sail the Pacific Coast? Start planning your journey. Do you feel like visiting Ushuaia, aka the “last place on Earth?” There’s never been a better time to visit.
From the tried and true to the off-the-beaten-path gems, we’ve given you our top picks of where to go in 2025:
Rio de Janeiro is one of those rare locales that needs to be experienced in order to understand the spell it casts on all who visit its shores. Rio is Brazil’s vibrant metropolis, captivating everyone with its electrifying energy and striking natural beauty. Nestled between lush mountains and sparkling beaches, the city boasts iconic landmarks like Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Mountain, offering breathtaking panoramic views. Samba rhythms infuse the air during the world-famous Carnaval, while the Copacabana and Ipanema beaches draw sun-seekers year-round. The city’s infectious joie de vivre is matched by its warm and welcoming Carioca culture. Whether exploring historic neighborhoods like Santa Teresa or reveling in the colors of the Escadaria Selarón, Rio de Janeiro entices with its fusion of history, passion, and tropical allure. Little wonder that the entire city is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its food, music, scenery, and inimitable energy and spirit make Rio de Janeiro an unquestionable bucket list destination.
Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, welcomes the discerning traveler with an air of rugged sophistication. Named by the British colonists who settled here in the first half of the 20th century, the name means “bay overlooking the West” in the local yámana language. Tucked between the Andes and the Beagle Channel, this Argentinean haven promises adventure travelers miles and miles of untamed beauty, pristine landscapes, diverse ecosystems, dense forests, and serene lakes. Ushuaia’s magnetic charm also extends to its wildlife encounters. Set out on wildlife cruises on the Beagle Channel to witness seals, sea lions, whales, dolphins, and Imperial Cormorant thriving in their natural habitat. Explore Tierra del Fuego National Park for a captivating, immersive experience of the raw beauty of Mother Nature. From the end of the world to the beginning of unparalleled exploration, Ushuaia casts an unforgettable spell on those seeking adventure.
Plymouth, once the capital of Montserrat, offers stunning natural beauty, including lush landscapes and scenic coastlines. This is one of the Caribbean’s lesser visited islands, and as an uncommon island, visitors can expect a warm welcome. However, the Soufrière Hills volcano’s eruptions in the 1990s and ongoing volcanic activity have significantly impacted the island’s infrastructure and specific areas, and today, Plymouth stands as a haunting testament to the volcanic eruptions that rocked the island. In the 1990s, the Soufrière Hills volcano’s activity led to the city’s abandonment and destruction, and the capital was relocated to Brades, leaving Plymouth an exclusion zone. Don’t let that put you off; however, the island has been open to tourism since 2021 and offers one of the most authentic Caribbean experiences in the archipelago.
It’s certainly easy to look at the turquoise waters and soft sand that surround Mozambique Island and think it’s nothing more than a beautiful beach destination. It is that, but it is also so much more. For centuries, this small coral island was one of the most important trade ports on Africa’s east coast for gold, ivory, spices, and enslaved people. Walking along its UNESCO-inscribed Stone Town, you’ll find uniform, Swahili-styled houses. The Nossa Senhora de Baluarte church, built in 1522, is widely considered to be the oldest European building in the entire Southern Hemisphere. The imposing Fort São Sebastião was built by the Portuguese in 1608 to fend off attacks by their trade rival, the Dutch.
This glacier-clad, barely sub-North Pole clime once hosted a tropical forest. That was long ago, in prehistoric times. Nonetheless, the forest’s presence helped establish what we now know as the town of Longyearbyen. In 1899, coal - the remains of the once-flourishing tropical vegetation - was discovered. In 1906, American John M. Longyear founded the Arctic Coal Company, lending the town his capital and name. While Americans, Russians, and Swedes rushed to the Svalbard archipelago (of which the island of Spitsbergen is a part) in search of black gold, you will make a wealth of other discoveries. During the summer, continuous daylight coaxes flowers into an astounding display of color. Abundant wildlife includes polar bears, arctic foxes, reindeer, seals, walruses, and whales. The town of Longyearbyen offers its own appeal, with an array of interesting shops and welcoming cafés.
6. Isla Natividad
Located about halfway down the peninsula of Baja California, Isla Natividad, or Nativity Island, is both remote and remarkable. The island is home to a small fishing community, mainly engaged in sustainable lobster fishing. The local inhabitants have worked to preserve the island’s ecosystem and maintain their traditional fishing practices, creating a harmonious balance between human activity and the environment. Join local fishermen on their boats and learn about sustainable practices while enjoying the thrill of the catch. The island’s natural beauty cannot be overlooked: dramatic landscapes include rugged cliffs, hidden coves, and stunning beaches, while the surrounding waters are teeming with marine life, making it a haven for divers, snorkelers, and marine enthusiasts. Find a mask, snorkel, and fins, and explore vibrant coral reefs to encounter diverse fish species. If you’re very lucky, you might even spot some whales and dolphins in the offshore waters.
It’s easy to see why Miyako-Jima is nicked-named the “Hawaii of Japan.” This island is an unexpected tropical paradise with inimitable, paradisical scenery and masses of endemic wildlife. With its sprawling, powdery white beaches, clear waters, and vibrant marine life, it’s a haven for snorkeling and diving, while the island’s botanical gardens, dramatic cliffs, and picturesque landscapes offer ample opportunities for exploration and photography. Beyond its natural attractions, Miyako-Jima embraces its local culture through traditional crafts, festivals, and mouthwatering cuisine, and the significant presence of US soldiers based in Okinawa during World War II means that you’ll find several American attractions, such as burger joints and pancake houses too. The warm hospitality of the locals adds a special touch to your experience. Whether you’re seeking an active getaway, a cultural immersion, or simply a place to unwind and enjoy the serene ambiance, Miyako-Jima promises a memorable and enriching visit.