Exploring unique destinations and discovering authentic and memorable experiences in the Americas is something we like to think we’re pretty experienced in. The big sights are, of course, a must - but when it comes to delving deeper below the surface, this vast continent has so much more to explore.
From smaller, quieter national parks to cities that don’t get the fanfare they truly deserve, there’s a rich diversity across the Americas just waiting to be explored. This guide will lead you to the spots in the Americas that we think deserve your time in 2019…
Yoho National Park
The lush and verdant landscapes are just the tip of what Yoho National Park has to offer. Smaller and lesser-known than neighbouring Banff and Jasper, but equal in terms of beauty, Yoho NP is a Canadian Rockies haven for lovers of the great outdoors.
Must-do experience: Canoeing across Emerald Lake – dip your paddle into the otherworldly blue-green water. Our top tip? Go early to beat the crowds.
Mount Rainier National Park
The fact that Mount Rainier, the epicentre of the park, is an active stratovolcano creates an air of anticipation for visitors. The glacial monolith dominates the park’s landscape – but you’ll also discover alpine pastures, dense forests and flowing rivers.
Must-do experience: Hiking the Skyline Trail – a reasonably low elevation trail incorporating Panorama Point, Stevens Van Trump Memorial and Myrtle Falls.
Denali National Park
Six million acres of wild Alaskan land, overlooked by Mount Denali, the highest peak in North America. In Denali National Park, you can escape life’s daily grind and immerse yourself in rugged landscapes. Wildlife abounds, including Grizzly Bears, wolves and moose.
Must-do experience: Scenic flight – from above, you’ll bear witness to the true vastness of this wilderness, soaring over glacial and mountainous landscapes.
Memphis is America’s hotbed for blues, jazz and rock’n’roll music. With authentic live music around every corner, your nights will be easily whiled away with the best soundtrack in the States. During the day, enjoy delving further into the city’s tuneful history, from recording studio visits to the Beale Street Walk of Fame.
Must-do experience: Graceland – visit the former home and final resting place of one of music’s most iconic stars, the one and only Elvis Presley.
The Galapagos Islands
The archipelago known as the Galapagos Islands is made up of 13 main islands, with countless smaller islands, islets and rocks dotted amongst the Pacific waters. Enjoy the impeccable marine environment, varied wildlife and fascinating history.
Must-do experience: Snorkelling, mostly anywhere – look out for schools of colourful fish, rays, sea turtles and white-tipped sharks.
Acadia National Park
Referred to as the ‘crown jewel’ of the North Atlantic Coast, Acadia National Park spans rocky coastal islands and provides the perfect environment for hikers and mountain bikers. Forget what you know about the seaside – this coastline has to be seen to be believed.
Must-do experience: Sea kayaking – take in the the rocky coastal landscapes from a completely different experience.
Piedras Blancas National Park, Costa Rica
We’ve sung the praises of Manuel Antonio and Monteverde, but for one of Costa Rica’s best-kept secrets, head to Piedras Blancas National Park. The dense jungle foliage is home to around 10 miles of trails – the best places to keep an eye out for colourful birdlife and nimble primates.
Must-do experience: Visit Esquinas Rainforest Lodge – this government-funded initiative contributes to the preservation of Costa Rica’s natural habitats.
Canyonlands National Park
Made up of distinct districts and a wealth of fascinating natural features, Canyonlands National Park embodies the USA’s true desert southwest. Red rock canyons, mesas and buttes populate the vast open spaces, creating a surreal and memorable lansdscape.
Must-do experience: Mountain biking – the terrain of Canyonlands National Park presents a sometimes-challenging but always rewarding active adventure.