TOP 6 places to visit in 2024


Travel festival curates six of the best – a list of destinations, places and itineraries based on expert research from exhibitors.

CHELTENHAM, UK (1st December 2023): Ahead of the inaugural festival, Cheltenham Travel Festival editors in collaboration with its exhibitors, have put together a list that includes brand-new itineraries and classic options alike for hitting all your favourite destinations.


With its vibrant culture, festivals and unparalleled natural wonders, Peru is ready to wow you. From the awe-inspiring beauty of the Amazon rainforest, and the ancient magic of Machu Picchu, to the majestic peaks of the Andes, you won’t be short of opportunities to witness the rich cultural heritage and traditions of Peru.

Why now? – LATAM Airlines Perú will begin a non-stop service from London Heathrow to the Peruvian capital of Lima in December this year. Five flights a week are scheduled to run on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, making it more accessible than ever before.

Top tip – Spend time in Lima to experience one of the world’s most talked about food scenes.


Mexico’s rarely travelled northern region is most known for its Sierra Madre Occidental Mountain range and the Chihuahuan Desert. The highlights include a journey on the incredibly scenic CHEPE train through the Copper Canyon, visits to colonial towns, historic museums, and indigenous communities.

Why now? – A rare and spectacular event—a total solar eclipse—is coming to Mexico, the U.S. and Canada next April 8, 2024. This could be the most watched event ever with as many as 50 million people desperate for a naked-eye glimpse at the sun’s corona.

Top Tip – Don’t miss a visit to the oldest vineyard in the Americas.


In a world that is becoming overcrowded, now is the time to visit places on the map which offer the luxury of space. Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan have this in abundance along with spectacular alpine lakes, mountains and a rich narrative of Silk Road history and culture.

Why now? – Kazakhstan hosts one of the world’s most unusual and intriguing sporting events in 2024, the World Nomad Games. The tournament features traditional nomadic sports such as horseback wrestling, archery, bone throwing and eagle hunting, as well as cultural demonstrations.

Tourism in Kyrgyzstan is a fledging industry where your dollar can make a very positive impact. According to, Kyrgyzstan saw 0.021 tourists for every resident in 2021; Italy saw 0.46 tourists per resident in the same year.

Samarkand in Uzbekistan was declared the world tourism capital for 2023 for a reason. Get there before it becomes a major tourism hotspot.

Top Tip – Travel from May-September and stay in a yurt alongside the nomadic people.


Bhutan is an extraordinary country, home to a fascinating and unique culture, stupendous scenery, and a truly charming people. Explore a land that has been cut off from the rest of the world – both through geographical positioning and its own political desires – so much so that in many places’ things have barely changed at all over the last 500 years.

Why now? – With the halving of its tourist tax, travellers can now visit the mountainous country at a far cheaper rate than previously.

Top Tip – The iconic Tiger’s Nest Monastery, perched on a cliff face, is still one of the coolest spots in Bhutan.


Surf and turf – bask in picturesque Cape Town, South Africa, with its eclectic mix of food, culture, art, flora, and fauna. Enjoy a world class safari in Zambian national parks where you can canoe on the Zambezi River, and game-view in the South Luangwa, home to one of Africa’s highest concentrations of leopards. Finally, snorkel in the Indian Ocean, off a remote island lodge in Mozambique.

Why now? – For the first time, new flight schedules make it possible to connect the three destinations in one seamless trip!

Top Tip – Have a go fishing in the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean and on the Zambezi River and enjoy the thrill of hooking some of Africa’s most fierce game fish.


Explore the Weddell Sea in depth with its dramatic and brash ice landscapes, a region of Antarctica which is closed off for travel for most of the year due to strong and changing ice flows. Embark on an expedition and follow the routes and landings from the famed expeditions of the early 1900’s made by Nordenskjold and Shackleton.

Why now? – 2024 marks the 110th anniversary of the start of Shackleton’s famed Endurance Antarctic Expedition, and the 120th anniversary of the end of Nordenskjolds Antarctic Expedition. Two of the most famous expeditions from the golden era of expedition.

Top tip – Take a photography masterclass beforehand and keep your camera close. The wildlife in the region is abundant and you never know when a pod of whales or huddle of penguins will appear.

“I’m really excited with the release of our inaugural Hot List, as it demonstrates the intimate knowledge and value our travel experts provide. This knowledge can’t be found trawling the internet and I’m delighted Cheltenham Travel Festival exhibitors are able to be at the cutting-edge of where travellers should go in 2024”, says Byron Shirto the festival’s organiser.

Visitors will be able to chat in person to travel experts and explore destinations and itineraries in more detail at the festival. All that’s left is for you to decide where you’re going first.

The festival is on the 6th January 2024 at the Cheltenham Town Hall.

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