Samana’ – The Best of the Dominican Republic is Outside the Package

In tourism circles, the Dominican Republic is known for its sprawling, all-inclusive resorts, with expansive pools, a wealth of bars and restaurants, and of course, a slice of palm-fringed oceanfront real estate. In most cases, tourists are cautioned to stay in their resort, venture out only to well-established tourist attractions, and use guided tours as much as possible. I’m here to tell you that yes, you can do all those things and still have a good vacation. But I’m also going to tell you that if you do, you’re missing out on the best the Dominican Republic has to offer.

The aforementioned best can be found not along the heavily developed beaches of Punta Cana or La Romana, but way out at the tip of a remote peninsula on the north coast of the country. The name of both the peninsula and principal town is Samana’, which is pronounced: Sah – Mah- NAH. If you have trouble remembering it, it sounds just like that irresistible Muppet song Manamana. If you’ve now got that earworm making its way through your brain, you’re welcome.

Not only does the Samana’ Peninsula contain some of the best beaches in the country, it also remains (at the time of writing) gloriously free of large chain hotels and massive resorts. This is an area where the natural beauty of the DR is very much on display, and if it’s beaches you’re after, I dare you to find a better spread than the ones on offer here. But first some practicalities.

How to Get to Samana’

Getting to Samana’ depends primarily on which port of entry you’re starting from, and of course, where on the peninsula you’re going to be staying. Personally, my best flight options were from Punta Cana, which required a long but scenic drive west along the south coast until the capital Santo Domingo, then a turn north to cross the mountainous interior of the country, before heading east out onto the peninsula. Taking out breaks to eat and stop at a roadside waterfall, it was about 5 hours of driving to the town of Samana’, and then another 45 minutes on to where I was staying in Las Galeras. Note that speed limits are rigorously enforced, and you’re going to want to have a bunch of change in the local currency for the multiple toll plazas found along the length and breadth of the modern roadways.

Santa Barbara de Samana’ – the Main Town

Cayo Leventado, Dominican Republic

After an hour’s driving along the southern shore of the peninsula through small towns with their own collection of speed bumps (both official and incidental) you’ll arrive at the main town Santa Barbara de Samana’. The town has a lovely Malecon (or waterfront promenade) with several towers for looking out at the bay of the same name, which from January to June is a favorite haunt of humpback whales. Here you’ll find the greatest selection of eateries and lodging, as well as an active dock where tours depart for the tiny island of Cayo Leventado, whose sugar-white beach and swaying palms were made famous in a Bacardi Rum commercial from the 70’s.

Visiting Cayo Levantado

The Public Beach, Cayo Levantado

Gaining access to the public beach on tiny Cayo Leventado comes in many forms. If you’re staying at the luxury hotel that occupies the other end of the island, your transfers are included. If you’re taking a guided tour, usually with some snorkeling, whale watching and a visit to nearby Cayo La Farola, a stop at Cayo Leventado- usually with lunch – is a prominent feature on nearly any itinerary. Alternately, there are water taxis and ferries that will bring independent travelers to the dock adjacent to the public beach. It’s also possible to visit via cruise ship during certain times of the year – pandemics notwithstanding.

The beach at Cayo Levantado is indeed the stuff that dreams are made of. There’s a broad expanse of sand jutting out into the turquoise blue water, with lots of palms and shade just off the beach. There’s a collection of pavilions that host guests on guided tours, providing them lunch and a place to eat it. There are also plenty of bars, offering rum and Coke or hollowed out pineapples that serve as organic vessels for the pineapple/coconut/rum concoction inside.

Make sure your first order of business upon arriving is renting a beach chair in the shade, as spaces fill up quick and if there’s anywhere in Samana’ you run the risk of encountering a crowd, this is the place. If you can time your arrival for either earlier or later in the day, you’ll have a little more breathing room (more on that later).

Las Galleras

Playa La Playita seen from above

If there were an ideal base of operations for visiting the Samana’ Peninsula, I’d say it would be Las Galeras, located at the tip of the peninsula and literally at the end of the road. There are some shops and restaurants in the small drag that comprises the town, along with a number of guesthouses and Air BNB’s in close proximity. Here you’ll find more than a few tour operators willing to take you on boat tours to otherwise inaccessible beaches such as Playa Fronton or Madama. But the biggest draw is a small, tranquil cove appropriately called Playa La Playita, which offers powder-soft sand, calm water, and beach scenes right out of movie.

Playa Rincon & Playa Breman

World Famous Playa Rincon, Dominican Republic

About a half hour’s drive from Las Galeras (or a much shorter boat ride) you’ll come to a gorgeous 3 mile curve of sand located right at the corner of the Bay of Rincon and an undeveloped jungle-covered headland that is Parque Nacional Cabo Cabron. Playa Rincon consistently makes an appearance on World’s Best Beaches lists, and a day spent in the gorgeous, palm-lined coves will leave you with no question as to why.

Despite its incredible beauty and popularity, there isn’t much in the way of development (which is a good thing!), just a few beachside restaurants on each end of the long stretch. On the western end, the crystal-clear, freezing cold waters of the Cano Frio River empty out into the bay, and boat tours into the mangroves are available. At the eastern end, things are generally less-crowded – especially when the tour groups are whisked away and you can have the beach practically to yourself. An advantage of setting up shop at the east end is that you’re also just a few steps away from Playa Breman on the outside edge of the small peninsula that acts as the eastern border of Playa Rincon.

Playa Breman has more of the same blinding white sand and aquamarine water. What it doesn’t have are buildings of any kind. So if you want to really be away from the crowds and all modern convenience, just walk a little down the beach and you’re sure to have your own private slice of paradise.

Playa Colorado

Villa Bahia Rincon and part of Playa Colorado

In between Las Galeras and Playa Rincon is another gorgeous stretch of coastline called Playa Colorado. This beach is actually made up of two beaches separated by a rocky outcropping. Some boat tours will drop off their guests for a brief romp in the water, but if you’re staying in the area (which I did) it was almost as if I had the two beaches all to myself 80% of the time.

Getting to Playa Colorado by vehicle requires traversing an absurdly rutted and pockmarked road from the tiny hamlet of Los Tocones, all the way to the coast. I never needed to shift into 4 wheel drive, but the higher clearance is a must if you’re going to make it without feeling extremely nervous.

My party stayed at a wonderful Air BNB called Villa Bahia Rincon, which is equipped with a private pool looking over both sections of Playa Colorado. Every morning and each night, I walked the 50 feet or so over to one or the other, and from my balcony the only sounds were that of crickets, frogs and the relentless surf. If peace, tranquility and social distancing are what you’re after, this is the place for you.

Practicalities and Advice

Overall, I found navigating the Dominican Republic far less daunting than most travel agents would admit. However there are some tips I’d like to share if you take on the task of traveling independently.

First, it’s a really good idea if someone in your party can speak at least a minimal amount of Spanish, because outside of tour guides and hotel personnel, you’re likely going to have some trouble communicating.

Second, when dining anywhere that doesn’t have posted prices, particularly at those beachside cafes, be sure to agree upon a price BEFORE you order, and write it down. More than once we were overcharged when the bill came out, and the vendors insisted that we ‘misunderstood’ the agreement. It’s interesting to note that anytime there was a ‘misunderstanding’ the conditions were decidedly in their favor. So to avoid unpleasantness and keep you from leaving with a bad impression of Dominicans, who when not selling you something are quite fun and delightful, make sure you have an agreement in writing so that there will be less temptation for anyone to ‘misunderstand’ you to your disadvantage.

Third, one of the things I loved the most about Samana’ was the quiet -which is not the norm in many parts of the country. For instance, I spent one night in Punta Cana at a lovely complex that unfortunately was next door to a restaurant that felt it was necessary to blast music for their clients at full volume until 3AM. In fact, according to a friend who lives in the country, some Dominicans feel that they’re doing you a favor by broadcasting their music at ear-splitting decibels, as if it’s a form of sharing or something. That disregard for what many would consider polite consideration for one’s neighbors elsewhere, is a factor to consider if you’re going to stay in a more touristy area.

Lastly, don’t be alarmed or offended if Dominicans seem to be unnecessarily right up on top of you. There seems to be a different view of personal space here, and if you’re sitting by yourself on an empty beach, don’t be shocked if a family rolls up and sets up camp right next to you, despite all the other space available. I found it irritating at first, but once you see they mean no harm, just smile and consider it part of the authentic experience.

Closing Thoughts

Unspoiled Playa Breman, Samana, Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic has earned its place in the pantheon of Caribbean beach destinations. But instead of just sticking to a pre-packaged experience, I highly recommend going outside the box and off to the remote corner of Samana’. Here you’ll find the paradise you’re looking for, all packaged together and waiting for you to discover without an all-inclusive in sight.

Have you been to the Samana’ Peninsula? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below!

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Travel Goals Master Checklist: Part VI Australia and Oceania

In this final installment of the Travel Goals Master Checklist series, I’ll briefly recap the remaining destinations chosen for the aforementioned checklist, and why they were included. For the sake of the geographically challenged who may be reading this, Australia & Oceania covers the continent of Australia (shocker!) as well as the islands of New Zealand and the myriad island groups of the South Pacific that you’ve likely seen in either a movie, or your own personal travel fantasy. Enjoy these final entries, and don’t forget to order your own copy of the Travel Goals Master Checklist for yourself or the traveler in your life.

Aitutaki, Cook Islands

Aitutaki, Cook Islands

The remote Cook Islands are the stuff tropical dreams are made of. The tiny atoll of Aitutaki, with its powder white sands and mesmerizing lagoon could be considered the dreamiest of them all. I was actively looking into the idea of visiting here before the pandemic hit, so for now that circle remains unchecked on my own checklist. But assuming flights to non-New Zealanders open up in the future, I know that Aitutaki will remain a strong component of my own travel goals.

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Bora Bora , French Polynesia

Perhaps no other island captures the essence and romance of a South Pacific paradise more than Bora Bora. With a jagged green interior ringed by the most incredibly blue lagoon imaginable, this island in French Polynesia is the very definition of “exotic”. While I never stayed in one of the ridiculously overpriced over-the-water-bungalows, the few days I spent in this tropical Eden made Bora Bora a no-brainer for inclusion on the checklist.

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

It’s hard to mention Australia and not have its native natural wonder of the world come to mind. Stretching along the extended coast of the state of Queensland, the Great Barrier Reef is an aquatic wonderland that I still consider to be the best place on the planet to go scuba diving. Sea life is prolific, conditions are generally calm and on the shallow side, and to top it off there’s plenty to do on land once you dry off. If you like anything to do with the water, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef should by a travel goal for you.

Milford Sound, New Zealand

Milford Sound, New Zealand

I feel like every time I speak about Milford Sound, New Zealand I’m repeating myself. That’s probably because I am. I just can’t help myself from blurting out that to this day, this stunning fjord in the southwestern corner of the South Island of New Zealand is still what I would consider to be the most beautiful place on Earth. Majestic doesn’t even do it justice, so if there’s one destination on this checklist that you really, absolutely should strive to mark off, Milford Sound is the place. Just trust me on this.

Mount Cook, New Zealand

Mt. Cook, New Zealand

Well, since you’re already going to be in New Zealand . . . mighty Mount Cook, with its glaciers and milky blue lakes is another world-class destination that ranks up there with the world’s best. Also known by its Maori name Aoraki, this is the tallest peak in New Zealand, and by some accounts, its most scenic as well. In fact, just get to New Zealand whenever you can; I could probably make another entire checklist solely from the natural wonders that it contains in nearly every corner.

Sydney, Australia

Sydney, Australia

Though most people don’t come all the way to Australia just to experience an urban lifestyle, spending time in Sydney will be worth your while if you did. With a beautiful setting on the Paramatta River, and the iconic Opera House and harbor bridge anchoring the downtown section, Sydney is a cosmopolitan counterbalance to the rugged, wild Outback that characterizes the country.

Uluru, Australia

Uluru, Australia

Speaking about the Outback, the most iconic image of this dry, untamed region that makes up the bulk of the Australian continent is undoubtedly Uluru, formerly known as Ayers Rock. This massive monolith in the center of the continent well encapsulates the rugged, almost primitive nature of the Australian wilderness that still shines through with captivating beauty.

Closing Thoughts

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series half as much as I have enjoyed writing about it. Whittling down the top 72 world-class travel destinations was a labor of love, and ultimately, quite subjective. Whether or not your favorites made the list, I encourage you to visit these amazing places in person once it’s safe for you to do so. And while you’re at it, why not purchase the fully illustrated Travel Goals Master Checklist print, which not only showcases the beautiful imagery of all 72 destinations considered but also features a world map with provided spaces for you to fill-in the ones you’ve visited. I think you’ll find that regardless of the number of spaces you can check off, most of the fun will be in figuring out a way to reach those that remain empty. After all, setting travel goals is a never-ending journey that will enrich your life, and provide a sense of accomplishment that only a true traveler can understand.

How did you like the Travel Goals Master Checklist Series? Leave a comment below and let me know. Happy Travels!

Travel Goals Master Checklist: Part V – Asia

This portion of the Travel Goals Master Checklist series of blog posts focuses on Asia. Not surprisingly, much like its counterpart in the real world, it is the biggest in both size and number. Spanning a land area far beyond that of any other continent, Asia is a medley of cultures, technology and history that cannot be matched. From the ancient desert bastions of the Middle East to the frenetic metropolises of the Orient, Asia holds the lion’s share of destinations on the Travel Goals Master Checklist, and as I’ll go on to explain, that’s for good reason.

But before we do, if you’d like to catch up on the entries from some of the other continents, click the following links for North America and the Caribbean, South America and Antarctica, Africa, and Europe.

Bali, Indonesia

With its dazzlingly green terraced rice paddies, expansive beaches and Hindu temples, Bali is an amalgamation of natural beauty and a deep cultural heritage. Even just mentioning the name Bali is sure to conjure images of exotic beauty, so it was a sure-thing to rank a place on the top 72 world-class destinations.

Borneo, Malaysia

Speaking of exotic, Borneo is the epitome of off the beaten path, with ancient rain forests and Southeast Asia’s tallest peak. Add in some unique animal life, such as the orangutan and proboscis monkey, as well as prolific coral reefs, and it becomes readily apparent why I felt compelled to add Borneo to the checklist.

Cappadocia, Turkey

At the western edge of the continent, this region in Central Turkey is renowned for its surreal landscapes of eroded volcanic rock. Floating above it in a hot air balloon remains one of my favorite life experiences, and given its incomparable characteristics, Cappadocia is a must-see destination for anyone with an appreciation for history, unique architecture, natural beauty or all of the above.

Coral Atolls, Maldives

Though I had been dreaming of getting to the Maldives long before they became an Instagram phenomenon, I still haven’t managed to do so – yet. But that doesn’t make this idyllic archipelago of coral atolls surrounded by some of the most appealing water on earth any less worthy of their spot on the checklist. Just Google a few pictures and you’ll see why this remote destination in the Indian Ocean is the stuff that travel dreams are made of.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

It’s hard not to be impressed by Dubai. Sitting on the crossroads between East and West, this glittering city is the world showcase of all that is glittery and artificial. Rising out of the barren wastes where the desert meets the Persian Gulf, this incredibly modern playground has become one of the most interesting – and indulgent – urban centers in the world. Love it or hate it, Dubai is a player on the world scene and earns its place on the Travel Goals Master Checklist.

Great Wall, China

In a land full of famous landmarks, the Great Wall of China was an easy Top 10 entrant on the checklist. My own travels brought me only to the Badaling section outside of Beijing, but seeing this famous structure snake its way across the hilly landscape does not disappoint regardless of where on its expansive length you choose to observe.

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

While there are a number of beautiful karstic regions around the world, none are perhaps as famous as Ha Long Bay off the northern coast of Vietnam. Rising precipitously out of the water, these dramatic islands are home to caves, beaches and ancient temples. This geological feature is world-class and Ha Long Bay is a fitting nominee to represent it on the checklist.

Hong Kong, China

With the only skyline that can rival New York, and the cultural bones of its Chinese and British history, Hong Kong is a top contender among world cities, and a worthy destination to appear on the checklist. Despite the overwhelming modernity in its current iteration, there’s still a sense of original flavor despite the homogeny overtaking Asia that makes Hong Kong a must-see city.

Marina Bay, Singapore

While on the topic of must-see cities, the tiny island nation of Singapore has found a pleasant blend of urban necessities and natural spaces that makes it a top rated destination in Southeast Asia. This is particularly evident in Marina Bay and its signature showpiece, Gardens by the Bay; home of the Supertrees, lovely outdoor gardens, and artistic pavilions, all in the shadow of the impressive Marina Bay Sands hotel. I’ve yet to see a nighttime setting quite like this one, and felt impelled to include Singapore on the list

Mount Everest, Nepal

Of the 72 destinations on the Travel Goals Master Checklist, Mount Everest will likely be the last one I could mark off, assuming that I could even get to them all. Even the trek to base camp is far beyond my level of physical fitness. But considering its fame as the highest peak in the world and its role as a perennial bucket list favorite, there’s no way I couldn’t add it to the checklist, even if that’s one circle I’m unlikely to ever cross off.

Mount Fuji, Japan

Few natural landmarks are as inherently entwined with a national image more than Mount Fuji, Japan. This almost perfectly conical mountain on the outskirts of the megalopolis of Tokyo is a peaceful counterpoint to the modern megacities that surround it. I know I was quite impressed when seeing it for the first time from the window of a bus, and given its easily-recognized iconic value, it was a no-brainer for inclusion on the checklist.

Palawan, Philippines

Though my own travels in the Philippines did not take me to Palawan, travelers in the know recognize the island – and its main draw, El Nido – as a tropical playground that can easily be confused with paradise. The islands of the Philippines are simply stunning, and I chose perhaps the most famous of them all for the list in honor of this recognition.

Petra, Jordan

Even if you couldn’t care less about history, Petra, with its cities carved out of rock, is world famous thanks to its cinematic exposure. While you’re not likely to find the holy grail inside (see the previous sentence for context), this World Heritage Site has both the historic, architectural and recognition value to represent the wonders of the Middle East on the Travel Goals Master Checklist.

Phuket, Thailand

Phuket and the surrounding Phi Phi and Similan Islands are a convincing stand-in for paradise. With gorgeous beaches, tropical foliage and amazing dive sites, if peninsular Thailand’s most popular destination is not on your bucket list, it’s time to revisit your list.

Seoul, South Korea

It’s impossible to discuss the topic of major cities in Asia without mentioning Seoul. It has emerged as an economic and cultural powerhouse that punches well above its weight. I haven’t yet visited myself, but recognize that it is a player on the world scene, and deserves its spot on the master checklist.

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Home to the sprawling Angkor Wat complex, Siem Reap is like something right out of an adventure movie. The remnant pagodas and temples smothered in rain forest draw visitors the world over, making this an indisputable candidate for the list.

Taj Mahal, India

In over 25 years of travel, I’ve yet to see a building that could match the splendor (yes, you read that right, splendor) that could equal the Taj Mahal. This is one of those places you can see a million times in pictures or on TV, but when you see it in person it makes a far deeper impression. Only the Pyramids and Eiffel Tower could be considered on par with the Taj Mahal in terms of recognizability, and as such, its place on the checklist was instantly assured.

Yangtze River, China

Had I not seen the Yangtze in person, I may have overlooked it as a candidate for this list. But after seeing not only the majestic scenery but also the major role the river plays in the lives of those who live alongside it, I was convinced that this impressive river and the region that surrounds it belongs on the checklist. See it for yourself and you’ll likely agree.

The Travel Goals Master Checklist

With Part V of the series I’ve now covered 65 out of the 72 destinations on the master checklist. How many can you check off? Even if that number is zero, the beauty of the checklist is that it inspires a person to new adventures and specific travel goals. If you’ve enjoyed the artwork and want a Travel Goals Master Checklist to display in your home or office, please visit my Etsy store to order a copy for yourself or the traveler in your life.

Coming soon, Part VI . . . Australia and Oceania

Have you been to any of these destinations? Or do you have a favorite in Asia that you feel should have made the list? Share it with your fellow travel lovers by leaving a comment!

Travel Goals Master Checklist: Part IV – Europe

In Part IV of the Travel Goals Master Checklist series, I’ll explain the reasons and inspirations behind the 13 destinations selected to represent Europe in my list of the top 72 travel locations in the world. Suffice to say, I could have easily found 72 in Europe alone, and arguments can be made that some worthy destinations have been left out. But I challenge anyone to claim that the 13 selected aren’t worthy entrants in their own rite.

So enjoy the backstory to the European delegation to the Travel Goals Master Checklist, and if you haven’t done so already, I invite you to read Parts I, II and III.

Bavaria, Germany

The mountains, forests and charming villages of Germany’s Bavaria section are something right out of a fairy tale. The most conspicuous of such elements is the famous Neuschwanstein Castle, whose storybook setting and fantastical architecture were the perfect muse for representing this lovely region on the checklist.

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

Though on my own visit to the Cliffs of Moher they – and they alone – were disappointingly wreathed in fog, the drama was still readily evident, and the familiar vertical cliffs seen in movies and postcards were still impressive. Ireland’s Atlantic coastline is stunningly spectacular, and the Cliffs of Moher are a worthy subject for inclusion on the Travel Goals Master Checklist.

Geiranger, Norway

The Norwegian fjords are collectively one of the most beautiful landscapes on Earth. Among these dramatic inlets, tiny Geiranger stands out as a cut above the rest. In fact, I consider this to be the second most beautiful place I’ve ever been (the first being Milford Sound, New Zealand – also located on a fjord). I strongly encourage all who can to make plans to check off this entry on their own copy of the Travel Goals Master Checklist.

Greek Islands, Greece

Though I’ve yet to make my way through the islands of Greece, from a tourism viewpoint they are the stars of the Mediterranean, and deserve a spot on the list. Among the various postcard-worthy scenes I considered as inspiration for creating the artwork for this destination, a sunset view over Santorini seemed to best encapsulate all that is good in this corner of the world.

London, England

When it comes to world cities, London is not just the capital of England, but a capital of empire with relics of its history, museums and architecture to recommend it. Considering its strong profile on the world stage and world-class attractions, London easily made its way onto the checklist, and is likely one destination that many can check off.

Meteora, Greece

With so many sites in Europe worthy of their place on the checklist, I was reluctant to choose two from the same country. But the otherworldy pinnacles of the Meteora in mainland Greece were a highlight of my own travels, and a unique setting that earns its spot among the world’s most impressive places to visit.

Paris, France

Paris is another one of those cities that double as a national and cultural capital. There was no difficulty in selecting it as an entrant on the checklist, neither was there much internal debate as to which icon to select in representing the City of Light. Given its worldwide popularity as a travel destination, more than a few can mark off Paris on their own copy of the Travel Goals Master Checklist.

Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

Only in recent years has the small Mediterranean country of Croatia muscled its way among the heavyweights of world travel destinations. While its turquoise-framed islands and coastline get a lot of the attention, Croatia’s biggest natural gem is located inland at the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Plitvice Lakes. With turquoise waters of its own spilling over tiers of lush, forested mountains, this idyllic spot is on my own bucket list, and is worthy of its inclusion of the checklist’s top 72 as well.

Rome, Italy

Brimming with recognizable monuments and vestiges of former empire, the Eternal City of Rome is a no-brainer for the travel goals checklist. It also wasn’t too hard to select the massive Colosseum as the subject for this particular piece of artwork. For centuries Rome has been a must-see world capital and that appeal lasts right up to our time as well.

St. Petersburg, Russia

Though not as famous as the Russian capital Moscow, many would argue that St. Petersburg is superior from a cultural and architectural viewpoint. The gilded Hermitage was the obvious choice for representing the city, and a winter scene seemed only fitting given its location.

Swiss Alps, Switzerland

The entire country of Switzerland is made up of postcard-worthy views in all directions. Such views come courtesy of the Alps, which also spill over into Italy, France, Germany and Austria to great visual effect. Most famous of those peaks is the Matterhorn, whose distinct knife-edge profile was an easy choice for representing this stunning landscape that well-deserves its place on the checklist.

Venice, Italy

In my opinion, Venice gives off a vibe that it is more akin to a movie set than an actual functioning city. But function it has for hundreds of years, and as a result, the historic palazzos, ornate bridges and ubiquitous gondolas have earned it a spot on the checklist. Add to that a charm that launches it into a competition with Paris as the world’s most romantic city, and there’s no way I could leave it off.

Volcanic Landscape, Iceland

Iceland is a prominent fixture near the top of my own bucket list, and has the geological and atmospheric chops to earn it a spot on the master checklist as well. With raw, rugged landscapes sculpted by volcanoes and other elements, and the kind of latitude that lends itself to viewing the elusive aurora borealis for a good portion of the year, Iceland is a popular travel destination for good reason, and someday I hope to see it for myself.

All 72 destinations of the Travel Goals Master Checklist

At this point in the series I’ve now covered 47 out of the 72 destinations on the master checklist. How many can you check off? Even if that number is zero, the beauty of the checklist is that it inspires a person to new adventures and specific travel goals. If you’ve enjoyed the artwork and want a Travel Goals Master Checklist to display in your home or office, please visit my Etsy store to order a copy for yourself or the traveler in your life.

Part V coming soon . . .

Have you been to any of these destinations? Or do you have a favorite in Africa that you feel should have made the list? Share it with your fellow travel lovers by leaving a comment!