This is the summer of radical ecotourism and the new capitals of culture that defeat destinations taken by storm by fad-driven tourism. Direct flight connections that make them even closer, even when far away are certainly playing a massive role.
Activist Greta Thunberg awakened a more attentive collective consciousness to the environment, leaving us pleasantly stunned by its ethical origin. For those who want to venture into ecotourism paradises, San Blas and Guna Yala, off the coast of Panama, are two of the hottest destinations: an archipelago of 378 islands and a strip of land overlooking the Caribbean Sea, inhabited for more than five hundred years by the Kuna population. Visitors are welcome, as long as they embrace the free spirit of the place. Stop over Panama City and rent an ecolodge along the coast or on one of the islets, get ready to live without water (you will only find rainwater) or electricity. The rhythm of nature will dictate the rhythm of the holiday.
Those looking for a more challenging and possibly chilled environment will be able to see polar bears, one of the most threatened species by climate change, in the Hudson Bay lowlands. The northest part of Canada is the most human-friendly area near the Arctic Circle that you can visit without giving up comfort. Don’t miss the Wapusk Park in Manitoba and the Polar Bear Provincial Park in Ontario.
Climate poles apart, the Mexico pacific coast is a destination for green connoisseurs. Far from the Gulf social life, a super exclusive and still little-known area is that of Guerrero and Jalisco. You can reach it by a direct flight from Italy to Mexico City and it’s absolutely worth a visit; afterwards, with a domestic flight, you can reach the picturesque Acapulco and Guadalajara. To end the holiday in the name of relaxation, the ideal solution is to rent a lodge in a yoga retreat on the coast: the most indie ones are around Troncones and Yelapa.
With just a few days to go for a last-minute getaway, Serbia’s second city conceals more than one reason to be visited: Novi Sad is the 2019 European Youth Capital and will be the European Capital of Culture in 2021. Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2019 guide has named it one of the must-visit cities this year. Its cultural and artistic schedule will amaze you just as much as the traces of the crossroads of cultures that molded it, from the Celts to the Byzantines and finally the Habsburgs. It can be reached in an hour’s drive from the capital Belgrade, connected to Italy by a direct flight from Rome.
Also from Rome, direct flights to Shenzhen, Chengdu and Hangzhou have just been launched. The latter is one of the seven ancient capitals of China, which was ruled by Marco Polo and is not yet too inflated by Western tourism. It is located just 140 km from Shanghai: an opportunity to visit both and immerse yourself in contemporary Chinese culture, combining avant-garde and millennial tradition.