The new year is just around the corner, and if you’re a culture-crazed, food-freak, adventure-junky, travel-lover like us, you’re already thinking of next year’s travel destinations!

After seven years of being on the road, we’ve had some pretty amazing adventures. In fact, there have been so many great experiences, that it’s very hard to narrow it down to just 16, but somehow we’ve managed.

Here is the Goats On The Road list of 16 epic adventures to have in 2016!

1. Sail The Tobago Cays, Saint Vincent and The Grenadines

Let’s start this list off with an easy adventure, good for all ages and anyone who enjoys serene beauty, untouched nature and world-class snorkelling.

The Tobago Cays are known as “The Jewels of The Caribbean” and coming from a couple who has spent a considerable amount of time living & travelling in this region, we’d have to say that this is the most impressive and visually stunning set of islands that we’ve ever seen in the Caribbean.

Sailing Tobago Cayes

You can hop on the Yannis sailboat for a day trip that costs just $100 including 2 meals, all alcohol, snorkelling, sailing and a great crew. This is one of the best deals to be found anywhere in the West Indies and there is no better way to see the Tobago Cays.

2. Camel Trek in Rajasthan, India

It’s time to take a pretty big jump up on the adventure scale. India itself is an adventure, but climbing on the back of a gigantic Bactrian beast and heading into the barren depths of the Thar Desert near Jaisalmer is an intrepid undertaking to say the least.

Camel Safari - Jailsamer, India

Don’t worry though, your experienced guide will make you feel right at home amongst the rolling dunes, dung beetles and remote villages. Sleep under a silky black sky, sprayed with more stars than you ever knew were visible from Earth.

This will surely be a hard-to-beat experience in 2016 and beyond.

See: Camel Safari – Jaisalmer, India

3. Houseboat on the Backwaters of Alleppey, India

India hits this list again with another epic experience that should be on everyone’s travel bucket list. Hop on a Keralan rice barge – turned luxurious houseboat – and follow the Alappuzha Backwaters, a narrow network of crisscrossing waterways that pass by villages, temples, markets and seemingly endless farmlands.

The Best Travel Experiences

Witness the village life of rural india, from the comfort of a privately chartered vessel with a staff that will cook, clean and captain for you the entire way, stopping when you want to visit the towns, buy souvenirs or just mingle with the local people.

These houseboats can be rented for as little as $70 / day for the whole boat with 3 staff members, all food and drink and comfortable a/c rooms!

See: Houseboating on the Backwaters of Alleppey, India

4. Hike Independently in Mongolia

Head to Google Maps, find Mongolia, pick a river and plot your route. Mongolia is a camping, trekking and fishing wonderland, perfect for anyone who loves the outdoors.

Independently trekking will give you the opportunity to meet local people, see the countryside and learn about the fascinating itinerant lifestyle of a Mongolian nomad. This truly is an off-the-beaten-path adventure.

See: Epic 8 Day Mongolian Trekking Adventure

trekking in mongolia

5. Trek The Himalayas, Nepal

You don’t need to be an Everest-conquering mountaineer to trek in Nepal. There are plenty of different trails for all skill sets and endurance levels.

We recommend the Annapurna Circuit for a medium-difficult trek, which is easy to navigate and (despite recent development) remains an astonishingly beautiful place to explore. Other (easier) treks can be found around Jomsom and Pokora.

travel as a couple

6. Drive The Pamir Highway, Tajikistan

Not interested in taking on the high alpines by foot, or bike? Consider driving through the formidable Pamir Highway in Tajikistan. Hire a guide from either Dushanbe or Khorog and set out on a five day – two week adventure through some of the most spectacular and menacing mountain scenery you’ll ever encounter.

pamir highway tajikistan

Sleep in remote local villages and witness the incredible hospitality of the Pamari people, soak in hot springs, explore ancient fortresses and shop at cross-border markets where Afghani families meet you with smiles and quality goods for sale.

See: The Ultimate Guide to Backpacking Tajikistan

7. Take The Trans-Mongolian / Trans-Siberian Train

This list wouldn’t be complete without at least one epic train journey. The Trans-Siberian rail expedition takes you between Moscow and Northern China (through Siberia and Mongolia) on one of the longest and most legendary train rides in the world.

The journey can take anywhere between one week to one year, depending on how often you stop and how much you intend to see.

trans mongolian train

We recommend allowing at least one month for the trip, so that you can get off and explore some of the region’s hidden gems, like Olkhon Island in Russia & Lake Khogsvol in Mongolia.

See: Traveling on the Trans-Mongolian Train: All You Need To Know

8. Go On A Safari in The Masai Mara, Kenya

The Masai Mara (along with the Serengeti in Tanzania) is one of the most spoken about safari spots, on a continent teeming with more wildlife watching opportunities than you could shake a camera at.

safari in the masai mara kenya

Hire a jeep, pay the entrance fee, charge your camera battery and enter a world of wild and untamed natural hierarchy, violent survival drama and awe-inspiring landscapes that can only be witnessed in Africa.

A safari is without a doubt one of the most exhilarating and humbling travel experiences that you can have and seeing the big 5 is a definite bucket list item that everyone should try to tick off.

See: On Safari in the Masai Mara – Our Quest For The “Big 5”

9. Go Surfing in Lombok, Indonesia

Skip the crowds of tourists and the busy waves of Bali and head to Lombok for a more relaxed surfing experience. Hire an instructor for $10 / day, hop on a long tail boat and head out to some of the most exquisite coves and perfectly formed tubes, swells and rollers on the planet.

Surfing Lombok

Don’t worry, there are waves here for all experience levels. Dariece and I both rode waves on our first day on the water!

10. Scuba Dive Sipadan, Malaysia

Without a doubt, the most astonishing dive site I’ve ever seen in my life (and I’ve done quite a few dives around the world), Sipadan is an underwater utopia, teeming with more fish life and coral growth than you could ever imagine.


You’ll see dozens of turtles, countless sharks, tornadoes of jackfish and swarms of snapper. You’ll start to think that all of the world’s fish are congregating around this one group of islands off of the northeastern coast of Borneo.

See: Sipadan – The Best Scuba Dive of My Life

12. Sail The Nile on a Felucca, Egypt

I know, we’ve already spent a fair amount of time on sailing vessels and houseboats on this list, but none of those ships stop at 4,000 year old temples, and ancient stone tombs…until now.

Felucca Nile

Hire a felucca (Egyptian sail boat) and a captain and sail from Aswan in southern Egypt, up the legendary Nile River, stopping at villages, tiny riverside restaurants, farms and of course, colossal mausoleums of fallen pharaohs and lost kingdoms of ancient Egypt.

See: Sailing The River Nile: A Four Day Felucca Journey

13. Experience Cappadocia, Turkey

Picture an extraordinary landscape of cone-shaped rock formations, jutting out from the sun-scorched earth of Central Antalya. These aptly named “fairy chimneys” create a bizarre-looking world which seems as if it came straight out of a Tim Burton movie.


Hike through the dramatic landscape and learn about how these strange peaks formed, and how the Cappadocian people have etched their homes, hotels and shops into these jagged cliffs. You can even stay in a fairy chimney cave hotel!

See: 10 Reasons To Travel To Turkey

14. Wakeboard on a Volcano Lake, Guatemala

Lake Atitlan is probably the most visually stunning place that we visited in all of 2015. Soaring crater walls fortify this sublime and tranquil lake, while numerous indigenous villages are scattered around the shoreline, making for perfect day trips and cultural outings.

boats on lake atitlan

When you’ve tired of observing Mayan culture, learning about coffee-making, climbing volcanoes and relaxing by the shore, consider heading out wakeboarding on the mirror-smooth waters of Lake Atitlan.

See: Travelling to Lake Atitlan, Guatemala – a Guide to The Villages

15. Scuba Dive in an Underwater Cave (Cenote), Mexico

Submerging into a dark and cavernous cenote, watching the light disappear from behind you and feeling completely engulfed by a watery abyss is an exhilarating and intimidating experience.

For any diver who loves adventure, I recommend Dos Ojos near Tulum in southern Mexico.

The Mouth Of Dos Ojos

16. Help Out Where It’s Needed, Anywhere

For all that travel gives us, maybe 2016 is the year to give back. Wherever you are in the world (even in your own country), try to help out where it’s needed most.

Some of our favourite (and most rewarding) experiences on the road were volunteering to teach English in Laos, teaching children to brush their teeth in rural Myanmar and helping out at orphanages in Africa.

volunteer in mozambique

The world is a beautiful place to explore and to experience and we should cherish it and everyone who lives in it. Let’s start now.

2016 can be a year to give back, to learn and try to empathise for those who have different beliefs and for those who are less fortunate.

2016 can be a year of adventure, experience and growth.

2016 can be a year to remember.

Like this article? Pin it 🙂

16 Adventures to Have in 2016

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Written by

Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift are the owners and founders of Goats On The Road. Together they have been travelling and working abroad since 2008 and have more than 20 years of combined experience in online business, finance, travel and entrepreneurship. Their expert advice has been featured on the Lonely Planet, CNN Money, Business Insider,  WiseBread and Forbes and they also spoke at the World Tourism Forum in Istanbul about the business of travel blogging.

Learn more about Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift on their respective author archives on this site and on the Goats On The Road About Us Page.

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32 thoughts on “16 Epic Adventures To Have in 2016

  1. All of those trips sound amazing. I’d be lucky to do even one of them. Glad you guys are taking life by the horns and having a blast.

  2. Awesome list and some great inspiration here! I’ve been wanting to do the Trans Siberian for sooo long, maybe next year will be the year!

  3. If I made all 16 of these in 2016, I’d be over the moon. A couple of these are great ideas so I have pinned it for inspiration. We have been to a few of these places (Cappadocia, Grenadines, Guatemala). Mongolia and Nepal are pretty high on our list.

  4. Mongolia and Nepal are must-sees! Awesome that you’ve been to the Grenadines, not many people we meet have been! Isn’t that a beautiful area?! Love it.

    Happy 2016 guys 🙂

  5. I remember on one of my first ever overseas trips (back in 1989 -a guided tour to India/Thailand), I very nearly had the opportunity to do a camel safari in Rajasthan (leaving from near Jaipur). At the last minute as the rest of the party was due to leave, I contracted ‘Delhi belly’ very badly, and ended up having to spend a week resting up at our hotel in Jodhpur, which a converted Maharajah’s palace. I often wonder what the safari would have been like!

  6. Epic list…epic. The diversity of your recommendations makes the post all the more inspiring!

    If you were confronted with the constraints many of your readers are, which one or two of your list would you choose? ha!

  7. This list sounds amazing! This will really serve as an inspiration for the upcoming years! For now, a destination in the Caribbean is on the shortlist for 2016, either Cuba or Belize… That’s already a lot to look forward to 🙂 Happy holidays!

  8. Oh no! The dreaded Delhi Belly! You’ll just have to return and try a camel safari now 🙂 I cannot imagine what travelling to India / Thailand would have been like in 1989, fascinating!

  9. Thanks Yok! We definitely think that Adventure can be had by anyone, so we tried to have a wide range of recommendations on here…oh, and I couldn’t choose 🙂

  10. Very exciting! Cuba is amazing, and as far as Belize goes, we only went to Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, both of which were unreal, especially Caye Caulker 🙂 Happy travels!

  11. Nepal, Mongolia and the Trans-Siberian train are things I’ve wanted to do for such a long time. The problem is just that it’s difficult to decide where to start! 🙂

  12. What is your plan for Turkey? We fly into Istanbul – a first for us – for a 5 night stay on 8th of January.

  13. Hi Merrill 🙂 We’ll only be in Istanbul until the 7th (we think) before taking off to Bulgaria. We’re then back in Istanbul after seeing some of the Balkans, on February 2nd.

    Happy travels!

  14. You’ve both completed this rich Epic list ~ Whew ! and it must have fulfilled you in Many ways ~ since those smiles and Adventures continue ! I Love them all and #16 is Wonderful !
    2016 certainly will bring more Epics with your next Great Adventure beginning in a few days !
    WoW ! AWEmazing Courageous Out of the Box Goats ! <3

  15. Thank you! Yes, all of these adventures were very fulfilling and so much fun 🙂 We cannot wait to see what adventures we get up to in 2016!

  16. You two really have done some amazing things. I remember reading about all these trips when you did them, but when you put them on a list like this, it is really quite incredible.

  17. India is interesting but I have to find new friend to be with that travel. Haha.. Nepal and Kenya are cool too. What an epic adventures! lol

  18. Following a RTW trip 2014-2015, we are currently planning our second! You guys were a big help on the last one and I’m already checking out your blog post for our next chosen destinations. Working on a blog as we speak to hopefully help out other travelers (but mainly to whack up pictures for friends and family!) Cheers guys – expect some questions from us over the next few years.

  19. Awesome Sophie! thanks for the message, we really love hearing from our readers 🙂 Happy travel planning!

  20. Awesome list and some great inspiration here! I’ve been wanting to do the Trans Siberian for so long, maybe next year will be the year!

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