Top Travel Destinations for 2015: Supernatural Nature

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The terrace at Casa Gangotena hotel in Quito, Ecuador.

The Galapágos

In High Def.

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A rainbow over Isabela Island.
Galapagos wildlife at its cutest.

By Aaron Gulley
 
With visitor numbers climbing and land-based development afoot, the pressure is on to see Ecuador’s Galápagos Islands before they change.
 
Go: Tauck’s innovative Earth Journeys partnership with the producers of BBC Earth gives guests on the 40-passenger Isabela II access to gear and expertise from the nature documentary company for enriched encounters with penguins, iguanas, and other wildlife. Underwater and thermal-imaging cameras, night-vision goggles, and infrared camera traps provide new perspectives on animal behaviors, and exclusive films created for the nine-day cruise anchor naturalists’ lectures.
 
Mainland Rising: A handful of properties have freshened 
up mainland Ecuador. “Casa Gangotena has been restored to the best property in Quito,” says New York-based advisor Ginny Caragol. “And Mashpi Lodge, in the Mashpi Rainforest Biodiversity Reseve, a three-hour drive from Quito, is a magical place and a great add-on to the Galápagos.”

Top 10 Travel Destinations for 2015:
  1. Europe for Less: The Balkans
  2. Honeymoons: French Polynesia or Maldives
  3. Culture: Milan
  4. Safari: South Africa
  5. The Emerging Destination: Myanmar
  6. City Escape: Paris
  7. Supernatural Nature: The Galapgos (You are here!)
  8. Family Travel: Costa Rica
  9. Close to Home: Napa Valley
  10. Adventure Travel: New Zealand
 
Originally appeared in Virtuoso Life magazine, January 2015.

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A room at Mashpi Lodge.