Mexico is a country between the U.S. and Central America that’s known for its Pacific and Gulf of Mexico beaches and its diverse landscape of mountains, deserts and jungles. Ancient ruins such as Teotihuacán and the Mayan city of Chichén Itzá are scattered throughout the country, as are Spanish colonial-era towns. In capital Mexico City, upscale shops, renowned museums and gourmet restaurants cater to modern life.
Canada is a North American country stretching from the U.S. in the south to the Arctic Circle in the north. Major cities include Toronto, French-speaking Montréal, Vancouver and Québec City, and capital city Ottawa. Canada’s vast swaths of wilderness include lake-filled Banff National Park in the Rocky Mountains. It’s also home to Niagara Falls, a famous group of massive waterfalls.
Madagascar is a huge island nation off the southeast coast of Africa. It’s home to thousands of animal species, such as lemurs, found nowhere else, plus rainforests, beaches and reefs. Near the busy capital, Antananarivo, is Ambohimanga, a hillside complex of royal palaces and burial grounds, as well as the “Avenue of the Baobabs,” a dirt road lined by massive centuries-old trees.
Venezuela is a country on the northern coast of South America with diverse natural attractions. Along its Caribbean coast are tropical resort islands including Isla de Margarita and the Los Roques archipelago. To the northwest are the Andes Mountains and the colonial town of Mérida, a base for visiting Sierra Nevada National Park. Caracas, the capital, is to the north.
Armenia is a nation, and former Soviet republic, in the mountainous Caucasus region between Asia and Europe. Among the earliest Christian civilisations, it’s defined by religious sites including the Greco-Roman Temple of Garni and 4th century Etchmiadzin Cathedral, headquarters of the Armenian Church. Khor Virap Monastery is a pilgrimage site near Mount Ararat, a dormant volcano just across the border in Turkey.
Croatia is an Eastern European country with a long coastline on the Adriatic Sea.Encompassing more than a thousand islands, it’s also crossed by the Dinaric Alps. Its inland capital, Zagreb, is distinguished by its medieval Gornji Grad (Upper Town) and diverse museums. The major coastal city Dubrovnik has massive 16th-century walls encircling an Old Town with Gothic and Renaissance buildings.
Bolivia is a country in central South America, with a varied terrain spanning Andes Mountains, the Atacama Desert and Amazon Basin rainforest. At more than 3,500m, its administrative capital, La Paz, sits on the Andes’ Altiplano plateau with snow-capped Mt. Illimani in the background. Nearby is glass-smooth Lake Titicaca, the continent’s largest lake, straddling the border with Peru.
Ecuador is a country straddling the equator on South America’s west coast. Its diverse landscape encompasses Amazon jungle, Andean highlands and the wildlife-rich Galápagos Islands. In the Andean foothills at an elevation of 2,850m, Quito, the capital, is known for its largely intact Spanish colonial center, with decorated 16th- and 17th-century palaces and religious sites, like the ornate Compañía de Jesús Church.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe. Its countryside is home to medieval villages, rivers and lakes, plus the craggy Dinaric Alps. National capital Sarajevo has a well preserved old quarter, Baščaršija, with landmarks like 16th-century Gazi Husrev-bey Mosque. Ottoman-era Latin Bridge is the site of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which ignited World War I.
Spain is a diverse country sharing the Iberian Peninsula with Portugal at the western end of the Mediterranean Sea. It is the country with the third-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Spain’s capital and largest city is Madrid, other major urban areas include Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Bilbao and Málaga. A country of large geographic and cultural diversity, it it considered an exotic travel location.
France a country in Western Europe, encompasses medieval cities, alpine villages and Mediterranean beaches. Paris, its capital, is famed for its fashion houses, classical art museums including the Louvre and monuments like the Eiffel Tower. The country is also renowned for its gastronomy, wines and sophisticated cuisine in particular.
Austria, a country in Central Europe, is characterized by mountain villages, baroque architecture, Imperial history and rugged Alpine terrain. Vienna, its Danube River capital, is home to the Schönbrunn and Hofburg palaces. It is the winter sports capital of Europe and offers a multitude of activities.
Bulgaria is a Balkan nation with diverse terrain encompassing Black Sea coastline, a mountainous interior and rivers. With Greek, Slavic, Ottoman, and Persian inﬂuences, it has a rich heritage of traditional dance, music and crafts. A blend of nature and history, it is a travelers paradise.
Panama is a country in North America with coastlines on both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean. It is home to exotic tropical rainforests, beautiful mountain refuges, pacific style beaches and more than a 1000 islands. Panama is world-famous for its 48 mile canal that connects the Pacific Ocean with the Atlantic Ocean.
Costa Rica is a rugged, rainforested Central American country with coastlines on the Caribbean and Pacific. Costa Rica is known for its beaches, volcanoes, and extensive flora and fauna. Roughly a quarter of its area is made up of protected jungle, teeming with wildlife including spider monkeys and quetzal birds.
A country in Southeastern Europe, Greece is home to over 1000 islands through the Aegan and Ionian Seas. The extensive coastlines give rise to breathtaking landscapes with a mountainous mainland and idyllic island beaches. Athens, Santorini and Mykonos are among the most popular islands in Greece. Athens, the capital city, retains landmarks including the 5th-century B.C.
A South American country, Peru is home to a section of Amazon rainforest and one of the wonders of the world, Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu is an ancient Incan city high in the Andes mountains. The region around it including the Sacred Valley, Inca Trail and colonial city of Cusco, is rich in archaeological sites. On Peru’s arid Paciﬁc coast is Lima, the capital, with a preserved colonial center and important collections of pre-Columbian art.
Italy is a country of south-central Europe, occupying a peninsula in the Mediterranean Sea. Its capital, Rome, is home to the Vatican as well as landmark art and ancient ruins. Italy comprises some of the most varied and scenic landscapes on Earth and is often described as a country shaped like a boot. Some of the major cities in Italy include, Florence, Milan and Venice.
Nepal is a landlocked central Himalayan country in South Asia and lies between China and India. Nepal has a diverse topography, including fertile plains and subalpine forested hills. It is home to 8 of the world’s 10 tallest mountains, including Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth. It has more than 70 ethnic groups and more than 60 diﬀerent languages are spoken in diﬀerent parts of Nepal.
Morocco, a North African country bordering the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, is distinguished by its Berber, Arabian and European cultural inﬂuences. Marrakesh’s medina, a mazelike medieval quarter, oﬀers entertainment in its Djemaa el-Fna square and souks selling ceramics, jewelry and metal lanterns. The capital Rabat’s Kasbah of the Udayas is a 12th-century royal fort overlooking the water.
Cuba is a Caribbean island. It has sugar-white beaches and is donned with tobacco ﬁelds, which play a part in the production of the country’s legendary cigars. The capital, Havana, is lined with pastel houses, 1950s-era cars and Spanish-colonial architecture in the 16th-century core, Old Havana.
South Korea, an East Asian nation on the southern half of the Korean Peninsula, shares one of the world’s most heavily militarized borders with North Korea. It’s equally known for its green, hilly countryside dotted with cherry trees and centuries-old Buddhist temples, plus its coastal ﬁshing villages, sub-tropical islands and high-tech cities such as Seoul, the capital.
Mongolia, a nation bordered by China and Russia, is known for vast, rugged expanses and nomadic culture. Mongolia’s nomadic culture is famous – visitors can sleep in a ger (traditional felt camps), help round up the sheep, ride horses and simply ‘get back to nature’. Its capital, Ulaanbaatar, centers around Chinggis Khaan (Genghis Khan) Square, named for the notorious founder of the 13th- and 14th-century Mongol Empire.
The Kingdom of Bahrain is an archipelago made up of 33 islands located in the Arabian Gulf between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Manama is the capital of Bahrain and also its largest city. Manama enjoys a distinct reputation as a tourism and cultural hub regionally and internationally.
Tanzania is an East African country known for its vast wilderness areas. They include the plains of Serengeti National Park, a safari mecca populated by the “big five” game and Kilimanjaro National Park, home to Africa’s highest mountain. Offshore lie the tropical islands of Zanzibar, with Arabic influences, and Mafia, with a marine park home to whale sharks and coral reefs.
Kenya is a country in East Africa and encompasses savannah, lakelands, the dramatic Great Rift Valley and mountain highlands. It is famous for its safaris and is home to many game reserves. The Maasai Mara Reserve is known for its annual wildebeest migrations and is a popular tourist destination.
Alaska, northwest of Canada, is the largest and most sparsely populated U.S. state. It’s known for its diverse terrain of open spaces, mountains and forests, with abundant wildlife and many small towns. It’s a destination for outdoor activities like skiing, mountain biking and kayaking.
Hunza Valley is located in northern Pakistan and is surrounded by the Himalayan mountains. A picturesque town where mountain masses meet, it is famous for its beautiful landscapes and hospitable people.
Georgia is a country in Eastern Europe. Set on the coast of the Black Sea, it lies to the south of Russia, and to the north of Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. It presents a remarkable mix of landscapes and climates, ranging from high mountain peaks to wine-growing valleys and lush Black Sea resorts. The capital and largest city is Tbilisi.
Laos is a Southeast Asian country traversed by the Mekong River and known for mountainous terrain, French colonial architecture, hill tribe settlements and Buddhist monasteries.