The world is big and there is always, always something beautiful to see and experience. It’s no wonder then that over the years, more and more people are getting into travel photography. The allure of a new destination is enough to compel one to leave their comfort zone behind—at least for a (short) while—and dive into the promises of an exciting photography adventure.
However, if you’re a budding or even an expert photographer, you might find yourself asking, “where do I go next?”
Below are our top 10 destinations in 2020 to help you choose your next travel photography adventure. Whether you’re joining photography group tours or doing it solo, each destination is phenomenal either way.
So get your cameras ready and let the adventure begin.
1. Colorful Cuba
We begin our photography adventure with a trip to see the dazzling colors of Cuba. If photographing colors is your thing, this northern Caribbean country will surely give you a lot to capture. Its colorful streets and neighborhoods are begging to be photographed. An example is the fishing village made by local artist Jose Fuster called “Fusterlandia.” This fishing village is a piece of art in and of itself with its tile mosaics fashioned from Jose Fuster’s childhood imagination. Another element that adds life to Cuba is its history, like in Old Havana whose buildings are over a hundred years old. The country’s rich past makes the colors seem even more vibrant. The stories behind every structure—or behind every vintage car—make every photo taken a nostalgic reminder of the country’s past and hopeful optimism for what is yet to come. Cuba is indeed every photographer’s dream come true.
Check out our Cuba group tour!
2. Breathtaking Borneo
Borneo is an underrated destination. It is almost astounding how people skip over this island when deciding where to travel next. What most people do not realize is that Borneo is a gem, boasting with natural attractions that cannot be seen or experienced anywhere else. For those interested in nature photography, Borneo should not be missed. On top of the list of things to photograph are the island’s 130-year-old rainforests that are home to over 15,000 plant species. Walking through the jungle will give one the perfect opportunity to capture hundreds of mammals, including orangutans and proboscis monkeys, in their natural habitat. Then from the jungles to the deep seas, you can also make the large turtles in Sipadan your photography subject. The crystal clear waters provide the perfect backdrop for capturing Borneo’s breathtaking marine life. And while you are at it, take snapshots of the other underwater inhabitants, such as barracudas, manta rays, and eagle rays.
Check out our Borneo group tour!
3. Epic New Zealand
New Zealand is a favorite destination for photography group tours and it is easy to see why. This country is unquestionably gorgeous, you will end up coming back for more (and more). From its world-famous rolling green pastures, sandy beaches, and towering mountain ranges to its mirror-blue lakes and fjords, the photographic opportunities are endless. The adventure begins on the North Island in the capital of New Zealand, Auckland. Famously known as the “City of Sails,” Auckland boasts a beautiful harbor teeming with sailboats. Drop by just as the sun is setting for the perfect shot of the busy, mostly white, harbor. Then head over to the underground caves of Waitomo, known for its limestone caves filled with glowworms. The light from the glowworms will give one the surreal feeling of floating in the galaxy. After seeing a glimpse of the North Island, head over to the South Island and enjoy a delightful time taking photos of dolphins and whales. Of course, no visit to the South Island is ever complete without seeing the one-of-a-kind Pancake Rock formations.
Check out our New Zealand South Island group tour!
Check out our New Zealand North Island group tour!
4. Tropical Paradise Costa Rica
Costa Rica is said to be the “ideal exotic offshore destination for nature photographers,” all thanks to its mountainous terrain that offers a variety of photo opportunities. Experts recommend that when photographing Costa Rica, one ought to follow the big four: birds, beaches, wildlife, and volcanoes. Beginning with an avian adventure unlike anywhere else in the world, aim your lenses at nearly 900 bird species which include some of the most exotic such as the scarlet macaw and jabiru stork. Follow that with a visit to Costa Rica’s pristine beaches. Head over to Guanacaste and northern Puntarenas in the dry Pacific coast to photograph some of the country’s prettiest beaches where you can find ideal beachside subjects such as overhanging palms, sand bars, tide pools, breaking surf, and even nesting sea turtles. Costa Rica is “volcano country” and for good reasons. Photographers cannot get enough of the country’s volcanoes. Among the favorites is Arenal Volcano near La Fortuna. Lastly, watch and photograph Costa Rica’s wildlife in action. Get impressive photos of coatimundi, deer, armadillo, sloth, anteater, and giant iguanas.
Check out our Costa Rica group tour!
5. Terrific Thailand
Thailand is affectionately dubbed as the “Land of a Thousand Smiles.” And indeed, you will be smiling from ear to ear as you take photo after photo of the many attractions found only in Thailand. You can begin amidst the hustle and bustle of Bangkok which offers countless opportunities to take striking street photos. Of course, do not forget to capture the busy and colorful markets. You may also head over to one of the many roof top bars and capture the country’s cityscape. Afterwards you could go on a “temple photography adventure,” and photograph some of the country’s most beautiful and resplendent temples such as those found in Ayutthaya and Sukhotha. After, you may head down south and practice your photography as you explore the amazing paradisaical islands. Create impressive postcard shots of the pristine beaches. Lastly, in the northern part of Thailand, you will have opportunities to meet and photograph local hill tribes.
Check out our Thailand group tour!
6. Phenomenal India
To be quite honest, nothing—and we do mean nothing—could ever compare to the diversity and colors that India can offer. It is no surprise then that India has always been every photographer’s dream destination. Start your adventure in Agra, home of the magnificent Taj Mahal. The grandeur of Taj Mahal easily makes it one of the most favorite and iconic places in India. However, Agra is not just about Taj Mahal. It also boasts of other destinations such as Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, and Taj Mahotsav. The next stop is the spiritual dwelling of His Holiness Dalai Lama in Dharamshala. Capture the extravagant Tibetan heritage in India set in the folds of the Himalayas. Make sure to include the majestic Himalayan peaks in your frame as you capture photographs. Then, get a sense of heaven in gorgeous Kashmir. This valley features alpine wonders, stunning lakes, snow-capped landscapes, and winding rivers. Everywhere you turn your head in Kashmir is worth taking a picture of. Going back to the busy cities, do not forget to stroll through India’s “color” cities, such as the Pink City of Jaipur considered by CNN as a “photographer’s paradise.”
Check out our India group tour!
7. Mesmerizing Morocco
From one sensory paradise to the next, Morocco is a favorite destination of photography group tours. There really is just something about this North African nation’s charm that calls you and makes you reach for your camera. Perhaps it is the bustling hues of Marrakech or the combination of rich vibrant colors, arousing aromas, and age-old traditions set against spectacular mountains, expansive deserts, and extended coastlines. When photographing Morocco, it is almost as if one is required to begin in one of its many medinas or markets. These markets feature an exciting display of artworks, colors, scents, and of course, people, making them the most ideal location for people and street photography. Then head over to Fez to witness and capture its thriving cultural scene. The most iconic location in Fez to photograph is of course Chaouwara Tannery’s courtyard, where one can see leather get made.
Check out our Morocco group tour!
8. Wonderful Chile
You will be busy taking pictures as soon as you set foot in Chile literally nestled between fire and ice. This South American destination’s topography makes it the perfect subject for nature photography. The ultimate experience is in the Atacama Desert, famous for its open skies and unobstructed views of the stars. We could not think of a more perfect place for night and sky photography; be sure to prepare your most powerful lenses. To complete your excursion, go on a nighttime trek through the Valley of Mars. Other notable locations in Chile include Torres del Paine—which features glaciers and one of the most beautiful landscapes you will ever set your eyes on—and the waterfall wonderland of Siete Tazas National Park.
Check out our Chile group tour!
9. Stunning Switzerland
They say Switzerland is ridiculous but in the best way. Most photographers compare this European country to a postcard (or an endless series of postcard) and it is easy to see why. It is, after all, known for its fairy-tale towns set against soaring snow-capped mountains. The marriage of civilization and nature is a harmonious and peaceful arrangement. Spired churches, black and white cows, shining lakes, and the greenest grass find balance in each other’s existence. Everywhere you look is pristine, clean, so perfect, and so beautiful, you will surely be busy taking photos. What is even more impressive is how Switzerland offers the best means to see the country’s beauty in all its glory—either onboard a cable car or in one of the patios of its many mountain-view restaurants.
10. Captivating Japan
This list will not be complete without including the Land of the Rising Sun, Japan. The blend of the old and new makes Japan the ideal location for any photographer. Study the workings of a highly metropolitan city and capture the iconic intersection in Shibuya, perhaps one of the most popular streets in the world. People coming from different directions and converging in this crossing is always so fascinating to witness. The best spot to photograph Shibuya Crossing is on the second floor of Starbucks Shibuya Tsutaya at around 5 in the afternoon. After experiencing the modern in Tokyo, head over to Kyoto to experience the “old Japan.” Go to Pontocho or Gion District to photograph authentic maiko and geishas as well as traditional tea houses. Lastly, a visit to Kyoto will be incomplete without stopping by Kinkaku-ji Temple, or “Golden Pavillion,” and the Nanzen-ji Temple with its immaculate Zen garden.
Check out our Japan group tour!
The list above has taken us all around the world to find the best locations for photography group tours. For solo travelers, experiencing them small group travel style is a great way to go. More than anything, the above destinations remind us that the earth is truly a wonderful place, be it man-made or created by “mother nature”. Our earth makes every photographer’s journey a rewarding experience. Truly, this world is a gift that keeps on giving.