Thanks to millions of reviews written by passionate travelers, the TripAdvisor community is the perfect barometer to find out what’s hot in the travel universe. So, what are the latest trends when it comes to experiences? Read on to discover which countries and destinations are the world’s best for travel experiences – according to travelers themselves!

Top-Rated Destinations Show Travelers’ Appetite for the Great Outdoors

TripAdvisor research today reveals countries and destinations that put travelers in the heart of nature are the world’s top-ranked for travel experiences, according to travelers themselves. The data revealed Costa Rica – known for rainforests, volcanos, beaches and surfing – to be the world’s best destination for travel experiences, taking top spot on both the country and destination lists. New Zealand, famed for its adventure tourism, ranked second among the best countries, while Vietnam, known for its bustling cities, delicious food and beautiful coastline took third place.

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According to new research, destinations and countries that put travelers in the heart of nature—like Costa Rica and New Zealand—are the world’s top-ranked for travel experiences.

Closer to home, the United States’ outdoor experiences for travelers, like a Kohala Coast Wild Dolphin and Reef Snorkeling Excursion, and food and drink experiences like an Anchorage Craft Brewery Tour, secured the country a spot among the top ten countries for experiences worldwide – coming in at number nine.

The lists detail the best countries and destinations in the world for travelers to do local tours, activities, and experiences. Rankings are based on the combined average destination ratings and reviews for bookable experiences on TripAdvisor.

Costa Rica Named Best in the World for Experiences

Globally, Costa Rica proved to be the favorite for travel experiences, taking the top spot in the country list, while its La Fortuna de San Carlos region – boasting experiences like volcano hikes waterfall treks and a Sloth Seeing Tour – took first place in the destinations list.

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Arenal Volcano in the district of La Fortuna.

La Fortuna de San Carlos beat out two of the world’s most scenic destinations: Hawaii’s Kauai, known for its beautiful Na’Pali Coast accessible by both boat and helicopter, and Tromso, Norway, famous for the Northern Lights, its fjords and crystalline waterfalls.

Kauai Named Top Destination in the U.S. for Experiences

Travelers’ affinity for outdoor experiences is consistent in the US, with places like Hawaii, Arizona, and Florida topping the list. Despite taking second place to La Fortuna de San Carlos in the world list, Hawaii’s Kauai secured the top spot on the list of best destinations in the US for experiences, while popular vacation destinations Sedona, Arizona and Key West, Florida round out the top three.

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Kauai, Hawaii.

Destinations offering food and drink experiences, like Portland’s Mississippi Avenue Food Tour and Seattle’s Viator Exclusive: Early-Access Food Tour of Pike Place Market, also proved to be a hit amongst travelers.

These rankings show that travelers want more than the typical city break. With destinations like Kauai and Sedona — known for their incredible natural landscape — ranked among the top destinations in the country for experiences, and foodie cities like Portland and Seattle, not far behind, it’s clear that travelers are gravitating to places that offer something unique.

These top US cities are great inspiration for travelers planning their next trip, and with over 121,000 experiences available to book on TripAdvisor, there’s something for every kind of traveler.

These are the top 10 countries and top 10 destinations in the world for experiences, according to travelers’ ratings and reviews.

Rank Country Average Country Rating* Top-Rated Experiences
1. Costa Rica 4.66 White Water River Rafting Class II-III from La Fortuna-Arenal

Small-Group Guided Sloth Seeing Tour in La Fortuna

Private Monteverde Cloud Forest Walk

2. New Zealand 4.65

Auckland Insider Tour: Food Tour with Local Expert

Tandem Parasail Flight over the Bay of Islands

Half-Day Kayak to the Maori Carvings from Taupo

3. Vietnam 4.61

Half-Day Hanoi Food Tour

Full-Day Mekong Delta Bike Tour from Ho Chi Minh City

Evening Hoi An Food Tour by Bike

4. Ireland 4.57

Whiskey Tasting Tour of Dublin

1916 Rebellion Walking Tour

Howth Peninsula Hiking Tour

5. Scotland 4.57

Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Tour

4-Day Tour of the West Highlands and Isle of Skye from Edinburgh

5-Day Orkney Islands Tour from Edinburgh Including the Scottish Highlands

6. Australia 4.54

3-Day Uluru Camping Tour from Alice Springs Including Kata Tjuta and Kings Canyon

Ayers Rock (Uluru) Sunrise and Segway

Full-Day Maria Island Scenic Cruise Including Buffet Lunch and Guided Walk

7. Portugal 4.52

Secrets of Sintra and Cascais Private Tour

3-Hour Madeira Scenic Island Tour by Motorcycle Sidecar

Lisbon Go 7 Hills Electric Bike Tour

8. Mexico 4.50

Private Customizable Sailing Tour in Cancun

Private Los 7 Cenotes with Lunch and Bike Ride from Merida

Puerto Vallarta Adventure Tour: Ziplining, Rappelling and Tequila Tasting

9. United States 4.50

Private Tours at Disneyland and California Adventure

Anchorage Craft Brewery Tour and Tastings

Ocean Kayak Tours

10. Iceland 4.49

White Water Rafting Day Trip from Hafgrímsstaðir: Grade 4 Rafting on the East Glacial River

Whale Watching RIB Boat Tour from Husavik

Golden Circle Afternoon and Northern Lights Tour from Reykjavik

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Best Destinations in the World for Experiences

Rank Destination Average Destination Rating* Top-Rated Experiences
1. La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica 4.81

White Water River Rafting Class II-III from La Fortuna-Arenal

Small-Group Guided Sloth Seeing Tour in La Fortuna

Canyoning in the Lost Canyon

2. Kauai, Hawaii, USA

4.79

Half-Day History and Ecology Trek at the Makauwahi Cave Reserve

Kauai Deluxe Sightseeing Flight

Koloa Zipline

3. Tromso, Norway 4.77

Norwegian Fjords Tour Including Professional Photos in Tromso

Reindeer Feeding, Lasso Throwing, and Sami Culture Tour Including Lunch from Tromso

Aurora Borealis Private Night Tour from Tromso

4. Rotorua, New Zealand 4.77

Kaituna White-Water Rafting Adventure

Rotorua Forest Zip Line Canopy Adventure

Tutukau Gorge Jet Boat Ride and The Squeeze

5. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico 4.77

Puerto Vallarta Adventure Tour: Ziplining, Rappelling and Tequila Tasting

Sierra Madre ATV Adventure from Puerto Vallarta

South Shore Private Sightseeing Cruise in Puerto Vallarta

6. Sedona, Arizona, USA 4.72

Mogollon Rim Off-Road Tour

Diamondback Gulch by Off-Road Jeep from Sedona

Zip Line Tour at Out of Africa Wildlife Park in Camp Verde

7. Queenstown, New Zealand 4.72

Twilight Wine and Craft Beer Tour

Queenstown Nevis Highwire Bungy Jump

Half-Day Milford Sound Flight and Cruise from Queenstown

8. St. Petersburg, Russia 4.70

Shore Excursion: Three Day Highlights Tour

Shore Excursion: 2-Day St. Petersburg City Explorer including Faberge Museum Visit

St.Petersburg Private Tour of The Hermitage Museum

9. Santorini, Greece 4.68

Santorini First Impressions Private Tour

5-Hour Private Cruise from Fira

Santorini Wine Roads Tour with Wine Tastings

10. Key West, Florida, USA 4.68

Sunset Sail in Key West with Cocktails and Hors D’oeuvres

Small Group Kayak and Snorkel Eco Tour

Parasailing in Key West

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Best Destinations in the U.S. for Experiences

Rank Destination Average Destination Rating* Top-Rated Experiences
1. Kauai, Hawaii 4.79

Half-Day History and Ecology Trek at the Makauwahi Cave Reserve

Kauai Deluxe Sightseeing Flight

Koloa Zipline

2. Sedona, Arizona 4.72

Mogollon Rim Off-Road Tour

Diamondback Gulch by Off-Road Jeep from Sedona

Zip Line Tour at Out of Africa Wildlife Park in Camp Verde

3. Key West, Florida 4.68

Sunset Sail in Key West with Cocktails and Hors D’oeuvres

Small Group Kayak and Snorkel Eco Tour

Parasailing in Key West

4. Phoenix, Arizona 4.68

Sunset Hot Air Balloon Ride over Phoenix

3-Hour Arizona Desert Guided Tour by Teryx UTV

Segway Tour of Old Town Scottsdale

5. Kohala Coast, Hawaii 4.68

Ocean Kayak Tours

Kona Wild Dolphin and Reef Snorkeling Excursion

Small Group Night Volcano Tour – Witness Kilauea Eruption From a Safe Distance

6. Portland, Oregon 4.67

Mississippi Avenue Food Tour

Columbia River Gorge Tour from Portland

Oregon Coast Tour from Portland

7. Charleston, South Carolina 4.62

Charleston City Sightseeing Tour via Bus

Charleston’s Alleys and Hidden Passages

Morris Island Lighthouse Eco-Cruise

8. Orlando, Florida 4.61

Manatee Kayak Tour at Blue Springs State Park

Orlando Sunrise Hot-Air Balloon Ride

Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral

9. Seattle, Washington 4.60

2-Hour Seattle City Tour

Snoqualmie Falls and Seattle City Tour

Viator Exclusive: Early-Access Food Tour of Pike Place Market

10. Maui, Hawaii 4.57

Maui Jungle Zipline Tour

Maui Parasailing Experience

Makena Turtle Town Eco Adventure in Maui