Your favorite cites, countries, monuments and natural wonders go head-to-head in Lonely Planet’s first travel “bucket” list bracket. We know international travel may be on the distant horizon for many of us, but we can still dream.
Here’s how it works: we’ve broken up the most popular lifetime bucket list destinations (selected by Lonely Planet digital editors) into four categories. Each category (cities, countries, monuments and natural wonders) has eight ranked entries that have been pitted against one another. Your weekly votes will determine which spots advance to the next round (there are five rounds), plus what bucket list items will represent the entire category and what country, monument, city or natural wonder will be named champion.
After some major upsets in Round 1, time to kick off round 2.
Round 2 voting ends March 24
COUNTRIES: ROUND 2
There’s nothing like an upset to really shake things up and in the country category, there were four! The biggest was eighth-ranked Canada beating No. 1 Spain. (Maple syrup and poutine for everyone!). Will the Great White North keep that momentum going when it takes on No. 5 Japan? The other second-round match pits two truly stunning locations No. 6 New Zealand vs. No. 7 Iceland.
CITIES: ROUND 2
The higher-ranked cities all made it out of the first round, but things only get harder from here. In the showdowns of all showdowns we have No. 2 New York vs. No. 3 London. Yes! The Big Apple vs. The Big Smoke! It’s like King Kong vs. Godzilla! The second matchup in the category pits No. 1 Istanbul, a city known for its stunning architecture and its culturally diverse food, against the dazzling cosmopolitan Tokyo – ranked No. 4.
MONUMENTS: ROUND 2
NATURAL WONDERS: ROUND 2
A definite heavy favorite to win it all, the top-ranked Northern Lights made easy work of No. 8 Grand Canyon in the opening round. Up next for the No. 1 seed is the biodiverse paradise the Galapagos – ranked fifth. Another ecological head-to-head finds the No. 2 Great Barrier Reef vs. No. 3 Amazon. After a slow start in round 1, the Great Barrier Reef surged ahead of No. 7 Salar de Uyuni during the final full day of voting to advance. (Aussies to the rescue).