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Top 12 Trips of 2012

Sea Lions on Beach in the Galapagos

A typical scene in the Galápagos. Photo by David Vargas.

With 2012 now behind us, we’ve tallied up the Top 12 National Geographic Expeditions of the year based on the number of travelers who joined us, and the list spans the gamut from Alaska to Antarctica, and from wildlife adventures to photography workshops.

Coming in at the top is the Galápagos, that wonderland of rare and fearless species. One of our most popular destinations ever, the islands continued to draw families, photographers, wildlife enthusiasts, as well as travelers in search a destination that is truly unique.

Our first runner-up was our enigmatic neighbor to the south: Cuba. Thanks to an easing of U.S. travel restrictions to the island, we were able to secure a People-to-People license from the Department of the Treasury last year and introduce travelers to the people and culture of a beautiful and complex country long off-limits to most Americans.

Many chose expeditions of epic proportions: a voyage to the icy wilds of Antarctica, or a journey around the world in a private jet that includes the Taj Mahal, Angkor Wat, Easter Island, and enough other legendary sites to seriously diminish even the most ambitious bucket list.

And, it’s perhaps unsurprising that many of those who decided to travel with National Geographic wanted to go where the wild things are, whether it was Yellowstone in the middle of winter, the heart of the Amazon rain forest, or wildlife reserves in southern Africa.

See our Top 12 of 2012 below, and check out our website for a list of all the trips that made it into our Top 25.





Cuba: Discovering Its People and Culture


Alaska’s Inside Passage


Journey to Antarctica

Around the World

Around the World by Private Jet


Peru: Land of the Inca

New York City

Weekend Photography Workshop: New York City

Polar Bear

Land of the Polar Bears


Winter Wildlife in Yellowstone

Costa Rica

Costa Rica and the Panama Canal


Upper Amazon


On Safari in Southern Africa by Private Air

Check out more of our top trips of 2012 on our website.



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