Some travelers are inspired by food, some by adventure, and others still by the whims of their bucket list. However, Hollywood can prove a worthy, if unconventional, source of inspiration as well. There was no shortage of big-budget action movies in 2017. Here are three of our favorites to to inspire your next adventure trip.
New Zealand (Alien: Covenant)
Few destinations get more love from sci-fi directors lately than Iceland and New Zealand. The latter played a big role in this year’s Alien: Covenant as the setting of Ridley Scott’s newly discovered (and quickly conquered) planet. With its dense rainforests, glacier hiking opportunities, endless beaches, and dramatic volcanic peaks, the country has long been a favorite for adventure travelers.
Vietnam (Kong: Skull Island)
Given King Kong’s “birthplace” of Manhattan, Vietnam may seem like an unlikely setting for his next beastly takeover. Yet, that’s exactly where Kong: Skull Island took him this year. With its endless green paddies, winding rivers, and dramatic limestone peaks, the country provided the perfect backdrop for the remote setting of Skull Island. Cast members John C. Reilly and Samuel L. Jackson described the film’s locations as the most beautiful they’ve ever shot in. Like so many of the world’s best destinations, Vietnam is best explored slowly. Exodus Travels’ 14-day Trails of Vietnam tour is a perfect example, complete with walking, paddling, horseback riding. The tour reads like a highlight reel of the country’s best stops, including Halong Bay, Hanoi, the Mekong Delta, and the Cu Chi Tunnels.
South Africa (The Dark Tower)
For this highly anticipated adaptation of The Dark Tower series by Stephen King — specifically the first novel in the series, The Gunslinger — director Nikolaj Arcel relied heavily on Southern Africa to serve as the film adaptation’s futuristic, Wild West-style landscape. Many scenes were filmed in South Africa — Cape Town in particular — which proved the perfect setting to depict how “the world has moved on.” While exploring the southernmost tip of the continent, don’t miss Botswana’s Okavango Delta, the stunning deserts of Namibia, and the bucket-list-worthy Victoria Falls straddling Zambia and Zimbabwe.