I just spend my first 24 hours in the Highlands (Lv.58~60). And I have to say that it's the most wonderful region I've been in. It even beats Golden Plains. For the first time ever I have been doing the (REP) quests that give you alpaca medals. I've only done some in Arid Wilds but I soon skipped them because they simply became too bothersome.
The Highlands is a wonderful map. It has bright plain fields, unlike any of the previous maps such as Blackflame Peak and Decay Swamp. There is a nice soothing background music playing as you walk through the calm scenery. It's as if I'm back at Limestone Mountain, the town where I began as a Warrior. But the best of all is the lack of volcano's, waterfalls, swamp sounds and all the other anoying sounds I've came across ever since I left the Golden Plains.
Another great thing is that this map offers the Golden Alpaca coins which I sought for a long time. I want one of their costumes. These (REP) quests are so amazing, they sometimes stack together making you only defeat 1 monster for 2 different drops. The NPC's are close by, the monsters are easy to defeat, and the quest with the seeds is just too good to be true. One downsider though, you need to be careful with arena attacks or else you might anger that massive boar that strolls by. I died once or twice, not seeing it was behind me.... Oh well~
Ode to the Highlands. May your wonderful memories aid me in my further travels~