What’s on your travel list for the year? There are so many places to explore and new experiences to enjoy that you may be thinking about sticking a pin in a map to see where to go next.
Here is a taste of some of the exciting places you can visit, some of which are well known and others which are more obscure. What they all have in common is extraordinary sights and amazing cultural experiences.
With more travelers wanting to experience local culture, Mexico is experiencing a revolution. Its vibrant capital, Oaxaca offers some truly authentic experiences, such as great street food, colorful fiestas and amazing colonial architecture. Visit the Monte Alban pyramid complex, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Maui is a popular destination with its stunning beaches and scenic beauty. Some of its beaches have jet-black sand framed with green jungle. Drive along the road to Hana and experience waterfalls, rocky cliffs and verdant valleys. Enjoy Maui tours, experience the Hawaiian culture and have fun snorkeling, surfing, jet skiing and parasailing.
Amalfi Coast, Italy
A visit to the Amalfi coast appeals to both adventurous travelers and those seeking relaxation. The region comprises 13 cliffside towns with colorful residences interspersed with luxury hotels cascading down to the Mediterranean Sea.
Explore hiking trails and picturesque beaches. Stay in a luxury hotel and enjoy fresh seafood and other delectable Italian fares.
Porto is experiencing a renaissance, thanks to its younger citizens. It’s seeing an explosion of lively bars, restaurants and boutique shops.
The city boasts Blue Flag beaches, medieval architecture and the most beautiful bookstore in the world. Stay in a hotel in Porto’s arty quarter or in a seafront apartment a tram-ride away from the city center.
Machu Picchu, Peru
A visit to Machu Picchu is on many people’s bucket lists. Many travelers do the four-day hike along the Inca Trail to reach the Incan citadel which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. If hiking isn’t for you, it is still possible to see Machu Picchu by taking a train from Cusco to the base of the mountain.
Hong Kong is the world’s most visited city. The historical sites, glittering skyline, family-friendly attractions and dynamic food scene are just some of the reasons travelers can’t get enough of it. Sample the delectable cuisine, such as dim sum and stir fry. Take a tour of the waterfront. Visit the Hong Kong Disneyland if you’re traveling with kids.
A good art and café scene, locals who know how to party and relaxed visa requirements have quietly been making Belarus an attractive destination. Minsk is the hub and you can take advantage of a 30-day-visa-free regime.
The Old Town has been impeccably restored around the town hall. Enjoy fashionable cocktail bars and summer street parties.
São Tomé & Príncipe
The two-island nation is situated in the Gulf of Guinea and offers a rare chance to visit a place many travelers haven’t even heard of.
The jungle has taken over relics of the island’s past role in the slave trade, consuming colonial coffee, sugar and cocoa plantations. Climb the mountains, snorkel in blue waters and trek through surreal landscapes and forests.
Its Caribbean coast is fringed by a barrier reef and the interior has some of the most accessible and extensive cave systems in Central America.
The government is seeking to protect the unique marine environment and eco-resorts are springing up to take advantage of the jungle hideaways and caves. Tourists are beginning to discover this relatively untouched slice of Central America.