Done every square inch of Bali? Check out these Top 10 different travel destinations in no particular order…
Located in Central America next to Mexico, active volcanoes, cascading lagoons and Maya ruins all compete for travellers’ attention in Guatemala. Travel deep into the jungle to visit Tikal, a lush Maya capital of temples and dwellings stretching back to the 4th century BC. Antigua, the past Spanish capital of Central America is full of Instagramable orange and yellow facades cradled amongst looming volcanoes. Less than one hour away from Guatemala City, Antigua contains striking ruins and bustling night spots where you can pick up a spiced mango or tortilla for as cheap as 5 cents.
Located off the east coast of Africa, this tiny, vibrant island has beaches, lagoons, reefs and first class views of the Indian Ocean. Shallow waters contain striking topography, coral reefs and plunging drop-offs. The Mauritian table is a melting pot of Indian, French, Chinese and Creole cooking served at luxury resorts and beach-side shacks capturing the essence of the warm local culture.
It’s had its share of news coverage for political reasons, but the Philippines, a 7,000 island archipelago, also has the full set of white sand beaches, lagoons and jungles making it an emerging magnet. Tourism and infrastructure isn’t yet fully developed and it’s less expensive and less carved out to capitalise on visitors…for now. This mix of travel off the beaten track, beautiful islands, low prices and genuinely hospitable and honest locals has made it the next emerging travel spot. In Palawan, Lonely Planet’s second most beautiful island after Boracay (2015), construction is rife. Hotels on the outskirts of its capital El Nido are still half-built, bus terminals are blocks of mud and many beach resorts don’t have direct road access. But these growing pains pay off with jaw dropping scenery, lower prices and relative calm before tourism completely hits this part of the world.
4. Harar – Ethiopia
The holy, Islamic city of Harar is a place apart. Reminiscent of Fez in Morocco, the East Africa city has 368 alleyways squeezed into just 1 square kilometre of countless mosques, shrines, vibrant bustling markets, crumbling bright walls and welcoming locals. Fact: hyenas visit at night when you can watch the ‘hyena men’ feed them by mouth. It’s no surprise that Ethiopian coffee is of the highest standard – so you won’t need to drop into Starbucks.
5. The Jordan Trail
The Jordan Trail is a 600 kilometre route where the rugged, beautiful landscapes unfolds in front of you. It traverses Jordanian forests, deserts, and rugged cliffs and along the shores of the Red and Dead Sea – tiny sections of coast in this otherwise landlocked place. Along the trail are archaeological monuments from Jordan’s rich history like Petra, the capital of the Nabateam Kingdom which contains temples carved into pink sandstone cliffs. It’s believed Jesus, Moses and Mohammed all walked this route which showcases the country’s most scenic sites. You can break this long trail into sections to make it less daunting, and join a group to explore its heights and depths.
6. Papua New Guinea
A set tour is a smart way to experience this rugged, relatively untouched paradise. It’s true safety is a legitimate concern in PNG so following precautions and local advice is critical. Exploring the most remote parts of the destination requires forfeiting creature comforts but the upside is seeing a diverse destination way off the tourist track. Inland you can find active volcanoes and intense trails like Kokoda. In the highlands you can enjoy a sing-sing festival where the friendly tribespeople display their colourful culture. And of course PNG has magnificent beaches and coral reefs where you can find world class diving and snorkelling. If remoteness is stopping you from visiting, it’s just a short flight from Cairns, Brisbane, Singapore and Tokyo – no excuses!
Tanzania is another place to lock in a tour where you can experience Serengeti, Mt Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar Archipelago and captivating cultures. Meet the red-cloaked Massai, watch a pastel sunset at a powdery beach and shop local at sprawling markets. Stone Town is the old part of Zanzibar City where you can stroll a maze of narrow streets full of Swahilli culture mixing Arab, Persian Indian and European elements. Stretching out over 20,000 square kilometres, Ruaha is Tanzania’s largest park where around ten percent of the world’s African lions live. They have decreased around 90% over the last century and are close to endangered. Tanzania’s sustainable tourism initiatives are letting visitors see this beautiful wildlife and support their preservation.
8. Monte Argentario, Italy
Located in Tuscany just 150km from Rome, Monte Argentario is connected to the mainland via three narrow sandbars where sea and mountain meet. The towns of Porto Ercole and Porto Santo Stefano (nestled under the mountain of Argentario) are crammed with ferries, fishing boats, classic Italian cafes and forts. Take a boat trip to fully appreciate Monte Argentario’s rugged coastline.
9. Bequia – The Carribean
Bequia may only be 7 square miles, but it’s one of the most up and coming destinations in the Caribbean. Frequently stuck in the shadow of Barbados, Jamaica and Antigua, Bequia is emerging into the spotlight and the place to enjoy a Caribbean island escape without the packed crowds and flash. Pristine beaches, affordable accommodation and a slower pace makes Bequia a relaxing break away.
10. Nubra Valley, India
This quiet valley in Ladakh is only recently accessible to travellers who reach the Himalayan destination crossing a peak-high pass: the Khardung La. Pakistan, Tibet, China and India’s Himachal Pradesh surround the Nubra Valley which is the eastern part of the hotly contested Jammu and Kashmir. Nubra is serenely beautiful: sprawling pasture lands, glaciated peaks and rugged mountains are in this far-flung place – rug up!