Top 21 Destination Recommendations for 2021

Congratulations! If you’re reading this article, you made it to 2021! Last year was a difficult one for everyone everywhere so it’s safe to say that we could all use a vacation. While you might not yet be ready to travel just yet, vaccine dissemination is under way and hope is definitely on the horizon for later this year. Our Team has been collaborating for weeks to compile the best 21 for 2021 List that you’ll read anywhere. We strive to educate travelers on the wide variety and diversity of experiences that this incredible world has to offer. Whether you’re a rugged explorer, beach bunny, social media star, wandering foodie, wine connoisseur or cultural student like us, there’s something on this list for everyone. Get to know these destinations if you’re not already familiar with them. This is a destination list that will even make most travel agencies envious. As you read, please keep in mind that this list is not ranked or organized in any particular order. Please enjoy our Top 21 Destination Recommendations for 2021!

Porto Heli, Greece

Located a couple hours scenic drive from Athens lies the Peloponnese Peninsula, an area often referred to as the “Greek Riviera”. Porto Heli is a highly cosmopolitan destination known for its yacht-filled marinas, magnificent summer villas, luxurious hotels, and lavish resorts. Blessed with a sun-kissed Mediterranean landscape this former fishing village has evolved into a glamorous spot for tourists with its vibrant nightlife, elegant gourmet eateries, beautiful scenery, and opportunity for outdoor adventure. Visitors can enjoy many recreational activities both on and in the water, including diving or snorkeling with opportunities to view abundant variety of marine life. including large fish and colorful sponges. As one of the most luxurious destinations in Greece, there is no shortage of upscale boutiques and top-tier restaurants. Porto Heli is a foodie paradise. Thanks to readily available olives, honey, fish and other ingredients being produced in the region, it’s hard to find a bad meal anywhere. Wine enthusiasts will also enjoy the selection of regional wines served to accompany the other faire. History buffs can explore archaeological finds from the town and acropolis of ancient Halieis that are now on display in museums nearby.

Banff, Canada

Banff justifiably ranks as most people’s number one destination in Canada. As much a pivotal piece of Canadian history as it is an incredible natural wonder, Banff is the nation’s oldest national park, founded in 1885. It represents what Canada is all about. Banff is a feral, but easily accessible, wilderness that attempts to cater experiences for everyone. This juxtaposition of the untamed and the civilized lures in everyone from mountaineers to busloads of senior citizens. Grizzly bears roam within growling distance of diners clinking cocktails at romantic dining halls, while weary hikers climbing down from summit attempts line up for ice cream with golfers still clutching their nine-irons. Striking a unique yin and yang balance between two distinct personalities. Travelers can take their pick or enjoy both! With a population of less than 10,000 people, Banff Town may not be more that an overgrown village but its few city blocks do manage to squeeze in a surprising amount of hustle and bustle. This resort town features everything from boutique shops and museums to nightclubs and fancy restaurants. Banff is no ordinary town. It has developed as a cosmopolitan service center for the national park that surrounds it. Offering a modern oasis to those who are as keen to shop till they drop, as they are to hike for hours into the wilderness. Wander 15 minutes in any direction and you're back in a primeval world of bears, elk and wolves Artists and writers who are drawn to the Rockies' unparalleled majesty often find their muse in Banff.

Granada, Spain

Most visitors are drawn to Granada by the allure of the Alhambra, an astonishing palace complex whose Islamic decor and landscaped gardens are without peer anywhere in Europe. While this palace is a must see, travelers will be delighted to find that Granada is a compelling city where serene Islamic architecture and Arab-flavored street life go hand in hand with monumental churches, old-school tapas bars and counterculture graffiti art. The city was the last stronghold of the Spanish Moors and their legacy lies all around. it’s evident in the cities horseshoe arches, the spicy aromas emanating from street food stalls, the teterías (teahouses) of the Albayzín, the historic Arab quarter. There is also an invigorating energy to Granada’s streets. Although the streets are packed to the brim with bars, student dives, bohemian cafes and intimate flamenco clubs in addition to the cities more traditional and historical sights, it’s this stark contrast that leaves you with a lasting impression. Sprawled at the feet of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Granada offers a variety of hiking trails. One of the most popular routes leads up to Mirador San Nicolas, which offers the perfect photo vantage point for the Alhambra and the rest of the Albayzin. The city is filled with beautiful fountains that are more than sculptural masterpieces. All the fountains in the city provide free drinking water to anyone who wants it. The most famous fountain in Granada is the Fuente de Aceituno (Fountain Of Youth). Local legends tell the story of an olive tree growing where the fountain now stands that started producing water one day which made people younger when they drank and it.

Punta Del Este, Uruguay

Punta del Este is one of South America’s most glamorous resort destinations. With its many beaches, elegant seaside homes, yacht harbor, high-rise apartment buildings, luxury hotels and glitzy restaurants, Punta has become extremely popular with neighboring Argentines and Brazilians. Celebrity watchers have a full-time job here. Punta is teeming with big name visitors and local gossipmongers keep regular tabs on who’s been sighted where. Surrounding towns caught up in the whole Punta mystique include the famed club zone of La Barra to the east and Punta Ballena to the west. Punta del Este’s iconic cityscape boasts some of the most glamorous parties South America. Beyond the beaches and nightlife, there are numerous museums and galleries that each have their own appeal. Casapueblo is a former art workshop that has been turned into a museum and boutique hotel where you can admire unique architecture and enjoy a wonderful view of the Atlantic. The Ralli Museum features exquisite pieces of modern and contemporary Latin American art and the Atchugarry Foundation is an outdoor sculpture park featuring some spectacular pieces. Playa Mansa and Playa Brava are the two most popular beaches, both feature large promenades filled with people exercising, cycling, and rollerblading at all hours. Mansa or “Calm Beach” is perfect for families or a relaxing swim, while Playa Brava is more popular with young people and renowned for surfing. Punta Del Este is busiest the last two weeks of December when hotels, large office buildings and nearly everyone else seems to be setting off dramatic firework displays to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s.

Masai Mara Reserve, Kenya

Close your eyes and picture Africa. Chances are that you’re picturing the Masai Mara. This huge expanse of gently rolling grassland speckled with flat-topped acacia trees and trampled by massive herds of zebras and wildebeest. Masai Mara is the ultimate African visual cliché, but for once the reality lives up to the image in your dreams. Masai Mara is comprised of the famous Masai Mara Reserve, a dozen surrounding community conservancies, several group ranches and numerous Maasai villages. For any who has visited Masai Mara, its not just the highlight of their Kenyan adventure but the very reason they came in the first place. The world-renowned Masai Mara National Reserve is a huge expanse heaving with animals great and small. While its Impressive at any time of year, it's definitely at its best between July and October when a million migrating wildebeest and tens of thousands of topis, zebras and other animals pour into the reserve from Tanzania in search of fresh grass to eat. It is, arguably, the most spectacular wildlife show on the planet and the one thing that no visitor to Kenya should consider missing. Reliable rains and plentiful vegetation underpin this extraordinary ecosystem and the millions of herbivores it supports. Wildebeest, zebras, impalas, elands, reedbucks, waterbucks, black rhinos, elephants, Masai giraffes and several species of gazelle all call the Mara home. Predators here include cheetahs, leopards, spotted hyenas, black-backed jackals, bat-eared foxes, caracals and the highest lion density in the world. Masai Mara offers one of the best Safari experiences in the world.

Cork, Ireland

Cork may be the second largest city in Ireland but its first in every important respect, especially to locals who cheerfully refer to it as the 'real capital of Ireland'. It's a liberal, youthful and cosmopolitan place that was badly hit by economic recession years ago but is now busily reinventing itself with spruced-up streets, revitalized stretches of waterfront, and an artisan coffee shop on every corner. There's definitely a growing hipster scene but the best of the city is still happily old fashioned. There’s plenty of snug pubs with nightly live-music, restaurants dishing up top-quality local dishes, and a genuinely proud welcome from the locals. Cork’s compact city center is set on an island in the River Lee. Its surrounded by waterways and packed with grand Georgian avenues. Walk through the cities cramped 17th-century alleys and discover modern masterpieces such as the opera house. The narrow streets are crammed with pubs, shops, cafes and restaurants, fed by arguably the best foodie scene in the entire country. Cork is also developing a bustling collection of vibrant art galleries like the Crawford Collection, which houses works from Irish artists such as Paul Henry, Jack B Yeats and Dorothy Cross. Unusual museums like the quirky Butter Museum offer a surprisingly interesting take on Cork’s history. If craft beers are your thing, you’re in the right place. Local stouts by Murphy’s and Beamish have been around for decades, while Eight Degrees Brewing, Rising Sons and Elbow Lane are newer names to look out for going forward. Beyond the city limits, you’ll find history everywhere, epic castles and pretty seaside towns are easily within reach. Just a short drive from the city you’ll find a totally different side of Ireland’s history is contained within Blarney Castle.

Port Louis, Mauritius

Mark Twain once wrote that ‘Mauritius was made first and then heaven, heaven being copied after Mauritius’. Most visitors to the island nation would agree that it’s true. Mauritius is rightly famed for its dazzling sapphire waters, powder-white beaches and renowned luxury resorts. But there’s so much more attraction to Mauritius than the beach, and it's the kind of place that rewards even the smallest attempts at exploration. There’s hiking in the forested and mountainous interior and world-class diving and snorkeling offshore. There are boat trips to near-perfect islets and excursions to botanical gardens and colonial plantation houses. Mauritius is a fabulous culinary destination with great wildlife watching thrown in. Port Louis is the island's capital and largest city. With flashes of India, Africa, Europe, China and the Middle East, Port Louis can feel like a kaleidoscope of countries and cultures. It’s the perfect place to take the pulse of Mauritius before continuing on to one of the luxurious beach resorts. Most of the excitement takes place amid the bustle of the downtown streets. There’s something engaging about the tangle of diversity in the ethnic quarters poised amongst wonderfully preserved colonial buildings. Le Caudan Waterfront is a popular spot for tourists. There are numerous on land and on water day excursions that disembark from Port Louis. Whether you’re in the city or at one of the private beach resorts, the real Mauritius is never far away.

Bologna, Italy

Bologna is the lively capital of the Emilia-Romagna region, in northern Italy. The city is filled with historical importance and unique style. Its Piazza Maggiore is a sprawling plaza lined with arched colonnades, cafes and medieval and Renaissance structures such as City Hall, the Fountain of Neptune and the Basilica di San Petronio. Fusing haughty elegance with down-to-earth grit and one beautifully colonnaded medieval grid, Bologna is a city of two intriguing halves. One side is a hard-working, high-tech city located in the super-rich Po valley where suave operagoers waltz out of regal theatres and into some of the nation's finest restaurants. The other is a bolshie, politically edgy city that hosts the world's oldest university and is famous for its graffiti-embellished piazzas filled with mildly inebriated students swapping Gothic fashion tips. It’s no small wonder that Bologna has earned so many different monikers throughout its history. Bologna has been known as La Grassa (the fat one), celebrating its rich food legacy. Not only is it the birthplace of ragù or bolognese sauce, but it also home to some of the oldest bakeries in Italy. Bologna has also been called La Dotta (the learned one) because the city’s university founded in 1088 is one of the oldest in the region. Bologna is a feast for all of your senses.

Paro, Bhutan

Bhutan is like nowhere else. It is the last great Himalayan kingdom, shrouded in mystery and magic, where a traditional Buddhist culture carefully embraces global developments. This is a country where the rice is red and where chilies aren't just a seasoning, but the main ingredient. One of the most unknown and unexplored countries in the world, Bhutan fascinates visitors for its spectacular scenery, unmatched cultural diversity, the hospitality of its people, its lifestyle and unique beliefs, cultivation of traditional arts and crafts, its magnificent mountains and of course, for its philosophy of Gross National Happiness. The sacred monasteries precariously hanging on sheer cliffs, the waving prayer flags that line the highest peaks, monks in their red robes singing their songs day and night, give this kingdom an aura of times long past. Be enchanted by this fascinating country while collaborating with its sustainable development. The charming town of Paro lies on the banks of the Paro (or Pa) Chhu, just a short distance northwest of the imposing Paro Dzong. The main street, only built in 1985, is lined with colorfully painted wooden shopfronts and restaurants, though its unclear how much longer these will remain because as the town grows multistorey concrete buildings continue to pop up. For now, Paro remains one of the best Bhutanese towns to explore on foot and is well worth taking your time to enjoy.

Salta, Argentina

Salta is an engaging destination for travelers with active minds because of its outstanding museums, romantic candlelit plaza side cafes and the live “música folklórica” of its vibrant peñas (folk-music clubs). It offers all the facilities and excitement of a larger city, but aside from the morning gridlock, maintains the comfortable pace of a smaller town that happens to have somehow preserved more colonial architecture than most other destinations in Argentina. Founded in 1582, it’s now the most touristed spot in northwest Argentina, and offers numerous accommodation options at various levels. Start your wandering around Salta in the city’s main square, Plaza 9 de Julio, where you’ll find Spanish colonial architecture, cobblestone streets, and cafes along the edge of the palm tree-lined plaza. Often referred to as “Salta la Linda” (Salta the Pretty), this mountain town provides visitors the opportunity to experience both Quechan and Andean culture. If you only visit one museum in the city, make sure its the Museo Arqueologia de Alta Montana (MAAM). Mostly dedicated to anthropology and the preservation of Andean culture, the biggest draw of the MAAM is the mummified remains of Inca children discovered by scientists in 1999 at the Llullaillaco Volcano. Try regional foods including some of the best empanadas in the entire country. Head out of the city into the countryside for some of the best mountain scenery in Argentina in route to the wineries of the Calchaquíes Valley. Here you’ll find lots of bodegas proudly serving white wine made from Torrontés grapes.

Mantanani Islands, Malaysia

The Mantanani Islands are a group of three isolated islands located northwest of Kota Belud. These islands are approximately 55 minutes boat ride by speedboat from the mainland Kuala Abai Jetty. Pulau Mantanani Besar (Big Mantanani Island) is the most popular with tourists, while Pulau Mantanani Kecil and Lungisan are usually visited on day excursions. The islands feature bleach-blond sandy beaches and are ringed by a halo of colorful coral, making them an ideal spot for diving. The big island promises the most diverse marine life. Many species of rays like blue spotted ray and marbled sting ray flutter alongside large schools of fish. The area also features the remains of some old, abandoned shipwrecks. Explore the wreckage, discovering the sea life inhabiting in and around it. Diving lodges in Mantanani offer daytime and nighttime dives for unparalleled access to the abundant diversity found in this undersea world. Birdwatchers flock to the islands in search of several rare birds that usually nest on islands, because of the relative lack of terrestrial predators. Mantanani Besar is the only place in Malaysia to see the Mantanani scops owl, the Pied imperial-pigeon, Grey imperial-pigeon, Pink-necked green pigeon and Metallic pigeon. Hop into a kayak and try your hands at sea-kayaking or simply laze on one of beautiful beaches and work on your tan. When evening comes, enjoy a romantic sunset cruise on a large traditional wooden boat.

Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia

Tbilisi is the vibrant, beating heart of Georgia and home to more than a third of the country’s total population. Most visitors are drawn in by the cities dramatic valley setting, its picturesque old town with eclectic architecture and its superb dining options. Add to that the pull of the city's bohemian culture, its techno scene and general air of cool, and Tbilisi is confidently sealing its reputation as the South Caucasus' most cosmopolitan city. While at first glance Tbilisi can seem both crowded and chaotic, many neighborhoods retain a village-like feel with their narrow streets and small shops, while the Old Town is still redolent of an ancient Eurasian crossroads, with its winding lanes, balconied houses and leafy squares, all overlooked by the 17-century-old Narikala Fortress. From the traditional pastel-colored houses, the cobblestoned streets flow seamlessly into the Art Nouveau neighborhood of Sololaki, where every ezo (courtyard) seems to reveal a new speakeasy bar or tucked-away café. Spend the day hitting museums and art galleries housed in impressive neoclassical architecture along Rustaveli Avenue or spend your nights dancing until dawn at powerhouse nightclubs like Bassiani, located underneath a historic soccer stadium. Georgian food has been storied throughout Eastern Europe for decades for its freshness and delicate balance of herbaceous flavors. Coriander is often used as a salad green rather than a garnish. The city’s focus on food has only intensified now that Tbilisi’s has undergone a culinary renaissance, with a cornucopia of local restaurants reimagining Georgian classics like grilled meats in sour plum sauce, salty khachapuri cheese breads, and red bean lobio stew. Whichever side of the city you're looking for, you'll discover both on any exploration of Georgia's capital.

Castries, St Lucia

St Lucia has enough geographic and cultural riches to embarrass far bigger nations. Notwithstanding, it remains a down-to-earth place that wears its breathtaking beauty with nonchalance. Noted for its oodles of small and luxurious resorts that drip color and flair, it is really two islands in one. Castries is the capital city of this mesmerizing island nation. It’s known for palm-lined white sand beaches like Vigie Beach. Castries is also the main port of call for cruise lines, with duty-free shopping near the harbor. But theres more to Casties than beaches and souvenirs. The Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception is must see, with its colorful murals. Nearby, you can enjoy a stroll in the leafy Derek Walcott Square park. Get a taste of the local way of life by visiting the lively Castries Market, where you can find everything from fresh produce to handmade local crafts. St Lucia is not a large island so you’ll have time to explore many of its towns. Rodney Bay in the north offers lazy days and modern comforts amid a beautiful bay. In the south, Soufrière is at the heart of a gorgeous region of old plantations, hidden beaches and the geologic wonder of the impossibly photogenic Pitons. Nature lovers can hike to jungle-clad waterfalls, climb extinct volcanic cones or zip through the forest canopy on land, or dive beneath the calm Caribbean to get up close to St Lucia's marine life. Foodies will be enamored with the islands delicious Creole cuisine. There’s plenty of pleasures to be had.

Yogyakarta, Indonesia

While Jakarta is Java’s financial and industrial powerhouse, Yogyakarta is its soul. Central to the island’s artistic and intellectual heritage, Yogyakarta (pronounced ‘Jogjakarta’ and called Yogya, 'Jogja', for short) is where the Javanese language is at its purest, the arts at their brightest and its traditions at their most visible. Fiercely independent and protective of its customs – and still headed by a sultan, whose Kraton (palace) remains the hub of traditional life. Contemporary Yogya is nevertheless a huge urban center, the entire metropolitan area is home to over 3.3 million people, complete with malls, fast-food chains and traffic jams, even as it remains a traditional stronghold of batik fashion, gamelan music and ancient rituals. Put it all together and you have Indonesia's coolest, most live able and lovable city, with unique street art, formal art galleries, artisan coffee shops and an abundance of cultural attractions. It's also a perfect base for visiting Indonesia’s most important archaeological sites, Borobudur and Prambanan. Both of these UNESCO World Heritage sites should be on everyone’s Bucket List.

Gold coast, Australia

The Gold Coast is renowned for its pristine white sand beaches that stretch across 35 miles of coastline. Choose from relaxing in the sheltered waters at Coolangatta and Currumbin beaches or try to hang ten at the popular surfing breaks at Main Beach or Burleigh Heads. Look beyond the beaches and you’ll discover laid-back neighborhoods, a booming culinary scene and the Gold Coast's famous assortment of theme parks. Be sure to leave enough time for a trip into the subtropical hinterland for rainforest walks and waterfall tours. Hinterland is also a good place to get in touch with the spirit of the traditional people of the region, the Yugambeh people. Visit a traditional village to see a completely different side of the Gold Coast. Built with pleasure in mind, this strip of coast is Australia’s most iconic holiday destination. Its shimmering high-rises can, when glimpsed from afar, resemble a make-believe city, and its reputation for tackiness is occasionally deserved. But this is far outstripped by the area's youthful spirit and startling physical beauty. Enjoy stunning sunsets and blissful water temperatures throughout an average of 300 sunny days a year. There’s malls and mega-clubs to entertain the party-hard kids. The other neighborhoods outlining the city center each have distinct charms of their own. From upscale dining scenes and coastal chic, to retro beach holiday vibes and a more laid-back local flavor. Not to be overlooked is the lush, misty subtropical rainforest of the hinterland –

Cologne, Germany

Cologne is like a living, breathing textbook on history and architecture. As you make your way around town you’ll stumble upon an ancient Roman wall, medieval churches galore, nondescript postwar buildings, avant-garde structures and a new postmodern quarter right on the shores of the Rhine River. Germany’s fourth-largest city was originally founded by the Romans in 38 BC and given the lofty name Colonia Claudia Ara Aggripinensium. Over time it grew into a major trading center, a tradition solidified in the Middle Ages, that is still upheld today. Cologne (Köln) offers a mother lode of attractions, led by its famous cathedral whose filigree twin spires dominate the skyline. The city’s museum landscape is especially strong when it comes to art but also has something in store for fans of chocolate, sports and even Roman history. Enriched by its over 2,000-year history, Cologne is a cultural hub in the region. The Ludwig Museum exhibits works of art from 1900 all the way up to modern day. This multi-million-dollar collection includes many Picassos, an extensive collection of Russian Avant-Garde pieces and iconic examples of Pop Art, like Warhol’s “Brillo Boxes” and “Maybe” by Roy Lichtenstein. Cologne's people are known for their liberalism and joie de vivre (“exuberant enjoyment of life”). It’s easy to have a good time with them in the beer halls of the Altstadt or during Carnival.

Cappadocia, Turkey

Cappadocia is a geological oddity of honeycombed hills and towering boulders of otherworldly beauty. The fantastical topography looks as if it was plucked from the pages of a whimsical fairytale and set down upon the stark Anatolian plains. Cappadocia’s incredible scenery is only matched by the wealth of human history found here. People have long utilized the region's soft stone, seeking shelter underground and leaving the countryside scattered with fascinating cavern architecture. The fresco-adorned rock-cut churches of the Göreme Open-Air Museum and the subterranean refuges of Derinkuyu and Kaymaklı are the most famous sights, while simply bedding down in one of Cappadocia's cave hotels is a special experience in and of itself. There aren’t a lot of places where you can experience 21st-century cave living. When it comes to hiking in Cappadocia, you can’t pass up the Red Valley. The valley’s sharp sandstone ridges glow a deep, vibrant red as the sun burns into the unique landscape in the last moments of the sunset each night. Not a fan of hiking, then take to skies for a more dramatic viewpoint. The Cappadocia hot air balloon rides are fast-becoming one of the most common travel bucket list items in the world. Seamlessly floating above the historic cave dwellings of Goreme Town with over 100 other balloons at sunrise is an experience that can only be likened to a scene out of fairytale. Whether you are wooed here by the abundant hiking potential, the intriguing history or the bragging rights of becoming a modern troglodyte for a night, it's the lunarscape panoramas that you'll remember. This region's accordion-ridged valleys, shaded in a palette of dusky orange and cream, are an epiphany of a landscape. Cappadocia is the stuff psychedelic dreams are made of.

Andong, South Korea

Famous for its salted mackerel, particularly strong soju (Korean liquor), wooden masks and a myriad of ancient sites, Andong is the capital of the Gyeongsangbuk-do Province. Andong’s location makes it a terrific base for exploring the numerous historical and cultural diversions in the surrounding area. The city itself has a very laid-back vibe and is strikingly friendly, with a good selection of places to eat and stay. The old hanja name for the city that you will see outside the train station and in other places is 安東 (Peaceful East), pronounced exactly the same in modern day Mandarin Chinese (Āndōng). One of the city’s attractions is the UNESCO-listed Hahoe Folk Village. Dating back more than 600 years, the village is home to the descendants of the Ryu clan of Pungsan and is widely popular thanks to the beautifully preserved choga (traditional houses with straw roofs) that make up the village, as well as the age-old customs that are still maintained by the residents that live in them. Andong is known as the birthplace of soju and the local distilleries take pride in this title. The soju produced here is more potent than what you’ll typically find. The real treat in Andong is the food and it has no shortage of regional culinary specialties, including gan godeungeo (salted mackerel) and heotjesabap (various funerary foods) but its real gastronomic gem is jjimdalk, a braised chicken and vegetable stew served with cellophane noodles in a soy sauce-based broth. The slurp-worthy sauce is a perfect mix of savory and spicy that promises to have you eating your way into a food coma. The most popular time to visit Andong is in September or October during the annual Maskdance Festival.

Palawan, Philippines

Palawan is mostly defined by the beautiful waters that surround it. With spectacular seascapes that can rival the views on any of the other islands in Southeast Asia and out of this world aquatic wildlife, the Philippines’ most sparsely populated region is also its most beguiling. Because of the long thin silhouette of its main island that stretches all the way up to Borneo, there’s a certain liberating logic to travel here. Despite becoming increasingly popular in travel-media in recent years, Thailand–style hordes of tourists have yet to arrive here. This has helped the main island's Amazonian interior to remain relatively unchanged. That said, the northern towns of El Nido and Coron have become base camps for the variety of adventure activities available in the Bacuit Archipelago and Calamian Islands. These areas are starting to attract big crowds in the high season. Not to fear, if you want to get away from the crowds all you have to do is venture outside of those two popular hubs. Palawan has countless places to choose from in your quest for that perfect paradise.

Petra, Jordan

Petra, the great Ancient City that lies half-hidden within the desert landscape of southern Jordan, is one of the world's most treasured UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Named one of the 'New Seven Wonders of the World' by popular vote in 2007, it has retained its magnetism even throughout times of strife in the surrounding region. A visit to Petra when it was rediscovered for the wider world by Jean Louis Burckhardt in the 19th century meant going in disguise, speaking in local dialect in order to gain the trust of the local tribespeople. Today visitors are welcomed both by the Bedouin who still call the Ancient City as home, and by the townspeople of neighboring Wadi Musa who’s constantly updating accommodations make a several-day visit to the Ancient City a pleasurable experience. You will want to set aside at least a few days to view all of the ruins from the Siq to the Treasury, then onto the Royal Tomb and finally the Monastery. The city complex is more expansive than most people realize. There are numerous other side trips and interesting things to see in Petra, including camel rides and unique cultural experiences. As well as other Nabataean experiences and attractions at Wadi Musa. The town has their own archaeological site that has been nicknamed Little Petra where you can also enjoy desert camping and numerous hiking opportunities. Little Petra is believed to be a suburb of the larger ruins.

Phu Quoc, Vietnam

Outlined with beautiful white-sand beaches and cloaked with large tracts of dense tropical jungle, Phu Quoc rapidly morphed from a sleepy backwater island into a must-visit beach escape for Western expats and sun-seeking tourists. Beyond the resorts lining Long Beach, rapid development beginning on the east coast and mega resorts in sight of Sao Beach, there's still ample room for exploration and escaping the high season crowded waters. Dive the reefs, kayak in the bays, eat up the miles of back-road on a motorbike or just lounge on the beach all day. Just be sure to round out your day with a traditional massage and a deliciously fresh seafood dinner. Phu Quoc is not really part of the Mekong Delta and its rice production. The most popular and valuable crop grown on the island is black pepper, which is well placed in the recipes of most local dishes. The islanders here have traditionally earned their living from the sea. The seafood here is cheap, readily available and always fresh caught. Besides the seafood itself, Phu Quoc’s production of high-quality fish sauce, nuoc mam, is its claim to fame across Vietnam.

49 views0 comments