Already thinking of getting away? While vacationers often flood the beaches of Jamaica, Aruba and other Caribbean destinations, or hotspots like Hawaii and London, they could be missing out on some of the most beautiful scenery and unique experiences in the world. Places that are often overlooked—or just unheard of. Places like these:
Indonesia has been on the radar of certified divers for years due to its remarkable coral reefs, but the country itself is fascinating. Yes, it offers world-class beaches. You can bask in the uncrowded, crystal clear waters of Senggigi and enjoy the wonders of the underwater world snorkeling in Bali or Nusa Penida. But here, you’ll also find stunning ancient Hindu temples and structures—and unparalleled cultural experiences. Visit the towering Hindu temples of Yogyakarta, where you will find all the modern amenities along with fun, traditional ceremonies. The Gili Islands and Raja Ampat offer some of the most beautiful natural scenery in the world—both above and below water. You can hike or drive up to spectacular mountaintop views, swim or boat your way to undersea wonders—and enjoy what you will consider some of the most amazing sunrises and sunsets.
Gullfoss Waterfall, Iceland
Iceland is attracting a lot of attention—but is still a bit off the radar for most. This nation’s respect for nature is evident—the beautiful landscape seems largely untouched. After enjoying the vibrant art scene and nightlife excitement in the capital city of Reykjavik, one can take a short ride in almost any direction to find breathtaking volcanoes and waterfalls, like Gullfoss Waterfall, the largest in Europe.
But traveling into the depths of the country is even more rewarding. You can explore natural wonders including hot springs, black sand beaches, and Vatnajökull, the largest glacier in Europe, where you can also tour a stunning crystal ice cave. The alluring sights in this country are endless and accessible for the more relaxed vacationer by tour buses. Or you can go full Bear Grylls and venture out on hikes and climbs that will give even the most experienced adventurer a challenge. And if you visit during winter, the awe-inspiring Northern Lights are a spectacle not to be missed.
Laguna de Guatapé, Colombia
Colombia, specifically, the city of Medellin, will transport you with its rich, ancient culture and spectacular beauty. Take a tour through the grounds of Museo El Castillo, a regal castle at the heart of Medellin, or hike to La Piedra to get a bird’s eye view of the gorgeous Laguna de Guatapé. The city offers much in the way of cultural tours and nightlife, which you can enjoy after testing your adventurous side on bike tours, paragliding expeditions, or mountain scaling. You’ll pick up much of the language by the end of your trip—as most tours are given in Spanish—but there are plenty of spots around the city that are English friendly.