Every year, Lonely Planet comes up with a list of the best countries and cities to visit as recommended by travel experts, influencers, and people in-the-know.
Countries that topped this year’s prestigious annual guide include Zimbabwe, Germany, and Sri Lanka. For 2019, Lonely Planet encourages travelers to visit the following destinations:
Still significantly untouched by tourists, the pint-sized South American island of Belize is lined by a stunning combination of lush jungles and Caribbean waters.
Thrill-seekers can navigate thru the country’s many underwater caves or climb up the mysterious Mayan ruins, while those looking to relax can learn the art of chocolate making or laze along the white-sand shores.
São Tomé and Príncipe is an African island nation situated right next to the equator. The remote island is blessed with castaway-like beaches, bustling fishing hubs, and biodiverse jungles that rival the cinematic universe of Jurassic Park.
Isolated on the edge of Eastern Europe is Belarus, a hidden gem of indie cafes and a progressive local art scene. Despite its reputation for its communist practices and strong police presence, its storybook towns are actually quite peaceful.
Indonesia is a Southeast Asian country made up of over 17,000 islands and is a pulsating melting pot of culture, food, people, art, and customs. You have the colorful surf town of Bali with its trendy pubs and thriving expat community, the buzzing Jakarta with skyscrapers and traffic, and many, many more diverse provinces that make up one massive archipelago.
Famous for its biblical era-like landscapes, world heritage sites, and ancient sandstone structures, Jordan is easily one of the most magical places on the list. Travelers can ride through the desert via camel caravan as the sunlight touches the pink-tinged buildings and red rocks — an impressive scene that could move even the most frequent flyer.
Kyrgyzstan is the definition of rugged beauty with its wild mountains capes and sprawling rural fields. The Central Asian country is located along the historic Silk Road and is home to exotic wildlife like the snow leopard.
A mecca for surfers with its wild Pacific Swells, a playground for thrill-seekers with its rainforest zip line, and a postcard-worthy spot for honeymooners with its turquoise blue coastline — Panama could be whatever you want it to be.
A trip to Zimbabwe is a sensory experience from the deafening sounds of the majestic Victoria Falls to its awe-inspiring wildlife. While the country is unfortunately infamous for its “dark past”, few are aware that the landlocked African nation belongs to some of the friendliest locals you’ll ever meet.
It’s difficult to summarize what there is to see and expect from your trip to Germany. But whether you find yourself in gritty-chic Berlin or in the sleepy town of Heidelberg — in Germany, there’s always a story worth hearing.
Dirt-cheap shopping, endless shorelines, and scenic train rides — what’s not to like? You’ve heard of Sri Lanka, but not many can say that they’ve made the trip. This beauty has been hiding in plain sight all along. It’s time to book that trip.
There you go! So, if you’re still undecided about next year’s travels then let this list guide you. There’s so much more to discover beyond the regular tourist spots — get started on your travel bucket list today.
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