It’s that time of year again! Holiday planning time! We may have already started a Pinterest board…
Luckily the good folk at Lonely Planet are here to help us with the dreaded, and inevitable, destination indecision. Each year they release their top 10 countries to visit and this year they picked a random bunch!
From Belarus to Belize, here is our breakdown of the official Lonely Planet 2019 must-visit list. After reading these, you’ll be stalking airfares in your lunch hour. And every hour.
1. Sri Lanka
This beautiful island nation is located south of India and is covered in dense rainforests and spectacular highlands. And it’s home to some of the most amazing beaches you’ll ever see… To make the most of your Sri Lankan trip, be sure to visit the stunning beachside villages of Unawatuna, Negombo, Hikkaduwa, and Bentota for clear water, soft sand, and luscious greenery.
Looking for glassy rivers, snow-topped mountains and pine-laden forests? Germany is your gal. Apart from its impressive street art, compelling history and intensely fun nightlife, Germany is also home to 16 ridiculously pretty national parks that you can explore really easily. So lace up, get outdoors and be surrounded by incredible landscapes in the heart of Europe.
The experts at Lonely Planet rated the Zimbabwe the third top country to visit in 2019 for a reason… This landlocked country is filled with Instagram-worthy wilderness and wildlife. Book a an off-road safari tour to get up close and personal, or head to the Zambezi River to experience the 108m drop into Batoka Gorge. Choose from bungee jumping or whitewater rafting. Or both.
Head to Panama to experience the fascinating culture of the country that links South and Central America. Apart from the modern skyscrapers and nightlife, visiting the rainforest of Natural Metropolitan Park will add an adventurous spin to your itinerary. Or maybe you’d rather sign up for the Ocean to Ocean Panama Canal and Jungle Tour. It’s up to you, but whatever you choose will be spectacular!
If Central Asia’s your thing, head to Kyrgyzstan to see snow leopards, lynx… and sheep. Lots of them. One of the most adventurous things to do is horse trekking. You’ll bond with your four-legged friend are you explore through the jaw-dropping mountains that never seem to end. Trot by glaciers, lakes and open plains and get sucked in by the stark beauty.
Tombs, temples, and carved monuments… Jordan has them all. And the best thing is that once you’ve finished checking out the deserts and ruins, you can float for hours in the Dead Sea with pretty much no effort required. You’ll end up covered in a mineral-rich black mud that apparently is very good for your skin…
Get away to a Southeast Asian island created by tonnes of volcanic rock and experience the rich culture of the Indonesians. Sure, there are beaches, volcanoes, and jungles… You may even spot an elephant, orangutan or tiger!, but you’ll also be getting to know our closest neighbour. And to add some spice to your trip, hire a quad bike and go for a rocky ride through the mountains and jungles. Bring the mozzie repellant.
A mix of contradictions, Belarus is the perfect place to see great examples of European architecture, ancient fortifications, and primeval forests. After visiting the bustling cities, explore some of the virtually untouched wilderness or get your skis out and head to their beautiful alpine resorts to get your annual thrill dosage!
9. São Tomé and Príncipe
This island nation is located close to the equator and surrounded by conspicuous volcano, rock, and coral formations, not to mention lush rainforests and sunset beaches. Head to Ôbo Natural Park for some trekking, or take a beach-to-beach tour where you can explore the crystal clear waters and meet the local marine life.
Located on the east coast of Central America, Belize is home to Caribbean Sea shorelines and deep jungle,as well as the enormous Belize Barrier Reef. Go for an eery night snorkel to experience the nocturnal animals that come out to play. Take a close up look at lobsters, octopus, Spanish dancers (the marine kind..), toadfishes, sea slugs, barracuda and reef fishes all enjoying the warm soupy waters of the Caribbean.
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