TOP 10 BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN 2019

The world keeps getting bigger.  So how to decide the places to visit in 2019? I put those questions to experts at several high-end travel companies. These super-agents knows what they’re talking about, keeping their ears on their clients’ interests and their eyes on the adventures they themselves have in every corner of the world. 

10) Colombia

In 2017, the president received the Nobel Peace Prize, and the country has “quickly gone from one of the most dangerous places on the planet to a nation on the verge of discovery,” says Biggs Bradley. “Tourists have not yet arrived en masse, and the guarded optimism of the Colombian people is palpable. Bogotá doesn’t have the breezy appeal of Cartagena or the financial might of Medellín, but it has been home to artists and creative sorts for decades. You see a spirit of celebrating life in the street art, the weekend cycling parades and frequent family celebrations. Bogotá is also one of the most exciting culinary destinations in South America.” 

Colombia

9) Ethiopia

This East African nation is stepping on to the world’s stage as a crucible of ancient culture, where travelers have the opportunity to experience the intersection of Christianity, Judaism and Islam through unparalleled cultural immersion,” says Biggs Bradley. “The country is home to rock-hewn churches built into incredible landscapes, rare 4th- and 5th-century antiquities and tribal villages that have lived the same way for centuries. 

Ethiopia

8) Cabo/Los Cabos, Mexico

This longtime weekend escape for Los Angelenos is no stranger to luxury resorts, with dozens of five-star properties, including the new Montage Los Cabos and Solaz, a Luxury Collection Resort, Los Cabos,” says Biggs Bradley. “But over the next two years, the destination will welcome new properties, including the Nobu Hotel and the 1 Hotel, that will secure its place on the luxury travelers’ map. Perhaps the two most exciting openings are the Four Seasons Costa Palmas, which recently welcomed Gwyneth Paltrow and her friends, and Amanvari, set to debut in 2020.” 

Los Cabos, Mexico

7) Eastern Bhutan

“International tourist numbers to Bhutan are creeping up every year but the majority of travelers visit the well-known areas of Western and Central Bhutan,” explains Brent Olson a destination specialist for the luxury adventure travel company GeoEx. “Eastern Bhutan is opening up, and there is quite a bit that is truly off the beaten track. I’m organizing a trip focusing on these more remote regions for November, including a short trek in Merak Sakten and a visit to the ancestral village of the Royal Family. We will also be looking at some of the many worthwhile projects funded by the Bhutan Foundation and meeting the Bhutanese involved in facilitating them.” 

Eastern Buthan

6) Rwanda

“This East African country has emerged as a leader in conservation in recent years, notes Biggs Bradley. “In addition to intimate wildlife experiences, including gorilla trekking and tracking golden monkeys in Virunga, the luxury lodge offerings are impressive: Wilderness Safaris’ Bisate Lodge has views of Volcanoes National Park; One & Only Nyungwe House, on the edge of Nyungwe Forest National Park, opened recently; and Magashi, another Wilderness Safaris lodge, will open soon in northeastern Akagera.” 

Rwanda

5) Pakistan

“Explore the valleys of Hunza, Shigar and Khaplu via the renowned Karakoram Highway,” suggests Sara Barbieri, another specialist with GeoEx. “This little-visited region in the far northeast of the country offers the kind of startlingly striking scenery that compels you to gaze from the window of your 4WD without blinking, for fear of missing a moment of the majesty of the landscape—or one of the astounding suspension bridges that cross the surging rivers filled with snowmelt. Add to this the warm welcome of the people, the glacial blue of Attabad lake, the centuries of history, the juxtaposition of granite to greenery, the chance to walk through an age old-apricot orchard along water channels cut by hand, and the blazing snow-covered glory of Rakiposhi, and you must acknowledge there is a grand adventure to be had.” 

Pakistan

4) Mongolia

“With its wide-open spaces, dramatic landscapes, and warm nomadic culture, Mongolia has long held a special place in our hearts,” says Tina Liadis, an Asia specialist with GeoEx. “Traveling there still feels like visiting the ends of the earth! Our custom journeys provide ample opportunities to hike, bike, rock climb and stay in welcoming comfortable ger camps. We love arranging remarkable Mongolia adventures for our travelers, lining up access to authentic experiences, such as time with nomads, outings with Kazakh eagle hunters and visits with local shamans.” 

Mongolia

3) Turkish Riviera

“Open-minded travelers are slowly returning to Turkey, parts of which had been no-go zones for the past few years,” explains Biggs Bradley. “The chic beach resort of Bodrum has been enjoying a moment in the spotlight, with the recent opening of the Six Senses Kaplankaya and the Bodrum Edition. These stylish properties are situated on the beautiful Aegean coastline—which has been likened to that of the South of France—and days here are best-spent sailing, visiting ruins and scuba diving. Plus, you can fly directly to Bodrum from Berlin and London.” 

Turkish Riviera

2) The Azores, Portugal

“Resembling the otherworldly landscapes of Avatar, the Azores islands, an archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, are topping the lists of adventure travelers for 2019,” says Melissa Biggs Bradley, the founder of the members-only travel company Indagare. “With new direct flights from New York—the journey takes just five hours—the islands have volcanic crater lakes, natural hot springs and black-sand beaches. The high-thrill activities include scuba diving, kayaking, hiking, whale watching, birding, surfing and more. And while five-star luxury isn’t easy to find, there are some lovely hotels such as the contemporary-chic Furnas Boutique Hotel, urban Azor and minimalist White Exclusive Suites & Villas.” 

Azores, Portugal

1) Madagascar

“The world’s fourth-largest island feels more like an unexplored planet than an unchecked item on your bucket list,” says Norman Howe, president and CEO of the luxury walking and biking company Butterfield & Robinson, which has recently begun offering bespoke trips to the country. “This wondrous world has so much biodiversity to discover, both in terms of natural beauty and unique terrains. For flora and fauna, with more than 90% of the wildlife endemic to Madagascar, it’s unbeatable.” The famous lemur is only the beginning of the weird and wonderful biodiversity. 

Madagascar

TOP 10 BEST PLACES FOR STREET FOOD

Street food is ready-to-eat food or drinks sold by a hawker, or vendor, in a street or other public place, such as at a market or fair. It is often sold from a portable food booth, food cart, or food truck and meant for immediate consumption. Some street foods are regional, but many have spread beyond their region of origin. Most street foods are classed as both finger food and fast food and are cheaper on average than restaurant meals. 

This is a Top 10 Best Places for Street Food.

10) BEIJING, CHINA

Much of Beijing’s street food is now available off the streets and in organized food courts, where customers buy a card that they load with cash and swipe at each vendor.

The Jiumen Snack Street, surprisingly well-hidden among the narrow paths of the hutongs around Houhai lake, hosts many of the vendors who once shouted at patrons on the sidewalk.

Chinese Street Food

9) MIAMI, UNITED STATES

Miami is home to amazing Cuban food, none more so than the humble Cubano sandwich. Ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard, toasted like a Panini to fill the mouth with crunchy, chewy, savoury goodness. 

Cubano Sandwich, Miami

8) MARRAKECH, MOROCCO

Smells of food fill the streets of Moroccan cities and nowhere is the quality or diversity greater than in Marrakech. 

“Marrakech is all about street food,” says Anna Koblanck, who writes a blog on African food travel.

“In the evenings, the city gathers among snake charmers and musicians at the Jemaa el-Fnaa square to taste the incredible spread of Moroccan delicacies that are on offer from the street stalls.

Street Food, Morocco

7) HONOLULU, HAWAII

Hawaiian food is a creative mishmash of cuisines, combining local traditions with the culinary tastes of successive waves of migrants from the mainland United States, Asia and Latin America.

The result includes an array of raw fish salads known as poke (poh-kay), as easily available as a sandwich in other cities.

Tuna and octopus are the two most typical options, prepared with flavors inspired by everything from kimchi to ceviche.

Poke, Hawaii

6) ROMA, ITALIA

Italian food has traveled so widely and becomes intertwined with other cultures around the world that tasting the original is a revelation.

The pizza at Pizzarium, near the Vatican, aka Bonci pizza rustica, carefully concocts slow-leavened doughs from stone-ground flour that gets topped with fresh, seasonal ingredients.

They also bake bread that will convert even the staunchest low-carb acolytes.

Bruschette, Italy

5)  ISTANBUL, TURKEY

The most recognizable Turkish street food is probably simit – like a cross between a bagel and a pretzel. 

Freshly baked, dipped in molasses and crusted with sesame seeds, they entice snackers from push-carts all over Istanbul.

Istanbul’s street food offerings stretch far beyond. Because so many people from around Turkey and the region migrate here, the city’s sidewalks are a walkable sampler platter.

Kebab, Turkey

4) CAIRO, EGYPT

Some Egyptian street food has become takeaway fare internationally, with falafel, shawarma and kofta evolving into a part of the global urban snack experience.

In Cairo, there’s still a world of other dishes to sample that haven’t yet made their way overseas.

Koshary mixes rice, pasta, lentils and chickpeas, topped with a vinegary-tomato sauce.

Koshary Mix, Egypt

3) BALI, INDONESIA

It’s entranced writers for decades with its mix of spiritual retreats and surfing, stunning geography and relaxed culture. The food is as wide-ranging as everything else on Bali.

“Traditionally the best Balinese food is ceremonial, with these days some of the best dishes served in streetside restaurants,” said Bali-based Samantha Brown, co-founder of Travelfish.org, an independent guide to Southeast Asia.

Balinese Food, Bali

2) TOKYO, JAPAN

Tokyo is home to more Michelin-starred restaurants than any city in the world, but Japanese cuisine often gets reduced to one thing: sushi.

Tokyo food lover Taro Namekawa likes to bring guests somewhere different, Teppen: Nakameguro, for grilled food.

“They are very famous for grilling extremely fresh ingredients in front of you, with special kinds of charcoal that can grill fresh ingredients with high heat quickly to trap all the goodness of them inside.”

Grilled Food, Japan

1) BANGKOK, THAILAND

It’s impossible to avoid street food in Bangkok, where sidewalk vendors in different parts of the city operate on a fixed rotation.

Some take care of the breakfast crowd with sweet soymilk and bean curd, others dish up fragrant rice and poached chicken for lunch. 

The late-night crowd offers everything from phad thai noodles to grilled satay.

Street Food, Thailand

TOP 10 BEST ADVENTURE TRIPS

Would you like to challenge yourself and make something that you would never forget? Adventure holiday could be the answer.

10) The Brienzer Rothorn Railway, SWITZERLAND

Climb the mountain without breaking a sweat: Chugging along Alpine meadows and through lush forests on the rack railway built in 1892, you approach a breathtaking panorama under your own steam. On a clear day, the Rothorn offers you a magnificent view of no fewer than 693 peaks. And if the view or a brisk hike has made you hungry, the Berghaus Kulm team is ready to treat you to some hearty delicacies.

The Brienzer Rothorn Railway, Switzerland

9) Spitting Caves, Hawaii Kai, HAWAII

Posited next to a quiet residential neighborhood in Honolulu, Spitting Caves is not a very known place and not included in guided tours. Therefore only determined adventurers head there. However, their efforts definitely pay off. The site features colorful wavy cliffs, dropping into the blue ocean. Although it attracts cliff divers, it is very dangerous, since underwater currents suck the divers into the caves.

Spitting Caves, Hawaii Kai, Hawaii

8) Hike in the Narrows, Zion National Park, USA

Utah’s pride, natural wonder is also loved by the hikers. The site provides one of the most premier hiking trails in the area. It has even been ranked no. 5 in the list of America’s Best 100 Adventures by National Geographic! The Virgin River runs between the vertical cliffs, but it is shallow so hikers can simply wade through it. One can hike various distances while completing the route can take a full day. In addition, there are 12 campsites, where one can spend a night and continue the trip the next day.

Zion National Park, USA

7) Ski in Oulanka National Park, FINLAND

Spread over the Northern Ostrobothnia and Lapland, the park covers a huge area of unspoiled nature. A lot of endangered plants and animals can be found here, as well as large herds of reindeer wandering in the boreal forests. Tourists come here all year round, even in winter, when the park is covered in a thick layer of snow. Hiking, skiing, canoeing, cycling, picking berries and mushrooms are among the most popular activities here.

Oulanka National Park, Finland

6) Kayak in Geirangerfjorden, NORWAY 

A 15 km (9.3 mi) long fjord is a branch of the much longer Storfjord. It is listed as the World Heritage Site and is protected by UNESCO. The picturesque environment is characteristic of lush greenery and precipitous rocky cliffs. Numerous waterfalls plunge down these walls, thus adding extra charm to the place.

Geirangerfjorden, Norway

5) Perrine Bridge, Idaho, USA

The bridge spanning the Snake River in Twin Falls is one of the most famous locations in the world among the base jumpers. Numerous successful jumps were completed here. It is only 150 m (486 ft) high, but refreshing dip in the river awaits the adventurers.

Perrine Bridge, Idaho, USA

4) Fly Mount Bromo, Java Island, INDONESIA

One of the most beautiful volcanoes in the world Mount Bromo is active, but nevertheless attracts tourists, pilgrims and adventurers. This time the mountain was visited by the Red Bull Skydive Team. They have traveled to Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park to complete a rather dangerous mission. Of course, the participators have waited for Bromo to erupt and then they have put on their wingsuits and jumped out of a plane above the active volcano crater.

Mount Bromo, Indonesia

3) Biking in Moab, Utah, USA

Another fun activity in the state of Utah attracts those, who love biking. Mountain bikers get numerous great opportunities to flex their muscles: various rock formations provide steep, slick, dangerous yet exciting trails. Slickrock Bike Trail is a challenging route, which is recommended for the professionals only.

Slickrock Bike Trail, Utah (USA)

2) Hike El Caminito del Rey, El Chorro, SPAIN

Considered to be the most dangerous hiking trail in the world, El Caminito del Rey is frightening even to look at. Its name in Spanish means “the King’s little pathway“. The site, however, attracts many adventurers, that are determined to climb the rocks or go hiking the path. Even the mountain bikers come to the location.

El Caminito del Rey, Spain

1) Horseback Riding in Molokai, HAWAII

The island also features impressive sea cliffs, that at 520 m (1700 ft) tall are the highest ones in the world! Riding along these cliffs provide an unforgettable experience. Mule, as well as horseback riding tours, are offered by the travel agencies on this stunning island. The 5 km (3 mi) long trail features amazing panoramic views to the whole island and ocean, ascending and descending twists and turns, that of course feature balancing on the precipitous cliffs.

Molokai, Hawaii


TOP 10 BEST BEACHES IN THE WORLD

The world’s best beaches, according to the travelers.

TripAdvisor has announced its best beaches in the world for 2019. Ranked by traveler reviews and ratings, the list is made up of 10 idyllic spots in the likes of Aruba, Cuba, Turks and Caicos and Spain.

10. Kelingking Beach, Bali

Home to a rock formation resembling a Tyrannosaurus Rex, the remote Kelingking Beach is the ultimate Instagram-worthy paradise. 

Kelingking Beach, Bali

9. Manly Beach, Sydney

Situated a 30-minute ferry ride from Sydney harbour, Manly continues to attract millions of visitors every year.

Manly Beach, Sydney

8. Playa de Ses Illetes, Formentera, Spain

Based on a narrow strip of land in the island of Formentera, Playa de Ses Illetes is praised for its spectacular views.

Playa de Ses Illetes, Formentera

7.  Seven Mile Beach, Negril, Jamaica

This spectacular beach is the most famous on the Caribbean island as well as one of the most picturesque.

Seven Mile Beach, Jamaica

6. Seven Mile Beach, Cayman Islands

Located on the western side of Grand Cayman, Seven Mile is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean.

Seven Mile Beach, Cayman Island

5. Spiaggia dei Conigli, Sicily

The possibility of seeing turtles laying their eggs adds to the appeal of this scenic Italian spot in Lampedusa.

Spiaggia dei Conigli. Sicily

4. Grace Bay Beach, Turks and Caicos

With its warm waters and white sands, this beach on the island of Providenciales just made it into the top four.

Grace Bay Beach, Turks and Caicos

3. Eagle Beach, Aruba

This beautiful white sand beach was described as “private, quiet, serene and amazing” by a reviewer on TripAdvisor.

Eagle Beach, Aruba

2. Varadero Beach, Cuba

Positioned in the popular beach resort town of the same name, Varadero came in second on the list.

Varadero Beach, Cuba

1. Baia do Sancho, Brazil

The picturesque Baia do Sancho has been crowned the number one beach in the world. It’s located on the small island of Fernando de Noronha. 

Baia do Sancho, Brazil