Today I wanted to offer you a few destinations that I think have been staying under the travel radar and that deserve some attention!
Every year, Amsterdam, Iceland, Machu Picchu and Venice are being crowded by more and more visitors from all over the globe. Some of these locations are now starting to curb tourism in order to protect their historical and/or natural sites. We have all seen the pictures from these Instagramable spots. So why don’t we wander around the world a bit more and find 3 vacation destinations that are really underrated and therefore, not as crowded!
1/ The Island of Mo’orea – French Polynesia
By now everyone has heard of the Pearl of French Polynesia: Bora Bora. Its azure lagoon is truly a sight to see! What most travelers don’t know about is the beautiful lush island of Mo’orea (also part of the Society Islands), which can easily be reached by a short ferry ride from the island of Tahiti (where all international arrivals fly into)! The island has amazing turquoise lagoons for snorkeling, has a beautiful green mountainous inland area to explore by 4×4, serves up the most delicious pineapple you will ever taste and has plenty of options in terms of accommodations (from high-end luxury resorts to smaller local hotels and guesthouses). Nobody will be bored in Mo’orea, especially those that love water sports. The food scene is also exciting for the foodies among us. For romantics, an overwater bungalow in Mo’orea will be perfect (honeymoon) bliss. Vacationing on this Polynesian island is a bit easier on your wallet as it will save you an inter-island flight. Note: the paradise of French Polynesia only receives about 200,000 visitors a year, so it never feels crowded.
2/ The Azores – Archipelago in the Mid-Atlantic
The nine islands of the Azores (part of Portugal) are one of Europe’s best kept secrets and they are easily accessible from the East Coast of the USA!
As temperatures are mild throughout the year, it’s a perfect destination for any visitors who can go hiking, do water sports, explore some of the islands in a 4×4 vehicle, or simply relax by a wonderful tranquil lake. The highest peak of Portugal is located on Pico island and its summit rises to more than 7,000ft.
You can go play golf in Sao Miguel, which is one of the most diverse and arguably most beautiful island in the area.
For the active travelers, the hike to the summit can be completed in about two to four hours from the trailhead. Foodies will enjoy the beautiful seafood dishes that are prominent here.
3/ Santa Marta City – Colombia
While everyone has heard of the colonial city of Cartagena, or the capital city of Bogota, the oldest city of Colombia is not as well-known. Santa Marta is located on the bay with the same name on the Caribbean and welcomes travelers to its white sandy beaches. However, the city is also a gateway to Tayrona National Nature Park. The park is nice combination of jungle and beaches and plenty of hiking trails. You can also get scuba diving lessons near Santa Marta. Try the fresh ceviche for lunch at a food stall, take a beach nap and head out for some surf lessons. Adventure travelers who are interested in archeology can do the grueling four to five-day trek through unforgiving terrain to reach the Lost City. This indigenous citadel pre-dates the Incas and is located among an incredible jungle environment.
There you go… your favorite travel advisor has just added a few more travel destinations ideas that are a bit more OFF THE BEATEN TOURIST PATH 🙂
Keep exploring world traveler!
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