With so many mysterious and thrilling hideaways to discover in this world, it’s hard to decide where to go.
But with a brand new year ahead of us, how about going someplace interesting and new?
If you’ve already experienced all the popular tourist spots like the beach and amusement parks, then it’s time to take things up a notch and check out these six unique destinations!
You’ll experience unconventional entertainment, authentic cuisine, vibrant culture, and breathtaking landscapes.
1. Maynas Province, Peru
This colorful area of the Peruvian rainforest is like stepping into an episode on The Discovery Channel.
You’ll spot howler monkeys, sloths, river otters, macaws, and vibrant tanagers at Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Conservation Area. It’s quite possible you’ll even see a black panther or pink dolphins.
Take a cruise along the 4,400 mile long Amazon River on one of the many ships offered by Rainforest Cruises. Did you even know you could take a cruise on the Amazon?
Yes, many travel to Peru to see Machu Picchu, but there is so much more culture, land, and tropical regions to discover. Go and see for yourself!
2. Dakar, Senegal
When you visit this city at the westernmost point of Africa, you’ll quickly understand why it’s considered a hub for fashion and style.
Because French is the official language of Senegal, you’ll want to freshen up on the basics or tuck a French-English dictionary into your Gucci handbag. Hey, you want to fit in with the high society, right?
In Dakar, you’ll see people from all sides of the economic spectrum residing in the same place. As National Geographic points out, “Luxury SUVs share the roads with horse drawn carts.”
Dakar is also home to one of the largest fashion shows in the world, Dakar Fashion Week, which showcases international designers such as Sengalese designer Adama Ndiaye.
You’ll find that the nightlife in Senegal is vibrant and energetic with flashy dresses and its unique beats of Senegalese hip-hop.
During the day, soak up some rays at the beach and surf with some of the best.
If you are looking for the perfect fusion of class, culture, and history, Dakar needs to be on your 2019 travel itinerary.3. Dordogne, France
Located in the southwestern part of France, this beautiful landscape boasts ornate castles set among the hillsides that overlook the serene Dordogne River.
The annual celebration of Félibrée, which highlights the fun and fantasy of the Occitan culture, celebrates their 100th anniversary in Dordogne this year.
Occitan is considered a romantic language with its blend of French, Spanish, Italian, and Catalan. The history surrounding this ancient language is like that of a Disney movie—majestic castles and extravagant cuisine, dances, and music.
During the warmer months, you can golf or kayak along the Dordogne River, as well as enjoy dining at several upscale restaurants that offer scenic outdoor seating.
In contrast to many of the busier and more popular areas of France, Dordogne offers a tranquil experience of French culture with comfort and beauty.
4. Akaroa, New Zealand
Two main islands make up this gorgeous country located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. This area is so beautiful that Middle Earth from “Lord of the Rings” was filmed here.
However, instead of pretending you’re a hobbit, head over to the starting line for the internationally renowned GODZone Adventure.
This expedition-style competition takes place over several days, where a multidisciplinary team has to navigate terrain across the country.
This year’s adventure will take place March 10th – 17th and will go “across the South Island’s alps-to-ocean Canterbury region,” according to National Geographic.
Participants will kayak, climb, and doing a little camping. Some of the most athletic men and women in the world come to compete for the GODZone title.
If you are an experienced all-terrain athlete, consider putting up your stakes! But for the rest of us, it will be just as fun to experience the excitement from the sidelines and cheer on the brave souls who put their endurance to the test.
Overall, New Zealand is a breathtaking country full of friendly people and countless areas to explore.
5. Kangerlussuaq, Greenland
Greenland is a country at the top of many people’s travel list. Why? Because the world’s largest island offers some of the most extreme arctic sports and offers one of the best views of the Northern Lights.
About 80% of this island is covered in a sheet of ice.
Ever heard of heli-skiing? Well, it’s exactly what you might imagine—and fear—it to be. Yes, you are dropped out of a helicopter in full ski gear onto a steep, snowy mountain.
You can also experience epic rock climbing or take a ferry ride through dreamlike landscapes.
And for a front row seat to witness the Northern Lights, you can hike to the top of Kangerlussuaq fjord.
Just be sure to research the weather and what safety supplies to bring because this won’t be your typical getaway.6. Vevey, Switzerland
Want to experience one of the oldest wine festivals in the world? Become an international wine connoisseur at Fête des Vignerons.
This event that began in 1797 is held only five times a century. It makes its long anticipated appearance this year from July 20 to August 11.
The festival showcases wine from all over the world, including vineyard growing traditions, and will offer train rides to tour the vast vineyards of the Lavaux region.
When you are not swirling a glass of Chasselas, head to the countryside and view the iconic snow-capped mountains and green fields brimming with wildflowers.
While these six getaways aren’t considered top tourist destinations, they will definitely open the door to what lies beyond.
So if you’re tired of standing in long lines at the museums or yet another famed theme park, these places are perfect for your next escape in 2019!