The travellers have spoken. Whether you seek relaxation, adventure, enlightenment, history, food, or just a chance of pace, there’s a place for everyone among these destinations on the rise. According to TripAdvisor, these are the 10 places you need to visit in 2014:
10. Fortaleza, Brazil
Jericoacoara Beach is an isolated coastal utopia, but it’s only one of dozens of five-star beaches. The endless sand is perfect for the tranquility of sunbathing or the thrill-seeking of dune buggy rides. Sports enthusiasts will understand the national zeal for soccer when they catch a game at the Arena Castelao. And when the sun sets, the sensuous hum of Brazilian nightlife pulsates, whether your taste is for a bumping dance club or a hole-in-the-wall beer pub.
9. Corralejo, Spain
Avoid the hubbub of Madrid and venture instead to this restorative holiday island. Pristine beaches, romantic catamaran cruises, and the rush of kite-surfing complement the sparkling water. If by some miracle you tire of the beach, go with EEE Bikers to see the volcano from a mountain bike, or take off your shoes to amble through the Corralejo dunes.
8. Hanoi, Vietnam
You’ll find it hard to believe how affordable an excursion to the Vietnamese capital is. Experience the charm of a walk through the Old Quarter. Learn from an array of diverse museums: fine arts, ethnology, women’s history. Water-gaze at the Lake of the Restored Sword, take a moment to reflect in Hang Boc temple, or meander back through time at Ho Chi Minh’s residence.
7. Sapporo, Japan
Sapporo has much to offer in its prestigious Asian cuisine, unique parks, and young energy. First, see everything at once from the Mt. Okura observatory. Then hit the Olympic-famous slopes of the Sapporo International Ski Place. Stroll though the Sapporo Artpark, where avant-garde aesthetics are blended into the purity of nature, or opt for the flowery fields of Takino Suzuran Hillside National Park. Great for families and foodies alike.
6. Ambergris Caye, Belize Cayes
The Great Blue Hole at Lighthouse Reef is one of the most iconic diving locales ever. Post-dive, spend the latter parts of your day from a golf cart, exploring the jungle ruins of the Marco Gonzalez Maya site, perusing the largest collection of Belizean art at The Gallery of San Pedro, Ltd., and getting high on the Toucan Jumper Bungee Trampoline while the sun sets behind the palm trees.
5. Cusco, Peru
No place in the world boasts a more impressive set of ancient Incan ruins than Macchu Piccu, and with its peak in the clouds, the mountain is unparalleled in grandeur. Scenic railroads like the environmentally-geared Vistadome or PeruRail’s more traditional Hiram Bingham train are the perfect way to take in the countryside. Then spend an evening in Cusco’s heart, the Plaza de Arms – shopping, restaurants, and people-watching abound.
4. Jerusalem, Israel
Jerusalem holds appeal for Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike, as well as anyone with a proclivity for the historic. Put a prayer in the Wailing Wall, take in the view from the Mount of Olives, and wander through the Garden of Gethsemane. Biblical history isn’t all Jerusalem holds though: the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial is the world’s leading Holocaust museum, and the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens provide a lush contract to an otherwise beige city.
3. Kathmandu, Nepal
Many sites in Kathmandu are attractions for the spiritually inquisitive – between the crisp mountain air, the architectural intricacies of the temples, and the mystic Buddhist history, Kathmandu is a mecca for anyone seeking peace and Zen. The Himalayas don’t only offer enlightenment though – hiking, camping, and even paragliding are for folks of any spiritual walk.
2. La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
Boasting the country’s most active volcano, beautiful waterfalls, and natural hot springs, La Fortuna de San Carlos is next to Eden. With lodging prices through the floor and the accessibility of exotic flora and fauna, this city isn’t to be missed. The best way to experience the canopy of the rainforest is by horseback tour –the sketchier your guide, the better. Sometimes the horses aren’t as tame as you’d think.
1. Havana, Cuba
Smoke the most famous cigars of all time. Feel the sensuality of the Rumba loosen your hips. Tour the gritty historicity of a legendary revolution and the literary haunts of Ernest Hemingway and Graham Greene. Local music, adamant baseball, gourmet chocolate, legendary sport-fishing…with the shadow of the Castro family paled, Cuba looks more appealing, and the tropical climate sure doesn’t hurt the draw.