Are you ready to travel the globe, to get out of your comfort zone and find your place in the world?
It’ll change you forever – as you explore different cultures, tackle new adventures, tick-off world wonders, and meet incredible people who’ll challenge you and open your mind to different ways of thinking and living.
Travel is one of the most life-altering things you can do while you are young or young-at-heart.
Without further ado, in no particular order, here’s a list of 10 places you should visit while you’re young.
1. Ilha Grande, Brazil
Ilha Grande is close to Rio de Janeiro (and relatively easy to access), but it offers a break from the bustling city scene. The majority of the island is a protected state park (Parque Estadual da Ilha Grande) with ample hiking trails in the native rain-forest.
Beach dwellers have their choice of snorkeling, kayaking, sailing, and diving. The main settlement is a small village, Vila Abrão, in which no cars are allowed – it has unpaved roads for foot traffic only and guesthouses, restaurants, and bars with thatched roofs.
Gatherings at night tend to be spent on the docks or beaches, as the clubbing scene is left in Rio.
2. Table Mountain, South Africa
A hiker’s delight! However, If hiking isn’t your thing, don’t fret – you can take a cable car to appreciate the impressive views over Cape Town.
Once you’ve stood at the top of this flat-topped mountain, there’s plenty left to explore. Beneath the mountains, you’ll find stunning beaches (one even is filled with penguins), amazing restaurants, a bustling cafe culture, bright-colored neighborhoods, and don’t leave without experiencing a braai (a traditional South African barbecue).
3. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
The ruins of Angkor are a must-see!
Getting up before dawn to cycle to Angkor Wat for sunrise is breathtaking – it’s one of those places that will give you a travel bug for life.
The temples dotted throughout the area are best explored on foot or by peddle-power and being in amongst the local people helps to give you an appreciation for different cultures that will shape how you view travel forever.
4. Bamboo Island, Cambodia
It’s not just a place from the Legend of Zelda (remember that adventure video game?) – it’s a small island off the coast of Cambodia, a beautiful boat ride from Ream, which is less than 4 hours from Phnom Penh.
It’s one of the closer islands off Sihanoukville and the white sand and turquoise water are enough to draw any beach lover.
This is an awesome place to relax after discovering Angkor Wat or you could spend hours snorkeling and spotting fish in the crystal clear waters, or venture beyond the main beach to uncover the untouched spots of the island.
5. Rainbow Mountains, Peru
You’ve all seen the photos from Machu Picchu, but what about Rainbow Mountain?
It’s the up-and-coming hiking option, where you’ll see with your own eyes one of the most incredible landscapes in the Andes. The aptly named mountain is covered in layers of colors ranging from a captivating maroon to a turquoise blue.
At approximately 17,000 feet above sea level, it is a hard hike that you need to prepare for but all the good things in life require effort, so lace up the hiking boots, do your research and get ready to explore the breathtaking Andean landscape.
6. Milford Sound, New Zealand
New Zealand is the perfect destination for first-time travelers and solo adventurers!
One of the highlights of the New Zealand travel experience is the great outdoors.
So set aside some time to experience one of New Zealand’s greatest walks. The Milford Track offers 4 days of spectacular landscapes, forest-covered valleys, waterfalls, steep fords and mountain passes.
7. Cloud Forest of Monteverde, Costa Rica
This is the place of your tropical dreams!
The cloud forest set high in the mountain tops of Monteverde is one of the most unique natural environments you’ll see! The lush setting provides a welcome retreat from the heat of the Pacific coast beaches.
You’ll have no shortage of eco-adventures to make the most of in your free time! At some 4,662 feet (1,440 meters) above sea level, having a raincoat is a must as you explore the area.
The views are breathtaking and there is plenty of wildlife to see. The area also boasts plenty of adrenaline-rushing activities, including the highest bungee jump and also the longest zip-line in Latin America.
8. The Beaches of Belize
Belize is a melting pot of adventure set on the Caribbean Sea. Think crystal blue waters and palm trees swaying in the breeze. With the second-largest barrier reef in the world, the diving in Belize is on a whole other level – you’ll be brushing shoulders with tropical fish and whale sharks on a daily basis while enjoying the relaxed island living.
Life above the waves is just as fascinating – start the day with a heavenly coffee, explore ancient Mayan ruins, wander through one of the many wildlife sanctuaries and finish the weekend off zip-lining through the jungle.
9. Northern Thailand
It’s an incredible adventure waiting for you to explore!
First, you’ll get to discover the hot hustle of Bangkok as it’ll be your starting point – thanks to it being a hub for cheap flights from around the world.
Then the laid-back, relaxed feel of Northern Thailand will be a welcome retreat. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ayutthaya by bicycle and find quaint local villages and sights not listed in your travel guide.
Take in Chiang Mai with its buzzing night markets, endless temples, and intense flavors! And, all your exploring will come in under budget, it’s a super affordable destination!
Don’t miss a truly authentic experience in Chiang Rai
10. Huaraz, Peru
Huaraz is a hidden treat for the intrepid traveler.
High in the central Peruvian Andes, Huaraz bristles with culture and geographic beauty – remaining true to itself with only the slightest glimmers of tourism persuasion.
Take a weekend trip to experience Huaraz’s highlights – the stunning glacial lakes of Laguna 69 and Laguna Paron, as well as the Pastoruri Glacier, which are all within the mountainous region of the Cordilleras Blanca.
There you have it.
Now, you will agree that there’s so much more to explore whether as a youth or a young-at-heart. Experience the world like never before. There’s always a vast array of special places on earth waiting to receive you.
Have a place in mind we should see?
Leave them in the comment.