Cabo? Check. Cancún? Been there, done that. Costa Rica? You don’t even want to think about another trip there. Yes, at a certain point, it can seem like you’ve filled your travelogue with every balmy beachside getaway known to man. But the world still holds wonder—hidden marvels of unblemished tropical bliss.
So when it comes to booking your annual, far-flung jaunt this year, don’t head to the same well-trodden corner of the globe. Head to these exotic vacation destinations instead. And if that doesn’t convince you to pack your bags and go, be sure to check out The 35 Best Reasons to Take A Vacation.
A tropical paradise in its own right, Bali is often described as the Thailand of 20 years ago. The diminutive island, part of Indonesia, is world-renowned for its beaches, surfing, and diving. This isn’t all the Bali has to offer, though: It’s home to many stunning temple complexes over 1,000 years old. The center of the island is a patchwork of rice paddies, hills, and even a volcano. Hike to the top at dawn for a sunrise you’ll never forget.
The world’s most popular exotic vacation destination, Thailand has it all, from palm-fringed golden beaches to warm, clear azure seas to outstanding national cuisine. It’s long been a favorite with people seeking an exotic getaway, and it will be for some time to come. Thailand caters to all types with sleek city-center hotels, lazy beach huts, and secluded luxury resorts with private beaches and pools. We recommend Ko Lanta and Ko Phi Phi. Don’t have the time off to head to Thailand? Learn the Single Best Way to Get More Vacation Days at Work.
Although it’s one of Europe’s premier up-and-coming vacation destinations, Montenegro is still off the beaten path. Sandwiched between Croatia, Albania, Bosnia, and Serbia, the small country has a rugged, gorgeous coastline on the Adriatic and mountainous interior—Montenegro translates to Black Mountain. The climate is Mediterranean, and the cuisine is a mix of Greek and Italian. Highlights include the stunning Bay of Kotor and the picturesque Sveti Stefan.
One of the more obvious choices on this list, Hawaii still earns its reputation as one of the finest exotic vacation destinations in the world. America’s 50th state is home to some of the finest and most varied scenery on the planet: Dense rainforest spreading inland from steep, rocky cliffs; swathes of mountainous ridges and volcanoes; coastal roads delicately carved into the island’s craggy exterior—and then there’s the beaches.
Once the exclusive reserve of partygoers and hippies, Goa has somewhat grown up in recent years. As India’s smallest and only Christian state—although over 60 percent of its occupants are Hindu—life in Goa is markedly different from the crowded cities of the north. The main draws are the area’s natural beauty and its beaches, from the chilled-out Arambol in the north to the vibrant Palolem in the south. Goan food, which is quite different from most Indian cuisine, is amazing: Be sure to try a Goan fish curry. And if you’ve got tykes in tow—and these exotic vacations all sound too far out—consider going on The Absolute Best Trips You Can Take with Kids.
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