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(Australian Associated Press)
Many travellers plan their trips around must-visit, bucket list destinations. But once you’ve trekked the Inca Trail, seen The Grand Canyon, visited China and Budapest, what next?
Paddy Scott, at tour operator My Adventure Travel, says travellers who have ticked all the typical boxes are increasingly searching for the lesser known, alternative destinations for their next trip – where they can also avoid the crowds.
Here are My Adventure Travel’s top alternative destinations:
LIKE BUDAPEST? TRY KRAKOW
Budapest is becoming more popular as a top Eastern European city, and increasingly crowded. If you still want the Eastern feel, try Krakow, one of Poland’s oldest cities, dating back to the seventh century. Poland is still very bustling and busy, but cheap (if not cheaper) than Budapest, filled with history and culture (it was named European Capital of Culture in 2000). Like Budapest, Krakow boasts great nightlife. You can also make a daytrip to Auschwitz from here.
LIKE COSTA RICA? TRY NICARAGUA
Costa Rica is great for beaches, wildlife and nature but if you want a touch of this and more culture, Nicaragua has this for half the price. It is much more diverse with ancient ruins, dense jungle and jam-packed with culture – minus the crowds.
LIKE THE INCA TRAIL? TRY THE LARES TREK
You still get to experience Machu Picchu, just on an alternate, less populated track. On the Lares Trek, you also pass through local villages for a much more authentic Peruvian experience. With only 100 spots a day available on the Inca Trail, the Lares Trail offers a great, less travelled, alternative.
LIKE VIETNAM? TRY BURMA
Burma offers temples, unique culture, and interesting and friendly local people. Get in before the crowds of tourists change the fundamental structure of the country and the way locals interact.
LIKE CANCUN? TRY HAVANA
For a beach break in this region, only about an hour’s flight from Mexico’s Cancun, is Cuba’s Havana. The beaches are just as pristine with clear blue water. And while Cancun’s highlights are limited to the beachfront, Havana offers amazing streets full of life.
LIKE TANZANIA? TRY MADAGASCAR
For a truly unique and unexplored wildlife experience, visit the national parks of Madagascar and keep an eye out for the amazingly varied Lemurs. Add to that a strong French influence resulting in great food, and beaches that rival it’s neighbour Mauritius, and you have a great place to explore.
LIKE THE GRAND CANYON? TRY UTAH’S NATIONAL PARKS
Utah has a range of different parks, including Zion, Bryce Canyon, Moab, Canyonlands National Park and Monument Valley. They are also further away from Las Vegas than the Grand Canyon, meaning they aren’t so busy.
LIKE SPAIN? TRY MOROCCO
Across the Mediterranean from Spain in North Africa, Morocco boasts a combination of Spanish and African life and food. Morocco will transport you to another century, with a very Spanish influence.
LIKE CHINA? TRY MONGOLIA
Mongolia offers some similarities to China in culture, but has a large adventure and outdoor focus (as opposed to China’s city-centric tourism). Mongolia offers visitors horse tours, jeep tours, ancient ruins and hot springs, with a similar culture to that of China.