Planning ahead is essential when it comes to travelling in order to get some of the best deals. So, even if it seems a little early to be thinking about 2019, it really isn’t.
The travel experts at Lonely Planet have made the process even easier. A team of editors, researchers, locals, and influencers have put together a list of the top 10 countries to visit in 2019.
Don’t expect to see some of the most common favourites on this list, like Italy, France, and Costa Rica. The trendiest countries for next year are unique, a little surprising, and beyond interesting. They all offer fun activities and gorgeous views – your only problem will be picking just one.
Sri Lanka has seven world heritage sites.
This small island nation in the Indian Ocean, just south of India, tops the list of countries to visit in 2019. It has a mix of religions and cultures, wildlife, and beautiful views to check out – there are seven World Heritage Sites.
Visitors can relax on stunning beaches in Arugam Bay, discover hidden islands, and spend time in the capital of Kandy.
Germany has lots of places to explore.
Germany is a Western European country that offers beautiful landscapes, lots of fun and interesting cities, and so much history.
It’s worth checking out Neuschwanstein Castle, which is straight out of a fairytale. Munich is known for Oktoberfest and beer halls. Visitors can also take a road trip on the scenic Romantic Road, which is a 261-mile road that journies through charming towns and the German Alps.
There are lots of museums for history buffs, skiing, and hiking for nature-lovers, and tons of incredible food.
Zimbabwe is one of the most beautiful places on earth.
There is so much for visitors of Zimbabwe to do and see, including taking a trip to Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
There are numerous national parks to explore as well, with lions, leopards, rhinoceroses, elephants, and Cape buffalo.
Panama is located right between the Pacific and the Caribbean.
Located right between the Pacific and the Caribbean, Panama is a great stopping point for anyone travelling through Central America.
The Panama Canal is one of the most famous stops, of course, while Bocas del Toro is perfect for anyone who wants more a laid-back vibe and is ideal for surfers. The town Boquete has coffee plantations, while the San Blas islands are more relaxing. There’s also Panama City, which has history, great food, and lots of nightlife.
Kyrgyzstan is a budding tourist destination.
This small Central Asian country has plenty of mountain landscapes that are ideal for trekking and adventuring, lots of great cultural and culinary experiences, history in living nomadic cultures, and even a bunch of wellness retreats.
For a taste of local culture, travel to Osh for the Osh Bazaar, which offers a mix of Uzbek and Kyrgyz populations. You can sleep in a yurt and of course try plenty of different delicious foods.
Jordan has beauty and history.
Jordan is an Arab nation on the Jordan River, and it’s full of ancient history. There’s also so much to do like visiting the Dead Sea, diving to check out the reefs in the Red Sea at Aqaba, or exploring the desert of Wadi Rum.
The city of Petra is known as the “Rose City” and offers up tons of caves, temples, and tombs from thousands of years ago. Petra has been hidden by shifting sand and is basically a lost civilisation and is worth checking out. There’s also Jerash to look at Roman ruins, and places to stay like the Bedouin camps in the middle of the Wadi Rum desert.
Indonesia has 17,000 islands.
There are over 17,000 islands in this Southeast Asian country, and they all offer different cultures, experiences, and cuisines. Bali is, of course, on everyone’s bucket list, but there’s also the capital city of Jakarta and the gorgeous lands of Sumatra.
The Gili Islands don’t allow cars and have excellent scuba diving options. In Borobudur, there’s a Buddhist temple from the 9th century to explore, or head to Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park to check out the Bromo volcano and gaze at the Sea of Sand.
Visiting Belarus is like stepping back in time.
Nestled between Poland and Russia, there’s a lot to see in Belarus.
Being in Belarus feels like stepping back in time, as much of its ancient past is still standing. You can’t miss the capital, Minsk, which boasts boulevards and a lot of nature. Mir and Nesvizh are both UNESCO World Heritage sites worth checking out, and if you’re into art, Vitebsk has a great summer art scene. The town of Brest sits on the border between Poland and Ukraine and offers a lot of history as well.
São Tomé and Príncipe both offer a lot of history.
São Tomé and Príncipe is Africa’s second-smallest two-island nation in the Gulf of Guinea, and it offers tons of history as well as stunning natural beauty.
Príncipe is an island of 7,000 people with incredible jungles and beaches, as well as lots of bird watching.
Belize has lots of beaches, jungles, and reefs.
Located in the middle of the Caribbean in Central America, Belize is a tropical paradise with jungles to trek through, the world’s second-largest barrier reef to explore, and of course, gorgeous beaches. The food is a delicious mix of cuisines from Garifuna, Maya, Mestizo, East India, and Creole.
This is the ideal vacation for anyone who loves history and exploring: it’s the epicentre of the Mayan world and has over 200 small islands to see.
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