by Edgar van der Meer

5 Off the Beaten Track Countries You Need to Visit in 2019

If you only promise to do one thing in 2019, make it to visit somewhere new and exciting. The world is full of weird and wonderful places. Some have long been a favourite with tourists, while others are only just coming into the limelight.

There are certainly benefits that come with visiting a well-established travel hotspot. There is already an infrastructure in place for travellers and lots of people will speak at least some English. But, there is something truly exhilarating about visiting somewhere completely off the beaten track.

Travelling away from the well trodden path is a challenge, but it can also be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. If you’re ready to make 2019 the year you take the plunge into the unknown, here are five destinations you should check out.

Uzbekistan

Central Asia is a complete mystery to most of the world. How often do you here of people travelling through the ‘Stans? It’s time for this region to join the travel circuit and Uzbekistan is an excellent place to start. Steeped in ancient mysticism, Uzbekistan sits along the old Silk Road and dazzles visitors with its sparkling minarets, domes and mosques. In fact, just wandering through Tashkent, the capital, is enough to take your breath away.

Belize

Often over looked in favour of neighbouring Mexico and Guatemala, Belize is one of Latin America’s most underrated countries. But, you can change that. A trip to Belize combines everything you could want from a vacation in one handy destination. There are forests and mountains for those who want to get their hike on and caves for the extra adventurous. If you’re all about chilling, Belize’s two main islands, Caye Caulker and Caye Ambergris are perfect for snorkelling, swimming, and soaking up the sun.

Bangladesh

The best way to describe Bangladesh is as a more raw and complete un-touristed version of India. Expect landscapes so beautiful they defy belief and a chaotic blend of colour and fragrances in the cities. Bangladesh is not an easy place to travel, but if you’re looking for adventure you will find it here. Wildlife lovers should head to Sundarbans Mangrove Forest, while beach babies can get their kicks over on St. Martin’s Island or Cox’s Bazar, the world’s longest uninterrupted stretch of beach.

Montenegro

The scenery in Montenegro looks like something out of a fairytale. Verdant forests cover hills that slope from the horizon into glittering lakes. Adrenaline junkies should hop in a dinghy and race down the Tara River or hike up the jagged peaks and through the ice caves of Durmitor National Park. There is also plenty of beauty and wonder to be found in the Old Town of Kotor, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Europe’s most beautiful towns.

Senegal

Located on the westernmost tip of Africa, French-speaking Senegal makes the perfect vacation spot for any kind of traveller. If you visit Senegal, chances are you will spend most of your time in Dakar, the capital. Here, you can surf the delightfully consistent (and not too big) waves that lap against the edge of the city. Or you can get lost in the local markets and pick up some souvenirs while you’re at it. For something a bit different, head out of the city to the Lac Rose – a super salty lake you can float on, just like Israel’s Dead Sea.

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