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12 Exotic Destinations to Visit in 2017

For many people January is time for making new year resolutions, but for me it’s time to look over my bucket list and make travel plans for the year ahead. I was recently checking a list of countries I already visited (36 countries so far!) and figuring out where to head next. I have been to some really cool and exotic places, from Bali and Morocco to Iceland and Central Asia. But today, I am sharing my and other travel bloggers’ top picks for exotic places you should put on your 2017 travel list.

p.s. all photos belong to contributing bloggers (unless indicated otherwise)

 

1. KENYA

I went to Kenya twice and really fell in love with the country, inspiring me to write three blog posts. It is one of those countries that has got it all! Located in the Great Rift Valley and with the Indian Ocean coastline, it has some of the best safari parks and natural reserves, pristine beaches and breathtaking mountains. Lake Nakuru National Park will leave nature lovers at awe not just because of its safari wildlife (get up-close and personal with giraffes, zebras, rhinoes and monkeys), but also biggest flamingo population in the world! Beach bums should head to resort town of Malindi or much quieter Lamu Archipelago.

But what made my two trips truly special is the time I got to spend with the Maasai tribe and get to know their culture and traditions. I was even lucky to run into Maasai warriors (famous for their bravery and fierceness), a rare occasion even for a Kenyan.

Place to stay: Driftwood Beach Club (Malindi), Kijani Hotel (Lamu) and Naibor (Maasai Mara)

 

2. Kakslauttanen, FINLAND

Ok, I haven’t been to Finland (yet!) but this Arctic experience is at the top of my bucket list. I have discovered this glass igloo resort by chance and then a fabulous vlog by the Bruised Passports duo has inspired me to visit it even more. This is probably one of the most exotic winter destinations out there. Imagine during the day going on a husky or reindeer safari or snowmobile ride through a magical snow-covered forest.

Source: Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort

And at night watching Northern Lights in the comfort of your own glass igloo or snuggling by the fire in a wood cabin. It’s a definite must for snow lovers like myself!

Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort
Source: Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort

Place to stay: Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort

 

3. CUBA

By Robert  Grabczewski, Wander Junction

Cuba is one of the few places on Earth where you can still experience something left from the old-school times but filled with Latin rhythms, rum, smell of cigars, tropical breeze and red Chevrolets with white leather seats.

Cuba is full of life whether you dance yourself to death with salsa in Casa de la Musica in Havana or in the bizarre Discoteca las Cuevas in Trinidad. In every corner you visit, you will be festinated by Cuba’s diversity of constantly hungry young culture cut from the western world pushing the boundaries of creativity. Music, art and atmospheric street’s life, uprising and rising eyebrows diversity of Santa Clara, jaw-dropping turquoise beeches of Cayo Guillermo or falling apart old colonial houses in the centre of capital, are just a few to mention.

It is now or never, in post-Castro Cuba with the US opening its borders, it’s literally last minute to taste still full flavoured, vibrant and energetic island of Cuba.

Place to stay: Hostal D’ Cordero (Santa Clara)

 

4. HAWAII

by Lisa Grabelle, Hilton Mom Voyage

The dramatic landscape of the Big Island of Hawaii is the perfect exotic location to explore in 2017. Built from five volcanoes, the entire tremendous island is covered in volcanic lava, unlike any other destination in the United States. The dark lava fields set against the rolling green hills create an otherworldly landscape. Set out on an adventure filled day exploring the island’s hidden gems – hiking through a lava tube, witnessing the magic of smoke vents, gazing in amazement at the world’s most active volcano, Kilauea, and soaking in the drama of ocean waves crashing into gorgeous sea arches.
On this island you can swim with the dolphins, attend a luau learning about traditional Hawaiian culture, zipline through waterfalls in lush jungles, search for humpback whales, take tours of local farms, roast your own Kona coffee, and even meander along dreamlike black sand beaches spotting sea turtles and other marine life.
Be sure to make your way up to the 4,200 meter high summit of Mauna Kea to take in a breathtaking sunset followed by star gazing in the world’s largest observatory for optical, infrared sub-millimeter astronomy! In 2017 let the Big Island’s Aloha spirit enchant you!
 

5. La Boca Beach, ECUADOR

By Stephanie Frias, 8Duffels2Mutts
La Boca Beach, located south of San Clemente in Manabi, Ecuador, is exotic for its rustic beach location coupled with the unique ecological area resulting from ocean and river life. The beach is relatively unknown and undisturbed due to its location and is only accessible by a dead end sandy road via nearby fishing villages. This coastal area is teaming with stunning, exotic marine life like the spotted stingray, blue and purple Jaiba crabs, and blue and purple jellyfish as well as orange, pink, and black seashells.
This sub-tropical area boasts year round temperatures typically around upper 20s-30 degrees. Sea temperatures hover in the mid-20s and are ideal for swimming and surfing, as well as many other water activities.
Where to Stay: Casa Ventura
 

6. JORDAN

By Emma Dodd, Wandering the World Barefoot

From the spice souks of Amman to riding a camel in the desert and trekking to the Treasury in the Nabataean city of Petra, Jordan is a tantalizingly exotic destination to visit. While many people are put off traveling to the Middle East at present, Jordan is a safe place and comes complete with a warm welcome from the locals.

Make a trip in 2017 while tourist numbers are low and be sure to get off the beaten track in Petra and explore some of the more than 800 monuments that lie beyond the Treasury.

Place to stay: Rum Stars Bedouin Camp at Wadi Rum

One thought on “12 Exotic Destinations to Visit in 2017

  1. Hey Svet, It’s a great cooperation and idea of the post. I liked each unique text and the shots! A few destinations have already been added to my list based your post!

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