Are you the type of traveller that likes to visit destinations that none of your friends have been to before and who avoids the usual tourist traps? If you are, you’re in luck, a new study has identified 20 under-the-radar travel secrets, with locations spanning the globe, from tiny towns to palm-flecked beaches.
If you’ve never heard of Jaffna in the North of Sri Lanka, El Nido Pangalusian Island in the Philippines and the ancient Mayan city of Yaxchilan in Mexico, there’s good reason, as they’ve all been named as some of the world’s best-kept travel destinations, in a list compiled by worldwide travel experts Kuoni.
A spokesperson for Kuoni, Rachel O’Reilly, said:
“While the Grand Canyon, the Great Wall of China and the Taj Mahal attract thousands of visitors per year between them, a generation of travellers are now seeking more secluded beauty spots.
“Beyond the main tourist attractions the world has so much to offer and we’re seeing a trend for people looking for alternative places and experiences away from the famous well-trodden hotspots.”
Just one per cent of the UK has heard of Indonesia’s Gili Meno Island, selected by Kuoni due to its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters. While its neighbouring island Gili Trawangan is now a hotspot for backpackers, the island of Gili Meno remains firmly off the beaten track. A minuscule 0.1 per cent of the nation know about the tranquil garden complex of Mehtab Bagh, on the banks of the Yamuna River in India, just behind the Taj Mahal.
“People’s travelling lifespan has expanded too – from a very young age people are used to travelling to new places with their families and continue to explore the world as they seek new experiences well into their seventies and eighties – so people want fresh perspectives and new inspiration which, is what our new list is all about.”
THE TOP 20 BEST KEPT TRAVEL SECRETS IN THE WORLD
1. Views of the Taj Mahal from Mehtab Bagh, India
2. The island of Gili Meno, Indonesia
3. El Nido Pangulasian Island, Philippines
4. Jaffna, north Sri Lanka
5. Con Dao Island, Vietnam
6. The hike between OIA and Imerovigli, Santorini, Greece
7. The island of Bequia, the Grenadines
8. Tirimbina Rainforest Reserve, Costa Rica
9. The Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area, Virginia, USA
10. Salar de Uyuni (Uyuni Salt Flats), Bolivia
11. The town of Matera in the Basilicata region of Italy
12. The koalas of Kennet River on the Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia
13. Farewell Spit, New Zealand
14. Bukchon Village in Seoul, South Korea
15. Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
16. Omodos Village, Cyprus
17. KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), South Africa
18. Yaxchilan, the ancient Mayan city in the state of Chiapas, Mexico
19. Margaret River, Western Australia
20. Zebra migration in Botswana