As travelers, we often hear of popular destinations like Paris, New York, and Tokyo. But sometimes, the true beauty and authenticity of a country can be found in its lesser-known destinations. This is why TripAdvisor's Travelers' Choice of 2023 has highlighted the top three most trending destinations: Cuba, Hoi An, and Mauritius. In this blog post, we will explore the unique features and experiences that make these destinations worth visiting.
Cuba: A Timeless Treasure
Cuba is an island in the Caribbean that has long been known for its historic significance and cultural richness. The capital city, Havana, is a must-visit destination for its iconic architecture, colorful buildings, and vintage cars. The city also boasts a vibrant nightlife, with live music and salsa dancing filling the streets. Another historic city is Trinidad, where visitors can explore centuries-old cobblestone streets and colonial-era buildings.
For those seeking adventure, the countryside town of Viñales is the perfect destination. The town is surrounded by stunning natural landscapes, including tobacco fields and limestone cliffs, making it a popular destination for hiking and horseback riding. The beaches in Cuba are also some of the best in the world, with Varadero and Cayo Largo being two popular destinations for crystal-clear water and white sand.
Hoi An: A Hidden Gem
Hoi An, located in central Vietnam, is a hidden gem that is often overlooked by travelers. The city's Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site and boasts a unique mix of Japanese, Chinese, and French architecture. Visitors can take a walking tour of the old town, explore the traditional markets, and visit the historic Chua Cau (Japanese Covered Bridge).
The city is also known for its lively festivals and celebrations, such as the famous Lantern Festival. During this festival, the streets are lined with colorful lanterns, and visitors can take part in traditional activities like lantern making and releasing lanterns into the river. The culinary scene in Hoi An is also a highlight for food lovers, with traditional dishes such as Cao Lau and Banh Mi.
For those looking to venture outside the city, nearby attractions include the Marble Mountains, My Son Sanctuary, and the beautiful An Bang Beach.
Mauritius: A Tropical Paradise
Mauritius is a tropical island located in the Indian Ocean, known for its stunning beaches, coral reefs, and unique flora and fauna. The island is also known for its cultural diversity, with a mix of African, Indian, and French influences.
One of the most popular attractions in Mauritius is its beaches, with locations like Trou aux Biches and Belle Mare offering picturesque views of turquoise waters and white sand. Visitors can also enjoy snorkeling and diving, with the underwater world of Mauritius being home to numerous species of marine life and coral reefs.
For nature lovers, Black River Gorges National Park is a must-visit destination. The park is home to various species of endemic plants and animals and offers hiking trails that lead to gorgeous waterfalls and viewpoints. Adventure seekers can also enjoy water sports like kiteboarding and windsurfing.
Why Choose Lesser-Known Destinations?
While popular destinations offer attractions and experiences that cannot be missed, traveling to lesser-known destinations can provide a more authentic and genuine experience. These destinations often have smaller crowds, allowing for more personalized interactions with locals without the hustle and bustle of tourist-heavy places. Additionally, because these places are lesser known, they can often be more affordable, providing more bang for your buck.
In today's world, where social media and the internet have made travel destinations more accessible than ever before, it is refreshing to discover the hidden gems that are often overshadowed by more popular places. TripAdvisor's Travelers' Choice of 2023 featuring Cuba, Hoi An, and Mauritius provides an excellent opportunity for travelers to explore lesser-known destinations and to gain firsthand experience of what makes these places so unique and special.